Just north of Barcelona’s bustling city center, the capital of Catalonia transitions from Gothic cathedrals, tiny alleyways and hordes of bike tours into a more livable neighborhood known as Poble Nou. Close to the coast, Metro-accessible and rife with local hang-out spots, this area has become a favorite of residents who seek solace from the masses of tourists that crowd the center.
A day in Poble Nou can begin at any of the plethora of cafés, which range from no-frills local joints to higher-end hot spots for digital nomads. Pop into nearly any bakery for a croissant and café con leche for less than €2.
Head southeast along the Rambla de Poble Nou — which isn’t Barcelona’s famous “La Rambla” but is much less intense — for a quiet morning of strolling among shops, eateries and authentically local life. The Rambla de Poble Nouwill eventually leads you right to the Mediterranean Sea by way of the beaches of Bogatell and Llacuna. Grab a seat at the Vai Moana chiringuito for a waterfront lunch of Spanish tapas like croquetas and patatas bravas, plus a cool glass of Spanish white wine.
After lunch and some sandy sunbathing, head back inland for a visit to one of Poble Nou’s copious outdoor spaces, like Gandhi Gardens, or opt for the indoor/outdoor Poble Nou market to browse (and sample) fresh food from local vendors.
Finish your tour of the neighborhood with a high-end yet affordable Catalan dinner at Calamarga.
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