Barcelona´s authentic district “Vila de Gracia” & the Street Festival “Fiesta Mayor de Gràcia”!
About “Vila de Gracia”
If you want to party like a local and visit the most authentic squares, bars and cafés of the city, then you should not miss to explore the charming neighbourhood of Barcelona, called “Vila de Gràcia”.
The name “Gràcia” comes from a convent called “Nostra Senyora de Gràcia (Our Lady of Grace). Vila de Gràcia was until the very late 19th century a separate village from Barcelona connected with the city center only by the “Passeig de Gràcia”, what means “the passage to Gràcia”.
The district has maintained it´s village character extremely well and it is a very popular residential area for locals as well as foreigners. Year by year it transformed into one of the most multicultural and vibrant places you could explore during your stay in Barcelona.
Where to go?
Check out the city plan, where I have outlined a nice walking tour that will lead you through the most famous streets and squares of the barrio.
Each year in August over half a million visitors come to Gracia to discover the outstanding decorated streets and squares of the Street Festival called:
The “Fiesta Mayor de Gracia”
The topics for the decorations change each year and the streets compete between each other to win the prize of being the best decorated street or square of the Festival. The decorations are all hand made by the residents who dedicate a lot of energy, passion and time to show the best attraction of the year.
Usually the narrow streets are getting pretty soon very crowded and it requires patience to cross the decorated streets. This colourful party never ends for more or less 5 days and sometimes it is not easy to handle this big amount of visitors for the residents. So please be aware to respect the neighbourhood, try to keep quiet in the later hours and please be very careful not to destroy any of the decorations.
There are plenty of places where you can find excellent food and drinks during the daytime. Throughout the week of the festival there are taking place a lot of concerts and activities for families including competitions, workshops and shows.
Don’t miss to check out the official website for further details of the programme when you plan to come next year in August to BCN: http://www.festamajordegracia.cat/ Unfortunately the site is not available in English, so maybe you will need good old Google Translator to help a bit.
So, if you will be in town next year. Don´t miss to visit “La fiesta mayor de Gracia 2016”!
How to get there?
To get to Gràcia you can take the green line (L3) of the metro and get of the station Fontana. Leaving the Metro station you will find yourself already in the heart of the district.
But you can also stroll up the Paseo de Gracia, that brings you directly to the Avenue called “Gran de Gracia”. Just keep on walking upwards and don´t forget to discover the incredible modernist architecture of this street!
Food Lover´s recommendations for eating & drinking in Gracia:
La biblioteca (Restaurant focus cheese and wine): Carrer de Vallfogona, 12, 08012 Barcelona
Lo pinyol (old vermut and tapas bar “very busy”): Carrer del Torrent de l’Olla, 3
Quinoa (Veggy Restaurante): Travessera de Gràcia, 203
Bar Virreina (simple bar with terrasse): Plaça de la Virreina, 1 (midday drink/snack : nice square)
La pubilla (nice meals in front of the market of La Libertat): Plaça de la Llibertat, 23