Exploring the vibrant La Boqueria Market in Barcelona

One cool way to immerse oneself in the local culture and way of life while travellig is to visit a local market. We tend to seek out local markets whenever and wherever we are travelling as this not only gives us a better understanding and appreciation of the local culture but is also a fab travel experience. So, it was a no-brainer that we set aside some time to explore the La Boqueria Market (Mercado de La Boqueria) while holidaying in Barcelona with Jet2holidays.

Confectionery stall at La Boqueria Market

Barcelona has many different markets; some small, some large and each catering to a different interests and needs. Some of the popular markets in the city are:

  • the traditional Santa Caterina Market with food stalls and restaurants.
  • Mercat de La Concepció that sells everything from vegetables & fruits to frozen specialties and flowers.
  • Mercat dels Encants which is Barcelona's largest flea market and you will find everything from antiques to vintage clothing, furniture, and other unique items here.
  • Mercat de la Barceloneta which is the city's main seafood market and in addition to fresh produce, you'll also find fine-dining restaurants, tapas bars and more.
  • Mercat de la Llibertat which is located in the neighbourhood of Gràcia and has stalls selling fruit and vegetables, fish, pulses and more.
  • the La Boqueria Market located in the heart of the city.

We picked the La Boqueria Market to visit as it is not only one of the most famous markets in Barcelona but also because I loved how colorful it was (in the photographs that I had seen online). Plus, it is located along the La Rambla and fit in perfectly with our travel plan for the day.

La Boqueria Market in Barcelona

History of the La Boqueria Market

Also known as Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria (in Catalan), the La Boqueria market has a long and fascinating history that starts in the early 1200s. According to some documents from the Historical Archives of the City of Barcelona, the market began as a humble open-air marketplace in the 1217. It was a place where farmers from the surrounding countryside would bring their fresh produce to sell in the city. As the decades passed, the market grew in popularity and vendors began to sell other things like fish, meat, spices etc. In the 19th century, the market was moved to its current location off the La Rambla.

The metal roof that you see today was constructed in the year 1914 and was designed by the architect Antoni de Falguera. After that the market saw a number of renovation and remodelling projects undertaken which included better use of the space, creation of new stalls, setting up of an underground car park, improvements to the facade and general landscaping.

Today the market is one of the most popular markets in Barcelona and millions of visitors are said to visit it each year. 

Fruit juice stall at La Boqueria Market

As the most popular market, it does tend to get quite crowded at times so take the basic safety precautions you would in any crowded place (i.e. keep your valuables safe, if you are travelling with young children; keep an eye on them and stick together).

Stalls at the La Boqueria Market

The market has a range of stalls selling everything from fruits & vegetables to fish & seafood to poultry & game to baked goods and gifts & Spanish souvenirs. It is an explosion of colours and scents wherever you look.

Some of the best things to buy in the market include fresh seafood, olives (there is a large variety including stuffed olives, marinated olives etc.) and Jamón Ibérico (Spain's famous ham).

Jamon stall at La Boqueria Market

Also recommended are fresh fruits and vegetables. The fruit stalls were colourful with an array of fruits like Spanish clementines, cherries, figs, variety of melons, strawberries, bananas and exotic fruits like passionfruit and dragonfruit.

Fruit Stall at La Boqueria Market

If you are looking for spices or dry fruits, you will find a number of stalls for the same selling things like saffron, paprika, nutmeg and cinnamon. You can also purchase ready-made blends of spices for paella and other local dishes. There are stalls dedicated just to olive oils as well.

Spice stall at La Boqueria Market

Olive oils at La Boqueria Market

In addition to the above, there are stalls dedicated to Spanish cheese, chocolates, confectionery, food & non-food souvenirs and more. 

Sweets stall at La Boqueria Market

Sweets stall at La Boqueria Market

Sweets stall at La Boqueria Market

Sweets stall at La Boqueria Market

There are a number of food stalls too selling a range of tapas, freshly baked bread, paella and other cooked food.

Empanadas at La Boqueria Market

Food takeaway at La Boqueria Market

How to get to the La Boqueria Market

Depending on where you are based in Barcelona, you can get to market in many different ways:

  • By the Metro: The closest metro station to La Boqueria Market is'Liceu', which is on the green line (Line 3) of the Barcelona metro system.
  • Use the bus service: There are many bus lines that stop near the La Boqueria Market, including lines 14, 59, and 91.
  • By walk: If you are in the vicinty of the city center, then you can easily walk to the La Boqueria Market. It is located just off the La Rambla boulevard and is hard to miss.
  • By taxi: Taxis are widely available in Barcelona, and you can simply ask the driver to take you to La Boqueria market.

La Boqueria Market | La Rambla, 91 08001 Barcelona
Telephone | 93 413 23 03 / 93 413 23 45
Market opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 8am to 8:30pm

Related | Don't forget to check out the best things to do in Barcelona!

Fruit stall at La Boqueria Market

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