Is this the best market in Europe? A visit to La Boqueria in Barcelona

Hi Frugalistas!

Regular readers will know I have a bit of a thing about markets.  I love them!  Not just in Europe, but anywhere.  After years of looking, I think I’ve found the ultimate European market – La Boqueria in Barcelona.

Hiding, set back a little from the busy tourist trap that is the Ramblas is a vast market that is a testament to Spanish and Catalan food in all its glory.  Tourists and locals mix in a busy, noisy and colourful melange.

If you know of a better market in Europe, please, please let me know, so I can get there asap!

The grand entrance set back on the busy Ramblas

Admittedly not to everyone’s taste, but I thought these bags of snails, guinea fowl, pheasant plus rabbits and hares in every size made a great display

Smallgoods, complete with the famous and pricy Spanish ham

Offal (not awful!) butchers abound

If you want mushrooms you’ve come to the right place……..

The famous Spanish barnacles

Fruit and veg stalls are works of art

Glace fruit – yum!

Fruit juices and salads in every possible colour

Never too early for a heart starter – the bars were doing a roaring trade at 10.00am in the morning!

Traditional bacala (salted, dried cod) piled high

Olives in every possible variation

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16 Comments on “Is this the best market in Europe? A visit to La Boqueria in Barcelona”

  1. Jessica 28/10/2012 at 10:18 pm #

    I love the Boqueria! Barcelona has tons of great markets, but this one really is something special.

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 29/10/2012 at 9:37 am #

      I haven’t been to any others (my stay was too brief this time round) but can’t wait to get back and do a bit more exploring of the Spanish market culture.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

  2. Marianne 29/10/2012 at 3:33 am #

    I agree with you 🙂 Love visiting La Boquería.

  3. FoundTravel 30/10/2012 at 6:44 am #

    I love La Boqueria – but I have to say I like Mercat de Santa Maria more (less tourists and better prices!) And another great market is in Munich – the main square there has great fresh produce and more… with an indoor fancy market around the corner (in a renovated Victorian metal structure) with all sorts of gourmet goodies!

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 30/10/2012 at 9:32 am #

      Oooh, thanks for the heads up – will check out the Mercat de Santa Maria next time round!

      I’ve only been to Munich once and only had a quick look around the Viktuallsmarkt (apologies if it’s spelt wrongly). I was traveling with a tired and emotional 7 year old at the time, and delighting in local markets was not on her agenda that day unfortunately 😦 . But yes, you are right, it is also a very good one.
      Thanks for dropping by and commenting, much appreciated!

      • FoundTravel 31/10/2012 at 12:14 am #

        Definitely time to head back then to Munich! The newly renovated Schrannenhalle market is wonderful and beautiful! But maybe without a tired 7-year old in tow 😉

      • frugalfirstclasstravel 31/10/2012 at 11:00 am #

        she’s 10 now and a bit more battle hardened, so think we could do OK!

  4. Pola (@jettingaround) 05/11/2012 at 9:25 am #

    La Boqueria is GREAT – I went there a few times during my time in Barcelona for breakfast & lunch (ah, the freshly-squeezed orange juice… and the chocolate stands..). But my favorite European market must be one I went to in Riga, Latvia. Something about those cheese & bread vendors! Haven’t seen anything like that ever since.

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 05/11/2012 at 9:34 am #

      One thing I didn’t do there was eat – I thought if I started I might not know where to stop!

      The Baltic states are on my “to do” list, and I adore all that black rye and other exotic breads, so that’s definitely something to look forward to.
      Thanks for the heads up and for dropping by

  5. Carl Forbes 06/11/2012 at 9:28 pm #

    I love La Boqueria! But then I love all of Barcelona! I’m always stopping in for a juice or smoothie whenever I pass it. The pizza guy near the top is really good too! I want to try the food at El Quim too but it’s always so busy whenever I’ve been in there. Can’t wait til my next visit…
    Mercado Central in Valencia is pretty good too, a bit watered down but on the plus side there’s less crowds!

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 07/11/2012 at 8:20 am #

      thanks for the tip! It’s many years since I traveled in Spain (my trip to Barca was just a little side trip as part of a work trip to London) but it’s a place I really want to start exploring again. And European markets really are just the best!

      Thanks for taking the time to read my post and to share your experience!

  6. thx1984 21/02/2014 at 8:59 am #

    No it is not the best market. But I believe that this is not the point, la boqueria is a good tourist atraction that somewhat represents the diversity and happy spirit of the city.

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 21/02/2014 at 1:37 pm #

      I think these things are always very subjective. For me, it’s the most enjoyable market I’ve ever visited in Europe, but I’ll be the first to admit I’ve got thousands more to explore.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!


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