Step inside the core of Barcelona, Spain and find one of the most famous landmarks in the city, La Boqueria. The prime location of La Boqueria makes it the perfect destination for locals and tourists alike, as it is located on arguably the most famous street in Barcelona, Las Ramblas. La Boqueria is more formally known as “The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria” and is both a large market and major touristic spot that offers a large selection of fresh produce, fish, meats, candy, nuts, prepared foods and more.
La Boqueria can be dated back to the 1200s when people used to sell meat here. Later this space was also a pig market along with a straw market. At this time and up until the 1700s to early 1800s, the market was not an enclosed space and ultimately was just an extension of the Placa Nova market where traders congregated and traded the goods that they produced. Later on, a separate market was constructed where La Boqueria now stands but it was not until 1826 when the market was legally recognized by the government and not until the early 1900s when the space was constructed to the way in which it now stands.
La Boqueria is simply a market that offers almost anything that people could possibly want in terms of food. Although there are various farmers markets located around the city of Barcelona, the amount of stands outnumbers any other market in the city and the location of the market definitely adds to its popularity, as it is located on a major touristic street called Las Ramblas. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the city, Las Ramblas is comparable to Time Square of New York City and is constantly busy and filled with tourists. The exact address for Mercat de Sant Josep de La Boqueria is Rambla 85-89, in the Ciutat Vella area of Barcelona. Once inside the market, there is something available for almost anyone and everyone there, even the pickiest eaters.
Upon first step into La Boqueria, one may be intimidated by the amount and variety of stands. At this point in time, there are currently more than 270 stands that encompass the market so the intimidation is quite understandable. The first stand encountered when entering the market is the famous candy stand that will sure cure anyone’s sweet tooth. Here one can find candied nuts, dried fruits, chocolates and any sour gummy imaginable. Moving along back into the market, enter the world of fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, prepared foods including stuffed peppers, paellas, sandwiches, pizzas, freshly squeezed fruit juices (a favorite among many people) and additionally butchery, seafood and poultry alongside various restaurants. Although La Boqueria can be a bit difficult to navigate, there are multiples of similar stands so it is not difficult to find the product that you may be looking for. Additionally, it is worth aiming to get to La Boqueria in the morning, before lunchtime, because this is when each stand is open and you will be able to find the best variety of products. Also, make note that the market is not open on Sundays.
In La Boqueria, it is easy to spot the various bars that encompass the famous market. These bars produce dishes that are worth boasting about that include the freshest paella you could possibly ever taste, various tapas and authentic Catalonian wine. These bars include the most well known, El Pinotxo, which is located right near the entrance of the market, adjacent to the candy stand in the center. Although it may be difficult to find a stool at the bar at most of these restaurants, it may be worth the wait in order to try one of them. Sit down, enjoy a glass of wine and indulge in one of the freshest meals that you have ever had in your life!
How to Get There
La Boqueria is located conveniently on Las Ramblas near the famous Liceu, which is Barcelona’s opera house. It is easy to get to due to the convenient location of the Metro L3, Liceu, located directly in front of the market. La Boqueria is also extremely close in proximity to Port Vell, Barceloneta and Placa Catalunya, making it in a prime location in the city of Barcelona.
Here you can see an interview with a student who frequently goes to La Boqueria to purchase products. It is interesting to see the point of view of a tourist and what she typically purchases at this major tourist attraction in Barcelona, Spain.
La Boqueria is hard to describe, as it is the type of place that must be seen in order to believe. When in Barcelona, it is ultimately a must-see for every tourist and even when living in Barcelona, it is important to visit here, as there are so many amazing products available for purchase at great price points. As people also say, the best prices may be found in the back of the market so definitely check this out! Additionally, make sure to try one of the bars that are located inside of La Boqueria as they apparently include amazing ingredients and produce amazingly tasteful dishes.
Thomasina Miers, chef at Wahaka Restaurant in London, summarizes La Boqueria best as he states, “At the Boqueria people eat, shop and gossip together doing what the Spanish excel at, living life well and enjoying a sense of community”.
There is truly no place like La Boqueria.