Photo Story: Exploring the famous Spanish market La Boqueria

Entrance to La Boqueria
Entrance to La Boqueria – As you can see it’s pretty much packed with people. Tourists and locals alike.

If you love visiting markets in different cities, La Boqueria, located along Las Ramblas is a must-go. It’s not just any market. It’s a market that is steeped with historical significance. And a place full of great affordable food, drinks and tapas bars. It’s probably the best value-for-money food option you can get while visiting Las Ramblas. Do take note though, it is pretty much packed with people at all times of the day.

History of La Boqueria

Every market has its own history, and La Boqueria probably beats them all with its history dating back to 1200s.

According to the official website, La Boqueria was born as travelling market located at La Ramblas. It originated as an open-air market, in front of the gates of the old city wall (Pla de la Boqueria). It was where fruit and vegetable traders from local towns and farms nearby would sell their products. The space inside the city at that time was too small to accommodate a big market the size of the current La Boqueria. As a result, it was located outside the walls of the city.

As the market’s popularity grew, farmers from neighbouring towns were stopped from trading here. As the competition within the market grew increasingly fierce, there would be arguments and fights between the old greengrocers and the new ones. For convenience’s sake, the markets from the two near squares were merged in to one and named La Rambla de Sant Josep.

In 1914 the market with the metal roof was inaugurated. From there, a series of improvements began, not only at a sanitary level, but also at an aesthetic and decorative level. Over the years, La Boqueria has become the most emblematic market of all the network of markets in Barcelona. The present stall owners are mostly of the third and fourth generation.

Market Stalls

You can find pretty much every type of food, fresh or cooked, here. If you’re living in a service apartment with a stove, the fresh seafood can be really tempting. Otherwise, just make do with some takeaways like ready-made jamon (ha-mon) (Spainish ham), croquettes or tapas.

In pictures – Exploring the famous Spanish market La Boqueria

The pictures pretty much say all about the place. Enjoy!

la boqueri barcelona candy
Candy on sale – looks very tempting.
la boqueri barcelona
Sweets and nuts on sale – similar to how it is done in Singapore.
la boqueri barcelona saffron
Saffron on sale – for paella making?
la boqueri barcelona
Fruit juice on sale – to quench that thirst on a hot summer’s afternoon.
la boqueri barcelona vege
I love cooking, and the variety of vegetables really amazed me. Liked how they hanged the turnips up. (See top left).
la boqueri barcelona tcroquette puff
Puffs and croquettes to takeaway
la boqueri barcelona seafood
At the seafood section. I wished the hotel had a stove and a pan.
la boqueri barcelona pork
Sorry to ruin your dinner, or whatever you will be having later
la boqueri barcelona fishmonger
This guy seems like pro at haggling and ordering food.
la boqueri barcelona tapas bar
One of the many few tapas bar. If you’re thinking of heading there during lunch, be prepared to wait.
la boqueri barcelona tapas bar
Tapas for two? Prepare to wait.
la boqueri barcelona tapas butcher
The butcher is perhaps the most common stall you can find at La Boqueria.
la boqueri barcelona tapas butcher
Here’s another one!
la boqueri barcelona tapas fruit
The fruit section gives you some space, and peace from the crowd.
la boqueri barcelona tapas eggs
This is possible the most pretty egg stall I have ever come across.

The Travelling Squid’s Take

Apart from being really packed, I did enjoy my time at La Boqueria. There’s nothing much to buy for a tourist, though the tapas bars did have really good food. There was also an unpleasant and mischievous Spanish man who rubbed his bags of cold fish on our legs on purpose, which was really quite annoying, especially when you’re really hungry, waiting for a seat at La Boqueria’s most famous tapas bar. Don’t wait until you’re hungry to find a place to eat. Chances are, you would have to wait for another 30 minutes before getting a seat at one of those ever-crowded tapas bars, especially during meal times. So be patient!

Watch out the next post on eating at the famous tapas bar – El Quim de la Boqueria.

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