Sant Andreu; District with its hidden treasures

Are you looking for an authentic Catalan experience while you are still in the city of Barcelona? If yes, I know the place for you, the district Sant Andreu! It is a great neighborhood for families as it is more serene than other areas with...

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barcelona-districts-mapAre you looking for an authentic Catalan experience while you are still in the city of Barcelona? If yes, I know the place for you, the district Sant Andreu! It is a great neighborhood for families as it is more serene than other areas with lots of green spaces and narrow streets. This week, I visited this wonderful area and I fell in love; I seriously forgot I was in one of the biggest cities of Spain. My mission on my visit was to search for beautiful hidden places in this area which are not shown in the average tourist guides. My mission was a real success; this district is full of beautiful, hidden treasures.

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In this blog, I am going to share my experiences with you which I have gained during my visit to the district Sant Andreu. At the end of this blog, I have made a Top 5 of places which are really worth a visit.

The first thing I walked by when coming out of the metro was the beautiful neo-gothic Church Sant Andreu de Palomar  Metrostation Sant Andreu, red line L1). This church symbolizes the history of the neighborhood. This ancient church survived many troubles in the past as is used to be the main core of the district. The Sant Andreu de Palomar is located on Placa d´Orfila; this is a charming, little square with benches in the shadow. Many people use this square as a meeting point or a relaxing area. I really love these kind of typical Catalan squares, it seems like locals use these squares as their own garden as they are chatting with their friends and reading their newspapers.

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Contrary to my expectations, Sant Andreu is a happening district, there is much more to do in this area than I actually thought. You can find a shop at every corner of the street. I found out that Sant Andreu is also a great shopping place! You can find lots of little boutiques and vintage shops, especially around Carrer Gran de Sant Andreu. This long street is the ´artery´ of the district with lots of restaurants, bars, shops and a great atmosphere. Sant Andreu is such a great place to go shopping if you are looking for authentic, typically Catalan stores in all shapes and sizes.

Suddenly, I wanted to drink a cup of coffee but because there were so many bars and restaurants in Carrer Gran de Sant Andreu (Metrostation Sant Andreu, red line L1), I didn´t know which one I had to choose. A friendly looking man walked by so I asked him in Spanish (because also in this district, less people speak English) which place he would advise and he recommended Bar Versalles. I followed his advise and entered a fancy looking bar, I assumed this it would be very expensive. The staff was very hospital and my cafe con leche was delicious! I was luckily surprised when it was time to pay, it was cheaper than I expected. I really recommend you Bar Versalles, you can have a great drink in a fancy looking bar with hospitable waitresses for little money.

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After my lovely coffee, I was ready to discover the next beautiful hidden treasure of Sant Andreu. During my walk towards Placa del Marcadal, I was charmed by the narrow, green, typical Catalan streets I was walking through. It is a real pleasure to just stroll through these enchanting streets.

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Placa del Marcadal (Metrostation Sant Andreu, red line L1) is a square, surrounded by houses with beautiful arcades. This plaza used to be a popular trading hub, but today you can find a local market and some traditional restaurants. The temperature at the plaza was really nice, because the buildings around the square gave lots of shade. During my walk around the square, I noticed an interesting contrast, between the shops and the elegant, ancient arcades, there was a colorful graffiti wall. It was nice to see how two different generations of time can exist together so poetically. Placa del Marcadal is a great place to spot locals just doing their daily activities.

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After visiting this beautiful plaza I went back to the metro to travel to my next interesting stop, Church Sant Pacia (Metrostation Fabra I Puig, red line L1). This church is located in a very quiet and jovial area, hidden between the narrow streets of Barcelona. The 19th century neo-gothic church has a splendid Gaudi-designed mosaic inside; Gaudi also designed the lamps, some furniture and the altar. This church is a hidden treasure of Barcelona; I really recommend this special church, especially to true Gaudi admirers.

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The district Sant Andreu is very diverse, besides beautiful history, many shops and great typical Catalan atmosphere; it also has a wonderful park with much posibility, Parc de la Trinitat (Metrostation Trinitat Vella, red line L1). This parc is the perfect place for a picknic, you can chill on the grass or you can sit in the area with benches tables and even barbeques! There are also sports fields and it is a great place to walk your dog. It is not crowded in the park, so you can enjoy your deserved rest. The park is well known for its spectacular statue, Cavalls desbocats, a large frieze shaped by the profiles of 15 horses running wild over the grass.

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Lifestyle´s Top 5

  1. Church Sant Pacia
  2. Carrer Gran de Sant Andreu (including restaurant Versalles)
  3. Church Sant andreu de Palomar
  4. Plaza del Marcadal
  5. Parc de la Trinitat

Sant Andreu has so much to offer, it is a very diverse district and I like that. There is a jovial atmosphere full of local charm. I fell in love with this wonderful place; check it out!

Take a look at our website: www.lifestylebarcelona.com

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