Ideas for Barcelona activities: markets

Mercat de la Boqueria
First evidence of this market goes back to the middle ages when peasants of neighboring villages decided to sell meat and vegetables right at the city walls. For several centuries Boqueria moved from one place to another and in 1840 it finally found its constant place. Shopping arcades were built under the direction of Mas Vilà, an architect at the place of former Sant Josep Monastery and this is where its official name, the Mercat de Sant Josep, comes from. Its unofficial name is said to take its name from the Catalan word that means ‘goat’. Since 19th century this market is the main source of food for Barcelonans and one of main city’s places of interest. Tourists can be seen here from morning till evening; they mostly take pics and seldom buy. And it’s really strange because prices are as good as local tapas bars, El Pintxo and El Quim de la Boqueria.
Where: Rambla, 91 M: Liceu
Open: Mon – Sat 8 am – 8:30 pm

Mercat de Santa Caterina
This market is well recognized due to its bright roofs. It was founded in 1848 on the place of another destroyed monastery and became the first roofed Barcelona market. It was reconstructed in 2005 and got its light and bright roof which symbolizes vast variety of Catalan goods on its counters. The market seems rather small but there is a feeling that only the best fish, meat, vegetables and fruit come here. Wide ‘streets’ between counters, impromptness of rare visitors, god manners of sellers and the guard ceremoniously closing the huge doors – everything has a trace of elitism that is why you have to pay here a little bit more than at Boqueria.
Where: Av. de Francesc Cambó, 16
Open: Mon 7:30 am – 2pm; Tue, Wed, Sat 7:30 am – 3:30 pm; Thu – Fri 7:30 am – 8:30 pm

Mercat de Sant Antoni
Old Catalan ladies walk with their rolling bags between the counters looking at choice meat and apples. Everything here costs a little bit more than at any other market or supermarket but it doesn’t matter for true Barcelonans. Standing n the border between boiling Raval and sleepy Sant-Antoni, this market in some way balances the two different regions r balanced until it was in its historical building, a huge Modernist construction erected in 1882. Metal frame, wooden decoration, bright colors – everything was done to make a building symbolizing new era of wealth, beauty and fullness.
Where: Comte d’Urgell, 1
Open: Mon – Thur 7 am – 2:30 pm and 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Fri – Sat 7 am – 8:30 pm

Mercat del Ninot
In 1892 it was the first market of a town called Les Corts which is a part f Barcelona now. Natives were very glad and proud and gave the new market a dominant name ‘Mercat de Porvenir’ (Market of the future) but it has gone and the market’s nickname ‘Ninot is still alive. It was the name of a tavern nearby famous for its cheap beer. You can hardly meet a tourist here, all the sellers speak Catalan and it doesn’t matter a foreigner you are or native. Barcelonans come here not only for food but for communication, the most difficult-to-obtain product. Ninot is the place where it is usual to hold tapas competitions, celebrate La Castanyada in October and congratulate each other on Christmas Eve in December.
Where: Mallorca, 133 M: Hospital Clinic
Open: Mon – Fri 8 am – 8 pm Sat 8 am – 3 pm