With roots dating back to around 1200, La Boqueria started life off as a humble, open-air market in front of the city walls. As time has passed, the market has grown in size and notoriety, and has firmly secured it’s place in my top 10 things to do in Barcelona.
My boyfriend and I love a good market, with all the sights and smells on offer. So when we booked ourselves a city break to Barcelona, we knew we’d have to visit La Boqueria.
As we arrived in the city, we trundled down Las Ramblas toward our hotel. We spotted the market on the right, and made a mental note to pop back there once we’d unpacked. As we were checking out our hotel room, I stuck my head out the window and could smell something delicious…we’d only gone and scored a hotel alongside a side entrance to La Boqueria!
Our first visit to the market was brief, we just wanted something to drink and eat. There’s an abundance of foods on offer, with the traditional fruit and vegetables, cured meats and fish, to the less popular sheeps heads and brains.
We returned the next day to really soak up the atmosphere of the market, and noticed that there were places to eat – as in they served real dishes, not just the ingredients – and there were a great deal more stalls than we had initially noticed. We passed through the market every day to reach Las Ramblas, purely because the sights and smells are something not to be missed. On our last day, we decided it’d be nice to treat ourselves and buy some sweets from one of the stalls. Unfortunately, like complete rookies, we didn’t even check the price before we started picking out sweets. Fortunately though, we only picked a few each. Lucky really, as the price can only be described as daylight robbery.
There’s a lot more to La Boqueria than the market stalls housed inside. There are culinary classes where kids and adults can learn to cook, and there’s a real atmosphere that you only really get at good markets. It’s not surprising then, that the market was awarded Best Market in the World in 2005 by the World Markets Congress. And in my personal experience, it ranks pretty highly on the list of markets my boyfriend and I have so far visited.