Eixample is a district of Barcelona between the old city (Ciutat Vella) and what were once surrounding small towns (Sants, Gràcia, Sant Andreu etc.), constructed in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Eixample, which translates as “extension” in recognition of its status as the newer part of the city, is a large area north of Plaça Catalunya spreading left and right of Passeig de Gràcia.
The area is indeed an extension to the city that benefits greatly from its ingenious urban planning at the hands of Catalan engineer Cerdà in the 1850s.
Cerdà had a fondness for straight lines and the whole area is set out in a grid with each block having an inner courtyard. This means that it is hard to get lost in Eixample, and moreover, easy to find places.
Nowadays Eixample is famous for being home to the majority of Barcelona’s art nouveau masterpieces, and a high-class residential and shopping area.
Here you will find most of Barcelona’s international designer shops such as Chanel and MaxMara. Also along this road are La Pedrera and Casa Batlló, two of Gaudí’s characteristically dreamlike buildings.
Also, there are many interesting art galleries in the area and if art appeals then be sure to have a look in Fundacion Antoni Tapies which is just off Passeig de Gràcia and has a permanent collection of this Catalan artist’s work.
Eixample is a safe and residential part of the city but there is also a vibrant nightlife and a thriving café culture.
Eixample is a beautiful barrio to wander round, take in the glorious architecture and people-watch from one of the many terrace cafes.
Transport to and from the area is good. Eixample is serviced by several metro stops, as well as the FGC train.
However the area is very central and most other parts of the city are within walking distance.
Also in the Eixample are numerous tourist attractions and city as the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, the National Theatre of Catalonia, the Barcelona Auditorium, Plaza de Toros Monumental, Casa de Punxes and numerous cinemas, theaters, restaurants, hotels and other entertainment venues.
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The right side – Dreta de l’Eixample
As you probably already know, the district of Eixample consists of two main subareas, which are: Eixample Esquerra (left) and Eixample Dreta (right).
Dreta de Eixample is famous for being home of some of the most important tourist attractions in Barcelona such as Sagrada Familia, but technically it is not true.
The right side of the Eixample is in reality divided into three smaller areas: Eixample Dreta, Sagrada Familia and Fort Pienc.
In Eixample Dreta you can find the best international designer stores, restraurants and bars.
In addition, along the Passeig de Gracia there are La Pedrera and Casa Batlló, two of the most famous buildings that Gaudí constructed.
This area also has several interesting art galleries and the Antoni Tàpies Foundation with the permanent collection of works of this Catalan artist.
The Eixample is a safe residential area and a very convenient place for your stay in the city.
It is a beautiful neighborhood to walk around, enjoy the modernist architecture and watch the people from all over the world pass by from a charming terrace of one of the cosiest cafes.
But it still has a pretty active nightlife and offers all kinds of entertaining activities.
Must watch places in Dreta de l’Eixample
Probably the most important landmark of the city that you can find in Eixample is the Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece – the Temple of the Holy Family, or Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia.
Gaudi dedicated the last years of his life to this work, and himself is buried in the church. This is definitely a place to visit if you are in Barcelona.
Our selection of bars and restaurants in the district
1. El Nacional 1. Cachitos
2. Bardot 2. Why Not Cocktail Bar
3. Casa Agustí 3. The George Payne Irish Pub
4. Moments 4. L’Ovella Negra
5. Parking Pizza 5. Pub Les Gens Que J´Aime
The left side – Esquerra de l’Eixample
El Eixample is a modern central district of Barcelona full of beautiful buildings, restaurants of all kinds, shops, bars and absolutely everything you can think of.
It is a fantastic area for walking and admiring the magnificent architecture, which is the the result of a project of Ildefons Cerda, who in 1869 came up with a revolutionary concept for the city.
This concept is considered one of the first examples of modern urban planning. It is characterized by a grid of wide streets with diamond intersections formed by chamfered corners.
The Catalan name “Eixample” literally means “enlargement”, as it exactly is the extension of the original old Barcelona.
Here a quick overview we made about the best spost of Eixample district you absolutely can’t miss:
Since the district is very big, it is a small city itself.
The right side of Eixample is very different from the left one. But each of them has a lot to offer to the city visitants.
The Left Eixample, or El Eixample Esquerra, is bordered by the Balmes street, Diagonal Avenue, Parallel Avenue and the Plaza España.
This side is hugely important because it was here where such architects as Puig and Cadafalch, Domènech i Muntaner and Antoni Gaudí were building homes for the bourgeoisie of Barcelona.
That is why the buildings of the area are the masterpieces of the Modernist Architecture.
Furthermore, the Mercat de Sant Antoni and the streets surrounding it give its own identity to the area.
Our selection of bars and restaurants in the district
1. Casa Calvet 1. Fabrica Moritz
2. Uma 2. The Passenger
3. Can Valles 3. Why Not Cocktail Bar
4. aQistoi 4. Espit Chupitos
5. Cervecería Catalana 5. Tandem Cocktail Bar
Must do in Esquerra de l’Eixample
- Explore the Modernist Architecture
- Go shopping in the labirinth-like streets of the district
- Have a picnic in the Parc de Joan Miró
- Admire the 360-degree view from the roof of the Arenas commercial center