Gracia – whose full name is actually Vila de Gracia -is one of Barcelona’s most charismatic neighborhoods. I lived in Barcelona for over a year a few years ago, and Gracia was the neighborhood I always chose to hang out, to go for dinner, or for a movie.
This area used to be filled with scattered farmhouses built on open fields above Barcelona before the 16th century. But by the start of the 19th century and with the Industrial Revolution, it has transformed into what is today.
This neighborhood is a pleasure to walk around in and admire on foot.
Things to do in Gracia, Barcelona
Explore Parc Guell
Park Guell is a public park system in Barcelona made up of gardens and various architectural elements to admire. It’s built on Carmel Hill and is one of the well-known masterpieces of Catalan Architect Anton Gaudi who started planning this park in 1900. After 26 years, this park of flamboyant architectural style displaying the signature of Gaudi’s work was officially inaugurated.
Park Guell is open daily from 8:30 AM to 7 PM. A regular ticket price for admission to the park is €10 per person.
Visit Gaudi’s Casa Vicens
Gaudi’s Casa Vicens is the first house that was commissioned to Architect Anton Gaudi in Barcelona. This house is now a museum, and it serves as a prelude to his modernist works that have become some of the top attractions in the city.
You’ll find this building that exemplifies the Art Nouveau style in the neighborhood of Gracia. The museum has also been transformed into a cultural space where you can find temporary exhibits along with permanent collections.
You can visit this museum daily but the opening hours change with the seasons. From April to September, you can visit from 10 AM to 8 PM, and from October to March, you can come from 10 AM to 7 PM(3 PM on Mondays). The ticket price will be around €16.
Walk around Calle Verdi
Calle Verdi in the neighborhood of Gracia is the main street in the area. This trendy street is filled with a host of restaurants offering a wide range of cuisines and a high concentration of shops and boutiques. You can drop by any of these shops to bring home souvenirs from Barcelona’s best designers or to sample the best food in the area. I assure you that taking a stroll at the street is a great way to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Gracia.
Have Something to Drink at Plaza del Sol
Plaza del Sol, also known as Placa del Sol, is a busy plaza in the Gracia neighborhood in Barcelona. If you are looking for a place to drink and cap off the night, this is the place to go. You can enjoy a lively night out in Gracia while checking out one of the many bars in this area.
Chatelet is one of the best bars in Placa del Sol; it boasts of a long list of cocktails with a very sociable atmosphere. It’s one of the most popular bars in the neighborhood so anticipate it’ll be quite busy.
If you are more into the idea of a themed bar, step into Old Fashioned, which will transport you back to the 1920s. This is a cozy bar with intimate seating, ideal for smaller groups.
Other bars worth checking out in Plaza del Sol are Le Journal, Café del Sol, and Bobby Gin.
Enjoy a Movie at Cine Verdi
Are you a movie buff? If so, then I’d suggest you head to Cine Verdi for a fantastic movie night in Gracia, Barcelona. Gracia’s Cine Verdi is home to a number of international film festivals held all year round. When you come to this theater, you can watch movies in their original language. It’s also a great spot to go if you want to meet other cinephiles like you.
Personally, Cine Verdi was my favorite movie theater in Barcelona. You’ll find that the ticket price can vary from €8 on a regular price to €6 if you catch a movie on Mondays, or in the morning.
Attend the Annual Festa Major de Gracia (Festival de Gracia)
The annual Festa Major de Gracia is one of the busiest times of the year in this Barcelona neighborhood. This street festival is held every August and you can watch this district truly come alive. The week-long fiesta sees the neighborhood transform before your very eyes with colorful street displays, colorful lights, and more. There’s even a competition for the best decorated street within the area and participants usually go all out with their decorations!
Apart from the vibrant street decorations, you’ll also be amazed by the food selection from the street stalls. You can delight your craving for local delicacies as there is a wide array of options to choose from. On top of that, there are also concerts and shows held throughout the festival’s duration to enjoy in your visit. In 2020, the festival will be held on August 15-21 and it’s free and completely open to the public!
Check Out other Gracia Squares
Spending time in one of the public squares in Gracia is a great way to pass the time and to get to know this neighborhood a bit more.
Placa de la Virreina is one of the scenic plazas here and when you visit, you can enjoy your favorite drinks at one of the outdoor cafes in this square. The Church of St. Joan Baptista is also nearby and you can come in to check out the Santissim Sacrament chapel.
Another notable plaza to visit is the Placa del Diamant, also known as Square of the Diamond. This square is part of a neighborhood called Jeweler’s Quarter as the street names were given by a jeweler.
A few other noteworthy squares that are a must-visit when in Gracia are Placa de la Revolucio and Placa de Rovira i Trias.
Discover all the eco-friendly shops in Gracia
Gracia district is also a haven for organic and eco-friendly shoppers because there are a ton of these stores to choose from. Known as the Organic Mecca of Barcelona, Gracia offers a dozen must-visit shops.
GreenLifestyle is an eco-fashion shop in Carrer del Torrent de l’Olla that is open daily (except Sundays) from 11 AM to 9 PM. For eco-friendly shopping, this store is a must and has a wide selection of garments and accessories to choose from.
Amapola Vegan is another place to shop in Gracia guilt-free as they have a vast collection of vegan clothing, shoes, and accessories.
The Gracia Organic Market, on the other hand, is the place to go if you are in search of a health food store with organic and vegan baked goods and pastries.
And finally, Vegere Spa is known as the first vegan beauty center in Barcelona. So if you are seeking spa and wellness services with a vegan ethos, then this is the place for you!
Enjoy a show at El Teatre Mes Petit del Mon
The El Teatre Mes Petit del Mon is known as the smallest theater in the world. This distinction alone should convince you to catch a show in this refined concert hall which used to be a house and was converted into a small theater in the 19th century. You’ll find shows from musicians, pianists, and other artists to catch when you visit.
Go on a Food Tour
Gracia is not only rich in history and culture as a neighborhood, but also in terms of gastronomy. Embark on this area’s food and market tour where you can sample authentic Catalan food and wine. This tour lasts 3.5 hours which you’ll spend with an expert guide as you visit tapas bars, market stalls, and food shops all over Gracia.
Where to eat in Gracia
Looking for the best food in Gracia? Check out these must-try places to eat!
Pepa Tomate is one of the most sought after restaurants in the neighborhood of Gracia and has an informal and fresh array of culinary offerings. Here, they serve gourmet tapas, along with traditional Catalan cuisine which they say they prepare with fresh ingredients that are bought from the Mercat de L’Abaceria Central. This restaurant has an intimate dining area that can seat up to 49 people inside and 28 on the alfresco area. This restaurant is open all year round, so no matter when you go, it’ll be always an option in this lively neighborhood.
If you are in search of eclectic cuisine in Gracia, try Kuai Momos. This is known as the “it” place in Gracia and it’s owned by Catalan-Italian chef, Jordi Brau. According to him, the restaurant’s menu is inspired by his passion for traveling in Asia, particularly in Southeast Asia so you an expect to see that passion reflected in the amazing dishes you’ll find here.
As the name implies, this restaurant in Gracia features eggs as the star ingredient in most of the dishes. An award-winning chef opened the restaurant in 2014 with the hope of creating a menu to transform a standard fare and make it into something special.
If you are craving for a taste of Ethiopia or African cuisine in Gracia, Abissinia is the place to go. Certainly, you won’t find a lot of restaurants in Barcelona serving this cuisine so this alone makes Abissinia truly stand out. You can also enjoy an authentic African rhythm and atmosphere when dining here which makes it a complete experience.
Gut is a gluten-free restaurant in Gracia, which is considered by many foodies as one of the best places to eat in the area. It’s essentially a stylish restaurant with great quality food, so you can get the best of both worlds.
Where to stay in Gracia
Casa Fuster: Hotel Casa Fuster is a luxurious 5-star hotel in the heart of Barcelona. This is a modernist building with a roof terrace with a pool, a sauna, and a gym, along with elegant air-conditioned rooms.
Hotel Barcelona 1882: Hotel Barcelona 1882 is an ecologically sustainable hotel that combines luxury and relaxation. Every room here is designed to be spacious and comfortable with elaborate details and design to guarantee a comfortable stay.
Casa Gracia Hostel: Casa Gracia Hostel provides a local and home-like environment for its guests looking for an authentic local experience in Gracia. This modern hostel has air-conditioned private rooms and shared dorm rooms. You can choose your rooms based on preference and budget, giving you more flexibility with your travel options.