An eclectic and vibrant city, Barcelona is home to a variety of culturally intoxicating and historically rich neighborhoods, not least of which is the lively La Ribera district.
A historically wealthy area (think “old money”), La Ribera’s “bohemian factor” has increased over the past decade thanks to influx of museums, galleries, boutiques, bars and first-rate eateries.
A relatively small area (as Barcelonan neighborhoods go), La Ribera is located between the Port Vell (Old Port) and the Parc de la Ciutadella.
Here are our picks for some of the best sights, sounds, and tastes in La Ribera.
What to see and do:
Fans of Medieval and Gothic architecture must take a stroll through El Born, a subdivision La Ribera, known for its medieval architecture and upscale shopping. The architectural highlight of El Born is Santa María del Mar, an imposing Gothic basilica. La Ribera’s main thoroughfare, Passeig del Born, is loaded with fashionable bars, shops and restaurants.
One of the area’s most popular tourist destinations is the Picasso Museum, Museo Picasso de Barcelona (http://www.museupicasso.bcn.es/).
At the northern end of La Ribera is the site of the Mercat del Born. Formerly the city’s main wholesale market, it is now an excavation site and impressive archeological museum.
Parc de la Ciutadella, adjacent to Mercat del Born, is an expansive urban park that features a man-made lake, winding walking paths and a series of smaller museums and galleries located on the park grounds.
Where to eat and drink:
Arrel del Born (Carrer de Fusina 5) serves innovative seafood and fresh pasta dishes in a traditional atmosphere.
Head to Chipirón de Moncho’s (Maremagnum, local 55-55) for world-class tapas (their seafood specialties are the best) and a great wine list.
For trendy bars, try Miramelindo, Salero or Gimlet along the Passeig del Born, all of which attract a hip, professional late-twenties to early forties crowd.