Tucked in the middle of the city, right above the Ciutat Vella district, lies the Eixample district, which consists of the following neighborhoods: Esquerra de l”Eixample, which includes the Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample and L’Antiga Esquerra de l’Eixample; Dreta de l’Example; Sant Antoni and Sagrada Familia.
Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample
This neighborhood stretches from Plaça Espanya to Carrer del Comte d’Urgell, from west to east, and from Diagonal to Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes from north to south. It is, generally speaking, a middle class to an upper-middle-class area with shops and businesses scattered on pretty much every block. The Arenas Shopping Mall is located at its southwestern corner. And just north of the mall is Joan Miró park. One of the largest and best-known recreational areas in Barcelona.
Arenas Shopping Mall used to be the city’s bullring until bullfighting was officially outlawed in Catalonia starting on January 1, 2012. Instead of demolishing the bullring, which was built in 1899-1900, the developers and architects decided to retrofit the building to house five levels of shopping and dining: a food court, a fnac, two grocery stores and other shops in the basement; three floors of additional shopping, including Mango, Desigual, Claire’s and so on; plus a rooftop with great restaurants, plus the rooftop is also an observation deck with a 360 degree view of the city.
If you want to take a break from shopping, go across the street to the north and stop by the Joan Miró Park, which includes a dog area, three playgrounds, and a small, but nice library on the east side of the park. Additionally, check out the large statue at the northwest corner of the park. It is a world-famous statue designed by the artist for whom the park is named. Please see the article on parks in the XYZ section.
L’Antiga Esquerra de l’Eixample (AEE)
This neighborhood houses the “Gaixample” mini-neighborhood also described on this webpage. The AEE neighborhood runs from Carrer del Comte d’Urgell to Carrer de Balmes in the east-west direction, and from Diagonal to Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes. The area has scores of great old buildings, which makes it architecturally pleasing to walk around in. It is also home to countless high-quality eateries, which are literally located on every corner, as are bakeries, cafes, and bars.
Dreta de l’Eixample
This neighborhood can boast the fact that Passeig de Gracia, one of the most famous stretches of road in the city, as are the buildings designed by Gaudi, also located on this street. It is a central neighborhood, with easy access to most parts of the city. However, it is also one of the busiest neighborhoods due to tourism. The Passeig de Gracia, as well at the Rambla de Catalunya, one block to the west, are packed year-round, which is proof of their attractiveness, but the crowds can also be daunting at times.
One well-known road, primarily for locals, which is located in this neighborhood, is the Carrer de Enric Granados. It is on the way road for vehicles, but it also has one of the prettiest bike routes (two-way traffic) in the city. There are great places to stop, shop, eat or just st on this street. A must-see in the city. Additionally, the Plaça de Catalunya is also the Dreta de l’Eixmaple. The neighborhood runs from Carrer to Balmes to Carrer de Nàpols on the western border of the district, and from Carrer de Bailén on the north to the Ronda de Sant Pere in the south.
Two of the nicest and well-stocked nurseries in the city, Floristerias Navarro, are located in this neighborhood. The shops are located on Carrer de Valencia on either side Carrer del Bruc. They are open 24/7 and 365 days a year. They have some of the best and prettiest plants around, plus their customer service is excellent. So, whether you are shopping for some house plants, herb plants for your window sill, or just a gift for someone special, be sure to check these shops. They are iconic businesses in the city, plus the surrounding area is great to visit or live in, including the Mercal de la Concepció, cafes, restaurants, a music shop (Audenis,) and Caprabo Market, which is great for all your grocery shopping needs.
And, finally, the Plaça de Tetuan area, which is located on Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes and Passeig de Sant Joan, is a great mini neighborhood. The Plaça itself is a small park but packed with a playground, an impressive statue, and benches where you can sit, relax, and or walk your dog. The Passeig de Sant Joan, both north and south of Tetuan, is dotted with playgrounds, and lined on both sides with shops and restaurants. It is a great area to live and shop. Also, this area is well connected by transit, roads, and bikeways to the rest of the city.
This neighborhood is an odd shaped area bordered by Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes on the north, Paral-lel on the south, and Ronda de Sant Antoni and Carrer de la Reina Amàlia to the west. It is one of my favorite neighborhoods to walk around in. The residents in this neighborhood have the good fortune of having lots of open areas in which to sit and relax. It starts with Avinguda de Mistral, which is described in another article on this website. Also, the areas at the Mercat de Sant Antoni, as well as the ones to the south and east, are great places to stroll around, let your kids play, or sit for a good meal.
My particularly favorite area in this neighborhood is the Passatge de Pere Calders located on both sides of Carrer del Parlament. Not only do they have great places to sit and eat, but it is also home to the Llibreria Calders. Additionally, within just two blocks of here, there are some outstanding bars, ice cream parlors, as well as park areas, which were converted from the existing streets. It is a great example of how streets and parking areas can be converted into outdoor sitting areas, and how people do take advantage of using them; especially on warm days.
This neighborhood is bordered on the west by Carrer de Nàpols, Carrer del Dos de Maig on the east, Carrer de Sant Antoni Maria Claret to the north, and Diagonal to the south. Of course, the main landmark here is Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia church, and it is a site worth visiting, so make sure you reserve a spot ahead of time. However, the church is only one of many attractions in this neighborhood. There are countless old buildings, which are great to visit and live in. In general, the rents here are average price compared to the rest of the city.
One of the main shopping arterials is the Avinguda de Gaudi; a six block pedestrian walk, plus bike lanes, running uphill. It is yet one more great location to shop, eat, drink and sit for a while. Additionally, the surrounding areas are quieter, yet also offer plenty of options for relaxing and taking in the city.