El Raval

El Raval craftily mixes edgy attractions with cultural institutions.

If the Gothic Quarter is Barcelona’s tourist star, El Raval is the slightly shadowy figure on the sidelines. The neighborhood's edgy mix of art, attitude, and street life attracts cosmopolitan crowds. Once famous for its debauched nightlife scene, El Raval is gradually being converted into a cultural hub as its cabaret houses transform into forward-thinking museums. El Raval's character is constantly defined and redefined by the people who call it home, and its locals celebrate their neighborhood's against-the-grain nature. When you're in El Raval, revel as its inhabitants do.

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On the Map

El Raval is within Ciutat Vella and bordered by El Gòtic, El Poble-sec, Sant Antoni, La Nova Esquerra de l'Eixample, La Barceloneta, Dreta de l'Eixample, Eixample, and Sants-Montjuïc

El Prat Airport: 20 minutes by car without traffic or 50 minutes by public transit
Sants Station: 20 minutes by public transit
Plaça Catalunya: 10 minutes by public transit
Sagrada Família: 15 minutes by public transit

  • Public transit is Easy
  • Having a car is Difficult

Celebrated Multiculturalism In the Center of the City

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Locals describe their neighborhood as multicultural, multifarious, and multifaceted. El Raval, they say, feels a little bit messy and a little bit mischevious.

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That's exactly why they like it.

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El Raval's eccentric eclecticism means everything happens spontaneously.

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The neighborhood's unpredictability enhances its intriguing edginess.

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Despite its ever-present tourist traffic, El Raval still holds secret treasures.

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Ask a local and they'll most likely lead the way.

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Green spaces course through the neighborhoods architecture schools, apartment buildings, and art museums.

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Famous modernist architect Antoni Gaudí died in El Raval in 1926.

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His carefully crafting eye lives on in the lines of the neighborhood's structures.

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More than twenty languages are spoken in El Raval.

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When in the neighborhood, you won't escape the influences of its many cultures.

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You won't want to.

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Olá. Hello. Ciao. Azul. Kaixo. Hola. Adiu. Ba jaam nga.

See and Be Seen: La Rambla del Raval

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In Barcelona, every neighborhood has its own main street, its own rambla. El Raval's La Rambla has become a focal point for meeting, eating, and enjoying the life of the street for more than its locals.

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Barcelonans from around the city come to La Rambla del Raval.

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Hip kids, cafe dwellers, drink swiggers, tourists, stragglers, squatters, street artists, and souvenir stands squeeze into El Raval's congested main corridor.

Raval is easily one of the most interesting neighborhoods in Barcelona and is home to so many different cultures and people. Its winding streets keep the most experienced traveler excited, and its mixture of people, places, and monuments never fail to surprise!"

A Tourist Attraction with Local Flavor

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In an alley alongside La Rambla, tourists and locals gather together at La Boqueria.

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The blocks-long indoor mall claims a top spot among the world's best marketplaces.

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World-renowned chefs, culinary aficionados, specialty ingredient seekers, and everyday food lovers share counter space as they sample some of Spain's most intriguing flavors.

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Our neighborhood is always very busy and full of life and you'll find everything you need like supermarkets, restaurants, banks, bike rental, etc."

El Raval: Barcelona's Best Place to Skate

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Barcelona is a skateboarder's best friend, and El Raval serves as its skaters' unofficial headquarters.

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Slick rails and concrete edges, ledges, and stairs contribute to the neighborhood's "best place to skate" reputation.

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Hundreds of decks, trucks, and wheels congregate to skate the steps at Barcelona's Museum of Contemporary Art, MacBa.

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MacBa's outdoor environs provide the perfect platform to witness some of the city's most progressive skating.

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When the sidewalks are this wide, how could you resist the temptation to skate?

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In Barcelona, the temptation is embraced.

Evening Revelry In El Raval

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El Raval remains as busy at night as it is during the day.

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The neighborhood isn't known for its vibrant club scene. Instead, El Raval is celebrated for its laid-back evening attitude.

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Locals often use Botero's Raval's Cat statue as a gathering place before the evening begins.

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Outdoor gatherings are as common as indoor bar scenes in El Raval.

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Whether you choose indoor spaces or outdoor environments, most reconvene in El Raval's alleyways to share drinks in the street after the bars close.

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Bona nit.

Photography

Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Susana Lopez

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Susana Lopez is a freelance photographer currently based in Barcelona. She travels wherever an interesting project takes her. Design and music are two of the corner stones of her life and she admits to feeling slightly frustrated that she didn’t become a rockstar. Photographing Barcelona for Neighborhoods made her fall in love with this amazing city all over again.

Lindsay Murphy

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Lindsay Murphy is a freelance photographer from Boston, Massachusetts. Her work mainly focuses on architecture, children, weddings, food and wine. As a new Barcelona resident, photographing Barcelona for Airbnb was the perfect way for her to quickly establish an intimate relationship with the city. She is currently photographing her way around Spain.

Filippo Poli

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Filippo Poli specializes in architecture and landscape photography. He collaborates with architecture offices in Spain and Italy, and is regularly published in the leading international architecture magazines. Shooting for Airbnb was a good excuse for him to take a critical tour of Barcelona's cityscape and its most representative neighborhoods. He hopes the photos will help travelers to begin their journey.