Gracia has been an old independent village in the vicinity of Barcelona for many centuries. With the extension of Barcelona and the creation of the Eixample district, Gracia was incorporated by the city.
Today, it is a very hip district of Barcelona, that is getting more and more popular among both locals and expats. Compared to the old centre of El born, Barri Gotic and El Raval, Gracia is far less touristy.
The narrow lanes allow only limited traffic and thus people mainly move on foot or by bicycle. Gracia is just next to bustling Passeig de Gracia and Avenida Diagonal, but it managed to maintain its characteristic charme of a Catalan village.
Entering one of the small plazas like Placa del Sol, Placa Virreina or Placa Rius i Taulet will make you feel being in a totally different place, although Barcelona’s city life is just two blocks away.
All over Gracia, there are a lot of cafes and bars, but hardly any night clubs. Most bars are open long hours, so if you feel like chatting and drinking with friends or having a beer on one of the plazas, Gracia will be your choice for the whole night. However, if you plan to go clubbing, after midnight you should head towards one of the nightlife areas of Barcelona.
For dedicated shoppers, Gracia also has got a lot to offer. Especially along Carrer Verdi, there are many small boutiques where the locals use to shop. If you are looking for the real style of Barcelona, you should have a browse at Gracia’s offerings.
Generally speaking, Gracia is well-known for its relaxed atmosphere. However, the exception to this is one hot week in August: La Festa Mayor de Gracia. This week-long festival will turn Gracia into a place full of local food and drink stalls, open-air concerts and decorated street scenes.
Insider Tip: Head for a beer or wine and Tapas to Placa Virreina, Gracia’s most beautiful plaza. This square is rather tranquil and less popular than Placa de Sol, but the setting infront of the church of Sant Joan Baptista makes an unbeatable start into the evening.