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Boquería Market in Barcelona

Barcelona’s main tourist street, La Rambla, has its own vibrant and noisy life. It would not be complete without the colorful market, which many tourists go to as another fascinating and very tasty excursion. Boquería Market is known far beyond the city for its identity and huge selection of goods.

History of the Boquería Market

A few centuries ago, Barcelona was much more modest in size, hiding from outside aggressors behind a reliable fortress wall. There was no room inside for large-scale bazaars and lavish seasonal fairs. They were held outside the city limits. The first trading rows appeared in the 13th century. On market day you could buy meat, fruit and vegetables. Later pig pens were added. The name “straw market” was common among the population. In 1826, the government took control of the square, and the spontaneous bazaar began to transform into an orderly marketplace with a segment for each type of product.

Boquería Market, Barcelona - description, address, opening hours

The second name, San Josep, was given to the market in Barcelona when the first foundation stone was laid. This happened on St. Joseph’s Day, which many thought was symbolic. The market square continued to expand, with a fish section added in 1911, and by 1914 the reconstruction was complete. A roof appeared over the square, and gas lighting was installed. The area occupied by the retail rows and adjacent pavilions is 2,583 square meters.

The Boquería market was named the best in the world, and it has become one of the main attractions of the country.

There are a lot more tourists than locals on it now, especially from 11 or 12 in the afternoon. The merchants’ work starts early. The fishmongers from restaurants and cafes are the first to receive the fresh goods, and delicatessen buyers from restaurants and cafes rush there immediately. For the traditional catch, they go to the wharf so as not to overpay the middlemen. And rare species of marine life can be purchased only at the Boquería market.

Trade as art

The famous Boquería market in Barcelona

The Boquería market has a special atmosphere. It is created by salespeople who love their business, can’t imagine life without it. Usually it is a family business, passed down by inheritance. You can often find a trader in the 5th or 6th generation.

In a highly competitive environment, not only variety and high quality of goods are important. It is necessary to create a unique look of the counter, so that the showcase or shelving will attract attention, make you stop in admiration. Bright ribbons, decorative elements, intricate ways of laying out the goods are used for decoration. Some showcases become real works of art.

Boquería market structure

There was a single plan for the construction, authored by architect Max Vila. The structure of the French Passage was taken as the basis, with adjustments for national peculiarities. Market Boquería in Barcelona on the map resembles an almost flat square. In the central part of the 3 ovals make up the fish market. Because of the specific smell and to comply with health regulations, these products are isolated in a separate section, almost out of contact with the rest of the counters.

Overview of the Boquería Market in Barcelona

On the side of La Rambla there are fruit and vegetable rows. They take up almost half of the sales area. On the other side of the fish rows were evenly spaced commercial pavilions with other goods.

They are traded in:

  • meat;
  • nuts;
  • berries;
  • dried fruit;
  • spices;
  • dairy products;
  • sausages, smoked meats, pickles;
  • baked goods and sweets;
  • poultry, game;
  • wine.

Pavilions with sweets, nuts and dried fruits are concentrated at the central entrance, baked goods and delicacies are scattered around the perimeter.

The farther the sales counter from the entrance, the lower the prices of products.

The main entrance to the Boquería market is on the side of la Rambla. In addition, there are several secondary streets that lead to quieter and quieter streets.


Everything is aimed at customer satisfaction. In the fruit aisles there are separate places for the sale of ready-made fruit salads and mixes. If there is no goal to buy a batch of 3-4 kilograms, but you just want to try exotic fruits, it is enough to walk up to the table or tray, where a layer of pounded ice waiting for customers portion cups with treats. The vendors will be happy to tell you about each ingredient and help you find a mix to suit your tastes.

The lively Boquería market in the center of Barcelona

Freshly squeezed juices and smoothies are located nearby. The volume of cups is different, to attract visitors offer discounts on the purchase of 2 portions, make custom mixes. Everything is very beautifully decorated, with the display of fine artistic taste. You don’t want to leave these bright counters, but there’s a lot more to see.

Fish rows

The marinas are only a 20-minute walk from the market, with only the freshest fish and seafood on the shelves. Their prices are slightly higher than in hypermarkets, but the quality is guaranteed. Walking along the stalls, you can see not only the usual sea bass or trout. The selection of shrimp is amazing, and there are rows of squid, octopus, cuttlefish, crabs, and lobsters.

Boquería Market - one of the attractions of Barcelona

For tourists such abundance is interesting only from an educational point of view. But on the gastronomic side, it is worth paying attention to the offered poulets and portioned containers with already cooked food. Grilled shrimp, octopus, and mussels prevail. Such a snack on the go will give you more energy for the next walk.

If it’s time for lunch and you want a more substantial meal without leaving the market, it’s worth stopping at a number of small cafes and eateries. The menu includes seafood mixes with side dishes, burgers, fish with spices and vegetables. The cost of lunch will be 6-8 euros. The camping version in a container is 1.5-2 times cheaper. You can sit at a table in a cafe or take your loot to a special seating area and enjoy the delicacies there.

Meat and sausages

The delicious aroma overwhelms those who enter the meat compartment. The spices, the faint smell of smoke from the smokehouse, the amazingly rich spirit of authentic smoked and dried sausages, and jamon. Its price ranges from 10 to 35 euros per 100 grams, but the memories of the main meat delicacy of Spain will remain for a long time.

Meat rows in the Boquería market in Barcelona

The famous chorizo sausage is often purchased as a gift for loved ones. The price starts at 2 euros per stick, depending on its size and weight. To convince the customer of the quality of the goods and to awaken in him a thirst to buy everything at once, they offer a combination of meat slices. The cost of such a tasting set is about 2-4 euros.

You can also buy souvenirs with the logo of the Boquería market, visit the spice shops, marvel at the variety of fresh mushrooms, buy a piece of chocolate by weight and enjoy the unique atmosphere.

Tours and cooking classes at Boquería Market

Address and opening hours of Boquería Market

The market in Barcelona is worthy of a comprehensive tour. And they are conducted. The price starts at 15 euros, includes walks through the rows, a story about the history of the market, tasting of products.

It’s very interesting to be in a cooking class. They are designed for children and adults, the price of admission is 68 euros. Traditional cooking class is taught by a renowned chef for a group of 10-12 people.

Useful Tips for Visiting the Boquería Market

The Boquería Marketplace is open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. It can be reached on foot from the center. From outlying areas it is more convenient to take the L3 metro green line. The main entrance to the market is on the Ramblas.

Location on the map and address:

The market lives by specific rules, which should be taken into account to avoid unfortunate slip-ups and fully enjoy the walk.

  1. Trade pavilions begin work at 8 a.m., but there will be no full trade until 10 a.m., there is an arrangement of goods and putting things in order.
  2. After 11 o’clock there is the main influx of tourists. A slight lull occurs in the afternoon, about 3 to 4 p.m.
  3. Shopping is best done in the morning, but to sit at the bar and try the grilled seafood, more suitable in the evening, from 18 to 19. After 8 p.m. the tents begin to close.
  4. In order to buy a product at a lower price, you have to go inside the shopping aisles. Traditionally, the highest prices are near the entrance.
  5. Spanish merchants are very temperamental and sociable. After a short friendly conversation you can get a discount, a small gift for the purchase or learn the intricacies of cooking the national dish.
  6. When you first visit, it is worthwhile to walk around the entire area and look closely at the structure of the market. Next time it will be much easier to navigate.
  7. It is not necessary to bring a lot of cash, the purse is better to put away, because no one is immune to pickpockets.
  8. It’s Sunday off in the market.

Video overview of the Boquería market

The market on La Rambla in Barcelona offers a taste of Spain, from fruits, seafood, spices to great aged or sparkling young wines.

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