City of tapas, architecture and football


General Information

The Eixample is one of the most well-known districts of Barcelona. The meaning of the name is ‘expansion’ in Catalan and it comes from the fact that the area was constructed in the 19th century when Barcelona began to grow and extend significantly.

The Eixample neighborhood is unique and famous due to the many modernist style buildings found here, but also because it is the one of the most important shopping areas of Barcelona. Passeig de Gràcia, which is the main shopping and business street of the district, is home to many world-famous fashion brand stores such as Zara, H&M or Gucci. In addition, the other streets of the quarter have numerous smaller shops. While strolling the streets of the Eixample, tourists can visit many restaurants and coffee shops and enjoy a very active nightlife.

History of the Eixample

Until the 19th century Barcelona comprised only of the Gothic Quarter, La Rambla, El Born and El Raval. Around that time, the industry in the city started to develop massively and the new upper-middle-class (namely industrialists and traders) became richer and wanted more space to build newer and larger houses. Under these circumstances, the Eixample was established as an ‘expansion’ of the old city. As the quarter was eventually inhabited mainly by Barcelona’s upper-middle-class and the higher-class, they have opted to build mostly large and beautiful Modernista buildings (for additional information – History of Barcelona).

The Design of the Eixample

The Eixample has been a very well designed quarter right from the start. The quarter was designed by the visionary urban planner Ildefons Cerda who wanted to lay out a modern living area. The streets are straight, long and wide and they run from north to south and from east to west, forming a regular grid pattern. In addition to that, the district is cut across diagonally by Avinguda Diagonal. This is a wide and long avenue that has an esthetic and practical role as it helps with ventilating by the air flow from the sea shore.

Another structural characteristic that makes the Eixample unique are the octagonal pavement blocks, which in most cases include 4-5 adjacent buildings. The streets have chamfered corners where they intersect. This urban design improves the visibility in traffic and provides more sunlight and air ventilation to the area.

Buildings in the Eixample

Since the Eixample was inhabited mainly by the upper-middle-class of Barclonae, who tended to boast with their wealth, the district has a lot of large and colourful Modernista buildings. The design of these buildings is very unique and some of them are quite eccentric. Such kind of designs are very specific to Barcelona.

The most impressive buildings are situated on Passeig de Gràcia and around it in the area called Quadrat d’or (The Golden Square). Quadrat d’or is the part of the Eixample between Carrer Aribau and the Passeig de Sant Joan, that can be considered an open architectural museum. Some of the buildings designed by the famous modernist architect Antoni Gaudí can be admired here, out of which Casa Batlló and Casa Milà are some of the most well-known. However, besides the works of Gaudí, there are also buildings designed by other modernist architects, such as for example the Casa Terrades which was planned by Josep Puig (for additional information – Architecture in Barcelona).

Another beautiful place worth mentioning is Placa del Cinc d’Oros (Square of the Five Golden Cards), which is located at the intersection of Passeig de Gràcia and Avinguda Diagonal. The square’s name comes most probably from the five roundabouts situated in it.

Shopping and Nightlife in the Eixample

Eixample is one of the main shopping centres of BarcelonaPasseig de Gràcia is considered the Champs Elysees of Barcelona due to many world-famous fashion boutiques that resides here. A lot of the tourists visit this street in order to do a shopping tour, even though most of the shops are quite expansive.

Main Landmarks in the Eixample

Plaça de Catalunya

Plaça de Catalunya is Barcelona’s main square. It is a very famous tourist attraction with beautiful fountains and statues. In addition to to its cultural significance, the square is also an important centre for the city’s public transportation.

Read more about Plaça de Catalunya

Plaça de Catalunya – a beautiful, huge square with a very long history.
The place also has a national significance for Catalan people.

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló, also known as the House of Bones (Casa dels ossos), is one of the most famous modernist buildings of the well-known architect, Antoni Gaudí.

Read more about Casa Batlló

Casa Milà

Casa Milà, or the Stone Quarry (La Pedrera), is another modernist building designed by Gaudí. It was the last residential building that was planned by him.

Read more about Casa Milà

Casa Milà is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Barcelona.
It is situated in Eixample, and it was designed by Antoni Gaudí in modernist style.

Basilica de la Sagrada Familia

Basilica de la Sagrada Familia (The Holy Family Basilica) is an imposing and world-famous church designed by Gaudí. He devoted many years of his life to this impressive project that was less than half built at the time of his death.

Read more about Basilica de la Sagrada Familia

Passeig de Gràcia

Passeig de Gràcia is the main street of the Eixample district. It has many architectural attractions and shopping areas with world-famous fashion boutiques such as Zara, H&M, Gucci and many more.

Read more about Passeig de Gràcia

Palau Robert

Palau Robert is a beautiful modernist building with a wonderful garden. It was originally the house of a Spanish nobleman, but today it is the building of the Catalan Tourist Office.

Quadrat d’Or (The Golden Square)

Quadrat d’Or is an area of the Eixample that stretches around Passeig de Gràcia and contains most of the beautiful and impressive modernist buildings for which Barcelona is famous for. Considered as an open architectural museum, many of the buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí, such as Casa Batlló and Casa Milà, can be admired here.

Placa del Cinc d’Oros (Square of the Five Golden Cards)

At the intersection of Passeig de Gràcia and Avinguda Diagonal lays Placa del Cinc d’Oros (square of five golden cards). It’s name derives from the five roundabouts situated on it.

The Art Collection of Joseph Sunol

The art collection of Joseph Sunol is a little exposition of contemporary art that used to belong to the art collector Joseph Sunol.

Casa Terrades

Casa Terrades is an imposing modernist building, planned by another famous modernist architect, Josep Puig.

Palau del Baron de Quadras

Palau del Baron de Quadras is another beautiful and famous building designed by Josep Puig.

Tips and Recommendations for Visiting the Eixample


  • The streets of the Eixample are wide, making the district very accessible for disabled people. Nonetheless, it is important to know that in the summer it can be very crowded and that the metro stations are not wheelchair friendly (for additional information – Accessibility in Eixample and Accessibility in Barcelona).
  • The Eixample is an important centre for the gay and lesbian communities of Barcelona (for additional information – Visit Eixample at night and Gaixample or Eixample?).
  • The Eixample is a romantic neighborhood, and so it is recommended for couples who spend their honeymoon or just a simple romantic holiday in Barcelona (for additional information – Romantic Vacation in Barcelona).

Tips for Shops and Restaurants in Eixample:

  • The Eixample is one of the main shopping centers of Barcelona with many world-famous fashion boutiques such as Zara, H&M, Gucci and many more. Due to that, the area is attractive for tourists who want to do some shopping. Keep in mind that these shops are quite expensive (for additional information – Shopping in Barcelona).
  • It is suggested to combine the shopping activity with a general tour. It will be simple because most of the shops are in unique modernist buildings.

Tips for Kids and Families in Eixample:

  • Eixample is highly recommended for visiting with children, but the youngest kids might find it boring. It suggested to abstain from visiting ALL the buildings, but stick to only a few. Casa Batlló and Casa Milà would be probably the best choices to visit because of the visual shows that are organized there and which present the modernist architecture of Gaudí.
  • It is recommended to explain the kids in advance some interesting facts about the modernist architecture, so they can understand more easily the modernist art (for additional information – Kids and Families in Eixample and Kids and Families in Barcelona).
  • You can also enjoy a flamenco show at Arte Flamenco, which is in the vicinity.

Tips for Transportation in Eixample:

Tips for Tours in Eixample:

  • If you visit Eixample you can enjoy a lot of architectural and food themed tours. Moreover in Casa Batlló and Casa Milà there are organized colorful and family friendly shows (for additional information – Attractions and Tours near Eixample and Attractions and Tours in Barcelona).
  • Tickets for the modernist buildings interior tours are quite expensive and moreover, most of the buildings are much more interesting from outside than from inside. Therefore, unless you are a great fan or expert of architecture, our suggestion is to visit no more than one or two of the modernist buildings from the inside. The famous Casa Batlló would be a very good choice. Another tip would be to buy a ticket which is valid for two or more buildings. 

Tips for “when to visit” Eixample:

  • Any time of the day is a good time to visit the Eixample. The nightlife here is very active, there are a lot of clubs and bars, that hold many music events.
  • If you visit the Eixample during the spring a pleasant stroll through Passeig de Gràcia and Rambla de Catalunya is highly recommended. The two are wonderful parallel streets, full of small restaurants and coffee shops, such as: Taller de Tapas, Restaurant Divinus or El Nacional (for additional information – Bars and restaurants in Barcelona).
  • If you visit this area during the evening it is highly recommended to try Gaudi’s Pedrera: The Origins – Night Show, which is located close by (for additional information – Visit Barcelona at Night).

Tips for Hotels in Eixample:

Recommended Blogs and Articles About Eixample:


Useful Information

Getting there

L2 (purple) – Passeig de Gracia station.

L4 (yellow)  – Stations: Diagonal or Passeig de Gracia.

L5 (blue) – Diagonal station.

Opening Times

Public Area

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