It's really easy to spend a backpackers day in Barcelona, discovering original places that have opted for new formulas imported from around the world, as long as you keep your eyes open. Some neighbourhoods are historically more alternative than others, but if you delve a little deeper you can always discover fresher, more daring and original ideas.
Today, Barcelona Hostel suggest an alternative route: Raval is a neighbourhood which has many different faces, depending on the street you are in, making it stand out from the others because of its multidisciplinary character, with lots of alternative and original ideas imported from around the world.
Start your visit strolling round here with a visit to the art bookshop Ras. Here you will find books on architecture, photography, the cinema and all kinds of art. A wide selection of art and fashion magazines along with other designer items completes what they have to offer. Around Raval there are many alternative art galleries, most of them small, supporting the work of illustrators and street artists. One of these is Distrito Quinto, where people like Sosaku, Uiu, and Lolo, among many others, have shown their work. If you find yourself walking along Joaquim Costa, it is worth taking a slight detour to check out their latest exhibition.
One of the most popular markets is the well-known Boqueria market. La Boqueria market is a festival of colours, flavours, aromas and life you will not find anywhere else in the world, a real show you just have to see. It is an attractive, picturesque showcase for Barcelona and Catalan gastronomy, with local produce and exotic items from around the world.
A walk round Raval is inconceivable without a stop at Plaça del Macba Barcelona's Contemporary Art Museum, where skateboarders from all over the world gather every evening to swap techniques.
Raval is full of interesting shops but Carrer de la Riera Baixa is a good place for finding second-hand items in good condition. One of the best shops on this street is Le Swing, with vintage clothes that many trendsetters use for their magazines. And finally, when night draws in, you can savour the designer tapas at Resolís a little bar-restaurant which preserves some original features that characterised this neck of the woods in the fifties.