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El Born

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Barcelona's most charming neighbourhood: El Born

Published by Charlotte Mullender — 5 years ago


It’s been a little more than a year now that I fell in love, I fell in love with Barcelona, its streets, its buildings and its atmosphere. When I arrived to Barcelona in August 2014 I didn’t expect that leaving this place five months later could be this hard. A part of Barcelona that has become very dear to my heart is the “Barrio” (district) of El Born.

Barcelona is divided into different neighbourhoods and districts and each of them has their typical flair, architecture and characteristics. Many of them, like Gracia, El Raval, Barceloneta and of course the famous Barri Gotic are all very great places with lots of own charme, but what is my favourite corner of Barcelona is definitely the beautiful El Born.


El Born is situated in the old town of the city, called Ciutat Vella, to which also Barri Gotic and El Raval count. The Ciutat Vella is the heart of Barcelona and also the cultural centre of the city. As many tourist destinations, like museum or the famous street La Rambla, are situated in the old town, it is also the most frequented area of the city. Especially Barri Gotic is a place where thousands of tourists walk through every day and especially in high season or on holidays it can be very crowded.

Whereas you will meet tourists in Barri Gotic at any time of the day, in El Born, which is just stone’s throw away, you can get away from the tourists mass for a while. Even though the style of El Born is pretty similar to Barri Gotic, with the cute little streets, the historic architecture and the typical balconies on the houses, it is a lot calmer and in my opinion also more charming than its famous neighbour.


When I moved to Barcelona I just randomly rented a place to live somewhere, as I didn’t know a whole lot about the different parts of the city and which area would be cool to live at. Looking back I had been very lucky, renting a room, just around the corner of Arc de Triomf, which, with its big square, is pretty much situated right at the entrance of El Born. Once I discovered this delightful district I took frequently walks around there, just enjoying the great atmosphere and beauty of the neighbourhood.

Not only the narrow streets and architecture are highlights, but also beautiful squares, little cafés and nice restaurants can be found here. For Shopping-Fans is El Born an interesting place too, it is a very chic and especially trendy neighbourhood, with lots of local and international designers and artists who have found their way here, opening tons of cute small shops with a lot of pretty things and even more charm. Some of the best tapas bars of Barcelona are situated here (incredibly good! ), as well as some known tourist attractions like the Picasso Museum or the Ciutadella Park. Also the nightlife of El Born is worth a visit, it has tons of nice bars to enjoy a great night out in the city of Barcelona.


The heart of the neighbourhood is the so called “Passeig del Born”, which is a square that in ancient times used to be the festivity centre of Barcelona. Today you can find here cool bars, charming cafés and good restaurant. At night especially students gather here to sit together in the middle of the square and chat, have a beer and enjoy the nice and mild evenings.

A little downside of El Born is, that it has become a very “in”, fashionable and much valued area for visitors as well as locals, which lead to the fact, that many places are a little more expensive than in other parts of the city. Nevertheless you can still find some inexpensive bars or cafés and if not just buying a beer or wine and sitting on the Passeig del Born already is nice way to experience the energy of this place.


El Born is a wonderful neighbourhood of Barcelona which you have to experience yourself. All the terraces and squares to sit outside, the beautiful architecture, the art you can find around every corner and the amazing food- there is something for everybody. El Born is a place that you can’t help but falling in love with, and when you do, you will always want to go back.


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