Top things to do

Top Choice Palace in El Raval

Palau Güell

Palau Güell is a magnificent example of the early days of Gaudí’s fevered architectural imagination. The extraordinary neo-Gothic mansion, one of the few major buildings of that era raised in Ciutat Vella, gives an …
Top Choice Market in El Raval

Mercat de la Boqueria

Mercat de la Boqueria is possibly La Rambla’s most interesting building, not so much for its Modernista-influenced design (it was actually built over a long period, from 1840 to 1914, on the site of the former St Jo…
Top Choice Arts Centre in El Raval

MACBA

Designed by Richard Meier and opened in 1995, MACBA has become the city's foremost contemporary art centre, with captivating exhibitions for the serious art lover. The permanent collection is on the ground floor and…
Top Choice Bar in El Raval

La Confitería

This is a trip into the 19th century. Until the 1980s it was a confectioner’s shop, and although the original cabinets are now lined with booze, the look of the place barely changed with its conversion. A recent ref…
Top Choice Cinema in El Raval

Filmoteca de Catalunya

The Filmoteca de Catalunya – Catalonia's national cinema – sits in a modern 6000-sq-metre building, built in the midst of the most louche part of El Raval. The films shown are a superior mix of classics and more rec…
Top Choice Cosmetics in El Raval

Les Topettes

It's a sign of the times that such a chic little temple to soap and perfume can exist in El Raval. The items in Les Topettes' collection have been picked for their designs as much as the products themselves, and you…
Top Choice Tapas in El Raval

Bar Pinotxo

Bar Pinotxo is arguably La Boqueria's, and even Barcelona's, best tapas bar. The ever-charming owner, Juanito, might serve up chickpeas with pine nuts and raisins, a soft mix of potato and spinach sprinkled with sal…
Bar in El Raval

Bar Marsella

Bar Marsella has been in business since 1820, and has served the likes of Hemingway, who was known to slump here over an absenta (absinthe). The bar still specialises in absinthe, a drink to be treated with respect.
Cafe in El Raval

Granja M Viader

For more than a century, people have been coming here for hot chocolate with whipped cream (ask for a suís) ladled out in this classically Catalan milk bar. In 1931, the Viader clan invented Cacaolat, a bottled choc…
Vegetarian in El Raval

Sésamo

Widely held to be the best veggie restaurant in the city (admittedly not as great an accolade as it might be elsewhere), Sésamo is a cosy, fun place. The menu is mainly tapas, and most people go for the seven-course…