Barri de Gracia, located north of the intersection of the exclusive Passeig de Gracia and Avinguda Diagonal, is the most traditional of the neighborhoods in downtown Barcelona. Independent from the Catalonian capital until almost the early 20th century, Gracia still has a strong village feeling to it, with many traditional workshops and low-rise buildings, and a unique character. It is also one of the most charming areas, with narrow cobblestone streets and alleys, and tree-shaded squares packed with cafes and restaurants. One of these is the Placa del Sol, one of the prettiest pedestrian squares in Gracia, lined with bars that offer al fresco dining and drinking year-round.
Despite its traditional vibe, Gracia is full of young people, and the annual local fiestas, celebrated in mid-August, attract hordes of locals and tourists alike. It is arguably one of the liveliest neighborhoods in Barcelona, second only to possibly the Gothic Quarter. There are no historic sights to visit here -- but its streets are full of local charm and are great to just wander around.
There are a wide array of basic apartment-style hotels conveniently located close to the subway and train stations along Carrer Gran de Gracia, which turns into upscale Passeig de Gracia farther south. Visitors will find a couple of upscale hotels near the southern border of the neighborhood, where the Eixample begins -- but visitors on a tighter budget might want to go deeper into Gracia.
|Peak:||May - September|
|Tipping:||5 - 10% in restaurants|