Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Vila de Gràcia: Barcelona's Best Kept Secret


Tucked away just north of the city center lies Vila de Gràcia, Barcelona's very own hidden village. While technically Gràcia was swallowed up into Barcelona's city limits in 1897, it still retains its intimate small town charm.


Just beyond the sprawling Eixample, the village of Gràcia is an ideal escape from the chaos of the big city. With its quiet streets and understated charm, Gràcia feels like a completely different world compared to the bustling metropolis that encompasses it.

This picturesque village hidden within Barcelona has succeeded in preserving its identity amidst the city's growth and popularity. Gràcia's shops, markets and plazas retain a traditional neighborhood vibe, while its unique celebrations are still widely revered. Every August Gràcia celebrates its Festa Major festival, where locals decorate the streets and convert the neighborhood into a colorful frenzy of food, drink and music. A classic paradigm of Catalan culture, Gràcia continues to stay true to its small town roots.


By stepping aside from the mainstream culture of Catalunya's capital, Gràcia has developed a notably Bohemian vibe. Between the born-and-raised Gràcia locals, classic and antiquated bodegas, up-and-coming restaurants and hip cafés, Gràcia exhibits an intriguing juxtaposition between trendy and traditional.


Amongst the art galleries, boutiques and architectural gems, Gràcia also boasts several picturesque plazas to soak up the village's captivating ambiance. Plaça de Sol, Plaça de la Virreina and Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia are all idyllic places to grab a café con leche and relax the sun. Not only is the people watching in Gràcia unparalleled, but the neighborhood's vibrant colors also add a welcomed contrast to Barcelona's blended earthy tones.


While I was absolutely enthralled by everything this lively neighborhood had to offer, my favorite part was undoubtedly eating my way through Gràcia with Devour Barcelona - a must for any foodie curious about Catalan cuisine!


Have you ever fallen in love with a small neighborhood 
hidden within a bustling city?

32 comments:

  1. I'm going to Barcelona this weekend! I'm going to try and fit this village into my busy two days.. Already have quite a few things on my 'to-see' list!

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  2. Love that little photo of the calçots! Super Catalan :)

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  3. You always take the prettiest photos! Love how adorable this neighbourhood is, I'll have to check it out next time I'm there.

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  4. Oh, I love dreading this! I am from Barcelona and you have just nailed it. Gracia, village of bohemian and colors, of life, elderly and youth. It is always nice to walk around there! Have a nice day,
    Vera

    The Flash Window | Bloglovin

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  5. Oh how beautiful! The coloured houses are to die for! What a lovely place to wander and take in all the sights and smells :)

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  6. It was certainly the perfect place to do just that! It all makes me so nostalgic. I just want to go back there already!

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  7. Hooray, I'm so glad to have a Barcelona native's stamp of approval! :)

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  8. Gracias Estrella! Gràcia should definitely be at the top of your list for next time you're in BCN :) (Along with the food tour there... which was SO YUMMY!!!)

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  9. Right! I really wanted to try some, but they're usually served with Romesco sauce - which sadly has bread in it :( At least they were pretty to photograph! (And thankfully I still got to eat a lot of delicious Catalan dishes while I was there!)

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  10. Lucky you! I hope you have an amazing trip! Definitely try to squeeze it in if you can. I highly recommend going to L'Anxoveta right in the heart of Gràcia for some seriously delicious tapas and traditional Catalan dishes :)

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  11. The second photo down - that tall white house! Yes I could live there!

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  12. One of my friends is from this neighborhood in Barcelona and absolutely raves about it. I'm only sorry I didn't hear about it until after I visited. Oh well, I guess that means I'll just have to return -- not a problem :)

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  13. Oh Barcelona... such a fantastic place!

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  14. The colors are simply stunning. I would pretty much give anything to live in a house with pink shutters!!

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  15. You always share such hidden gems!! I absolutely adore all these photos and this looks like such an amazing place! I can't wait to go back to Spain and see everything you share! :)

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  16. I LOVE finding gorgeous spots like this in Europe, where tradition is preserved!

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  17. Beautiful pics Courtney!!! Absolutely love this post!

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  18. Oh man! I've been living just outside of Barcelona now for 6 months and I haven't been to Gracia yet - I really, really must go! It looks awesome.

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  19. I could definitely be convinced as well! :)

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  20. It was too beautiful to handle. I could have wandered around for days!

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  21. Exactly - there will always be an excuse to return to Barcelona!! And Gràcia is a pretty good one :)

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  22. Thank you Gina! That makes me so happy to hear :) This country is definitely addicting... I hope you find your way back soon!

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  23. Exactly! It makes it feel all the more authentic and magical.

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  24. Gracias!! And thanks for introducing me to this lively neighborhood! After the tour, I spent hours just wandering around and soaking it all in :)

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  25. Yes, you should definitely make a day of it! It's such a lively and charming place. By far my favorite spot in Barcelona :)

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  26. Beautiful photographs! We stayed in an apartment in Gracia last year and it was such a great location... love the neighbourhood :)

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  27. So I'm booking a flight there right away and then buying a flat there and never leaving!! :)

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  28. I have found your blog at the most perfect time! I'm heading to Barcelona next month & am definitely going to have to spend some time in this beautiful gem of a neighbourhood!

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