The neighbourhood of Sant Antoni is situated between El Raval and El Poble Sec, bounded by the wide avenues of Paral·lel, Ronda de Sant Pau, Ronda de Sant Antoni and the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes. It is a peaceful area boasting an ideal location; close enough to the centre of town to be convenient but set aside from hectic tourist hot-spots such as La Rambla and Plaça Catalunya. Today, ShBarcelona will take a walk with you through the neighbourhood of Sant Antoni.
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A commercial area growing in popularity
Sant Antoni was originally a commercial district which developed and expanded thanks to its large and popular market. Constructed at the end of the 19th Century in the Modernista style, the Mercat de Sant Antoni is one of the most impressive examples of Barcelona’s market architecture. Unlike the Mercat de La Boqueria, it is more popular with locals than tourists, so you are more likely to grab yourself a bargain and get a feel for local market culture on a visit here. Over the years, Sant Antoni has become an important commercial centre. Many small independent retailers have set up shop here, including, most recently, clothing and design boutiques, and charming cafés serving up excellent brunches. These new independents have lent the place a kind of ‘hipster’ atmosphere with a fashionable image attracting more and more visitors in recent years.
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What to see in Sant Antoni?
Without doubt, Mercat de Sant Antoni is a must-see, despite the major restoration works which are ongoing at present. Although the market is closed at the current time (scheduled to re-open in October 2017), it is still worth a trip to see the impressive exterior for yourself (see featured image). The market is currently housed in temporary buildings along the Ronda de Sant Antoni, and on Sundays traders gather all along the Carrer Comte d’Urgell to buy and sell collectors items such as rare books, postcards and coins. Sant Antoni is not so much a sightseeing destination as a place to take a stroll and soak up the atmosphere. Avinguda de Mistral is the perfect place to do this: a lively pedestrian area where you will find many cafés with charming terraces. Carrer del Parlament is another great place to enjoy the area’s ambiance. Here, there are all manner of bars where you can drink a glass of vermouth or sample some great wines. If you prefer dessert, stop off at the famous Federal Café (an Australian-themed café in the heart of the Catalan capital!), or go to Sirvent to taste one of the best horchata in Barcelona.
Federal Café’ address: Carrer del Parlament, 39, 08015 Barcelona
Sirvent’s address: Ronda de Sant Pau, 67, 08015 Barcelona
There is also a great variety of places to eat. If you are looking for informal but trendy dining and great beer, check out the Moritz Brewery on the Ronda de Sant Antoni. The restaurant is situated in the former Moritz factory and effortlessly combines tradition with modernity. If you’re a fan of Moritz beer, it’s ideal. On Avinguda del Paral·lel, Albert Adrià’s Tickets is the ultimate fine-dining tapas bar. Be advised, however, that you won’t be able to visit on a whim: it is a very popular restaurant and you will need to make a reservation around two months in advance. For information on how to secure a table, see this section of the restaurant’s website.
Moritz’s address: Ronda de Sant Antoni, 39 – 41
Tickets’ address: Av. del Paraŀlel, 164
Now you’ve done your homework, go out and discover Sant Antoni for yourself!
What do you think of the neighbourhood of Sant Antoni?