The El Born Walking Route in Barcelona
El Born is the oldest neighborhood of Barcelona with countless hidden corners, charming streets, and yes, plenty of tourists! Vibrant El Born is surprising, trendy, artsy, and a cool relief between the high buildings. At night, this neighborhood comes alive, with squares full of hipsters sipping on cocktails and eating tapas. You need to know where to go to find these treasures, between the squares, dark alleys, and hotspots that are kept hidden by the masses. This walking route, written by local writer Alba, guides you to the places in the El Born neighborhood where the true locals hang out.
- Route name: The El Born Walking Route in Barcelona
- Duration: 1 day
- Best by walking or biking
- Highlights: local coffee hang outs, the Santa Maria del Mar cathedral, local markets and the Ciutadella Park.
A more extensive version of this Walking Route + 2 other Walking Routes can be found in the travel guide "Barcelona Like a Local", written by Alba living in the city. Download the guide for €4,99 for all spots, interactive maps, offline usage, and pictures.
The El Born Walking Route in BarcelonaThe El Born Walking Route in Barcelona
Start your day with a powerful breakfast at the first hidden gem in the neighborhood- Satan’s Coffee Corner. This specialty shop has some great coffee and delicious breakfasts to give you the boost to walk all day! Walk further to the nearby Plaça Reial square. Fun fact: there used to be a Jazz Club hidden in one of the buildings! To get in, you have to find and ring the exact door number, as if it was a flat.
Nearby the Plaça Reial square you’ll come across one of the highlights of this walking route in El Born, the Santa Maria del Mar Cathedral. The church has been mentioned in many novels about the city. To capture the neighborhood at its best, walk around the streets around this church to explore the true magic. Almost in front of the church, you can find the Mercat del Born. This building used to be a local market until archaeologists stumbled upon some Roman ruins underneath, which made the building permanently closed.
Where you do get some good food? The answer is at the Passeig de Sant Joan street. The popular avenue among locals has different cafés, restaurants, and bars, where you can taste classical Spanish dishes at Grandja Petitbo.
After lunch, you can continue your route and find a relaxing atmosphere in the Ciutadella Park for the afternoon. The green spot in the middle of the city is an oasis for seeing the city life passing by with a coffee or a fresh juice. The Park is home to the city zoo, a lovely waterfall, the Catalan Parliament, and museums, amongst many other surprises. The fountain in the middle of the park is one of these most remarkable elements.
For some tapas before dinner, or to find some dinner already, head over to the one and only tapas market of the city: Mercat Princesa. Choose from different Spanish tapas dish such as steamed mussles, salted fish, and even sushi, as you take a cocktail! This is the perfect place for people who like to try everything!
To end the night, enjoy some beers in the Mercat del Born called El 300 del Born. The market and its surroundings of the cathedral is the perfect place to explore some more of the neighborhood by night! Another great option is at the heart of the neighborhood- Passeig del Born. This street is full of beautiful medieval buildings and is now a nightlife hub, frequented by young and hip locals. Find a little bar to sip on some cocktails and munch on tapas in many of the squares' terraces. There are plenty to choose from!
A more extensive version of the walking route + 2 other walking routes can be found in the travel guide Barcelona Like a Local, written by Alba living in the city. Download the guide for €4,99 for all spots, interactive maps, offline usage, and images.
Suggested reading for Spain:
- The Gaudí Route in Barcelona
- The Andalucia route: Malaga - Granada
- Hidden Beach Route in Ibiza
- The Sherry Triangle Route in Andalucia
- 11 Best Travel Guides for Spain
- The Surf Route in Fuerteventura
- Adventure Route in La Gomera
All photos in this article are taken by: Alba Colino
Cover photo: Afroz Nawaf