A visit to La Boqueria Market in Barcelona is a must for foodies and a tourist attraction in its own right. It’s a riot of colours, smells and a breathtaking selection of produce you can buy. You can also eat there!
La Boqueria Market
Food markets in cities all over the world have become tourist attractions in their own rights. Drawn not just to the food but also to the life inside, I love checking out the local market wherever I am. Even if you’re not food shopping, food markets are one of the best places to enjoy everyday life in a new place.
In Barcelona, La Boqueria Market (or Mercat La Boqueria in Catalan) is one such market. Located off the busy tourist street of Las Ramblas, you can escape the crowds and head into La Boqueria Market. It’s likely to be just as busy and full-of-tourists but there will also be plenty of food, glorious food! To visit at a less busy time, it’s best to go in the mornings. You can find details about opening times and how to find it at the bottom of this post.
Here’s the entrance to the market from La Rambla. It’ll be full of people but more importantly, full of fresh and ready-to-eat food as well as really damn tasty produce.
A feast for the eyes and your belly
On entering the market you’ll be hit by the amazing colours and sweet smells coming from the fruit stalls. You can buy a selection to eat on-the-go or to much on for later on. There are also a number of stalls where you can pick your favourites to be liquidated into a beautiful and all natural fruit juice.
As well massive selections of the most colourful fruit and veg available, other produce on sale include cheeses, cured sausages, massive legs of jamon and all sorts of deli goods. There’s also lots of fresh meat and seafood. Indeed, the seafood stalls are some of the most fascinating because there’s a good chance you’ll spot something you just won’t find back home. Octopus, percebes (goose barnacles) and snails being a few of the things you might not be used to seeing.
You’ll also find stalls selling wines, oils, vinegars, artisan breads and freshly baked goods from Argentinian empanadas and sweet pastries.
The seafood on offer are the stars of the show for me. It was so fresh that some of it was still breathing and flapping about. Fishmongers sell their wares in the centre of the market. They wear rubber gloves and wield fillet knives ready to take your order and make your job in the kitchen easier (see picture at the top of this post).
Got a kitchen whilst in Barcelona? Don’t let it go to waste!
If you’ve got self-catering accommodation and love to cook, head to the market in the morning and do your food shopping here. You’ll be hard pushed to find fresher produce than at La Boqueria Market.
Even if you don’t have a kitchen, there’s such a fantastic range of baked and deli goods that you can pick up for a picnic on the beach.
You can also dine out in La Boqueria Market. There are a number of bar-eateries dotted around the outer ring of stalls. On our visit, we ate at Bar Boqueria, which you can read about in our blog.
Finding La Boqueria Market and nearby parking
The market is open Monday to Saturday from 8.00am to 8.30pm. To avoid the crowds, visit in the mornings. For more information on the market including a map of the stalls and eateries, visit: boqueria.barcelona.
Entrances to the market are on Las Ramblas and Plaza Gardunya.
If you want to take advantage of having a car and stock up on fantastic food at the market, the best place to park is Plaza Catalunya. There is an underground car park which is open 24 hours and is well lit.