El Born district is the trendiest area in Barcelona where you can find local independent designer boutiques, small art galleries, restaurants with personality, cocktail bars, museums, etc. It’s the perfect area to get lost in due to its many small streets, where there are always secret spots waiting to be discovered.
You can start from Via Laietana (Jaume I Metro station) entering to Argenteria Street until Passeig del Born, where you will find two cultural spots worth seeing: Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar and Mercat del Born, the old El Born market that is now the CCM (the Cultural and Memorial Centre), where an archaeological site was discovered. Close by, you can also visit the Picasso Museum.
Two of my favourite streets in El Born is Carrer dels Carders and Plaça de la Llana, where there are many cute designer shops, art galleries, restaurants and bars like Alsur Café, Grasshopper Ramen Bar, Tapas La Bona Sort, Mosquito, and Picnic Restaurant.
For lunch or dinner in the area, I would highlight two places that you will not regret: Artesans, a minimalist-style Mediterranean tapas restaurant that serves craft beers, with stone walls that remind me of a wine cellar. The food is tasty, well-executed and the portions are generous.
On weekdays, they offer an executive lunch menu at 10€. At night, an à la carte dinner can cost around 25-30€, which includes main/starter, second course, dessert and drink – which is a really good deal keeping in mind the quality of their dishes.
The other one is Oaxaca, a fancy Mexican restaurant with amazing gourmet food and excellent craft cocktails. It’s pricey, but worth it.
Also worth mentioning are El Xampanyet and La Xampanyeria, which are legendary low key bars perfect for trying out tapas with their Xampany wine.
Passeig del Born is very alive at night and an area full of chic bars like Savage, which downstairs is an edgy underground dancefloor with great DJ sessions. But if you just want drinks, you can head to La Fianna, Guzzo, Creps del Born or Mamaine.
Carrer de la Volta dels Tamborets is just one example of the many tiny narrow streets you will discover while wandering around El Born. Here, you can find artisan shops, independent fashion designers, small restaurants and more!
Mamainé offers a wide selection of Mojitos and other cocktails. They serve them with complimentary bowls of popcorn.
Mercat del Born used to be the area’s market and is now the CCM. Entry is free!
Paseo del Born is the main area of El Born district with plenty of lively bars at night.
Santa Maria del Mar Cathedral is the most popular monument in El Born. I recommend stopping by to admire its interior.