Barcelona’s districts, or “barrios”, each have their own distinctive features, and nowhere is this truer than in Gracia. This can largely be accounted for by its history, as it used to be a separate village on the outskirts of the city and was only incorporated into Barcelona in 1897 during industrialisation, when it came under the administration of the Barcelona City Council. Gracia was traditionally a working class district, the location for much industry, particularly textiles, and small scale artisans. Although during the 60s it became one of the trendier areas where plenty of hip locals hang out with accommodation prices to match, its Catalan identity and independent traditions stay strong. With a reputation for being home to a bohemian and arty crowd, it is not surprising that it retains some of the city’s richest local festival traditions and community spirit. Gracia is filled with small squares the most infamous being Placa del Sol, however all its squares have their own unique history. In Plaça de Rovira I Trias there is a statue of Antoni Rovira, Ildefons Cerda's rival in the competition to design l'Eixample during Barcelona’s expansion. Rovira´s design is printed on the pavement so that you can check it out and see how it compares.
Visiting Gracia by day
It’s definitely worth strolling through Gracia, visiting the many squares, and stopping for a coffee or a beer here and there. Keep your eyes open to catch a glimpse of some of the best examples of modernist architecture in the city. You could begin in the north at Plaça del Diamant and work your way south towards Plaça de Joan Carles. Or you could head east west from Plaça de la Llibertat across to Plaça de la Virreina. Whichever way you do it, there will be plenty to take in along the way.
Visiting Gracia by night
Plaça del Sol is busy by day and by night, an is surrounded by great bars. You could also check out one of the restaurants in Rius I Taulet which are always very busy; you’ll have to get down there early or else there’ll be a long wait, especially in the summer when everyone want to ge a table on the terrace.
How to get there
If you’re using the metro then getting to Fontana on L3 or Joanic on L4 is convenient. The FGC trains also have a stop in Gracia.