Welcome to one of the most amazing sites in Barcelona – the world’s famous La Boqueria food market, a bustling place abounding in flavors and color. You will find it as an offshoot of La Rambla Boulevard in the Saint Josep area. The market’s entrance is just 2 minutes away from where La Rambla’s promenade is brought to life by Joan Miró’s mosaic artwork (oddly enough, a masterpiece ignored by the bulk of passing tourists – it stars however on most of the photos of the area).
History of La Boqueria
The market’s history is fascinating. Its origin can be traced way back to the 12th century when it started off as a meeting place of the local butchers who sold pigs on an open field next to the St. Josep monastery. However, this gathering of local and nearby food merchants that evolved there over the centuries was officially established and recognized as a market only in 1826. Then, after the St. Josep monastery complex was destroyed during the anti-church riots of the first half of the 19th century (for additional information – History of Barcelona), the local authorities decided to construct in its place the structure that gradually developed into the incredible marketplace that we see today.
It has been claimed by many that La Boqueria is probably the best food market in the world.
What do you see in La Boqueria?
Unlike most of the images that might come to our mind as we picture a regular food market (busy, noisy and messy), La Boqueria is a neat and orderly managed association of merchants.
They conduct regular cooking workshops and food school classes, available for all ages. All such ongoing and upcoming activities are regularly updated on the market’s official website. Another interesting fact is that La Boqueria is one of the few food marketplaces in the world that has its own website.
Almost all types of food can be found here including baked goods, fruits and vegetables, fine chocolates, dried fruits and of course, fish and seafood. This place is not only rich in flavors and scents but also in an impressive historic legacy that stands for centuries and that can be felt all around its lively stall lanes.
A Guided Tour of the Market
You can also sign up for guided tours of the market, where you can learn all about the local Catalan cuisine, from selecting and ordering the products to food preparation process and tasting sessions. (for additional information – Private Tour: Barcelona Cooking Class with Boqueria Market Walking Tour).