‘There are several excellent markets strewn throughout the city of Barcelona, but La Boqueria Market is undoubtedly the best…’
La Boqueria Market is also the most famous in Barcelona, drawing huge crowds of locals and tourists alike. It can can be accessed from La Rambla, with the Liceu metro stop less than a minute walk away. It’s also well served by buses. If you have an hour to spare and want to see a riot of colours and experience a world of aromas; La Boqueria is a must visit location.
La Boqueria Market dates back to at least 1217, but none of its food has been there that long. Its modern name comes from the Catalan word ‘box’ which means goat. Basically, people: it’s a goat market. I jest, of course. I didn’t see a single one. What it does have, however, is fish, fruits, veg, butcher meat, and a whole host of delicacies to tempt even the fussiest of eaters.
On arrival, apart from wondering how you’ll cope with the sheer volume of people milling around, you’re greeted by a rainbow of freshly squeezed fruit juices and cocktails.
There’s a huge selection of vendors in La Boqueria Market and it can be difficult to find a route through the maze. I gave the fishmongers a wide berth, because OMG THE SMELL. Also, the eyes of the freshly caught swimmers follow you around and it really give me the creeps. However, for normal people, the selection is enormous and everything incredibly fresh.
There’s no chucking fish over your head, as they do at Pike’s in Seattle. Therefore, you can rest easy knowing that they’re quite dead and no one will attempt to launch them through the air as you walk past. Les had a lovely time looking at cockles, mussels and, apparently, the biggest langoustines he’s ever seen. Incidentally, we ended up the proud owners of 6 of them. Eyes and all… I made a beeline for the olives. Oh, the olives. I’ve never seen so many delicious snacks in my life. I bought a TON.
As well as taking in the sights and smells of the market, be sure to check out the iron roof. It’s been in place since 1914 and the archway and signage on entry is beautiful. If you fancy sitting and trying out the produce, there are bars dotted around where you can point at stuff in glass counters before happily stuffing in your face. Also: they sell wine.