The area is popular with artists and a generally bohemian crowd, it also has a high ethnic population and the highest concentration of foreign restaurants in Barcelona. Plaça de Sol is the most renowned area of the neighbourhood, it's lined with terrace cafes and at night this is where the people convene to drink and be merry. However despite the trendy nature of Gràcia it is also a very traditional barrio with a large elderly population which makes for an amusing and odd mix - and very entertaining people-watching!
Gràcia is also well-known for it's festival which is held for 5 days in August and sees the locals competing in street decoration (they take it very seriously!). The results are usually spectacular, and at night the festival comes alive with drinks stalls and stages of live music of every variety.
Fontana is the metro stop, and from there you can get into the centre of the city, Plaça Catalunya in less than 10 minutes. Also near the metro stop is a cinema that plays films in their original language (version original).
Gràcia is totally self-sufficient. That is to say you could stay in Gràcia and never have to leave, there are good amenities of every sort, great bars, cosy cafes, a real Mediterranean lifestyle. Whilst everything like the buildings, streets and plaças are in much smaller scale than those in the centre of town there is some striking art nouveau architecture to be seen.
|A Typical Street in Gràcia|
Whilst I suppose one could find some of the trendy population quite intimidating (there are a lot of piercing, dreadlocks and tattoos around!) the area is quite safe and away from the main squares where people drink outside until the early hours it is also quiet.
The area is perfect for those who want something a little bit different, those who perhaps have been to Barcelona before and want a different tourist experience. Although really because central Barcelona is so easily accessible from Gràcia it is suitable for everyone.
One of the best features of Gràcia is that there are not so many tourists so you feel like you've discovered something a bit new and diverse.
Shopping is also good in Gràcia, where new, arty boutiques stand next to traditional Spanish stores.
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Different atmosphere than Barcelona
Plaça del Sol and all the cafes