The Boqueria market in Barcelona is a colorful place in the heart of the Catalan capital where you can buy fruits, vegetables, seafood, baked goods and sweets.
São Josép or La Boqueria is a huge market covering an area of 2500 square meters and is one of the most popular attractions in Barcelona. Even in bad weather it is very crowded. By the way, read our tips one when to come to Barcelona.
According to historians, the modern name of the market comes from the Spanish word “boc”, which means “goat” (that is, goat milk was sold on the market).
For the first time, the market is mentioned in the annals in 1217 as agricultural. In 1853, it becomes the main market of the city, and in 1911 – the largest (because it joined the fish department). In 1914, Boqueria acquired its modern look – an iron roof was built, the main entrance was decorated.
The market is surprisingly well-established logistics. Due to the fact that some of the goods quickly deteriorate, and their maximum shelf life is 2 days, shopkeepers regularly resort to the help of emigrants, who are ready to deliver the goods to the right place for little money.
What can I buy in the market
La Boqueria Market is a true gastronomic paradise. Here you can find:
- Seafood – This is the favorite tourist department. Here you can find hundreds of shops with freshly caught oysters, lobsters, shrimps and crab. You can taste the delicacies right on the spot. If your goal is to visit this particular part of the market, then it is better not to come here on Monday, since Sunday catch is always small.
- Fruits and berries – The assortment is huge. Here you can find both traditional fruits for Europe (apples, pears, grapes), as well as exotic fruits brought from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean (dragon fruit, rambutan, mangosteen, etc.). Be sure to try the local greens.
- Meat – The meat department is no less large. It contains jerky, sausages, sausages and ham. In the same part of the market you can buy fresh eggs. Most often, tourists buy here jamon, which is of several types.
- Readymade meals – Especially for tourists in the La Boqueria market in Barcelona, there are shops with ready-made meals. So, you can buy fruit salad, cold cuts, sweet pancakes, smoothies or already cooked seafood. There are also several bars on the market where you can eat. Tourists recommend coming here in the early morning – in silence you can drink delicious coffee and try a freshly baked bun.Dried fruits and nuts, sweets. This part of the Boqueria market is very loved by children. Here you can find hundreds of types of cookies, dozens of cakes and many types of nuts.
- Fresh baked goods are mostly popular with locals who also drop by here.
- Dairy products are hundreds of varieties of cheese, fresh farm milk, cottage cheese.
- Souvenirs – In this part of Boqueria you will find dozens of T-shirts, mugs and pillows with the image of Barcelona, as well as hundreds of magnets and beautiful figurines.
As for prices, then, of course, they are overpriced in comparison with other markets and grocery stores in Barcelona (sometimes even 2 or 3 times higher). But here you can always find exotic types of fruits and buy fresh seafood. Also, if you arrive in the evening when the shops are already closing, there is a high probability that the seller will give you a good discount (this applies only to quickly perishable goods).
It should be borne in mind that vegetables and fruits come to La Boqueria not from warehouses, but directly from the beds and plantations, so it’s unlikely to find tangerines, or, for example, persimmons, in summer.
If you buy some goods in bulk, then there is a high probability that you will be given a discount and a large plastic container. In some cases, they can help you deliver the goods home.
Where is La Boqueria and how to get there
Since the Boqueria market is located on La Rambla, which is considered the main street of Barcelona, it is very easy to get to it. Tip – read our guide to public transport options in Barcelona and whether you should buy the metro card.
- On foot. São Josép is a 6-minute walk from Plaça Catalunya, the Museum of Modern Art, Guell Palace and other popular attractions. Many tourists wander here by accident.
- By Metro. The nearest station is Liceo (200 m), a green branch.
- By bus. Buses No. 14, 59 and 91 stop nearby.
Experienced tourists do not advise taking a taxi or renting a car – there are always big traffic jams in the city center, and you will go even longer than walking.
- Address: La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain.
- Opening hours of the Boqueria market in Barcelona: 8.00 – 20.30 (Sunday – day off).
- Official website – https://www.boqueria.barcelona/home
On the official website of Boqueria, you can find a detailed plan of the market with shops, get acquainted with the events that are planned for the near future, and see a list of goods that can be purchased. Here you can find the exact location of the Boqueria market on a map of Barcelona.
Interestingly, site visitors who have left their email are offered a discount of 10 euros on their first purchase.
Boqueria has accounts in all social networks where they regularly post photos of goods, sellers, dishes from the local bar and other useful information for tourists.
Things to know before visiting La Boqueria
- Come to the Boqueria market in the morning – at 12 noon crowds of tourists are already gathering here. If you arrive early, you can manage to chat with sellers or have a cup of coffee in silence.
- Watch out for your belonging! There are a lot of pickpockets in Barcelona who will not miss the opportunity to grab something else. And in the market it is very easy to do.
- It is most profitable to buy seafood in the evening – a few hours before the end of the work, sellers are more likely to give a discount, because they do not want to take the goods to the warehouse.
- If you don’t even want to buy anything, tourists recommend visiting San Josép for its atmosphere – the audience here is very colorful.
- More than 40% of the products on the market are quickly spoiling, so if you want to bring something from your home, take only the products in a vacuum.
- One of the most interesting edible souvenirs is jamon. This is a dried pork ham, very popular in Spain.
- Despite the abundance of shops and shops, getting lost here is almost impossible.
- Always check change. Often sellers may not specifically give a few cents.
- Do not buy goods in the first store that catches your eye – at the entrance the prices are higher, and if you go deeper into the market, you can find the same product a little cheaper.
- If you arrived by car, you can leave it in a paid parking lot in the western part of the market.
The Boqueria market in Barcelona is one of the most picturesque places in the Catalan capital. A must visit to get a true feeling of Barcelona!