One of Barcelona’s most popular attractions is La Boqueria Market (Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria), a public market located just off La Rambla. It’s home to a number of prepared and fresh food vendors as well as fantastic, casual places to eat.
Many residents of Barcelona find it touristy and prefer to shop at quieter markets. But that doesn’t mean that you should skip La Boqueria. Many of Barcelona’s best restaurants buy produce here, signaling high quality and professional trust of knowledgeable vendors. Apples are rosy red and unblemished, candy is molded to perfection and seafood looks like it was just plucked from the ocean. Between the vibrant colors, sounds and smells… walking inside is a very sensory experience.
Plus, when visiting Barcelona, you’re probably going to wind up in the area and it’s a fantastic place to stop for a healthy juice, cup of fruit, and souvenirs. I could easily walk to the market from Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona.
Early mention of market actually dates back centuries—even as early as 1217 when tables merely set up for selling meat. In about 1840, the market was moved to its current location on La Rambla but its steel roof wasn’t added until 1914.
If touring with kids, be mindful that there is candy galore: gummies, truffles, and other artisanal glory all over the market. My daughter would have gone crazy here. It’s busy so you’ll need to keep an eye on them.
And, there were popsicles and other decadent treats.
Gifts to buy in the market include Spanish olive oil. I was grateful to have taken a food tour with Devour Barcelona prior to visiting La Boqueria so that I had a sense of the types of oils I liked as well as what to look for. The variety is staggering so I highly recommend doing a bit of research before entering the market as there wasn’t any olive oil tastings that I could see.
I thought the flavored salts were also intriguing.
I purchased several packs of a candy native to Barcelona called I regret ethat I don’t have a photo
Two Places to Eat at in La Boqueria
I also highly recommend that you do a little research before deciding where to eat in La Boqueria Market.
BarCentral had a few outlets spread around the markets that were all packed. We got lucky and snagged seats
Ultimately, we decided on the gigantic seafood sampler paired with rose.
Believe it or not, this was a pre-dinner snack.
A few days later we returned to La Boqueria to pick up last-minute gifts. My friend had read about Bar Pinoxto, and judging by the crowds, a lot of other people had, too. Patiently, we held our ground and snagged seats. The wide range of tapas was worth the wait.
Merchants accept cash and credit cards. Depending on exactly how much shopping you do, purchases may be eligible for a VAT refund.
Be sure to research what kind of edibles you can bring back. While it’s tempting to load up on cured meat—and the vendors will vacuum seal it for travel—it just might not be allowed.
Anyway, I just wanted to show you some pictures I had taken at the market and recommend it as a thing to do in Barcelona. Have you been to La Boqueria?
Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).
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