Barcelona is said to be one of the European cities with the most markets. Each neighbourhood has at least one, and many have up to three or four.
Several have caught the attention of the outside world because of their colourful displays, historic building or modern design: the Boqueria, Santa Caterina and Sant Antoni.
La Boqueria: La Rambla 89; www.boqueria.info; open Monday to Saturday, 8am to 8.30pm. Born as a travelling market, over the years, La Boqueria has become the most emblematic of all Barcelona’s markets. The structure, the situation, and atmosphere make it a must-see for many tourists.
Santa Caterina: Francesc Cambó 16; www.mercatsantacaterina.net; open Monday to Saturday from 7.30am each day. Closes at 3.30pm on Tues, Wed and Sat, at 2pm on Mon, and 8.30pm on Thurs and Fri. The restaurant Cuines Santa Caterina is part of the market, and open every day of the week (incl. Sunday) from 8am to 11pm. The market was renovated from 1998 to 2005 and now boasts a stunning wave-like colourful roof, which has won it various awards.
Sant Antoni: Comte d'Urgell 1; open Monday to Saturday from 7am. Every day except Friday it closes from 2.30 to 5.30pm, then reopens until 8.30pm. On Friday it stays open all day until 8.30pm. Although the food market is closed on Sunday, that day, Sant Antoni becomes home to a very popular flea market selling a variety of goods including books, comics, stamps and LPs.
If you want to experience an 'authentic' Barcelona neighbourhood market, away from crowds of tourists (just featuring crowds of locals doing their shopping) visit the website of the city council for details: www.mercatsbcn.cat (available in English)