The St. Josep Mercat de la Boqueria, known as la Boqueria, is the oldest and most popular Barcelona market. The public market, located on Las Ramblas, has roughly 265 stalls where you can purchase a variety of fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, seafood, olives, spices, oils, and more. Not only can you purchase things to take home, but you can also sit and have a delicious and freshly prepared lunch.
The History of la Boqueria
This Barcelona market has a long history, dating back to the first reference in 1217. Near the old city gate, tables were set up and people sold their meat products. This transformed into a pig market in 1470, known as Mercat Bornet. A transformation took place once again in 1794 when it became a straw market, known as Mercat de la Palla. Years later a second market was created, on what is now known as Las Ramblas, largely accommodating butchers and fishermen. It was the location of the old St. Josep’s Convent. However, it was not until 1826 when it was legally recognized. In 1835, a decision to build an official structure was made. Although the structure and market officially opened on Saint Joseph’s day, March 19th in 1840, the inauguration took place in 1853 after many years of modifications. In 1911, a new fish market opened, followed by the installation of a metal roof in 1914, which still exists today.
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The Market Today
La Boqueria’s imposing black iron entrance gate leads you into an explosion of people, noise, and colors. This food lover’s heaven is an array of stalls offering imaginative presentations and mind-boggling displays. To say this famous indoor market is full of life is an understatement. You can easily spend an hour or more feasting the senses on colorful presentations by third and fourth-generation sellers.
The tapas bars and pizza stalls are a great place to sit and have lunch or a snack. Stop by and get some things to go for a picnic at the beach or at one of the beautiful parks. Remember to pick up items you want for cooking lunch or dinner during your time in Barcelona.
La Boqueria is a must-see Barcelona market. The floors may be slippery with fruit skins and melted ice, but that just adds to the experience, history, and architectural value.
Ideally, you should try to get there in the morning. At lunchtime, around 14:00, this Barcelona market is in full swing and it is packed.
Located at Las Ramblas 91, it is best to get to by walking. If you are taking the metro, you will want to get off at Liceu on the Green Line 3.
The market is open Monday – Saturday 08:00 – 20:30.