Visit the Boqueria market in Barcelona: tickets, prices, opening hours

Marché de la Boqueria à Barcelone

Are you planning a trip to Barcelona and have a sweet tooth? Be sure to visit the Boqueria market, a symbol of Catalan culinary traditions!

Gourmets from France and beyond, a visit to Barcelona’s Boqueria market is for you! Located in the heart of the Catalan capital, this traditional market has become a totem of Barcelona’s culture, and in particular its food.

Still very authentic, the Boqueria market brings together dozens of stalls filled with local produce every day: chillies, chorizo and jabugo, the famous Iberian ham. But you can also sit down in one of the many small restaurants/bars to sample the best Catalan specialties. A visit to Barcelona’s Boqueria market is a wonderful culinary and human experience.

Your mouth watering? Can’t wait to find out more about the history, access and opening hours of this unusual market? In this article, we present the main features of Barcelona’s Boqueria market!

The history of the Boqueria market

The history of the Boqueria market is closely linked to the city’s central thoroughfare, Las Ramblas, around which the market was gradually built. Originally, vendors were located near the old city gate, known as the Boqueria, selling meat. Later, local producers from the masias (Catalan farms) moved closer to the center of Barcelona, setting up shop on the outskirts of Las Ramblas to sell their fruit, vegetables and meat.

With Las Ramblas being the nerve center and strategic point of the entire Barcelona metropolis, the size of the market and its stalls grew rapidly. However, while the first markets date back to the 15th century, the first mention of the Boqueria market in Barcelona dates back to the 19th century! Before then, the market had little or no official existence, and was considered to belong to another market: Plaça Nova.

Gradually, the Boqueria became independent of the Plaça Nova market, and in 1826 was finally recognized as a market in its own right. The market expanded rapidly, and a building was erected on the Plaça San José before the inauguration of a large metal structure in 1914.

Today, the Boqueria market is one of Barcelona’s most important, and undoubtedly one of the most authentic and traditional: some stalls have been run for generations by the same family of traders.

What to see and do at Barcelona’s Boqueria market?

Marché de la Boqueria

In Barcelona, there’s a saying that « what you can’t find at La Boqueria, you can’t find anywhere ». The market is a veritable institution in the Catalan capital. With over 6,000 m² of stalls, restaurants and bars, a visit to Barcelona’s Boqueria market awakens the senses with every step. First and foremost, you’ll find local produce of all kinds: fruit, juices, dried fruit, vegetables, meat, fish… With the products perfectly aligned, each stall resembles a work of art. It’s as if the shopkeepers are playing with colors and shapes to entertain us. The incredible Art Nouveau steel building accentuates this impression of being in a temple of Catalan gastronomy.

With shopkeepers present for several generations, there’s a real family atmosphere at the market. This atmosphere is reinforced when you come across Catalans doing their shopping. Barcelona’s Boquéria market is as much a tourist attraction as it is a meeting place for the locals. With over 300 stalls covering the entire market area, there’s something for everyone. Don’t hesitate to browse the various aisles with a fresh fruit juice bought at the market!

A visit to Barcelona’s Boqueria market is also an excellent opportunity to sample the various local specialties, by taking a seat in one of the many restaurants and tapas bars that criss-cross the market. In particular, stop by the Pinotxo tapas bar to discover its fantastic menu, at any time of day (its breakfasts are reputedly excellent!).

Good to know: As for the direction of the visit, everyone is free to move around as they please. However, it’s important to know that the first stalls on the market are often those with the highest prices.

Most tourists who come to visit Barcelona’s Boqueria market, without further information, linger at the first stalls and buy products they’ll find cheaper a little further on. So try to move towards the back of the market to avoid paying full price!

How do I get to the Boqueria market in Barcelona?

Barcelona’s Boqueria market is located on the city’s main thoroughfare: Las Ramblas. So you’ll have no trouble getting there from anywhere in the city. Las Ramblas is located between Plaça de Catalunya and Palau Güell:

  • From Plaça de Catalunya, walk up Las Ramblas to number 91, where you’ll see a large gate marking the entrance to the market.
  • If, on the other hand, you’re close to the Palais Güell, take the main Las Remblas thoroughfare up towards Plaça de Catalunya.
  • By public transport

If you’re traveling by public transport, you’ll need to take metro line 3 and get off at Liceu station. You’ll then need to walk three minutes to reach the market entrance. You can also get to the market by bus, taking lines 14 and 59.

  • By car

On the other hand, access by car, if possible, is rather difficult given the traffic and parking possibilities in the city center.

Boqueria market opening times and prices

SCHEDULES

Barcelona’s Boqueria market is open Monday to Saturday, 8am to 8pm.

RATES

Admission is free, but culinary tours of Barcelona via La Boqueria are available for those wishing to fully immerse themselves in Catalan gastronomy. Numerous companies offer gourmet tours (including the Tapas Tour) of the region’s specialties, with of course an extended stop at the stalls of Barcelona’s Boqueria market.

Prices vary widely, but average €70 per person for a four-hour tour.

Good to know

  • Since April 2015, Barcelona’s Boqueria market has been closed to tourist groups of more than 15 people on Fridays and Saturdays until 3pm. Taken by the city council, this measure aims to relieve congestion at the market and limit an increasingly large influx of tourists in recent years.
  • The best time of day to visit Barcelona’s Boqueria market is early in the morning. This way, you can avoid the crowds that are often heavy during the rest of the day.
  • On the other hand, if you want to do a lot of shopping, the best time to visit the market is in the evening, just before it closes. Shopkeepers discount their fresh produce, and you’ll have no trouble getting discounts of up to 50%.
  • Watch out for pickpockets, who often wander through the crowded aisles. They take advantage of your wonderment to discreetly steal your personal belongings.