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Barcelona Markets - Part IV in the Barcelona as a Port Stop Series

When visiting Barcelona, there is no shortage to places to see or things to do. In this fourth article in a series of blogs about Barcelona as a pre or post cruise stop, I cover Barcelona markets.

1. History

2.​ Places to see

3. Transportation to and from the airport

4. Transportation to and from the port

5. Getting around the city

6. Barcelona Markets

7. Hop on Hop off buses

8. Day trips from Barcelona

9. Fun Facts

Those who follow my blog or social media entries, know that when travelling, I like to visit markets of all types. Whether the offerings involve food, clothing, artisan goods, flowers or local and regional merchandise, it is all of interest to me. I am not a shopper by nature but a lively market with the associated social interactions is a whole different level of shopping and markets are often the heart of a location. Whether I am simply soaking in the ambiance, hunting for treasures, bargaining for the best price or negotiating over the goods included in the deal, it all contributes to an experience that is beyond the usual retail experience. With over 40 different markets, Barcelona offers up a plethora of choices and all of them seem to involve food of some type.

La Boqueria

As mentioned in my blog on places to see in Barcelona, there is a market at the top end of Las Ramblas. Referred to at La Boqueria. At that location you will find a number of stalls selling different items, most of which are food related. This is a busy, but easy to navigate market and it offers an array of delights. On previous trips, we have picked up snacks and purchased food to take back to our hotel for an evening supper al fresco on the balcony. I also bought a hand crafted, unique necklace there along with other assorted items (scarves, purses, shoes etc.). If you are staying in the area of Las Ramblas, this is an easy market option to walk to but take note, due to its location in a popular tourist area, the prices are higher, and you can encounter large crowds. Large crowds attract pick pockets so exercise caution.

Flea Market

On the opposite end of Las Ramblas (southern end), behind the Maritime Museum, there is a flea market on Sundays. Visiting this market is fun and visitors should take note that the odd vendor is willing to make trades. I bought an item from one seller and when negotiating with another, managed to trade up the item I had bought earlier. The trade was augmented with a little cash but overall, I came away happy with my trade and feeling that the deal was a fair one. This is not a particularly large market and there is a lot of junk but spending a little time looking at the items set up on the small tables or blankets can be an entertaining diversion.

Encants Flea Market

If you want to visit a market that has been around since the 14th century, this is it. Touted as one of the oldest markets in Europe, the Encants Market has just about everything including the kitchen sink. Located in the Poblenou area of Barcelona, it can be reached by taking the metro to the Glòries stop. From there you can easily walk to the market. There is also bus service to the area and the #7 bus will get you the closest to the market. The V23 bus will also get you within a couple of blocks.

This is one of the markets that did not have a lot of food for sale, rather it specializes in an assortment of items that range from seemingly useless junk to quirky pieces and on to fine antiques. If I had more money and the means to get a lot of items back to my home, I could have bought some great antiques. Great atmosphere.


The market at Hostafrancs reminds me of a jumble or boot sale that takes place in and around a central building. It really does sell everything from cheap household goods to bargain clothing and food. Lots of food. There are different vendors appearing on different days so if you see something you want to buy, and it is not being sold from a permanent stall, you are better to buy it as a return visit to the market may not result in you being able to find the item or vendor again. This market is just down the road from the market at Sants so it is possible to visit both markets on the same day.


Located in the neighbourhood of Sants (and not too far from the market at Hostafrancs), the “Mercat de Sants” is housed in a large brick building. Interesting architectural details were retained following a 2015 renovation which breathed new life into the building and boosted the market in visibility. The building has a high vaulted ceiling which is great to photograph and makes the market feel light and airy. As with most of the Barcelona markets, it sells and an assortment of other items. I bought some leather goods here for very reasonable prices following spirited negotiations.

Sant Antoni

This market is located in the Sant Antoni neighbourhood and can be reached by taking the metro to the Sant Antoni Metro stop. The 1882 steel-frame building reopened in May 2018 after undergoing a 10-year renovation initiative. I find the prices in this market to be less expensive than many others and the market feels less crowded. With over 225 stalls selling items ranging from food to all types of goods (clothing, household items etc.), it has a lot on offer. On Sundays, independent sellers set up around the building with various items on offer. At first glance it appears to be a lot of junk but if you look carefully, you can find some treasures. My favourite was a vendor selling old coins he had made into pin broaches which were both unique and great discussion pieces.

Santa Caterina

Sporting a multi coloured roof and located in the district of Ribera in Ciutat Vella, this is the very definition of a market offering a unique ambiance. While visiting this market, we saw a number of walking tours. Some were “foodies” there for the food experience while others were talking about the roof which was designed by Catalan architect Enric Miralles. While eavesdropping on one of the groups, I made a mental note to take an architectural walking tour the next time I am in Barcelona.

I found this market to be mostly vegetable and fruit stalls but as with all the markets in Barcelona, there was a little something for everyone. I brought a wooden, hand carved toy as a gift for a child and I was enticed to try a number of home-made food samples.

Sant Andreu

All I can say about this small market is that the chocolatiers are my favourite vendors and the chocolate items we bought were of a high quality, delicious and added 10 pounds each to our weight. We could not hold off until we got back to our hotel room before launching into a frenzy of gluttonous chocolate binging. Take the metro to the Sant Andreu stop and walk south to Carrer de Sant Adria where you will turn right. You will be able to see the market across the street on your left.

As mentioned, there are a large number of markets to choose from and I could easily list many more. This blog article is not designed to cover all the markets available and I offer no opinion as to which ones are the best.

Decide which market you want to visit and enjoy the experience.

I want to acknowledge and thank Monty Malloy for allowing me to use some of his Barcelona market photos in this blog.

As usual, if you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to send me an e-mail or comment on this blog entry.


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