El Raval is a neighbourhood, or 'barrio' in Barcelona's Old Town. It resides on the opposite side of Las Ramblas to the Gothic Quarter and has a distinct style of its own.
Until more recent years El Raval was often considered to be a no-go area for tourists. However, around five years ago trendy hotels, art galleries and shops began popping up in the area. It is now an area frequented by many tourists in search of the Barcelona that has become famous for art, design and modern culture.
|MACBA Square - Raval|
At the heart of Raval you will find two institutions housed within a distinctive modern building - CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporánia de Barcelona - centre for contemporary culture) and MACBA (Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona - modern art museum). These museums house various exhibitions linked to art and culture. The exteriors have become a hub for the youth and contemporary culture of Barcelona. If you don't have time to visit an exhibition it is still worth coming to the area to soak up the atmosphere and take a stroll.
A large square outside the museums is a constant hive of activity. Groups of youngsters sit and chat, practice skateboarding and play music.
A piece of art on the wall helps to explain the phenomenon that has become Raval. It displays what appears to be an extract from a dictionary or a language textbook. The verb 'Ravalejar' is displayed in all of its various tenses. This is a joke for locals who have recently coined the term to 'ravalejar' - the simple concept of spending time and hanging out in the area of Raval.
08001 Barcelona, España.
Tel: +34 93 306 4100
Metro: Catalunya (Green Line, L3) and (Red Line, L1) and Universitat (Red Line, L1) and (Purple Line, L2)
Placa dels Angels, 1
08001 Barcelona, España.
Tel: +34 93 412 0810Metro: Catalunya (Green Line, L3) and (Red Line, L1) and Universitat (Red Line, L1) and (Purple Line, L2
|Retro City (Vintage Clothing)|
If you are a lover of vintage clothing you will find your spiritual home in Raval. Streets such as Calle Reira Baixa and Calle Tallers are lined with vintage shops of ranging prices and qualities.
If you are interested in spending more time in the Raval area and would like to stay there during your trip, there are some hotels that I would recommend.
The Barcelo Raval hotel resides right at the heart of the area and is the talk of the town. It is a large design hotel with a rooftop offering 360 degree views of the city.
A cheaper alternative is Hostal Marenostrum - a hostel just off the Ramblas that is cleaner, brighter and newer than many of its alternatives.
El Raval is an interesting place to visit in Barcelona both during the day or at night. It has a creative energy that runs through its many bars, restaurants, galleries and shops. It is one of the most multi-cultural areas of Barcelona and an important part of the city that should not be missed.
Stage 4 of My Barcelona City Walking Tour: The next stop on my tour is Passeig de Gràcia - a street above Plaça de Catalunya. See my guide for what to see and do on Passeig de GràciaEl Raval is one of the neighbourhoods making up Barcelona's city centre. I spent a day walking around the whole area, taking in some of the places that are slightly more off the beaten track. Overview to my tour in the city centre.