Today we tell about one of the districts with more personality in the Ciutat Vella (Old Town), ??the famous Raval in Barcelona. This is especially authentic neighborhood, real, where you can find the true center of the city. Formerly known as the Chinese Town in Barcelona, ??the Raval district of Barcelona is one that leaves no one indifferent.

If you plan to come to Barcelona, and you’re looking for accommodation in apartments in Barcelona, ??you will find several options of apartments in el Raval. However, before deciding whether the area is ideal for you or not, we’ll tell you that makes this neighborhood a really special place.

In the past, the Raval was located on the outside of the walls of Barcelona, with a lot of population that was before the construction of the Eixample area. El Raval district was then a place of contrasts, from street for prostitution to hospitals and convents.

Today, El Raval in Barcelona is still a place of contrasts. There are many things that are said or written about El Raval district. Certainly it is not the safest area of Barcelona, or the most beautiful, or the cleanest, but perhaps is one of the more real districts of the city. If you enjoy the cleanest, organized and orderly sightseeing, if the noise bothers you and you’re a light sleeper, the Raval is not the best option for you; however, if you like contrasts, the reality, multiculturalism and  movement, El Raval is an area that will give much of itself to surprise and delight you.

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A street in El Raval, photo by Bracketing Life, flickr

Walking around El Raval in Barcelona you will be surprised with the multiculturalism of their residents, with many people of Pakistan, Arabic, Romanian, Gypsies, among others. To buy is a paradise, if you are interested in small shops with items you will not find elsewhere in the city, far from popular brand stores you can find in Eixample district.

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MACBA, photo by join the dots, flickr

The cultural offer is very wide in El Raval, with the Museum of Contemporary Art de Barcelona MACBA, and the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona CCCB, as well as many art galleries. Walking along the Rambla del Raval you’ll find a wonderful sculpture of a magnificent fatty Cat by the famous Colombian sculptor Fernando Botero. Another artistic wonder you’ll find at El Raval is the Palau Güell, designed by famous Modernist Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi.

turismo toda espana barcelona  Barcelona Tourist info Raval Barcelona Things to do in Barcelona Palau Guell Botero cat at Rambla del Raval in Barcelona,
photo by art_es_anna, flickr

If you’re interested in cuisine, at El Raval in Barcelona you’ll find lovely terraces and diverse restaurants, ranging from the shawarma and kebabs selling points to sophisticated places to enjoy delicious tapas, fusion food and other delicious cuisine. In our post about Go out for Tapas in Barcelona, we recommend a couple of delicious tapas places at El Raval: Dos Palillos (Calle Elisabet 9), for Asian fusion food and Bar Lobo (Calle Pintor Fortuny 3) for quality tapas. Also in El Raval (but just next to Las Ramblas in Barcelona) you’ll find the well-known tourist market of San Josep, known as the Boqueria market, which has a variety of foods from all over the world.

turismo toda espana barcelona  Barcelona Tourist info Raval Barcelona Things to do in Barcelona Palau Guell Fruits at La Boqueria market, photo by Mariano Fotos, Flickr

On the other hand, if you look for bars, go to the legendary bar La Ovella Negra del Raval, with cheap beer and good atmosphere; also, in our post about An underground night in Barcelona you find recommendations on other bars like El Cangrejo, el Cazalla, la Penultima and Bar Marsella, all of them at El Raval district.

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If you decide to stay in the Raval, we suggest you take precautions, like not walking in lonely streets if you’re alone, remember that there are pickpockets and even some prostitution … Above all, our main recommendation is that you must be alert, with the 5 senses to the maximum … but do not panic, but on the contrary … That’s the best way for you to see, feel, breathe, hear and smell all the charm of El Raval, a particular and very bohemian district of Barcelona.

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