One day in Eixample sounds like plenty, but the more time you spend in Barcelona’s trendiest neighborhood, the more you’ll discover beneath modernist facades and incredible nightclubs.
Sure, the Gothic Quarter is one of Barcelona’s twistiest, most famous neighborhoods. But the title of the coolest certainly belongs to Eixample. Known for its incredible food, modernist architecture, and sizzling nightlife, one day in Eixample is sure to be an adventure worth taking!
Eixample came to life in the nineteenth century, after the old city’s walls had been demolished. What followed was the growth of a brand-new neighborhood, this one planned out on a grid and designed to be a beautiful, functional representation of Spain’s industrial revolution. As the area developed, the city was eager to fill these streets with lovely buildings. That’s where Barcelona’s most famous and beloved architect, Antoni Gaudí, comes in: his commissioned houses La Pedrera, Casa Batlló, and Casa Vicens stand in Eixample, as does his most famous work–the modernist basilica La Sagrada Familia.
Now Eixample features high-class boutiques, fun restaurants, and cute coffee shops. It also is considered one of the more LGBT-friendly neighborhoods in Barcelona, with clubs and bars like Plata Bar Barcelona earning the space the nickname Gayxample. Peaceful, pretty, and fascinating, this is one of Barcelona’s most fun neighborhoods, and one day in Eixample is a good one.
Start off your one day in Eixample with breakfast at a place like El Petit Princep. In Spain, it’s common to keep breakfast small–like a rich cup of café con leche or a flaky croissant. One of the most pleasant qualities that Barcelona has is that you can spend entire days casually wandering, testing out local cafes or discovering boutiques you’ve never seen before. In Eixample, you might enjoy starting slow.
After breakfast, perhaps you can head over to the Sagrada Familia. If the exterior feels like a door to a wonderland, then the interior feels like stepping right inside it. With ceilings that evoke skies and columns that make you feel like you’re in a forest, this basilica is worth a visit. Once you’re finished, head over to the park directly across from the cathedral. This small, pretty patch of land is an opportunity to spend some time outside. If you haven’t done a walking tour, the morning is a great time to do it.
Lunchtime arrives around one or two o’clock, so why not try one of Eixample’s best restaurants? aQistoi (pronounced like the Spanish phrase aquí estoy) is a budget-friendly option for a tasty lunch with a great atmosphere. If you’d like to try something else, head over to Etapes. This classy, charming restaurant showcases some of Barcelona’s dazzling local cuisine.
Once you’re done with lunch, try heading over to one of Gaudí’s famous houses. Casas Vicens and Batlló are some of the most splendid and strange homes in the city, and La Pedrera is in its own class of whimsical. Spend some time in the museum at Casa Batlló, or sipping espresso at La Pedrera. If you get bored or want to try something new, you’ll find a stunning shop or art gallery around every corner.
In Spain, lunch is the largest meal of the day, so when you start to get hungry in the evening, make like a true Spaniard and enjoy some tapas. Tapas 24 is one of the best tapas restaurants in the city. Here, you can enjoy typical tapas like patatas bravas or try some braver ones, like sardines or croquetas. Not your speed? It’s no problem. La Pepita is just a few blocks away, and this insanely delicious restaurant is to die for. With friendly waitstaff, amazing flavors, and an excellent array of tapas, it’s not to be missed.
In Eixample, fantastic bars and clubs wait around every corner. If you’re looking for a cocktail, try La Martinera Club. Here, you can get elaborate, fun mixed drinks and spend the night dancing with your friends. Beer aficionados may enjoy SantaBirra, a cozy little bar with several craft beers to try. For the LGBT crowd, Moeem is a delightful and underrated space with good drinks and great music.
If you’d like to dance, the biggest club in Eixample is Hyde Club. This thumping club is where the nightlife in Eixample comes together. With an excellent dance floor and music, you’ll have a blast dancing until sunrise with the rest of the city. When you’re finished, take a moment to drink in the city: Barcelona is magic.
One day in Eixample may not be enough. This incredible neighborhood has so much to offer, and so many fun activities hidden around every corner. Have you visited Eixample? What did you find? Let us know in the comments!