By Bárbara Rivera
The Eixample neighbourhood has been described as the Manhattan of Barcelona because of its grid of lively, busy streets. But it also has an elegant Mediterranean feeling and is home to some of the city’s best fine-dining restaurants, boutiques, museums, art galleries, entertainment venues, and much more.
The Eixample is renowned for its architecture. As you stroll around it is a pleasure to contemplate all the beautiful façades of the Modernista buildings that date from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, such as Casa Burés, Girona2 and Girona34.
For practical purposes the district is often divided in two : Eixample Dret (Right) and Eixample Esquerra (Left). The Eixample Dret is located east of Carrer de Balmes, and includes upscale streets such as Passeig de Gràcia and Rambla Cataluña. This part of the city offers infinite possibilities for enjoying the best of Barcelona without having to leave the neighbourhood.
At the beginning of spring, as days become longer and warmer, the plants and trees here begin to bloom. This greenery, combined with the bustling Mediterranean atmosphere, makes us want to be outside every day, and we’re sure you’ll feel the same!
At present, due to Covid restrictions, going outside is a bit more complicated, and we all need to be extra careful and follow the rules regarding distancing and masks. But there are still lots of things to see, experience and enjoy. Here’s a taste of some of the best things to do in the neighbourhood:
MUSEUMS AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES:
La Pedrera (also known as Casa Milà) and Casa Batlló, two architectural masterpieces designed by Antoni Gaudí.
Fundació Antoni Tàpies and Palau Robert venues for interesting cultural exhibitions and activities.
Villa del Arte, contemporary art gallery, recently opened in Passeig de Gràcia 26 and with two other galleries in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, and Amsterdam.
Sala Dalmau, linking contemporary and modern art since 1979.
El Nacional, a gastronomic destination venue and popular meeting point, with different restaurants and bars you can enjoy in a single gorgeous (and huge) indoor space, designed by Lázaro Rosa-Violán.
Lasarte Restaurant: Awarded three Michelin Stars and led by Martin Berasategui (who has a total of 12 Michelin Stars across his restaurants in Spain and Portugal). Lasarte is located in the elegant Monument Hotel, next to Passeig de Gràcia, and features interiors by Catalan designer Mercè Borrell.
Windsor: A Barcelona classic for contemporary Catalan cuisine.
Passatge de la Concepció: A delightful narrow street located between Passeig de Gràcia and Rambla Cataluña, that’s lined with different gastronomic options, starting with sushi and cocktail bar El Japones; and Mordisco, a relaxing place to eat and feel at home with a lovely patio covered by a huge skylight. Both owned by Grupo Tragaluz.
In the same small street, we find two restaurants led by renowned Michelin-starred chef Nandu Jubany: Petit Comitè and Pur, this last one with a sophisticated underground cocktail bar, Impur. And, to complete our tour of this restaurant-packed alley, we have BocaGrande and its fabulous and sexy cocktail bar BocaChica, both designed by Lazaro Rosa Violán.
Passeig de Gràcia and its surroundings is ideal for a great shopping experience with all sorts of brands and styles, from Chanel and Fendi, to Zara and &Other Stories. A classic place to start would be Santa Eulalia, at Passeig de Gràcia 93, a wonderful luxury multi-brand store that dates from 1843 and currently managed by Luis Sans, fourth generation to be involved in the family business. Perfect for indulging yourself!
And finally, if you fancy a drink after shopping, head to any of the following rooftops or terraces and enjoy the sunset:
Casa Fuster – Passeig de Gracia 132
Sir Victor Hotel – Carrer de Roselló 265
Monument Hotel – Passeig de Gracia 75
Hotel Condes de Barcelona – Passeig de Gracia 73
Majestic Hotel – Passeig de Gracia 68
Mandarin Oriental – Passeig de Gracia 38
Cotton House – Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 670
Bonavista Developments is a luxury real estate developer that offers exclusive properties in Barcelona.
©Photography courtesy of: Tyler Hendy (Unsplash), Vasiliy Galushko (Unsplash), Mandarin Oriental, El Nacional BCN and Slowkind.