The beautiful avenue of Passeig de Gracia can be considered the equivalent to Paris’ Champs Elysées in Barcelona… but with the added charm of Catalan Modernisme! This important avenue, a tourist and commercial centre of the city, shows the impact of this style in the city of Barcelona: colours, sinuous shapes and motives inspired in nature found in the buildings are one of the many things that make Barcelona such a unique city.
This avenue, the second most expensive in Spain, has this name because it used to be the street that connected Barcelona to Gràcia, and old town that was turned into a neighbourhood of the city when the district of l’Eixample annexed the towns in the upper part, like Gràcia, Horta or Sarrià.
Passeig de Gracia is the heart of the biggest neighbourhood of Barcelona, L’Eixample. This district responds to a very unique urban plan, which is studied in architecture schools around the world, and consists in adding an extra side at the corner of the blocks of houses. This way, the blocks are octagonal instead of squared, and it provides wider intersections that help with traffic and visibility. Besides, in the original plan, designed by architect Ildefons Cerdà, every block would have a garden in the centre – although that wasn’t entirely built like that. L’Eixample is recognisable from the sky because it’s a great spread of equal blocks of houses that puts the centre of Barcelona together with its higher part. It’s actually what it put the city together!
So, during your stay in the apartments near Passeig de Gracia, you will be one of the many neighbours of L’Eixample. As you can imagine, a neighbourhood as big as this one is the home to all sorts of people, like families, young couples and students, the elderly… However, they don’t tend to live around Passeig de Gracia, since it’s too busy… and too expensive to live!
Are you in the mood for some shopping? If you’re staying in the apartments near Passeig de Gracia, you’ve come to the right place! This majestic avenue is the perfect place for shopping, not just because of the diversity of the shops you’ll find there, but also because you’ll be able to do so surrounded by the unique beauty of the streets of Barcelona.
In Passeig de Gracia, you will find a combination between the different major chains and high-couture. You will be able to buy in H&M, Zara, Cos or Mango, but also in Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Prada or Stella McCartney. If you’re travelling with children, you will find an Imaginarium, a shop that sells educative and beautiful toys and that has a little door for the youngest in the family.
If you’re on a shopping spree and you don’t have enough with Passeig de Gracia, after Plaça de Catalunya you will find other shopping streets, such as Carrer Pelai or Portal de l’Àngel.
The best way to move around Barcelona is the underground system. In Passeig de Gracia, you will find three important metro lines in the station of the same name. Be careful where to get in the metro, though! In Passeig de Gracia, you will also find the most hated transfer in the city. To change from L3 (green) to L4 (yellow) or L2 (purple), you will have to walk through a very long corridor. It’s actually not that big a deal, but there are so many locals who hate it. In fact, if you have to do it you’ll soon feel like one of them!
There’s a trick to avoid it, though. If you want to tale L3 (which can take you to Park Güell or Drassanes, where the Columbus Monument is), take the metro entrance next to Casa Batlló. If you need to take L4 (which can take you to Barceloneta and the rest of the beaches of Barcelona) or L2 (which will take you to Sagrada Familia), take the entrance that is closest to Plaça Catalunya.
In the apartments near Passeig de Gracia, you will be in one of the best possible places to move around Barcelona: right in the centre of things, and at a decent distance from all the tourist attractions!
In Passeig de Gracia itself, you’ll be able to see many houses from the period of Catalan Modernisme. Modernisme was a cultural movement especially important in architecture and developed mostly in Barcelona. The main artist from this movement was Antoni Gaudí, the architect who designed the famous Sagrada Familia. In Passeig de Gracia, you will find two other of his masterpieces, Casa Batlló and Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera. It is possible to visit both, so you can see the architecture inside as well as the furniture.
But in Passeig de Gracia, you will be able to see other beautiful houses from that period, such as Casa Amatller or Casa Lleó-Morera. Besides, you will be at walking distance from many other tourist attractions, such as Plaça Catalunya, Las Ramblas or the Gothic Quarter.
Passeig de Gracia constitutes, together with Plaça de Catalunya, the neuralgic centre of the city of Barcelona. And we all know that city centres aren’t usually the best place to eat! Not just because they’re expensive, but because restaurants tend to be so focused on tourist that the quality of the food isn’t the best. However, in Passeig de Gracia you’ll be able to find a couple of exceptions, like El Nacional, a unique place with different kinds of restaurants in one same space that is full of charm and history. It opened in 1882 and it has been a café, a theatre, a factory, a car dealer and a garage. And nowadays, it’s a great restaurant!
And remember that you are still very close to Ciutat Vella, where you will find a variety of different restaurants. For instance, in a street off Portal de l’Àngel, you will find Betawi, a little Indonesian restaurant that offers wonderful food.
Among the different options around the apartments near Passeig de Gracia, the best one is to walk a little bit towards the sea and go into El Raval or the Gothic Quarter, the neighbourhoods part of the district of Ciutat Vella (Old Town) that are at the sides of Las Ramblas: El Raval at the right, looking at the sea, and the Gothic Quarter at the left. Here, you will find all sorts of bars and pubs: dancing pubs, cocktail pubs, regular bars, Irish pubs… The offer is never-ending! Besides, you’ll be able to experience the typical night of Barcelona, that consists in going from bar to bar until they’re all closed! Official closing time for places other than clubs is 3 am, but it is possible to find some that overlook the rule… Or that close with you inside, until the time you decide to leave!