The Raval

A formerly rough area transformed into a gentrified gem

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Joaquim Costa Raval

Joaquim Costa Raval

Once a no-go area for tourists, the Raval is being transformed. Some of its gems have been around for years - Gaudí's medievalist Palau Güell was an early attempt at gentrification. But others are newer: the revival began in 1995 with Richard Meier's monumental MACBA, housing the city's main collection of modern art, and carried on in 2008 with the futuristic Barceló hotel.

Restaurants in the Raval

Can Lluís

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Excellent home cooking at good prices. Ferran and his dynamic team provide excellent service. Marvellous rice dishes and fantastic steaks. One reason to visit this cosy spot is to try L'olleta d'Alcoi, one of Pepe Carvalho’s favourite dishes, which tops the Vázquez Montalbán menu.

  1. 49, Cera, 08001
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Lo de Flor

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

With its gorgeous white interior decor, the wood and metal all creating a rustic, cosy minimalism, this tiny restaurant represents a continuation of the owner’s other restaurant, Flor Falchetti. The cuisine here represents a culinary tour of the Mediterranean, stopping off in France, Italy and

  1. 18, Carretes, 08001
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B Lounge

  • Price band: 2/4

The restaurant of the cool, sophisticated Hotel Barceló Raval has an extensive menu of creative dishes with an international influence, like prawns with coconut and mango curry, and rice with coriander and mustard. And on weekends they have a range of brunches focusing on healthy dishes such as

  1. 17-21, Rambla del Raval, 08001
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Dos Palillos

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

This place demonstrates the close links between Asian and Spanish tapas.

  1. 9, Elisabets
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Rincón de Aragón

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Here you can enjoy all the Aragonese specialities – migas, roast lamb and goat kid, washed down with good wine from Calatayud

  1. 28, Carme, 08001
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Bars in the Raval

Pesca Salada

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

This tiny, cosy bar is located in a former fish shop (where they specialised in local fave, salted cod). They've kept the fish theme, with décor that features a giant sardine can on the ceiling, itself made to look like fish scales. But never fear, the theme stops with the furnishings. If you are

  1. Cera, 32, El Raval, 08001
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London Bar

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

When you're wandering the Modernist route and your feet are aching and you're feeling parched, what better place to stop and recharge than the Barcelona institution that is London Bar. Once the stomping grounds of the likes of Orwell, Hemingway and Picasso, London Bar is now host to lovers of late

  1. Nou de la Rambla, 34, El Raval, 08001
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Cassette Bar

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

The lamps are wrapped up in cassette tape, Radio Raheem is blasting out from behind the bar, there’s a robot drawn on the main wall, the latest in electronic music… Cassette is one of the spots to be for the hippest types in the city. Hats, skinny jeans, limited-edition trainers and Ray-Ban XXL

  1. Est, 11, El Raval, 08001
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Piscis

  • Rated as: 4/5

Another kitsch bar reminiscent of those in post-Transition Spanish films. The aesthetic code is from another dimension, a jumble of paintings, disturbing objects hanging from the ceiling, graffiti, grotesque figurines, velvet curtains...  The décor itself is enough to make the place a World

  1. Joaquín Costa, 39, El Raval, 08001
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Bar Ultramarinos

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

Despite the fact that there are more than 76 brands of gin to hand, I opt for the house brand – Master's, a London dry made in nearby Vilanova. I order my G&T dry, with lemon and Jamaican pepper, and am sent straight to heaven. The by-the-glass brew is superb in scent and flavour, and the

  1. Sant Pau, 126, El Raval, 08001
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What to see & do in the Raval

Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona

Spain's largest cultural centre was opened in 1994 at the Casa de la Caritat, a former almshouse, built in 1802 on the site of a medieval monastery. The massive façade and part of the courtyard remain from the original building; the rest was rebuilt in dramatic contrast, all tilting glass and

  1. Montalegre, 5, El Raval, 08001
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MACBA. Museu d'Art Contemporani

If you're used to being soft-soaped by eager-to-please art centres, you'll have to adjust to the cryptic minimalism of the MACBA, where art is taken very seriously indeed. Yet if you can navigate the fridge-like interior of Richard Meier's enormous edifice, accept that much of the permanent

  1. Plaça dels Àngels, 1, El Raval, 08001
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Gran Teatre del Liceu

  • Critics choice

Since it opened in 1847, two fires, a bombing and financial crisis have failed to quash the spirit and splendour of the Liceu, one of the most prestigious venues in the world and a huge success with the public. A restrained façade opens into an elegant 2,292-seat auditorium of red plush, gold leaf

  1. La Rambla, 51-59, El Raval
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Museu Marítim de Barcelona

Even if you can't tell a caravel from a catamaran, the excellent Maritime Museum is worth a visit, as the soaring arches and vaults of the vast former drassanes (shipyards) represent one the most perfectly preserved examples of civil Gothic architecture in Spain. In medieval times, the shipyards

  1. Av. de les Drassanes s/n, El Raval, 08001
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Virreina Centre de la Imatge

La Virreina Image Centre's programme features photography, audiovisual works, election broadcasts, book publishing, literary festivals, talks, digital documentation and expanded literature in the age of the image, among others.With a mission to explore the notion of the image as knowledge and also

  1. La Rambla, 99, El Raval, 08001
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Shopping in the Raval

Les Topettes

From the ceiling hang a host of blue lights while on the shelves are cosmetic products such as perfumes, soaps, creams, colognes and candles.

  1. 33, Joaquín Costa, 08001
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Chandal

This is a retro concept store where you'll find records from international labels, T-shirts, photos, and assorted tack along the lines of the video games of our youth.

  1. Valldonzella, 29, Ciutat Vella
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Holala!

For 40 years they’ve been fiercely dedicated to the thing they love most: vintage. And one of their headquarters can be find right in the Raval. The marché aux puces (flea markets) and the industrial furniture give life to this chain born in Saint-Tropez where you can find everything from retro

  1. Plaça de Castella, 2, El Raval
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La Varieté

Handicrafts from Bangkok with a contemporary look are the essence of La Varieté, a little shop in the Raval where you can find fashionable clothes, accessories and home furnishings.

  1. Pintor Fortuny, 30, El Raval
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Nightlife in the Raval

El Cangrejo Raval

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

El Cangrejo (the crab) is known for '80s nights and drag shows, and if you remember the '80s and have ever seen a drag show, you'll know it can be quite hard to tell the difference. Either way, if you're looking for an alternative to the ultra-straight or too-techno, El Cangrejo is sure to please.

  1. Montserrat, 9, Ciutat Vella, 08001
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La Bata de Boatiné

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Critics choice

Your best bet when you choose a night out in La Bata de Boatiné is to let yourself be seduced by the ambience, meaning be open to making some new friends whether you want to or not, because most of the patrons have never heard of the concept of personal space.

  1. Robadors, 23, El Raval, 08001
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Moog

Although it's one of the city's smaller clubs, the electronics heavyweights who have gone through their DJ booth have given a status to this place that other larger rooms would love to have. Though some might find it challenging to rub elbows, among other body parts, with so many strangers, that's

  1. Arc del Teatre, 3, El Raval, 08001
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Les Enfants

This club is a classic among the more debauched nighttime parties. Its name suits it to a T, as each new year brings the fresh and shiny faces of that special breed: freshmen students. Hormones are raging and it's easy pickin's on the dance floor.

  1. Guàrdia, 3, El Raval, 08001
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Sifó

This old bodega was in a terrible state before it was renovated, but that was done with care to preserve its original spirit (the place was full of soda siphons, which still adorn the walls). In its new incarnation it's a popular bar thanks to its backbeat music, array of drinks, and brochettes.

  1. Espalter, 4, El Raval, 08001
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Users say

1 comments
Juli
Juli

Great Information!