Located in the heart of this city, you’ll be able to find this neighbourhood full of history. During medieval times, it became home to the aristocracy and the bustling centre of trade in the region. Nowadays, you’ll still be able to see things from these times, making it one of the most unique neighbourhoods in Barcelona.
Having roamed the streets of El Born countless times as locals, we've curated this guide to showcase the finest spots to visit! We’ll explore some of the hotspots for tourists, like the Picasso Museum. We’ll also look at the best restaurants, charming cafeterias for a quick bite, enticing venues for drinks, and even highlight some of the best hotels in the area.
Top 7 things to do in El Born
To ensure that when visiting this neighbourhood, you get the most out of your time, we’ve put together a list with our seven favourite highlights! Among these, there are some of the well-known places in the city, but also some that are less known but certainly worth a visit.
The must visits
El Born CCM
El Born CCM (Centre de Cultura i Memòria) is a museum located in a gorgeous market hall that dates back to the nineteenth century. In the museum, you can find the remains of the old city of Barcelona, which was destroyed during the Succession War of 1714. The large floor of the market hall has been dug out, which uncovers the remains, and using walkways that cover the area, you can walk around and really feel how Barcelona looked like during that time.
There is no entrance fee for this museum; you can walk in for free. But there are guided tours available for a small fee if you want to know even more about the location.
Parc de la Ciutadella
Located right next to the El Born neighbourhood, you can find Park de la Ciutadella. A big park that offers you a peaceful escape from the busy city. The park is 70 acres big, making it a perfect place for a nice walk or picnic. There is also plenty of monuments to see and a bunch of bird to look at.
The highlight of this park is probably the ‘Cascada Monumental’, it’s really unique fountain with stairs going up around it. With the gorgeous sculptures and the majestic golden statue, it’s really a perfect place to take a good picture.
Passeig de Born
In the centre of the El Born neighbourhood, you can find Passeig del Born. It’s a long street that stretches from the Santa Maria del Mar church to the market hall. And aside from that, you’ll also be able to find plenty of great bars, restaurants, and stores. Certainly, during the night, this street turns into a popular nightlife hotspot for everyone!
From this street, you can also quickly go to other parts of the neighbourhood. It connects directly with Montacda Street, where you can find the Picasso Museum, the World Culture Museum and many more medieval treasures.
Palau de la Musica Catalana
This building, considered one of the most important modernist architectural landmarks in the city, is really worth a visit. Constructed between 1905 and 1908, this building is really a unique piece of art in the neighbourhood. It was once built to serve as the home of ‘Orfeó Català’, but due to the stunning architecture, it quickly became more than just that.
The most unique feature of this building is the concert hall. During the day, the entire space is beautifully illuminated by its stunning stained glass skylight.
But even nowadays, it’s still one of the best music venues in the city, with regular classical concerts, chamber music, recitals, and various other cultural events.
The Picasso Museum is one of the most visited museums in the city, and rightly so. It’s truly an essential destination for all art enthusiasts and travellers. As expected, the museum is dedicated to the life and work of the Spanish master Pablo Picasso.
The museum collection provides a unique perspective on the artist’s development, with pieces from his earliest beginnings to his final masterpieces. It’s really the best way to immerse yourself in the world of Picasso.
Aside from the well-known museums, you can also find the chocolate museum! This museum will show you the history of chocolate in Europe. They will show the origins of chocolate, how it got to Europe, and much more.
As expected, you will smell chocolate everywhere when walking through the museum. When entering, you will also get a piece of chocolate, which will probably not last long. Certainly, when you are going with kids, you should visit this museum. It will be their favourite for sure!
The European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM) is a beautiful museum in the renovated Palau Gomis. They display exhibitions and more than 1700m2 of great fine arts from the 20th and 21st centuries.
The building is more than 250 years old, combined with more modern art, making it a unique combination. It’s certainly worth a visit; the atmosphere in the building is unique and really makes you enjoy the museum, even if you’re not the biggest fan of modern art.
Eating and drinking
Located in the heart of the neighbourhood, you can find one of the better spots to get some churros. It’s the perfect place to start your morning before you explore the neighbourhood. They don’t only serve churros but also have great coffee and hot chocolate. It’s a family-run business, with very friendly staff, so it is certainly worth visiting.
Cal Pep Restaurant
When you’re in Spain, you also need to have some tapas, of course. At Cal Pep, you’re at a good place for this. When entering, you can sit at the bar or sit in their dining room. They will only need to ask you what you would like to drink, and they will take care of the rest. With more than 70 options made from fresh ingredients, you’ll always be (positively) surprised by what your waiter will bring to your table.
Another tapas restaurant that’s certainly worth visiting is Ziryab. Here, they serve various Mediterranean tapas in an old 16th-century family palace, which really brings you into the medieval vibe you can only find in El Born. Aside from fresh and in-house-made tapas, they also have an extensive selection of wines from all over Catalonia and the rest of the Mediterranean.
In El Born, an array of fantastic bars beckons, and among them shines No Sé. This standout spot is celebrated for its superb cocktails, great tapas, and lively music! Situated along Passeig Del Born, this Italian bar has an unbeatable atmosphere, ensuring that your nights in Barcelona remain etched in memory.