This blog post was originally posted on August 29, 2014 and was updated on August 20, 2017.
One of the city’s greatest assets is its incredible gastronomy! Of course a big part in that is the selection of colorful and lively markets. We’re here to show you there’s something to love about each and every one of these historic food markets in Barcelona!
Mercat de Santa Caterina
Until the mid-19th century, traveling and open-air markets were the norm in Barcelona. However, around this time a new industrial society was calling for a more rational infrastructure. Therefore, this meant traveling markets would be relocated to permanent locations and closed-in walls. In 1848, the Santa Caterina Market became the first covered market of the city. Strangely enough, it was built on the site of the recently burnt down Santa Caterina Convent. After a hefty renovation between 1998 and 2005, it boasts a colorful, wave-like rooftop. Today it is one of the most modern of the historic food markets in Barcelona.
If you want to explore this market with a local expert, make sure you join us on our Tastes, Tapas & Traditions of Barcelona Food Tour. After starting the day with a Catalan breakfast, we’ll head inside the market to explore! Take a look inside this great market with our co-founder Lauren Aloise.
Mercat de la Boqueria
The next market is one that needs very little introduction—the beautiful La Boqueria is possibly the most famous of the historic food markets in Barcelona. It dates back to the middle ages, when it was operating as an open-air traveling market. Moreover though, its modern structure was only finished in 1914, making it slightly younger than many of its counterparts. It is known for its vivid colors, lively atmosphere and fantastic seafood! As you explore the market, be sure to note all of the brightly colored stalls. Many of Barcelona’s top chefs come to this very market each morning to buy their produce for the day.
Local’s Tip: Make sure to check out some of the great places to sit, grab a bite to eat and soak up the atmosphere inside.
Mercat de L’Abaceria Central
This market opened in 1892 in the then independent municipality of Gracia. Visiting this oval-roofed market is like taking a charming journey into the past. Gracia was once a small town surrounded by countryside, and this market is where the farmers came to sell their produce. One of the most authentic historic food markets in Barcelona, the Mercat de L’Abaceria Central still maintains the feel of a close-knit, working-class community.
We love visiting L’Abaceria Central on our Gracia Neighborhood Food & Market Tour! Together with an expert local guide, come along and experience the best this beautiful neighborhood has to offer on this truly authentic food tour!
Mercat de La Concepció
An architectural gem just like its neighborhood, La Concepció is a beautiful modernist building situated in the Eixample district. With more than 4,000 square meters, its enormous metal structure features numerous stunning features. Together with its ceramic tiled roof and beautifully detailed floor to ceiling, it truly is a wonderful space to wander around each morning. Furthermore, it also boasts a flower market that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week!
Want to visit markets with a local and learn all about their history? Join us on one of our food tours. We would love to show you around. It’s a truly authentic experience, and of course, one of the best ways to get to know beautiful Barcelona!