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The hidden treasures of Sant Pere/Santa Caterina

Spotlight on Barcelona

Wander through the maze of medieval streets and explore lovely vintage shops and authentic tapas bars. Discover the best of Barcelona in Sant Pere/Santa Caterina.

Explore the area
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Officially, the area is called Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera. Quite a mouthful, but then again this part of Barcelona encompasses three neighbourhoods that cover a large part of the old city. Locals also refer to the area as El Born, although that only includes a small section of the region. We honed in on this area of Barcelona and selected a host of fun hotspots.

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Aire de Barcalona

Bubble bath below street level

Aire de Barcelona lies far below the ancient cobbles of the city. Housed in a former meat warehouse of the old El Born market, this spa has been mostly preserved in its original state. Relax in the bubble baths, steam booths and hammam, and enjoy the ambiance of 1001 Arabian Nights.

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Parc Ciutadella

Unwind in the park

Parc de la Ciutadella, a green oasis for the locals of Sant Pere/Santa Caterina, is the largest park in Barcelona. You can easily spend a day exploring the romantic gardens, waterfalls, the zoo and several museums. The park underwent a huge makeover in 1888 when Barcelona hosted the World Exhibit. In the span of just a few years, the former citadel was transformed into a fabulous city park. Antoni Gaudí also left his mark on this part of the city: he helped create the beautiful Font de la Cascada. Decorated with winged horses and serpent tails, this enormous fountain is a masterpiece that is definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in the park.

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Designer shop

Colmado means ‘full of things’ and that is a very accurate description of this shop packed with designer items. Owner Susana Rey selects her museum-like collection based on quality and originality and everything she sells is made by small designers. So whether you buy a hat, shoes, a trendy bag or jewellery, you are guaranteed to own an original souvenir. 

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The shop for wine lovers

Vila Viniteca

Vila Viniteca is one of Spain’s most famous wine distributors and well-known all over Europe. The shop along the charming Carrer dels Agullers was founded in 1932 and used to supply local restaurants. Now it is stocked with hundreds of wines and a large selection of cheese and Ibérico ham. Sit down and enjoy your purchase at one of the few tables in the shop and wash it down with a glass of delicious (Catalan) wine. 

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Bar Pasajes

Beers and tapas off the beaten track

It’s easy to miss Bar Pasajes. Tucked away in a covered alleyway somewhere in between Carrer de Trafalgar and Carrer de Sant Pere Més Alt, this tapas and drinks bar is one of Barcelona’s best-kept secrets. The location used to house a kiosk. The structure has remained, but the interior has been replaced with tables and chairs. Bar Pasajes is one of the best spots to grab some ‘canyes’ (draught beers), but the tapas dishes are also finger-licking good. 

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Mercat de Santa Caterina

A trip to the market

The Mercat de Santa Caterina is as intriguing inside as it is from the outside. Founded in 1846, the market was completely renovated and modernised in 2005. The big attraction is the roof: an undulating artwork composed of 325,000 pieces of mosaic in 67 different hues, inspired by the colours of fruit and vegetables. And you will find those in abundance here. In addition to delicious regional specialities such as Ibérico ham, wines and local cheeses, the restaurant Cuines Santa Caterina serves outstanding food, but do arrive early because this popular venue is always packed. Tip: the nearby cathedral of Barcelona offers a magnificent view of the market’s unique roof.

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Chocolate museum

Barcelona’s sweetest museum

An entire museum dedicated to chocolate: the Museu de la Xocolata is a chocoholic’s heaven. In addition to informative exhibits on the origins and the nutritional value of chocolate, the museum also boasts a large collection of chocolate figurines. The pièce de résistance is a chocolate replica of Michelangelo’s Pietà, which is more than 30 years old. Visitors can also create their own projects: the museum organises various workshops, such as making chocolate lollies and truffles.


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