El Raval Walking Tour, Barcelona (Self Guided)

El Raval is a district in Barcelona which features many worth visiting attractions. The neighborhood is known as Barri Xinés, which means "Chinatown". El Raval is very lively during the day and quite awake all through the night, so visitors will always have something to do and see here. Be one of them and enjoy yourself in El Raval.
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El Raval Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: El Raval Walking Tour
Guide Location: Spain » Barcelona (See other walking tours in Barcelona)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 km
Author: clare
1
Church of Sant Pere Nolasc

1) Church of Sant Pere Nolasc

There was a Vincentian monastery on the same spot where the present church stands. The present church was built between 1710 and 1746 in a Baroque style. The chapel was dedicated to St. Severus and St. Charles Borromeo. The church has a dome covered with a mosaic pattern of tiles, which is not common for Barcelona church architecture, and two bell towers at the entrance portico, the typical style of the Counter-Reformation churches of the period it was built. After reconstruction, Mercedarians took over the church, who renamed the building in homage of their founder, Barcelona's St. Pere Nolasc.
2
Church of Santa Maria de Montalegre

2) Church of Santa Maria de Montalegre

For over 700 years the Church of Santa Maria de Montalegre has stood paying homage to Our Lady of Joy (Alegre) in Barcelona. The church is actually located several miles outside Barcelona in a small town known as Tiana. The church has undergone various expansion projects which also led to the construction of a priory closer to the town. The construction of this priory was complete in 1265.

In 1362, the nuns expanded the project further with the construction of a new priory immediately outside the walls of the city, which made it closer for the residents of Barcelona. This led to the amalgamation of the two priories and hence the number of nuns grew more and more over the years. During the renaissance period however, the church and its nuns suffered the same fate as many others devoted to the same cause and experienced a grave downfall.

When the nuns refused to implement the new laws that were put forward, this resulted in the culmination of the cause that the church was built for. Along with this, women were banned from entering the Order. However, by the order of Pope Clement VIII this law was dissolved and made ineffective in 1593.
3
Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB)

3) Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB) (must see)

Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, or CCCB (Catalan for Barcelona Centre of Contemporary Culture), situated in El Raval, in the Ciutat Vella district of Barcelona, is a museum adjacent to the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA). The building is a mixture of old and new styles, dating from the early 18th century up to recent renovation of a facade in the Placa de les Dones. The centre, one of the most visited museums in Barcelona, hosts temporary exhibitions, a cinema, concerts and other cultural events. It opened in 1994 as a centre of urban development and urban culture studies administered conjointly by the City Council of Barcelona and Diputacio of the province of Barcelona, but soon after that became a museum for eclectic and varied subjects ranging from photography to sculpture or video art. Its thought-provoking temporary exhibitions frequently refer to social topics and art related to or coming from them.

Why You Should Visit:
Lovely well thought-out temporary exhibition space with interesting architecture; an excellent way to spend an afternoon.

Tip:
Before you visit, you would better check online what exhibitions are displayed at the moment and decide for yourself.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 11am-8pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA)

4) Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) (must see)

The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, or MACBA) was designed by Richard Meier and Partners (1987-1995). The building’s architectural style has strong references to Modernism. This large (120 by 35 meters) white building has much of its southern elevation glazed, providing the visitor with views across the plaza, and allowing natural light into the interior. It includes a central library, specialized in art books and publications.

The museum opened to the public on 28 November 1995. All the art dates from the mid-20th century onward. There are three periods of modern art represented: the first one covers the forties to the sixties; the second spans the sixties and seventies; the third period is contemporary. The collections focus on post-1945 Catalan and Spanish art, although some foreign art is also represented.

Why You Should Visit:
Interesting for the emphasis on installations and video pieces; worth the €10 admission if you're already a fan of contemporary art.

Tip:
Check out what the temporary exhibitions are beforehand if you can.

Opening Hours:
Tue, Thu-Sat: 10am-7pm; Wed: 10am-8pm; Sun: 10am-2:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Raco del Col.leccionista

5) Raco del Col.leccionista

Located at Carrer dels Angels in the El Raval district of Barcelona, Raco del Col.leccionista specializes in old and second-hand books, magazines and comics. With an extensive catalogue of about 30,000 titles, the Raco del Col.leccionista is an active participant at the Mercat de Sant Antoni. The store carries a large inventory of books on art, photography and illustrations, classical Spanish comics, and all kinds of magazines on drawing, automobiles, architecture, history, erotism, old newspapers, etc.

Operation Hours Tuesday - Friday: 11 am - 2 pm & 5 pm - 8 pm; Saturday: 11 am - 2 pm
6
Antic Hospital de Santa Creu

6) Antic Hospital de Santa Creu (must see)

The former Hospital of the Holy Cross and Saint Paul prides itself on being the oldest medical institution in Barcelona. Its foundation stone was laid as early as 1401 by King Marti el Huma and the construction was completed in the 16th century. The impressive Gothic style complex is enhanced with Renaissance columns. Inside the building, in the vestibule, there's an image of St Paul, made up of painted tiles, created by Llorenc Passolas.

A dedication to the benefactor of the hospital, Pau Ferran, is presented on premises in the form of a well and wooden doors at the front entrance with two horseshoes “for good luck”. The name Ferran derives from the word ‘ferrandura’ which means horseshoe, hence the association.

Today, the complex accommodates the Royal Academy of Surgery and Medicine and the Casa de la Convalescencia. Two days a week the building is open for tours during which you can visit the ancient Pharmacy and the autopsy table amphitheater, as well as other interesting rooms within this complex.

Tip:
Check for special times (only 2 days / week) when you can reserve a tour to visit the ancient Pharmacy and the autopsy table amphitheater, as well as other interesting rooms in this complex.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 10am-4:30pm; Sun: 10am-2:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Rambla de Raval

7) Rambla de Raval (must see)

Other than the famous grand Rambla street, there are a few more smaller Ramblas in Barcelona. One of them is Rambla in the district of Raval which runs parallel to the main Rambla, just a few blocks away. Rambla del Raval is by far much more relaxed to walk or sit in and quite comfortable to watch the life go by. Newest of all Barcelona's Ramblas, this broad avenue is generously lined with palm trees and cafes.

The entire neighborhood of Raval has a somewhat different vibe from the rest of Barcelona. It was once considered a local Chinatown notorious for harsh living, crime, gambling and prostitution. Today things have changed and the area is known primarily for its colorful mix of residents - migrants from Indonesia, Romania, India, Pakistan and other countries.

At the eastern edge of the street there is a landmark sculpture called “cat of Raval” created by Colombian artist Fernando Botero. The cat looks pretty fat and has a signature impassive smile on its face. Another key tourist sight in the vicinity is a lovely old Monastery of Sant Pau del Camp in Carrer de Sant Pau. The monastery admits visitors for a fee. Other than that, the neighborhood abounds in modern restaurants and boasts a new cinematheque, called Filmoteca, which gave it a sort of “economic shot in the arm” making it more culturally integrated into the city.

Why You Should Visit:
Fantastic atmosphere with lots of places to enjoy the warmth of Barcelona.

Tip:
It is worth going on a tapas and drinks tour around the Gothic Quarter to sample some of the hidden bars and tapas restaurants.
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Carrer d'en Robador

8) Carrer d'en Robador (must see)

arrer d'en Robador is a narrow dark street stemming from La Rambla. Back in the day, it was infamous as Barcelona's Red Light district. Today, the area is much more conservative, although it has retained much of its original character. In case you're thirsty, go get yourself a drink at one of the local bars – there are plenty of them in the vicinity.
9
Church of Sant Agusti

9) Church of Sant Agusti

The construction of the Church of Sant Augusti began in 1728, and it was opened in 1750. The 19th century was marked by a series of events that affected the church's community and its resources, and its members had to leave. The church was part of the Augustinian monastery that no longer exists. It was built by Pere Bertran, a basic basilica plan with three longitudinal naves and a dome above the cross. The baroque facade is one of the few remaining of its kind in Barcelona. Inside you can see a beautiful baroque fresco painted by the Italian master Claudio Lorenzale.
10
Sant Pau del Camp

10) Sant Pau del Camp

Sant Pau del Camp, commonly known as Saint Paul of the Countryside comprises an old church and an attached monastery in Barcelona. The monastery itself is so old that there are no accurate historical records that can confirm exactly when it was established, but experts are of the opinion that the monastery was formed in the ninth century.

The monastery is located in the El Raval district of the city. The first complex stood in its original form till the year 985, when the edifice was attacked and almost destroyed by Muslim soldiers, forcing the monks to abandon it. Several years later, in 1096, the structure underwent restoration and new monks arrived to take charge of the order. Once again, it was attacked in 1114. In 1117, the monastery became the priory of Sant Cugat after which it underwent a second round of restorations.

The building, as seen today, is adorned with scenes from the Bible, along with those of animal life, vegetable motifs, monsters and various scenes from life. The tympanum of the church has an image of Christ with Saint Paul and Saint Peter. The building has been declared a National Monument.
11
Ca l'Isidre

11) Ca l'Isidre

Ca l'Isidre is a traditional family-run restaurant that serves modern versions of typical Catalan dishes. Special attention is paid to seasonal products, so the menu is changed every day. It one of the most sophisticated Catalan restaurants in Barcelona, having served the likes of King Juan Carlos, Queen Sophia and Julio Iglesias.
12
Tantarantana Theater

12) Tantarantana Theater

Inaugurated in 1996, the Tantarantana Theatre is a rather small theatre in Barcelona, with a seating capacity of one hundred and fifty people. It is located in the El Raval area and can be reached by bus and metro. Initially the theatre was even smaller and could only accommodate seventy five people.

The Tantarantana Theatre now consists of more seats as well as a larger stage. The theatre basically displays experimental plays and contemporary works. The plays performed here are well appreciated and usually sold out. Other attractions include entertainment for children in the form of puppet shows and pantomimes. These shows are usually scheduled for early evenings in order to accommodate children and their parents. Tickets can be booked in advance, and one may be able to purchase them by contacting the theatre.

The Tantarantana Theatre is an interesting place to check out if one has an inclination towards contemporary and alternative theatre productions. It may not have been built at a large scale like certain other theatres in the city, but all the plays that are performed here exceed expectations and promise an enjoyable time. One can reach the theatre via local bus lines 24 and 91. The metro L1 and L2 also offer transport to this destination.

Walking Tours in Barcelona, Spain

Create Your Own Walk in Barcelona

Create Your Own Walk in Barcelona

Creating your own self-guided walk in Barcelona is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Eixample Souvenir Shopping

Eixample Souvenir Shopping

It's a pity, if not a crime, to leave Barcelona without visiting the local specialty shops. Check out this Eixample souvenir shopping tour for some gifts and souvenirs unique to Barcelona that you may want to bring home to your loved ones from this wonderful city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Barri Gotic Walking Tour

Barri Gotic Walking Tour

The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona seems like a cut above the rest. It boasts a number of famous buildings, cathedrals and monuments. The area has many peaceful squares where you can relax and enjoy the surroundings. Take this tour to travel back in time and discover all the secrets of Barcelona's Gothic Quarter.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 km
La Barceloneta Walking Tour

La Barceloneta Walking Tour

La Barceloneta neighborhood was originally formed during the 18th century by fishermen and their families. Today, La Barceloneta beach is one of the most active areas of the city, both during the day and night. It is an ideal place to go for a night out, be it to have dinner in a fancy restaurant or have a drink or party until the wee hours of the morning. This self-guided tour will help you...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
La Rambla Walking Tour

La Rambla Walking Tour

La Rambla is the street in central Barcelona, popular with tourists and locals alike. Seemingly endless, it is filled with cultural and historic landmarks, as well as shops and cafes. The Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said about La Rambla, "The only street in the world which I wish never ended." Take this tour to explore the most famous sites on La Rambla, Barcelona.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
Antoni Gaudí's Barcelona Walking Tour

Antoni Gaudí's Barcelona Walking Tour

Gaudí is admired around the world as one of the most distinctive architects of the 20th century. The unique technique and use of natural forms make his creations stand out from the pack. La Sagrada Família, Park Güell, Casa Batlló and other masterpieces will definitely take your breath away with their beauty, forms, colors, and overall design. Take this tour and enjoy the sight of...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.8 km
Shopping Walk

Shopping Walk

Set among the world's prime cultural destinations, Barcelona is en route to becoming one of Europe's top shopping spots as well. Fashionable designer stores are filling the streets of Barcelona with each new day, from well known international brands to local start ups. Barcelona is also an excellent gourmet destination, offering plenty of goodies to try on the spot or take home with you....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Barcelona Souvenir Shopping: 17 Uniquely Spanish Things to Buy

Barcelona Souvenir Shopping: 17 Uniquely Spanish Things to Buy

Spain, in general, and Barcelona, in particular, are a treasure trove of all things exciting. Set your foot in Barcelona and you'll be spoiled for the choice of things worth trying and taking home. Before your head starts spinning, check this guide out to put yourself in the right...
Top 10 Spanish Foods and Drinks to Try in Barcelona

Top 10 Spanish Foods and Drinks to Try in Barcelona

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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Barcelona for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Barcelona has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money getting around Barcelona and visiting the city's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as iVenture Card, Hola Barcelona: Transport Pass, Barcelona Pass, and Barcelona Museum Pass.

These city passes combine all or multiple Barcelona's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Barcelona hotels that are conveniently located: Iberostar Paseo de Gracia 4* Sup, Catalonia Plaza Cataluña Hotel, Olivia Plaza Hotel.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Barcelona, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, as a guided tour of Barcelona typically costs between around US$15 and over US$80 per person:

- Hop on a “hop-on hop-off” double-decker and enjoy sightseeing of Barcelona from the open top of the bus, listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get off at any of the stops along the two interconnecting routes (your ticket is valid for both).

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour – this usually lasts around 2 hours and allows you to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise would have done by walking.

- Pedal your way around Barcelona on a 3-hour bike tour visiting the city's most spectacular sights, stopping at each (for 5-20 minutes) to get rest, watch the surroundings, and learn much about the city from an informative group leader.

- If you're an arts and architecture buff, with a keen interest in Catalan modernism of the late 19th century, then you may definitely enjoy a 2-hour guided stroll around the Quadrat d'Or (Golden Square) in Barcelona's Eixample borough to explore in-depth the works (buildings) of the celebrated pioneers of modernism: Domenech i Montaner, Puig i Cadafalch and, of course, Barcelona's most acclaimed architect Antoni Gaudí. As an extra bonus on this tour, you will get a 20% discount on a guided tour of the Palau de la Música Catalana (Music Palace), discounted entrance at Casa Batlló, free admission to the Museu del Modernisme Català (Catalan Modernism Museum), plus savings on admission to Casa Batlló. Great value and tons of information for the money spent!

- If you don't find tales of the supernatural terrifying, and if the gruesome details of witchcraft, exorcisms and paranormal activity, told after sunset, make your hair stand but only with curiosity, then why not treat yourself to a 2-hour “ghost” walk to discover sinister secrets of Barcelona, visiting some of the city's haunted places, entertained along the way by an informative commentary from an expert guide.

- Have the taste of Catalonia’s gourmet culture on this 3- to 4-hour tour of Barcelona's tapas crawling some of the city’s most prominent bars and cafes in La Rambla, La Boqueria food market, and the Gothic Quarter led by an expert food guide. Apart from savoring a variety of traditional Catalonian cured meats, cheeses and breads, as well as drinks, you will also learn how to order these iconic bar snacks in style, like a true local!

Day Trips


If you have a day to spare whilst in Barcelona, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations, like Costa Brava, Pyrenees mountain range, or Tarragona and Sitges. For as little as US$90+ to US$190+ you will get a chance to observe the picturesque villages and dramatic cliffs of the nearby Mediterranean coast, get high up in the Pyrenees Mountains visiting the historic town of Vic in the north of the country with optional hiking, horseback riding or boating excursions, or discover historical highlights of the Roman city of Tarragona complete with a seaside leisure at Sitges. All these trips start and end at your hotel and you'll be carried by a comfortable air-conditioned coach or minivan, accompanied by an English-speaking tour guide.