Mercat de Santa Caterina: Barcelona’s Best Untouristy Market

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

As anyone who has visited La Boqueria knows, the famed market in Barecelona located just off Las Ramblas is not just one of the city’s most well-known destinations, but also one of its most touristy. Sure, if you get there around 5 a.m. before the visitors wake up, you’ll likely be the only non-Spainard wadering amongst the butchers, fishmongers and specialty food sellers (as Matt Gross wrote about as the Frugal Traveler a few years back).

But any other time, the market is packed with, as David Farley notes in his recent article for Gadling, “more Tiva-sandle-clad, khaki-shorts-wearing tourists than at a Dave Mathews concert.” For a more authentic experience, Farley suggests heading a short walk away to the Mercat de Santa Caterina in La Ribera.

Noted as a colorful centerpiece of the vibrant resurgence of the neighborhood, the market, with its distinctly designed roof, has been around since 1848, and will offer a more authentic market experience in the city. Of course, you’ll have to find another topic of conversation during lunch than making fun of tourists, but that’s the cost of getting off the beaten path.

[Mercat de Santa Caterina by Calín Semaan/Flickr]

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