This characteristic and remarkable grid-like neighborhood is one of the symbols of 20th century Barcelona
The Eixample district not only is the most iconic in Barcelona, it’s also the most diverse in terms of things to do in Barcelona. Most of the famous Gaudí buildings like Sagrada Familia or Casa Batlló are located at this district.
The gridlike layout is the symbol of the sunny and modern Barcelona we know today.
Before the walls of the Old City quarter were demolished, small towns were scattered across the surrounding countryside.
But with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, the population grew dramatically and the Barcelona center didn’t have the best sanitary living conditions.
In 1855, the City Hall called out for a public competition in order to solve the city’s need for growth. Ildefons Cerdà, a civil engineer, won the project for the Eixample (catalan word for expansion), a huge undertaking that would construct the new Barcelona.
Cerdà envisioned a city with a high regard for the people’s need for leisure, health and social relationships. The main goal was making a better use of the space. Thus, he designed a grid-like pattern that would fill the area between the city walls and the surrounding towns.
What to see in Eixample Barcelona
The Eixample District is one of the most comfortable areas to stay in Barcelona. Mainly because there’s always a restaurant, shop, supermarket or bar at walking distance.
The Eixample is also famous for having one of the most dinamic shopping districts of the city.
Passeig de Gràcia, Plaça Catalunya and Diagonal Avenue have the most exclusive shops, where you can shop till you drop and some of the most impressive monuments of Barcelona.
Main attractions in the Eixample
Sagrada Familia is considered one of Gaudi’s biggest masterpieces, the stunning basilica is one of the most striking monuments ever built in the world.
The neighborhood around the Sagrada Familia is very recommended if you’re looking where to stay in Barcelona. Even though the streets can be very busy around the monument, not too far you can find streets with great local atmosphere. (Like at Gaudi Avenue, for instance).
Casa Milà-La Pedrera
This peculiar building is one of the most famous icons of Barcelona. La Pedrera was also built and designed by Antoni Gaudí, one of the driving forces behind the catalan modernista movement.
Casa Batlló was made world famous, also thanks to the creative force of Gaudi’s work. Nowadays, is one of Barcelona’s most important landmarks.
Casa de les Punxes
Casa de les Punxes ia a castle-looking building is located very close to Passeig de Gràcia. A visit to this modernist masterpiece designed by Puig i Cadafalch is now possible*.
*This attraction is currently closed until further notice.
Neighborhoods of the Eixample
The large Eixample district is divided into six different neighborhoods.
1. Dreta de l’Eixample
Some of the most important avenues and places in Barcelona are located in this neighborhood. Such as, Plaça de Catalunya, La Rambla, Passeig de Gràcia and Gran Vía. La Pedrera and Casa Batlló are located here as well.
2. Antiga Esquerra
Antiga Esquerra is one of the liveliest neighborhoods of the Eixample. If you’re looking for great, cozy spots to have drinks or dinner, head over to Enric Granados street.
On the other hand, streets like Aribau, Casanova and Muntaner and Plaça Universitat concentrate most of the bars and clubs. This area is also know as the Gaixample.
Although not an official neighborhood, an area of this district (located between Gran Vía, Balmes and Aragó streets), has become a magnet for gay tourism in Barcelona, resulting in the rise of several Gay friendly Hotels and a very extense offer of gay clubs and bars.
Over the past two decades, the zone has seen the arrival of gay shops, restaurants and nightclubs. Even so, the zone remains a multicultural and yet traditional neighborhood.
3. Sagrada Familia neighborhood
Don’t miss taking a walk down the stunning Gaudí Avenue, a pedestrian only avenue that connects both monuments, with plenty of restaurants, bars and shops.
We help you find 5 cheap hotels near Sagrada Familia.
4. Fort Pienc
The iconic Arc de Triomf is definitely the main attracion of the small but lovely Fort Pienc neighborhood, a great and cozy area to find top-notch hotels. Not too far, you’ll find Estació del Nord, Barcelona’s main coach station.
You shouldn’t miss walking along the Passeig Sant Joan, the main avenue leading to Arc de Triomf. A perfect place to get early drinks and dinner in one of the many cozy bars and restaurants.
5. Sant Antoni
Centered around the modernista market of Sant Antoni, the Sant Antoni neighborhood is one of the trendiest in Barcelona. You’ll find a wide choice of cinemas, bars and restaurants. Its quiet streets make it perfect if you’re visiting Barcelona with kids.
6. Nova Esquerra
It’s a recommended place to stay in Barcelona if you’re arriving by train or if you plan on doing sightseeing near Barcelona. Sants station, the largest train station in the city is located within this neighborhood.