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Walking Tour in L’Eixample

As the birthplace of Catalan Modernism, the Eixample district has a lot to offer architecturally. From the world-famous Sagrada Família and Casa Milà to lesser-known gems like Casa de les Punxes or the bullfighting arena La Monumental, a walk through l’Eixample feels like stepping into an open-air museum: at every corner, a beautiful and unique building might surprise you. Eixample is also rich in trendy shops, hip cafes, and restaurants worthy of a chef’s talents. In short, it’s a district you must see! With my Eixample walking tour, I’ll take you through the most beautiful spots and hotspots of Eixample and show you the exciting things lurking beyond the well-known tourist attractions.

My Walking Tour in l’Eixample

The first thing to know about the Eixample district is that, unlike the old center of Barcelona, it only emerged in the late 19th century after Barcelona tore down its medieval city walls. Hence its name “eixample,” meaning expansion.

L’Eixample was born from the plans of Ildefons Cerdà and is a fine example of planned urban development, with a chessboard pattern of straight and wide streets. As it developed during the height of Catalan Modernism, Eixample houses the most modernist buildings per square meter.

I think it’s interesting to start this walking tour in l’Eixample at the first building that stood in the then-new Eixample, La Carboneria (1), at the intersection of Carrer Urgell and Carrer Floridablanca. This building, actually called Casa Tarragó, was a squat for a long time and was happily sprayed by street art artists. The new owner of La Carboneria, of course, has something quite different in mind, so the days of La Carboneria as we know it, with its unique mural, are sadly numbered.

Then walk along Carrer Comte d’Urgell until you reach the fresh market Mercat de Sant Antoni (2). Barcelona’s largest market hall has recently undergone a major renovation and now shines anew. If you’re there on a Sunday, you’ll encounter the Sunday flea market where collectors sell books, vinyl, and other items.

Mercat de Sant Antoni - Wandelroute in Eixample Barcelona
Mercat de Sant Antoni

After that, we arrive in Sant Antoni, the hipster paradise of Barcelona. Turn right at Carrer del Parlament (3) to reach one of Barcelona’s foodie streets. Here, you’ll find many trendy eateries that are not yet overrun by tourists but are very popular among locals. Grab a coffee at the cozy Café Cometa (4) or opt for the healthy breakfasts and juices from The Juice House (5).

Via Carrer de Calàbria, we reach the busy Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, where we find Casa Golferichs (6) and then the university building of the UB (7). The latter, in particular, deserves your attention, as inside there’s a beautiful garden and a series of galleries worth exploring. The university library is also worth a visit, though you’ll need to be quiet there. From the back of the UB, we reach the pedestrian street Carrer d’Enric Granados (8), a beautiful promenade with plenty of cozy terraces and bars to grab a bite. The spot of Brunch & Cake (9) is particularly popular.

Universiteitsgebouw van de UB - Wandelroute in Eixample Barcelona
Universiteitsgebouw van de UB

At Carrer d’Aragó, we turn right to first reach Rambla de Catalunya (10), another beautiful promenade to walk along with numerous shops, bars, and terraces, and then Passeig de Gràcia (11).

To your right, you’ll soon spot a crowd looking up and taking photos. Good news, because you’re now in front of one of Gaudí’s most beautiful and colorful buildings, Casa Batlló (12). Next to it shines Casa Amatller (13) by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, although Casa Batlló often attracts most of the tourists’ attention. This rivalry isn’t without reason: the owners of these houses aspired to have the most beautiful home, sparing no expense to achieve this goal. This area is commonly known as the Illa de la Discòrdia, or the Block of Discord.

After taking the necessary photos and possibly peeking inside the café of Casa Amatller, where they sell the Amatller chocolate brand, we can stroll along Passeig de Gràcia, amidst all the high-end fashion houses. Also, pay attention to the modernist benches and lampposts by Pere Falqués and Gaudí’s unique sidewalk tiles, found only here!

At Carrer de Provença, we encounter the next real attraction, the peculiar Casa Milà (14) by Gaudí. Also known as La Pedrera, the stone quarry, its name becomes clear once you see the exterior of the building. Notice all the details: from the iron balconies and small windows on the attic floor to the chimneys on the roof. Whether you find it beautiful or not, it’s certainly unique!

Next, we follow Passeig de Gràcia to the top to arrive at Jardins del Palau Robert (15). These peaceful gardens are a fine example of how the bourgeoisie of late 19th-century Barcelona lived; those who had their palaces or houses in the new Eixample built by the best architects. The adjacent Palau Robert now houses the Catalan Tourist Office and regularly hosts events and exhibitions.

Cross the busy Avinguda Diagonal to reach the next undiscovered gem, Casa Comalat (16). An amazing building by architect Salvador Valeri i Pupurull, clearly influenced by Gaudí. This original building has two different facades, one of which stands out: the one on the corner of Carrer de Còrsega and Pau Clarís.

Then walk along the middle lane of Avinguda Diagonal to the next modernist treasures: on your right, the Palau Baró de Quadras (17), and on the left, Casa Terrades (18) (also known as Casa de les Punxes because of its pointed towers), both by the same architect, Josep Puig i Cadafalch.

By now, you’re probably hungry from all the sightseeing, so grab lunch at the organic (and kid-friendly) restaurant Sopa Provença (19) or lounge on the hammocks of the trendy Hammock Juice Station (20). Then take a look at the beautiful Farmàcia Puigoriol (21), which, like other pharmacies and shops in Barcelona, is completely outfitted in Modernista style.

Casa Terrades - Wandelroute in Eixample Barcelona
Casa Terrades (Casa de les Punxes)

Following our Eixample walking tour, we head to Passeig de Sant Joan, but not before glancing at the large owl (22) overseeing passersby at Plaça de Mossèn Jacint Verdaguer; an old advertisement that has become a true symbol. If you just enjoyed the other two buildings by Puig i Cadafalch, you should definitely take a look at Palau Macaya (23). This hidden gem now serves as a cultural center, and there’s no entrance fee to pop in and take a look. Highly recommended!

Not far from here lies Barcelona’s most famous landmark, the Sagrada Família (24). Gaudí’s masterpiece is still under construction and is expected to be completed in 2026. Nevertheless, it’s definitely worth buying tickets for the Sagrada Família, as visiting the inside of the basilica is as exciting (or perhaps even more so!) as its exterior. Around the Sagrada Família are two beautifully landscaped gardens from which you can take stunning photos before continuing with the tour.

We now take the beautiful promenade of Avinguda de Gaudí (25) towards the modernist hospital of Sant Pau. Along the way, you’ll find plenty of cozy terraces for a bite to eat. For a tasty snack, I recommend Forn de Pa at Cafetería Puiggròs (26). Be sure to notice the five monumental lampposts by Pere Falqués en route. At the end of Avinguda de Gaudí, you’ll see the beautiful modernist hospital complex of Hospital de Sant Pau (27) emerging. This gem of Catalan Modernism, designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, is just a stone’s throw from the Sagrada Família, yet not many tourists venture this way. With an entrance ticket, you can explore the impressive Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau.

Via Carrer del Dos de Maig, we reach our next stop: the factory of La Bohemia (28), where the Damm brewery used to operate and now houses its headquarters and museum. Hidden in a small park opposite the former factory, in the Jardins de Montserrat Roig (29), you can admire an old beer tank up close. This is one of many city gardens found in the courtyards of the Eixample district: small oases of tranquility for local residents and a bit of greenery in the densely populated Eixample.

La Bohemia - Wandelroute in Eixample Barcelona
La Bohemia

Wandering through Carrer de Cartagena and then Carrer de la Marina, we arrive at Plaça de Pablo Neruda, where a unique mural (30) on the facade of a building catches your eye. It depicts major characters from Barcelona’s recent history as if they all lived in the same building. Notables such as the discoverer of America, Christopher Columbus; artists Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso; writers like Jacint Verdaguer, Àngel Guimerà, and Mercè Rodoreda; architect Antoni Gaudí; and the planner of the Eixample himself, Ildelfons Cerdà. Those familiar with Barcelona’s (and Catalonia’s) history will find this mural fascinating. Across from it, we encounter another notable school building, that of Escola Ramon Llull (31). A bilingual building by Goday, beautifully decorated with sgrafitto.

It’s a short walk through Carrer de la Marina until you encounter the former bullfighting arena, La Monumental (32). A magnificent arena in Neo-Moorish style which, although no longer used for corridas, still stands proudly and is definitely worth a visit.

La Monumental - Wandelroute in Eixample Barcelona
La Monumental

Via Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, we return to Passeig de Sant Joan. If you pay close attention to the ground, you’ll quickly notice a mosaic of different types of sidewalk tiles in this corner. At this intersection, you’ll find numerous varieties of panots (33) (the name of the most common sidewalk tiles in Barcelona). These were made for the then-new Eixample district, and the idea was that each owner would tile their own piece of sidewalk, which ultimately led to a mishmash of designs. In the middle of the roundabout is Plaça de Tetuan (34), a green oasis adorned with a 12-meter high modernist sculpture by Josep Llimona. Another building that might catch your eye is the Asil de les Germanetes dels Pobres (35), a religious complex for nuns by architect Jeroni Granell i Barrera.

Our next stop, which you should definitely peek into, is the small and mysterious Biblioteca Arús (36), hiding a mini replica of the Statue of Liberty. As we continue our walk along Passeig de Sant Joan (37), the Arc de Triomf will soon come into view. But first, look up to admire the stunning roof of Casa Estapé (38) (also known as Casa Enric Laplana) by architect Bernardí Martorell i Rius. In my opinion, it’s one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. The Arc de Triomf (39) at the end of Passeig de Sant Joan marks the end of our walking tour through Eixample. Stop by Casa Rafols (40) at the bar for some delicious tapas and wines, and finish this walk with a full (and satisfied) stomach.

Passeig de Sant Joan - Wandelroute in Eixample Barcelona
Passeig de Sant Joan

Map of L’Eixample Walking Route

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Photo of author
Hello! My name is Marta, and I am a born and raised Barcelonian. I love introducing people to Barcelona, especially the Barcelona known to locals. In Barcelona, I am always looking for fun places and tips that I can then share with you, with the goal of helping you experience Barcelona like a local.

Marta Rubio

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