Why Gracia is the Perfect Neighbourhood to Stay in Barcelona

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Many people think the best place to stay in Barcelona is on Las Ramblas, the famous boulevard in the centre of the city.

Sure, you’ll be close to the tourist sights, but it’s also crowded, noisy, and full of overpriced restaurants and pickpockets.

We decided we wanted to experience the city a different way and stay in a neighbourhood with more locals than tourists.

When we found an apartment in the Gracia neighbourhood, it seemed the ideal place to see an alternative side of the city.

It was definitely the right decision for us. We loved Gracia, and it has many advantages over staying in the heart of the city.

In this post, we share our tips for Gracia Barcelona including where to stay and eat and the best things to do.

At the end, there is a Gracia map with everything mentioned.


Where is Gracia Barcelona?

Gracia is conveniently located in the north of the city, at the top of Passeig de Gràcia and borders the popular district of Eixample.

It’s easy to travel to the rest of the city by public transport. On foot, it’s about a 30-minute walk to the Gothic Quarter.

It boasts Park Güell as its main sight, but it’s also easy to get to Sagrada Familia and Casa Milà.

Despite its proximity to tourist hotspots, the neighbourhood retains a local village feel that is perfect for all.

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Why Stay in the Gracia Neighbourhood, Barcelona

It’s Quiet

Gracia Barcelona quiet streets

With its narrow streets and leafy squares, Gracia has a village feel, and it was, in fact, an independent town until it was swallowed by the city in the late 1800s.

To this day the area displays its Catalan traditions and roots with pride.

Unlike the busy centre, it’s uncrowded—tour buses don’t make it out here, and it’s a very local area.

The local population is a diverse mix of cool hipsters, young families, and the elderly.

Traffic is minimal, so the neighbourhood feels quiet and relaxed, perfect for wandering.

It’s Safe

Gracia Barcelona architecture

Barcelona is notorious for pickpockets, but you are most at risk on busy Las Ramblas.

As Gracia is uncrowded, it doesn’t attract the thieves that target tourists, so we felt much safer, and Simon didn’t feel he had to walk around with his hands in his pockets.

It is also a very family-friendly community, so if you’re travelling with kids, Gracia would be a great safe place to base yourselves.

It’s Walkable

Gracia Barcelona square

Many of Gracia’s streets are pedestrian-only, and it’s a very walkable neighbourhood with lots of backstreets to get lost in and pretty squares to stop for a rest on your wanders.

This Gracia Village Walking Tour looks like a great way to learn more about the district with a local guide.

It’s also very accessible to the rest of the city. You can take the metro (Fontana, Lesseps, or Diagonal stops), but we walked everywhere.

Gracia Barcelona square
The leafy trees and flowers make Gracia a pleasure to walk around

The Gothic Quarter was a 30-minute walk down the grand Passeig de Gracia, and the beach at Barceloneta was 50 minutes away with lots to see along the way.

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The Best Things to Do in Gracia Barcelona

Discover Gracia’s Creative Side

Gracia Barcelona art gallery

Gracia is a very alternative and artsy area with plenty of independent contemporary art galleries showcasing the work of both local and international artists.

Here are some galleries worth seeking out:

  • Alzueta Gallery – A sleek gallery that exhibits work by established and emerging artists.
  • Galeria H20 – Housed in a townhouse showing design, architecture and photography work.
  • Espai [b] – Exhibits work by new artists across various disciplines, including painting, printmaking and sculpture.

There is also plenty of Street Art to discover.

Take a Class

There are many creative pursuits on offer in the neighbourhood.

We saw classes available in psycho dance, slam dance, musical theatre, swing dance, yoga, reiki, and much more.

Shop in Independent Boutiques and Stores

Vegan bakery La Besneta in Gracia, Barcelona
Vegan bakery La Besneta

Big chains are rare in Gracia; it’s all about local independent businesses including stylish boutiques, organic grocers, and cosy bookstores.

To be honest, the only shopping we’re interested in is food shopping, and Gracia has some wonderful options.

The Mercat de l’Abaceria is an indoor produce market with a huge array of fruit, vegetables, olives, cheese, nuts, dried fruit, and cooked and dried beans and lentils.

Gra de Gracia is an amazing bulk-buy store where you can buy as much or little as you like of spices, nuts, seeds, rice, beans, granola, and other health food items—perfect for temporary residents like us.

It felt like there was a bakery on every corner and although all the bread was of a good standard, we preferred to take a short walk to one of the best bakeries in the city, Hotel Praktik Bakery, for excellent croissants and creative loaves.

Admire Gaudi’s Modernist Sites

Park Guell in Gracia, Barcelona
Park Guell

Exploring Gaudi’s fantastical modernist buildings was our focus in Barcelona (after eating, of course), and Gracia is in the ideal location for it.

We were staying within easy walking distance of Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, the Sagrada Familia, and Park Guell.

Gracia even has its own little-known Gaudi site—Casa Vicens – the first house he designed.

If you only have limited time in the city, this Private Gaudi Barcelona tour which visits Sagrada Familia and Park Guell looks great.

Or why not see the sights on wheels on this Barcelona e-Bike Gaudí Highlights Tour.

Join in a Festival

Every August for one week, Gracia holds a festival, Festa Major de Gracia, that includes everything from music, street stalls, food and drink and decorations covering the streets.

It’s a popular event and free for everyone to participate in, with a packed programme of activities.

Next time we visit Barcelona, we will ensure it’s during festival time!

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Where to Eat in Gracia

Italian salad with raw zucchini spaghetti at Quinoa Bar, Gracia in Barcelona
Italian salad with raw zucchini spaghetti at Quinoa Bar

Gracia is known for its many affordable restaurants and bars.

There’s a huge range available from a vegan bakery to Thai restaurants to traditional tapas bars. We found the area very vegetarian-friendly.

Quinoa Bar has delicious veggie burgers and creative salads and Les Tres a la Cuina always has meat-free options on its inexpensive lunch menu that uses seasonal ingredients.

Even Casa Pages, the tapas bar on our corner had plenty of veggie options, which is not always the case in Spain.

Gracia Barcelona

We didn’t have time during our week’s stay to try all the vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the neighbourhood.

These are just some on our list to try for our next visit:

  • Bar Bodega Quimet – A local restaurant with a good choice of vegetarian tapas. 
  • Veg World India – A family restaurant with a ‘90% vegan’ menu offering decent-priced Thalis.
  • Gallo Santo – Vegan Mexican that has burritos, tacos and bowls.
  • Zizinia – Small homely Middle Eastern restaurant that serves primarily vegetarian mezze.

Read more about the best vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona.

To learn more about Catalan cuisine and get to know local foodie hotspots why not try this Gracia Private Food Tour.

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Where to Stay in Gracia District Barcelona

Gracia, Barcelona Waytostay apartment balcony view

Our Apartment Rental

We much prefer renting apartments to staying in hotels, and Gracia has some fantastic options that are more affordable than in the centre.

We rented Torres Rojo, a two-bedroom apartment which was spacious, bright, stylish, and modern with wooden floors and white walls decorated with artwork. 

Gracia, Barcelona Waytostay apartment

Two small balconies overlooked the rooftops of the neighbourhood.

Gracia, Barcelona Waytostay apartment balcony view

The apartment was well-equipped with everything we needed including good WiFI, heating, washing machine (and detergent) and dryer, dishwasher, iPhone dock, oven, and basic kitchen supplies like washing up liquid, spices, oil, and vinegar. 

Gracia, Barcelona Waytostay apartment

The main bedroom was lovely with a super comfy bed and lots of storage space. The second bedroom is smaller with a single bed.

Gracia, Barcelona Waytostay apartment bedroom

The location is perfect on a quiet street with no traffic noise but only minutes away from bakeries, bars, restaurants, and the market.

There are a few metro stations close by, but we found it easy to walk all over Barcelona. There’s no lift so you do need to be able to walk up four flights of stairs. 

The Torres Rojo apartment costs around €250 a night during the summer. Check availability here.

Other Gracia Accommodation

Here are some other accommodation options in Gracia:

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Gracia, Barcelona Map

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Is Gracia a Good Place to Stay in Barcelona?

Yes, absolutely! We loved experiencing local life in Gracia and the more we explored, the more we discovered to love.

The quiet streets, bohemian vibe, delicious food, and creative culture made it the perfect neighbourhood for us to stay in Barcelona.

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More Spain Tips


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  1. We just returned from a 10 day trip to Barcelona where we stayed in an apartment in the Garcia . The district is a wonderful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city . We felt safe and protected there and the locals were helpful and accepting of us . it is a great place to just wander around in and explore it many shops cafes and squares. It felt like a little village but right in the middle of the city yet the metro was only two blocks away i whole heartedly recommend it it is so quiet and peaceful and so convenient

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  2. Gracia it’s very much a locals neighborhood. Barcelona suffered before the pandemic from over tourism. Over tourism destroys local culture. If you want to support and experience true local community in Barcelona avoid apartment rentals especially in neighborhood such as Gracia where those types of rentals take away from family housing. Support small hotels, small business, practice your Catalan and keep the moments just for yourself and don’t blog about it ;).

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  3. Thank you for the information on Gracia. I’ve been to Barcelona before and explored the many areas around there as well as the hop on/off, Sagrada Familia, funicular, beaches, etc. The Gracia area sounds lovely. I will be traveling there in Oct 2022 with friends via cruise ship and will recommend it. :)

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  4. The stay should definitely include The Paella Club. My wife and I just have been there and it was the best stop in a collection of great stops! It’s a good walk or an even shorter cab ride from anywhere in Gracia. Enjoy!

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  5. My husband and I just stayed in Gràcia (October 2019) and I agree with your description except I would counter that it’s not quiet and less crowded than the rest of the city. Even mid-week it was bustling, noisy and the streets and squares were full of people. But it’s by far the most interesting part of Barcelona that we’ve seen and I definitely recommend staying here!

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    • Maybe it has changed since we visited or it could just be that when we visited in April is a quieter time than October. Glad you enjoyed it anyway!

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  6. This updated 2019 post could not be more perfect. My family of 3 will be traveling to Barcelona mid-July 2019. I’m currently holding reservations at the Hotel Praktik and an apartment in Gracia neighborhood. I was undecided on where to stay. Your post definitely helped me make a decision. If you have some tips on activities that might interest a female 16 yr old, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Wishing you more great holidays.
    Cheers from the City by The Bay, San Francisco, CA USA

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  7. Thank you so much for this information of Gracia. We will be staying for the Month of May in an
    Airbnb apt., hopefully will be a good experience. Had not heard of WaytoStay but will definitely
    Check it out. After reading your article we are even more excited about Gracia. We have been
    To Barcelona several times for short visits and LOVE it.

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  8. Love Gracia! We first stayed there when we did our year-long grand tour in 2010 and became hooked. Pleased to see you recommending a company other than Airbnb, which have become so aggressive in their tactics and responsible for changing the character of whole neighbourhoods in some cities. I hadn’t heard of Waytostay but will definitely look them up. Enjoy! Lovely time of year to be in Barcelona.

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  9. Thanks for sharing this information! I’ve been itching to go back to Barcelona and will definitely search for places to stay in Gracia.

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  10. Hola! Thank you for your overview of your exploration of Gracia. This area sounds perfect! My husband and I will be in Barcelona in September and can’t wait to stay in Gracia with WayToStay. I’m very appreciative that you brought Waytostay to my attention since we have been a little disappointed in most of our Airbnb rentals in Europe this summer. I can’t wait to sample the yummy foods in Gracia so thanks for all the vegetarian restaurant recommendations.

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    • I also struggled to find anywhere decent on Airbnb this time. The great thing about Waytostay is that all their apartments are lovely, so you don’t have to waste time scrolling through dingy places. Their calendars are also up to date (unlike Airbnb) so you know which places are definitely available.

      Have an amazing time in Barcelona! I have a post about veggie restaurants in the city coming soon.

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  11. Yes, Zab and I loved Gracia too. We didn’t stay there on our recent trip to Barcelona, but we went there every day…mostly to get cake from La Besneta!

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  12. I really couldn’t agree more on Gracia, it’s an incredible neighbourhood and so much better than staying near Las Ramblas, simply unique for all the reasons you mentioned :-) beautiful photos too!

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    • I think we would have had a completely different (and less positive) experience of Barcelona if we had stayed near Las Ramblas. I can’t understand why it is so recommended!

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  13. I completely agree! We stayed in an airbnb apartment in Gracia last December and we LOVED it! Every morning we got our coffee at a cute cafe inside the Mercat de la Llibertat (which, in my opinion, is even more charming than Boqueria since it’s not clogged with tourists).

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    • I am so glad you enjoyed Gracia too. And that sounds like the perfect place to start your day. I love how many cute independent cafes and shops there are in the neighbourhood.

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