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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?
- Why Stay in the Gracia Neighbourhood, Barcelona
- The Best Things to Do in Gracia Barcelona
- Where to Eat in Gracia
- Where to Stay in Gracia District Barcelona
- Gracia, Barcelona Map
- Is Gracia a Good Place to Stay in Barcelona?
- More Spain Tips
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.
Why Stay in the Gracia Neighbourhood, Barcelona
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Best Things to Do in Gracia Barcelona
Discover Gracia’s Creative Side
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
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
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!
Where to Eat in Gracia
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.
Even Casa Pages, the tapas bar on our corner had plenty of veggie options, which is not always the case in Spain.
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.
Where to Stay in Gracia District Barcelona
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.
Two small balconies overlooked the rooftops of the neighbourhood.
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.
The main bedroom was lovely with a super comfy bed and lots of storage space. The second bedroom is smaller with a single bed.
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.
Other Gracia Accommodation
Here are some other accommodation options in Gracia:
- BcnStop Parc Güell – Spacious apartments with multiple options for couples or larger families. Fantastic location too, just 400 yards from the famous park.
- Jardinets De Gràcia by The 5ve Soul – Beautifully renovated sustainable apartments.
- Casagrand Luxury Suites – These elegant apartments include access to a stunning looking rooftop pool, sauna and gym.
- Hotel Praktik Bakery – Modern rooms and boasts its on-site bakery that guarantees delicious breakfasts.
Gracia, Barcelona Map
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.
More Spain Tips
Elsewhere in Spain
- Enjoying the Simple Pleasures at our Spanish Housesit
- Our Most Adventurous Housesit in the Spanish Alpujarras
- Our Interrail Trip from London to Andalucia in Photos and Numbers
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