Boqueria Market: The world's best market complex
Attractions | 07.02.2020
According to CNN, in 2017, the Boqueria market was top-ranked as the best market in the world with the freshest and highest quality products. It is even written on the market's website "Welcome to the best market in the world!".
About Boqueria Market
There are about 40 markets in Barcelona, but Boqueria, or Mercat de la Boqueria, is the oldest and most popular among Catalans and tourists. Locals come here to chat, relax and exchange recipes; restaurant chefs – for quality goods; tourists – to admire the huge assortment of products on shopboards every day.
Every morning, except Sunday, more than 200 merchants open their windows, the vast majority of them work here from generation to generation. Stained glass signs with inscriptions and images of products displayed on these stands will help you navigate the mazes.

The most numerous shopboard are those with fresh fruits, sweets, dried fruits, and nuts. Here you can buy a glass of exotic fruit slices or fresh for 1.5-4 euros. The center of the market is occupied by fish rows – by them, you can study the underwater fauna of the Mediterranean! The meat farms of Catalonia deliver products to Boqueria. Don't miss the opportunity to try jamon, it will be finely chopped and packaged in a vacuum. Boqueria offers a large choice of delicacies: truffles, cheeses, goose liver for foie gras, live snails, wild herbs and berries.
In the depths of the market, cafes and restaurants are serving local products. Unlike the establishments on the Rambla Boulevard, it is definitely worth staying and eating here. Boqueria is one of the first markets in Europe to launch a fashion for market bars: they began to appear here 40 years ago. Drop in the Bar Central, Kiosko Universal or Pinotxo Bar. In the last the owner – the local celebrity Juanito – stands behind the counter himself. He is already well over 80, and he began to help his mom in a cafe from the age of 7.

Private gastro events and cooking classes are held on the second floor of the market office building. Anyone can register for them on the website, the cost of participation with food and lunch is from 50 euros.

Getting to Boqueria Market is easy. It is located on the main pedestrian boulevard of the city – La Rambla (exact address: La Rambla, 91), 300 meters from Liceu Metro Station (green line (L3)). The market is open every day except Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Do you know?
  • According to one version, the market received its name from the Catalan word "boc", which means "goat". The fact is that in the 13th century, meat was first sold here, and goat meat was in special demand among the Jewish community. According to another version – the name arose thanks to the highly decorated Moorish gate. It was brought from Murcia by Count of Barcelona Ramon Berenguer IV. Looking at it, the townspeople froze with their mouths open (that's how "boquiabiertos" as translated from Spanish). From this word the popular name of the market was developed – "la boquería".
  • Boqueria Market is located on the site of the former of St. Joseph Monastery. It was burned in 1835 during anticlerical riots in Barcelona, like many other churches. In memory of those events, the inscription "St Josep" (St. Joseph) stands out vividly on a metal sign above the entrance to the market.
  • In such an unusual way, a Catalan restaurant-keeper and gastronomist Ramon Cabau Guasch admitted his feelings for the market. For 22 years, he bought products here for his Agut d'Avignon restaurant. In 1987, Ramon Cabau, as usual, came to the market with flowers and herbs grown personally, presented flowers to his friends and committed suicide by drinking poison. As it turned out from the suicide note, with such an act he allegedly wanted to express his love for Boqueria. A stone tablet on the column to the left of the entrance reminds of this event.
What to see nearby?
Boqueria Market is located in the center of Barcelona, within walking distance of the main attractions: Gothic Quarter, Canale Fountain, Columbus Monument, and Plaça d'Espanya.

You can visit Palau Güell – one of the first works of Antonio Gaudi, it's a 5 minutes' walk down the Rambla. On the way, you will surely walk through the mosaic of a native of Barcelona, the famous artist Joan Miro.

Behind the Boqueria Market, in the Raval district, there is a quiet courtyard of the National Library of Catalonia (Biblioteca de Catalunya) with a garden of orange trees.
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