Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by travel blogger Nic Freeman.
Strolling through the bustling La Boqueria Mercat in BarcelonaÂ is aÂ bit like falling downÂ a Spanish rabbit hole into a vibrant, food-filled wonderland: onceÂ there, your senses become saturated and you areÂ led on a journey of delights, adventures, bizarre encounters and cultural quirks.
Also known as Mercat St Josep and The Boqueria Market, this produce-laden labyrinth is tucked just off Barcelonaâ€™s vibrant pedestrian vein, La Ramblas,Â offeringÂ an insight to the joys ofÂ Catalan food, language and culture. With roots dating back to the Middle Ages,Â La Boqueria has a long history of local trade and quality produce that has contributed to the dynamic, interactive and award-winning market that attracts local food experts, Barcelona residents and tourists today.
As you weave along the tightly packed isles youâ€™ll find bright, freshly-cut fruits buried in ice and legs of pork dangling overhead.
Youâ€™ll see wheels of cheese stacked tall, and piles of chocolates, sweets and nutty nougat concoctions that bring out the child in everyone.
There are rows of fish vendors touting their sales with fluid Catalan tongues, and crooked little nannas pulling produce-stacked trolleys through the thick crowd.
I was so delighted with this market that I found myself drawnÂ backÂ three times over the three days I was in Barcelona, seeking out morning coffee, picnic supplies and a evening snack before the late 10pm Spanish dinner sitting.
La Boqueria is part way along La Ramblas in central Barcelona and an easy walking distance from the metro hub, Catalunya. Starting from Catalunya, just walk down La Ramblas, past the tourist stalls, florists and street performers,Â towards the Barceloneta seaside (by graeter).Â Mid way alongÂ La Ramblas,Â you will see the entrance arch to the undercover market on your right side.
The market is live and ready for you to visit between Monday and Saturday, from 8am to 8.30pm. It makes a great first stop along the Barcelona tourist trail, with espresso and vino for â‚¬1.10, picnic and sightseeing-appropriate snacks and plenty of opportunities to practice your Spanish pleases and thank you.