If you are looking to get an apartment in a quiet and safe neighbourhood Barcelona that is centrally located, El Poble-sec, between Avinguda del Paral·lel and Montjuïc, could be your best choice! This neighbourhood doesn’t have any of the city’s main attractions. However, its location allows its inhabitants to get to Montjuïc Mountain, Plaza España, the city centre, L’Eixample and the port of Barcelona in the just a few minutes’ walk. For those of you who enjoy peaceful parks and going for a run every now and then, El Poble-sec is the right neighbourhood. There are plenty of parks and green areas nearby, especially towards Montjuïc, where you can run, read or cycle.
El Poble-sec is known for having lots of tapas bars, hip bodegas and cafés. Since this area escaped from the renovations made to other parts of the city after the demolition of the walls, the streets of El Poble-sec are narrow and less organised than expected. Two of the most popular spots are Plaça del Sortidor and Carrer de Blai, where you can have some of the best tapas and pintxos in Barcelona, at a very reasonable price.
Let’s go to the theatre!
Theatres are a major part of what defines this neighbourhood. Before, it used to be a workers’ area and, being so close to the sea, lots of sailors would drop by. Many theatres built to entertain the population of that time are still running, namely Mercat de les Flors and Teatre Grec. Also, we believe the inimitable El Molino deserves a special mention. This long-running theatre is famous for its striking burlesque shows. If you are ever in the area, you should definitely check it out!
Getting around El Poble-sec
El Poble-sec is just a 10-15 minutes’ walk away from the city centre, Plaza España, the port of Barcelona, L’Eixample and Montjuïc, depending on what part of the neighbourhood you’re in. However, if you would rather use public transport, from metro stations Parallel (L2 and L3) and Poble Sec (L3) you can easily get to Sants Estació (10 minutes), Plaza España (6 minutes) and Plaça Catalunya (10 minutes). The Aerobus to the airport stops at Plaza España and it only takes 25 minutes from there to the airport. Needless to say, this is a very convenient neighbourhood if you plan on travelling and doing tourism around the city without having to be surrounded by tourists all the time.
As it is away from the busy touristic centre of Barcelona, rental rates in El Poble-sec are quite affordable. A single bedroom in a shared room will usually go for around 300€. A double bedroom is often closer to the 400€ range, though.
Fact sheet: El Poble-sec
One place to eat: Quimet i Quimet. This place has the best tapas in Barcelona! They combine the most delicious flavours from all sorts of local ingredients to create these unparalleled tapas. They are all 2-4 euros, even the ones with caviar! You will not be disappointed!
Address: Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25
One place to drink: La Tasqueta de Blai. This local bar has pintxos for 1€, which is really cheap, yet they are so good! Drinks are also reasonably priced. I’d say it is the perfect bar to get a real Spanish experience, have a cold beer and eat a few pintxos before you head to a restaurant or go around the bars like a true Spaniard!
Address: Carrer de Blai, 17
One place to study: Library and archive of the MNAC (Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya). Library Joaquim Folch i Torres is inside the National Palace of Montjuïc, home to one of the best art museums in Barcelona. It is available to everyone over 18, but you might be asked for your ID or Passport at the entrance. It offers a chance to visit the inside of the palace. They provide free Wi-Fi, but you might need to bring your own laptop, because they don’t have too many available.
Address: Palau Nacional, Parc de Montjuïc, s/n
One place to see: Parc del Mirador del Poble-sec. This park combines modern structures with nature and provides their visitors with an oasis of peace inside a vibrant city, along with views over the harbour and the statue of Colón.
Address: Passeig de Montjuïc, 28
One thing to do: Party on Mondays and Tuesdays! Sala Apolo is one of the most famous clubs in town, both for locals and foreigners. The craziest nights are on Mondays and Tuesdays (they are actually called Nasty Mondays and Crappy Tuesdays!). The dress code is mostly casual or informal, since most people hit Apolo unexpectedly once they’ve had a few drinks with their friends after class.
Address: Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 113
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