Timeout called it a “gentrified gem,” but for the locals, the El Raval neighborhood has yet to completely lose its reputation as the epicenter of drugs and prostitution in the Catalan capital.
Still, I wouldn't advise missing it.
There are so many wonderful things to see in El Raval and a unique atmosphere, that you will miss out on a good opportunity to understand Barcelona and all it has to offer. So let's get this right.
Hands in pockets, we walked into the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona!
Where is the Raval in Barcelona?
El Raval is part of the Old City (the "old town") with the Born, the Gothic Quarter and Barceloneta.
The district is surrounded by several metro stations such as Liceu and Drassanes (green line L3). It is also easily accessible from Universitat (red line L1), Sant Antoni (purple line L2) and Paral-lel (green line L3 and purple line). L2).
From Plaça de Catalunya going down the famous Rambla, you will find it on your right.
Why visit the Raval?
- It is the neighborhood with the greatest ethnic diversity in Barcelona.
- There is a great selection of kitschy bars.
- It is the cheapest of the central areas of Barcelona.
- El Raval is home to many of the best museums in Barcelona.
- There is a vibrant night life.
To see in the Raval
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona is (for some) the Tate Modern or the Center Pompidou in Barcelona. There you will find more than 5000 works by big names in modern art like Tapies, Iglesias, Fahlström and more.
There is also a wide variety ofTemporary exhibitions focusing on photography, sculpture and painting.
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday (11 am to 19:30 pm), Saturdays (10 am to 20 pm), Sundays and holidays (10 am to 15 pm), Tuesday closed.
Price: € 11,00 € 10,45 adults (online), € 8,80 students (face-to-face).
The Center de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona is one of the most visited art and exhibition centers in Barcelona. Like Raval himself, if there is something cultural to show or discuss, you will find it here.
Some exhibitions have been rated as exciting the disturbing, but I promise you one thing: you won't get bored! There is also free wifi access in the public study room.
If you are in Barcelona for the World Press Photo exhibition, be sure to go there.
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday (11am to 20pm).
Price: € 6,00 for one exhibition, € 8,00 for two exhibitions, free for children under 12 years old.
Tip: MACBA and CCCB tickets can be purchased as part of the articketBCN pass, which includes many of the best museums in Barcelona at an incredible 45% discount.
It is not exactly the Sagrada Familia or the Casa Batlló, but the Palau Güell is another of the great works of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi.
Ce mansion / "urban palace" built for industrialist Eusebi Guell was famous for entertaining guests of the high society and that shows us. The recent restoration completed in 2011 makes it still decadent.
Fans of Antonioni may recognize him as the backdrop to Jack Nicholson and Maria Schneider's reunion on The Passenger. The palace was inscribed in Unesco world heritage in 1984.
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 20 p.m. (April 1 to October 31) or from 10 a.m. to 17 p.m. (November 30 to March 1).
Price: € 12,00 (or € 9,00 with the Barcelona Card).
Rambla del Raval
This famous palm tree lined promenade It is the centerpiece of life in the Raval.
There tons of bars for a drink, but it is also famous for the variety of its kebabs.
There is also a gato huge here! Yes, Fernando Botero's artwork is a prime meeting place for the locals and it's not uncommon to see people climbing as the night progresses.
Also if you have a tight budget. You can eat 6 or 7 mini sandwiches and have a real pint of beer for less than € 10 from the Spanish institution 100 Montaditos.
Bars du Raval
There is a great mix of bars in the Raval, but the common theme would be inexpensive and unpretentious.
You can't go wrong crawling a bit in the Joaquín Costa Street - With so many great bars, you may only have to go halfway!
€€ | Craft beer Parliament Street 45 | Metro: Sant Antoni (L2) | Website
What happens when a Londoner and a Cypriot meet in the UK and end up in Belgium?
The answer is a excellent beer. These two friends participated in a prestigious Belgian beer competition as amateurs and they did well because they won.
Now they have brought their professional talent to Barcelona.
La brewery on site produces half a dozen original beers as well as two seasonal beers, unique tapas from Belgian classics. Add to that a delicious menu and you have THE beer place in Barcelona.
€ | Neighborhood bar | Carrer de Sant Pau 65 | Metro: Shipyards (L3) | website
Simple flashback, this dusty bar looks like a underground bar since the time of prohibition crossed with a texan lounge. It has not been renovated since the 20s. It is said to be the oldest bar in Barcelona and it's easy to believe.
There's beer and wine, but most drinkWormwood with a bottle of water and a piece of sugar. It's fun to experiment with your water and sugar levels, but calm down!
A good place to relax before going to the best clubs in Barcelona.
€€ | Bar à Cocktail | Joaquín Costa Street 56 | Metro: University (diverse) | Internet site
Retro, quirky and with a great atmosphere.
Named after the name of a drug rehab clinic in the United States, this bar could take anyone out of their desire for sobriety with its special cocktails!
Oh and his burgers It might be the best in town! Try the blue cheese one and pair it with a local beer called Krut.
Happy hour is from 21:00 p.m. to 23:00 p.m.
The Black Sheep Ramblas
€ | Cheap drinks | Carrer de les Sitges 5 | Metro: University (various) | Website
Here, no nonsense, is a huge bar with Banks where you'll meet lots of people: drunkards drinking mini kegs of beer, “leche de pantera” (a bottle of alcohol-infused milk with cinnamon) and sangria.
The good pints it's only € 2. It is a favorite place for students and good for billiards o baby foot.
Bring your friends here for a bachelor party in Barcelona.
€ - €€ | Old school | Joaquín Costa Street 33 | Metro: University (diverse) | Internet site
Trendy Barcelona has swallowed hundreds of traditional establishments, but this bar in El Raval does exist from 1860. This is by far the best bar in El Raval for its history and local atmosphere.
The tradition here is the vermouth (a spicy wine drink). I can also say that the plate of Serrano ham It is one of the best in town.
The Mediterranean-style sandwiches and tapas are second to none.
BAR 33 | 45
€ - €€ | Cocktail Branche | Joaquín Costa Street 4 | Metro: University (diverse) | Internet site
The Raval drinking street continues to pamper us with this bar. It is also a great art gallery and cafe.
Anyway, go ahead and ask for a splash, an Italian cocktail with Aperol and sparkling white wine, for only € 2,50.
Actually The 33 | 45 consists of two bars in one, a Cocktail plugged in one end and one room of the other. If you can't decide what kind of party you want, come here and let fate decide the rest.
Do not hesitate to consult our article on the best restaurants in Barcelona.
€€€ | Calle del Caputxins 37 | Metro: Liceu (L3) | Internet site
The Louro is probably the only restaurant I would go to on the famous Rambla. This is one of my favorite modern Spanish restaurants in the entire city.
La Galician cuisine rich in seafood, give it a touch creative and avant-garde with the added advantage of one of more concise and friendly services From the industry.
Smoked sardines, crispy octopus, the scallop gratin, the Galician beef tenderloin and the highly underrated calamand sandwich are one of the highlights of the night. Without forgetting your exceptional cocktails like the blackberry mojito.
This is the perfect place for a romantic dinner or even with a large group; expect to pay € 30,00 per person.
As this restaurant is always very frequented, Configured a quick booking system directly with the restaurant.
By booking via the blue button below, you benefit from a reservation priority but also froma free glass of cava:
And there was a ball
€ | Hospital Street 78 | Metro: University (diverse) | Internet site
This is all about creative and inexpensive gourmet street food. Proof Balls (meatballs or vegetarian) stuffing pitas or mounted on polenta with the fresh ingredients.
Along with your order, you will get pickled veggies, hummus, and a hot pita, how good it is! Mexican chipotle, Asian chicken satay, and falafel are the highlights of this establishment.
Fresh, tasty and well thought out.
$$ - $$$ | Carrer d'En Botella 11-13 | Metro: Sant Antoni (L2) | book now
I never shut up for this restaurant modern spanish where tradition and adventure meet. Forget El Raval, this is one of the best places in the city. For the seafood paella (singular), I would go back once a week.
Specifically, you will find dishes originating in Galicia, but spicy, such as poulpe fries with seaweed mousse and potatoes with paprika oil. Or the Galician clams with green curry.
Not too much seafood? the Galician beef tenderloin with smoked cheese sauce is calling you.
One more obvious: take a blackberry mojito.
€€ | Carrer de Sant Pau 103 | Metro: Liceo Egg University (diverse) | Internet site
It wouldn't be El Raval without a restaurant in tandoori rich in flavor and at a low price.
After spending three days in Barcelona eating typical cuisine, you are dying for a cheese naan and one of its spicy curry dishes. So grab a shrimp jalfrezi or butter chicken and dine like royalty.
Harrison Ford ate here when he was in Barcelona.
€€ - €€€ | Rambla Del Raval 26 | Metro: Liceu (L3) | website
Un intimate tapas bar in the Raval with personalized service.
You can have a bottle of wine for € 25,00 (two people). All the Spanish classics are there, but theeggplant with honey or the Serrano ham with artichokes are unavoidable.
Do you want to stop eating Spanish food? There are also smoothies, burgers, and things like cheese. burrata that makes your mouth water. The advantage here is that the cocktails they are extraordinary.
€ | Joaquín Costa Street 22 | Metro: San Antonio Egg University (diverse) | Internet site
When I lived in the Raval, it was the perfect place for a last minute dinner.
Enter the facilities and you will see the chicken skewers turn a level above typical kebab places. The chicken is then grilled with vegetables, wrapped in fresh naan bread, and drizzled with a homemade yogurt sauce.
Le four tandoor also makes excellent chicken kebabs, while a small buffet table with a Chicken curry Act like must-have ethnic food. All piled on top of flavored rice and fresh vegetables.
And guess what? None of the dishes cost more than € 6,00.
Hotels in the Raval
Here I have reduced the number of accommodations to just three, from luxury to value for money.
If El Raval doesn't convince you for your accommodation, take a look at my article on the best places to stay in Barcelona. You can also check the other 140 best hotels in El Raval through Booking.
Casa Camper Hotel
☆☆☆☆ | €€€ - €€€€ | Calle de Elisabets 11 | Metro: Catalonia
This Hotel design its motto is that luxury lies in simplicity, authenticity and health.
Here is a minimalist design: from open space to hanging vertical gardens mini-lounges with desk, sofa and balcony. Forget the minibar, go to the buffet open 24 hours a day called Snack.
Le solar water heating means it will use 50% less energy than the competition.
Visit chef Albert Raurich At the Dos Palillos restaurant, he was head chef at El Bulli, voted the best restaurant in the world. Here you will find delicious Spanish classics with an Asian twist.
Facilities: gym, bar, restaurant, bicycle rental.
☆☆☆☆ | ₹₹ - ₹₹₹ | Rambla del Raval 17-21 | Métro: High school
Yes, I know, another design hotel from the center of Barcelona is nothing new. But it is one of our favorite luxury hotels.
However, theattention to details Is incredible. You will have a super comfortable bed and even your own. choice of pillow hardness. Add huge plasma TVs, air conditioning, machine Nespresso and a cutting edge design for an urban paradise.
And we didn't even mention the wonderful rooftop with pools. It is also only 400 meters from La Boqueria - possibly the best food market in the world.
Facilities: spa, gym, massages, tanning salon, sauna, room service, snack bar, restaurant.
☆☆☆ | €€ | Rambla del Raval 17-21 | Subway: Shipyards
Those who seek low price Without skimping on quality, they will find their place here.
Las habitaciones elegant and modern and its super-sleek hardwood floors are closer to a four-star than a three-star, but your wallet won't complain. Guests love the rooftop pool with Incredible views, excellent customer service and a varied breakfast buffet.
Being in the lower part of the Raval, the beach is only a 20 minute walk away.
Facilities: gym, infinity pool, room service, laptop safe, soundproof rooms.
☆☆☆ | € € | Gran Vía de las Cortes Catalanas, 574 | Metro: University
This hotel occupies a strategic position insofar as it is located out of the tourist chaos from the city center and yet fully accessible on foot. From the airport, it is easily accessible with the Aerobús, getting off at the third stop: Plaça Universitat.
Alternatively, you can take bus 46 to Plaça Espanya and take the metro to Universitat (red line L1). Other score of 8,3.
Facilities: bar, bathtub, air conditioning, luggage storage, breakfast in the room.
Shopping in the Raval
In the Raval, these are shops and boutiques at reasonable prices.
For this, I suggest you go to Calle del Carmen, calle del'Hospital et Joaquin Costa Street.
You will find a wide range of options here, from antiques to books to gemstones. In particular, the trendy 'Camden' street is lined with record stores and vintage clothing boutiques in Riera Baja Street.
Do you need an internet cafe to print your attraction tickets? El Raval is your place.
Is the Raval neighborhood safe?
Granted, it gets a bad rap among the locals. They say that the Raval has changed for the worse, but the truth is that it is still a working-class neighborhood with precarious housing.
The low rental prices in El Raval have attracted immigrants who have given the area a lot of character, but the flip side is that it has become a mecca for drugs and prostitution in Barcelona. This usually happens at night and only in a few streets.
I heard it was dirty, disgusting, embarrassing… and it's a bit. My only advice? Don't let the shady side ruin everything. I mean, what are you going to do? Read People magazine and eat at Wendy's until the end of time? Take a chance! (George Carlin)
The truth is, you probably won't never in physical danger. Nor will you be stripped of your common sense to avoid pickpockets. And no one is going to make you pay for drugs or sex, right?
Come for a ride in the comments below.
Still not satisfied with my guide to the Raval de Barcelona? If you need personalized advice, write me in the comments below.
What if you've been here before? How did you go? What advice would you give to first-time travelers?
Also, don't be afraid to join the discussion on my new Facebook group called "For City Lovers." Here you can ask questions, voice your complaints, chat with other travelers and more - anything goes!