Every neighbourhood has its perks and quirks, and there is so much more to see than what the guide books tell you. Here we give you 5 top tips for exploring El Raval off the beaten track.
1 The Raval Cat
This infamous feline is impossible to miss as you stroll down the Rambla del Raval. The giant cat sculpture by Fernando Botero has become a fixture in the area and tourists visit him every day to take photos and attempt to clamber on top of him, which is actually much more difficult than it looks!
2 Techno at Moog
If you like dancing all night to electronic music, this one’s for you. A dark downstairs cavern heaves with techno heads, and upstairs the mood is lighter with everything from commercial cheese to 90’s indie. Prepare to queue if you arrive late and be vigilant of pickpockets who are notorious on this street. Carrer de l’Arc del Teatre, 3, just off the Rambla.
3 Funky bars
Raval is renowned for having the most unique, quirky little drinking hovels and we recommend you explore as many as possible! There are hardly any chain bars in this area, instead you’ll find a surprise around every corner. Each bar has its own personality and charm, so whether you are after strawberry daiquiris and indie vibes at Foxy Bar (Carrer de la Riera Alta 59), a cold beer at Zelig (Carrer Carme 116), or a giant gin and tonic in Gipsy Lou (Carrer Fernandia 55) el Raval has all this to offer and more.
4 Cheap & tasty food
Terraces line the Rambla del Raval. The choice and variety is huge; Turkish, Indian, Italian and traditional restaurants. Coq D’Or, at number 51, is known by locals as “the 2 euro sandwich place” and comes highly recommended. Sandwiches are freshly prepared in front of you, and just when you think they couldn’t possibly fit any more inside the baguette they ask if you would like chips too!
5 Cutting-edge art galleries & art cafés
Discover an inspiring underground scene of art galleries and bars with contemporary works by the most innovative local artists and collectives. Quirky engravings at Tinta Invisible, C/ Lleó 6; Performance and art at El Arco de la Virgen Cultural Centre, Carrer de la Verge, 10; Art cafés include waves of surrealism at Café Nou 3, Doctor Dou 12; Art and tapas at Tartar 66, C/ Carme 66, the list goes on…
by Kelly Page