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Eixample Barcelona Guide: Unveiling History, Architecture, and Practical Tips for Your Visit

Take a stroll through Barcelona’s Eixample District with our guide—it’s a journey worth exploring. Peel back the layers of its history, soak in the beauty of its architecture, and grab some handy tips for your visit. Whether you’re figuring out how to get there or seeking the best tours, our guide’s got your back. First-timers or seasoned visitors, our guide is here to share the inside scoop. Ready to immerse yourself in the vibes of Eixample? Start your adventure right here, and think about locking in a BCN Eixample tour for a truly memorable experience.

Eixample, Barcelona

Barcelona’s district of Eixample was constructed in the late 19th century. In those days Barcelona’s old town (Ciudad Vella) only consisted of the central districts of Barri Gotic, El Raval, and El Born.

Eixample means extension in Catalan and this extension was built between the centre of Barcelona and the neighbouring villages of Sants and Gracia.

In 1860, architect Ildefons Cerdà was ordered by the central government in Madrid to develop a plan for the extension of Barcelona. This plan for Eixample, which has been known as Plan Cerdà, saw the creation of a grid of square blocks. Each side of the characteristic blocks of Eixample is 113 meters long and has chamfered corners for better ventilation and visibility.

The original Plan Cerdà saw Placa Glories as the coming center of Eixample and the extended Barcelona. But it took a century to complete the plan. Only half the provisioned area has been constructed with the typical square grid scheme of Eixample and thus Placa Catalunya today is the centre of Barcelona.

From an architectural point of view, the most interesting part of Eixample is the so-called Quadrat d’Or around Passeig de Gracia. Here you can find a lot of the famous modernista buildings from the end of the 19th century. However, there are many more that you can discover wandering through the district of Eixample. If you prefer to get more in-depth background knowledge, join a walking tour of Eixample’s modernista architecture.

Exploring the Eixample District: A Journey Through Time and Space

A Glimpse into Barcelona’s Past

The Eixample District, nestled between the historic Ciutat Vella and the surrounding small towns like Sants and Gràcia, stands as a testament to the city’s expansion during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s a region steeped in history, where the echoes of the past blend seamlessly with the modernity of the present. The legacy of King Phillip V is still felt today, as he declared the city walls a military zone, leading to the displacement of hundreds from the Born district. This move paved the way for the construction of a citadel in that very area.

The Genius of Urban Planning

The Eixample’s streets tell a story of ingenious urban planning. Orchestrated by the Catalan engineer Cerdà in the 1850s, the area’s design was revolutionary for its time. Characterized by long straight streets, a strict grid pattern, and square blocks with chamfered corners, Cerdà’s vision was both functional and aesthetically pleasing. His fondness for straight lines is evident, with each block housing an inner courtyard, a feature that adds a touch of nature amidst the urban sprawl.

A Tourist’s Paradise

For travelers, both business and leisure, the Eixample is a treasure trove of attractions. From the awe-inspiring Sagrada Familia to the bustling Plaça de Catalunya and the picturesque Rambla de Catalunya, there’s something for everyone. The iconic Arc de Triomphe stands tall in the Fort Pienc neighborhood, while the avenue of Passeig de Gracia offers a linear extension to the central business district, stretching north from Plaça Catalunya. For those with a penchant for shopping, the district boasts dynamic shopping locales, with Passeig de Gràcia, Plaça Catalunya, and Diagonal Avenue housing the city’s most exclusive boutiques.

Architecture Of Passeig De Gracia 2

L Eixample’s Vibrant Neighborhoods

Diving deeper into L’Eixample, one finds it divided into distinct areas: the southeast part known as Dreta and the northeastern side called Esquerra. Each area has its unique charm. For instance, Sant Antoni boasts the Mercat de Sant Antoni, Spain’s largest food market, also offering clothing, accessories, and collector items.

Mercat De Sant Antoni

Culinary and Hospitality Delights

A trip to the Eixample would be incomplete without indulging in its culinary offerings. Restaurants, cafes, and eateries dot the landscape, offering a gastronomic journey that rivals the district’s architectural wonders. The Casa Nova Guest House, a relic from the late 19th or early 20th century, offers cozy rooms for travelers, while numerous hotels cater to varying budgets and preferences. From the luxurious Royal Passeig de Gracia to the value-for-money Seventy Barcelona Hotel, there’s a place for every traveler.

Preparing for Your Visit to the Eixample District

The Eixample District, with its historical significance and modern-day allure, is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Barcelona. However, to make the most of your trip and ensure a seamless experience, it’s essential to come prepared. Here’s a guide on what to expect and how to pack for your journey to this iconic locale.

What to Expect:

  • Architectural Marvels: From the grandeur of the Sagrada Familia to the intricate designs of Casa Milà and Casa Batlló, be prepared to be awed by some of the finest architectural wonders in Barcelona.
  • Bustling Streets: The Eixample is characterized by its long, straight streets. While they offer a sense of openness, they can also be quite busy, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  • Culinary Adventures: The district is a gastronomic haven. From upscale restaurants to quaint cafes, there’s a wide array of dining options to explore.
  • Cultural Immersion: With theaters, cinemas, and numerous entertainment venues, the Eixample offers a deep dive into the cultural fabric of Barcelona.
  • Shopping Spree: If you’re a shopaholic, the exclusive boutiques in Passeig de Gràcia and Diagonal Avenue are not to be missed.

Packing Tips for Eixample:

  • Comfortable Footwear: With so much to explore, you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Ensure you pack comfortable shoes to make your exploration hassle-free.
  • Map & Guidebook: While digital maps are handy, a physical map and guidebook can provide insights into hidden gems and historical context.
  • Light Jacket: Even in the warmer months, Barcelona can have cool evenings. A light jacket or shawl can be beneficial.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated as you explore. Many public places in Barcelona have water fountains, so a reusable bottle can be refilled throughout the day.
  • Portable Charger: With so many photo opportunities, you wouldn’t want your devices to run out of battery. A portable charger ensures you’re always connected.

Lastly, while the Eixample District is relatively safe, it’s always wise to be cautious. Keep your belongings close, especially in crowded areas, and be aware of your surroundings. With a little preparation, your visit to the Eixample will be an unforgettable experience, filled with memories to cherish for a lifetime. Safe travels!

Navigating Your Way to the Eixample District

The Eixample District, being one of the central and most iconic locales in Barcelona, is well-connected and easily accessible by various modes of transportation. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, here are some convenient ways to reach this architectural and cultural hub.

Eixample District1

By Metro:

  • Lines and Stations: The Eixample is serviced by multiple metro lines. Some key stations include Passeig de Gràcia (L2, L3, L4), Diagonal (L3, L5), and Sagrada Familia (L2, L5). Depending on where you’re coming from, choose the line that’s most convenient.
  • Frequency: The metro in Barcelona is frequent, with trains usually running every 3-5 minutes during peak times. It’s a quick and efficient way to reach the district.

By Bus:

  • Multiple Routes: Numerous bus routes pass through the Eixample, connecting it to various parts of Barcelona. Key bus lines include 7, 19, 22, 24, and 47, among others.
  • Bus Stops: Well-marked bus stops are scattered throughout the district. Buses are equipped with displays showing the next stop, making it user-friendly even for first-time visitors.

By Bicycle:

  • Bicing: Barcelona’s public bicycle-sharing system, Bicing, is a popular and eco-friendly way to explore the city. There are several Bicing stations in and around the Eixample. Simply rent a bike, enjoy your ride, and return it to any station.
  • Bike Lanes: Barcelona boasts a comprehensive network of bike lanes, making cycling both safe and enjoyable.

By Taxi:

  • Availability: Taxis are readily available throughout Barcelona and can be hailed on the street or booked via phone or apps. They offer a comfortable way to reach the Eixample, especially if you have luggage.
  • Fare: While taxis are generally metered and offer transparent pricing, it’s always good to confirm the approximate fare before starting your journey.
  • On Foot: If you’re staying in central Barcelona, the Eixample is easily walkable. The district’s grid-like layout makes it easy to navigate, and walking offers the added advantage of stumbling upon hidden gems.

By Car:

  • Parking: If you’re driving to the Eixample, be aware that parking can be a challenge due to its central location. However, there are several public parking garages available.
  • Zona Azul & Zona Verde: These are blue and green parking zones. While they offer parking, there are time restrictions, especially during weekdays. Always check the signage before parking.

Discover Eixample: Tour Options for Every Traveler

Exploring the Eixample District’s intricate architecture, bustling streets, and rich history can be an overwhelming endeavor. Thankfully, there are curated tours tailored to fit the interests and schedules of every traveler. Here’s a peek into some of the most popular tours that promise a deep dive into the heart of the Eixample:

Architectural Marvels Tour:

  • Description: Delve deep into the architectural wonders of the Eixample. From the iconic Sagrada Familia to the modernist masterpieces of Casa Milà and Casa Batlló, this tour offers insights into the genius of Gaudí and other renowned architects.
  • Duration: Approximately 3 hours.

Culinary Adventures in Eixample:

  • Description: Satiate your taste buds as you explore the district’s gastronomic delights. From local tapas bars to upscale restaurants, experience the flavors of Catalonia in this immersive culinary journey.
  • Duration: Roughly 2.5 hours, including tastings.

Eixample By Night:

  • Description: Witness the Eixample come alive as the sun sets. Explore the vibrant nightlife, illuminated landmarks, and the mesmerizing play of lights on the district’s architectural wonders.
  • Duration: About 2 hours.

Historical Walk Through Eixample:

  • Description: Travel back in time as you traverse the streets that have witnessed Barcelona’s transformation over the centuries. From tales of King Phillip V to the urban planning genius of Cerdà, immerse yourself in the district’s rich past.
  • Duration: 3 hours with periodic stops at historical landmarks.

Cycling Tour of Eixample:

  • Description: Hop on a bike and wind your way through the Eixample’s grid-like streets. This eco-friendly tour offers a unique perspective of the district, combining exercise with exploration.
  • Duration: 2 hours, including short breaks.

Book Your BCN Eixample Tour Today!

Why wait? Dive into the enchanting world of the Eixample District with a guided tour that promises a rich, immersive experience. Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or a food lover, there’s a tour tailored just for you.

Booking your BCN Eixample tour is a breeze. Simply visit our official website, choose your preferred tour, select a date, and secure your spot. With limited group sizes to ensure a personalized experience, slots fill up fast. So, don’t delay – book your BCN Eixample tour today and embark on a journey that you’ll cherish for a lifetime!

Barcelona’s Eixample District is a blend of history, culture, and architectural brilliance. With our guide by your side, navigating this iconic locale becomes an enriching experience. As your Eixample journey beckons, remember our insights and consider opting for the BCN Eixample tour to truly capture its essence. Barcelona awaits, and the Eixample is ready to leave a lasting impression. Happy travels!