Unusual Barcelona #2: Poblenou, the most authentic district of Barcelona
Available in: Italiano
What to do in Barcelona in addition to the classic walk to La Rambla? What to see after the Sagrada Familia? To escape from the tourists and live a local experience, the neighbourhood for you is the Poblenou.
Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in Europe, its climate, the beach, the people and the dynamic soul attract more and more tourists. But now it seems increasingly difficult to find a place that is not assaulted by tourists.
Some time ago I told you about the Unusual Barcelona with its Labyrinth of Horta, a little gem outside the city center. Today I will take you to Poblenou.
The Poblenou district (in Catalan “new village”) is the ideal place for those looking for something truly authentic in Barcelona. Born in the nineteenth century on what was once a land of lagoons and rushes with small villages of fishermen, it has soon earned the nickname “El Manchester de la Catalunya”.
What to see in Barcelona: El Manchester Català
Oh yes, in full industrialization this was the area where all the manufactures of all kinds were concentrated: from wine to vinegar, from textiles to gas, and much more. Even today there are many brick chimneys that tell of this period of strong development.
Only in the 1960s did the process stop and a period of degradation began due to deindustrialization. The district was also abandoned by the workers and large areas fall down the drain.
Thanks to the 1992 Olympics, Poblenou begins to change its face again. It begins a redevelopment work that is still underway and has transformed this part of the city into a laboratory of creativity and innovation.
What to see in Poblenou
The Poblenou area is located beside the Ciutadella Park, stretching along the entire Bogatell and de Marbella beach and is bordered by the Diagonal (a large street that cuts the city diagonally).
The major attractions to see in Barcelona in this neighbourhood are the Torre Glories, now a true symbol of the city, the beach, the Parc del Center del Poblenou and much more.
Let’s go by order, we can start from the most famous skyscraper in the city for the discovery of the most creative district of Barcelona.
What to see in Poblenou: Torre Glories and Museu del Disseny
The Torre Glories is one of the most beautiful buildings that can be seen, designed by architect Jean Nouvel and inaugurated in 2005. The architect says he was inspired by different motives of Catalan culture, from the reliefs of the Montserrat to the bell towers of the Sagrada Familia of Antonio Gaudi.
Besides being one of the symbols of Barcelona it is also the sign of the renewal taking place within the Poblenou. Around her, more and more innovative buildings are born and continue to be born. Protagonists of the construction of a metropolitan area made of glass, metal and gloss buildings.
Another highlight is the Museu del Disseny, or “Museum of Design”, housed in another modern building with eccentric shapes. It is located at the base of the Glories Tower and its garden totally accessible to the public is the best place to admire the skyscraper.
Parc Central del Poblenou
Continuing along the Diagonal, a great way to walk, you arrive at the Parc Central del Poblenou. A park that was designed by the same architect of the Torre Glories and is an explosion of colors.
It is totally surrounded by walls covered with vegetation, to hide the treasure inside. A beautiful colorful and cheerful park with different artistic installations that reflect the eccentricity of Barcelona.
La Rambla Poblenou:
The main boulevard of the neighbourhood is the Rambla del Poblenou that starts from the beach to get to the Diagonal. Built like the other ramblas of the city, it wiggles along low houses on the sides and its trees all lined up. Even the Rambla del Poblenou is actually the meeting place for the inhabitants of the area.
This is where the life of the neighbourhood develops. The bohemian charm of low and extravagant houses, the cafes that enrich the rambla with its tables, will make you feel for a moment in another era.
District of Art and Creativity
In recent years, instead of the old factories now abandoned, technological companies have arrived and above all creative activities that have changed the face of Poblenou.
Especially all these have given a strong connotation to the district. There are now several art galleries, schools of design and activities of all kinds that have as a password “Sustainability“.
Along its streets there are lots of works of Street Art, among the most beautiful I’ve seen so far. And with them, you can also see many old abandoned factories and chimneys that tell the work, life and history of this district so authentic.
The Beach of Bogatell and Mar Bella
Going even further down the Rambla del Poblenou here is another must-see in Barcelona: the Bogatell Beach and Mar Bella. Immediately after the Rambla there is a small park that anticipates the beach and then begins the paseo maritimo.
A walk along the beach with palm trees, benches and typical chiringhitos. Just down the promenade is the beach, one of the most famous in Barcelona for the nudist area and for the Circuit festival that hosts every summer.