Between Goat Eyes and Fresh Strawberries: Why Visiting La Boqueria Market in Barcelona is a MUST!

Fruits, and clams and hams, oh my! Why Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria must be on your Barcelona trip itinerary!

La Boqueria… what?

The moment you begin your visit in Barcelona, you start planning your next visit. Barcelona has so much to offer! There is no way even a whole week of site seeing could cover all the interesting spots. So what could be done when you have only a day or two? How can you choose which more-or-less famous places to visit? There is of course the Gothic Quarter and there are Gaudi’s works of architectural genius… but there are so many others.

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

I loved seeing the famous Sagrada Familia (it is not overrated, it truly is a masterpiece), ancient buildings and more quiet but fascinating streets of Gràcia… But the place that surprised me the most with its vibrant personality and loud presence was… a food market. Doesn’t sound all that grandiose, huh? I would say that this market should be on your itinerary even if you are vising Barcelona for just one or two days.

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

An unusual tourist hot-spot: a food market!

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, or just La Boqueria for short, is simply a public food market. You will find it by the very famous La Rambla street, which is in itself a tourist attraction. It is located pretty close to the Liceu, Barcelona’s opera house (and the nearest metro station!).

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

Hundreds of years of La Boqueria’s history

History of this market reaches 13th century when there were first market held in that spot. Some suggest, that the current name of La Boqueria comes from the Catalan word boc meaning “goat”, for goat meat was sold at that place.

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

For many years the market was simply an open-air unofficial spot for fishmongers,
butchers and farmers to come and sell their goods in front of one of the city gates. It was only in the 19th c. that the metal structure for the market was constructed, while the current roof comes from the beginning of the 20th c.

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

La Boqueria today

With time La Boqueria has continued to change – the improvements were related to sanitary issues as well as decorative. Its colorful, loud and vibrant presence became a strong part of Barcelona’s life – and a must site to visit for tourists. No one can walk by and be not moved by the orgy of colors, smells and sounds.

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

La Boqueria: between goat’s eyes and fresh strawberries

Wherever you turn something screams for your attention. You can find every kind of food there: fruits and vegetables artistically presented to the passers-by, ready to eat cocktails and fruit salads, every kind of sea food, meat and offal possible, herbs, delicatessen and nuts, pastries and breads, the famous hams and chorizo, wine and ice cream… There are even restaurants there! 

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

Have your camera ready!

When I walked between the various stalls my eyes were moving fast from one image to the other. Fish eyes to huge knives in fishmonger’s hands, juicy red fruits to sea food of unknown to me name (was it even edible?), huge hams, beef stomachs and eggs, cheeses, sweets and broccoli and … thousands of other things. 

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

The best time to visit Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria is in the morning. Plan you visit to just look around or buy for yourself fresh fruit juice, snacks or drop by for a quick and unique lunch. Just make sure you don’t forget your camera! 

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

Have you been to Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria? What were your impressions? Would you love to go? Let me know below!

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

 

Why La Boqueria Market will be the most colorful and surprising place on your Barcelona travel itinerary! awomanafoot.com

 

8 Comment

  1. Lisa says: Reply

    I actually wanted to go today, but somehow I didn’t realize that all shuts down at 5 pm (I went there by 5:30, as some restaurants should be open until at least 7 or 9 according to google maps 🙁 ) – but I will go again tomorrow 😀
    Lisa recently posted…Video: Day Trip Pompeii in Winter SeasonMy Profile

    1. That’s so cool that you are going there tomorrow! I’m surprised at the closing time… I can’t remember what time it was the first time I went there, but definitely later in the afternoon… but it was during the weekend, maybe that’s why?
      Anyway – have a great walk around feeding your senses!

  2. I also loved La Boqueria in Barcelona when we were there last spring. If you like, check out http://somefavouritethings.blogspot.ca/2016/08/spain-impressions-of-mercado-de-la.html?m=0
    Jean Heys recently posted…April the GiraffeMy Profile

    1. I love your photos! So many more than I did 😀 I love the fish trying to escape 😉 And I didn’t see any marzipan-made fruits when I was there – a clear sign I got to go back! 🙂
      A Woman Afoot recently posted…Wandering in Gràcia: Discover Barcelona Beyond the Gothic Quarter and Sagrada Familia.My Profile

      1. Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I took that trip last spring with my husband to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We also enjoyed a river cruise in the south of France (OMG! It’s so beautiful!)

        If you’re interested you could also check out my WHW posts from 2013. I did a bunch of pre-posts, just to prepare my family (and myself) and then after I got home, I posted each day of the walk. Just do a search for West Highland Way on my blog: http://somefavouritethings.blogspot.ca/

        If I were younger I’d be inspired to do what you do – camping etc. but now that I’m in my 70’s I opt for creature comforts of a B&B/country inn. It’s also good to carry only what I need for the day, which can still seem heavy.

        I really enjoy your very expert photos. Mine are iPhone but wonderful for me to look back on. In 7 weeks (!!!!) I’m starting off on a walk along Hadrian’s Wall (the shorter way to go coast-to-coast), this time walking with my niece who is also really looking forward to the experience. My previous walks have been solo, so this will be a bit different but I’m looking forward to having someone tell me when I’m going the wrong way 😉 and to share meals with. We are ending our trip with a 4-day stopover in Iceland on the way home to USA (her) and Canada (me)
        Cheers!!
        Jean Heys recently posted…Dragon Springs RoadMy Profile

        1. When I was in Spain recently I had a lot of hostal (kind of B&B) in between camping… it was nice to have proper bed, so I totally understand! I will camp as long as I still can and enjoy it, but will switch to more comfortable accommodations when I get older as well.
          The walk along Hadrian’s Wall is awesome! I haven’t done it, but have seen photos and reports an am considering doing it one day. I hope you have a wonderful time! (And I’m jealous for the Island stopover- it will be wonderful, I’m sure!)

  3. Andrew says: Reply

    I love the colours, smells and life of these sorts of markets. The food looks delicious (with the possible exception of those goat’s eyes)! Thanks for sharing! We’ll be sure to check it out if we visit Barcelona.

    1. Yes, I also love them! It’s a great way to get to know local specialties… I had no idea what many of the things were as we don’t have much of sea food in Poland! It’s a true feast for all senses 🙂

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