Eixample Neighborhood Guide

Index: History | Landmarks | Museums | Restaurants | Hotels | Nightlife | Shopping | Coworking

Eixample is a district of Barcelona situated between the old city (Ciutat Vella) and the westward neighborhoods of Gràcia and Sarrià-Sant Gervasi which used to be separate towns. To the north it borders with El Clot and El Poblenou and to the south El Poble-Sec.

Eixample means ‘expansion’ in Catalan, reflecting the growth of the city to reach nearby towns. It was constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by great Catalan architects including Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Antoni Gaudí.

History

Illdefons Cerdà was the urban planner who designed Eixample. The old city suffered from unsanitary and overcrowded conditions. Cerdà’s progressive plan aimed to improve living standards, with better hygiene and more living space. He also designed it for efficient transportation in a grid system. Cerdà planned for each corner of a block to be rounded in order to facilitate visibility. Wide streets and large major avenues allowed for goods and raw materials to be easily transported around the industrial city.

Cerdà also planned to increase green spaces by having gardens in every block of the city.  His design was based on egalitarian principles, where living conditions were standard throughout the neighborhood. Eixample is characterized by its architecture, which uses decorative techniques including stuccoes, sgraffiti, stained glass and forged iron. Modernist architecture features the predominance of the curve over the straight line, rich decoration and the use of motifs derived from nature.

Architectural Landmarks

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

Casa Milà Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera (the quarry) was designed by Antoni Gaudí and built from 1906–1912. The building was commissioned by the industrialist Pere Milà and his wife Roser Segimon.

Casa Batlló The building that is now Casa Batlló was built in 1877 by Emili Sala i Cortés. In 1904, textile industrialist Josep Batlló hired Gaudí to design his home. Initially, Batlló’s intention was to tear down the building and build a new one. Gaudí suggested that a renovation was sufficient and the project went ahead, reaching completion in 1906. See also: Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona: the 10 Major Works

Casa Lleó i Morera by architect Lluís Domènech I Montaner, is one of the three important buildings of Barcelona’s Illa de la Discòrdia (Block of Discord), next to Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudí and Casa Amatller by Josep Puig i Cadafalch.

Museums

Fundació Antoni Tàpies Fundació Antoni Tàpies is a cultural center and museum dedicated to the life and works of the painter and sculptor Antoni Tàpies (1923-2012). The Fundació opened in 1990 and is housed in a building originally designed by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

Casa Garriga Nogués – Fundación MAPFRE Casa Garriga Nogués was designed in 1902 by the architect Enric Sagnier and combines the Rococo, Neoclassical and Modernist styles. It now features a modern exhibition space with exhibitions focusing on the early stages of modern painting (1850-1950) and on major photographers.

Museo del Perfume The museum displays a vast number of perfume bottles from different cultures and civilisations – including Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Arabic and Oriental.

Restaurants

Royal de Gambas Lasarte

Royal de Gambas Lasarte

Paco Meralgo Alta Taberna Paco Meralgo was opened in 2002 in the space formerly occupied by Restaurant L’Olivé. The name Paco Meralgo is a play on the words, ‘para comer algo’ (‘to eat something’). The interior is stylish and minimalistic with high tables and stools. Large windows look out on the beautiful modernist architecture that characterizes the neighborhood.

Restaurante Lasarte Restaurante Lasarte opened in 2006, and in 2010 won a second Michelin star. A full renovation was recently completed, lead by architects Oscar Tusquets, Carles Bassó and Tote Moreno with interior decoration by Oscar Tusquets and Mercè Borrell.

El Nacional El Nacional, opened in September of 2014, is a ‘restaurant of restuarants’, located at the end of a private passage between Paseo de Gracia and Pau Claris. The multi-zone establishment of 2,600 square meters contains 4 restaurants and 4 bars offering a wide variety of fresh produce and cuisine of the Iberian peninsula.

Hotels

Majestic Hotel Roof Terrace

Majestic Hotel & Spa Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona is situated in a beautiful neoclassical building mid-way up Passeig de Gràcia, a short walk from Casa Mila and Casa Batlló.

Axel Hotel Axel Hotel Barcelona opened in July 2003 and is part of the first chain in the world focused on the GLBT community. Founder Juan P. Julià Blanch created Axel to be cosmopolitan and tolerant, a place where the gay scene and diversity would be highly valued.

Hotel Omm The 5-star luxury hotel is located off Paseo de Gracia in one of the city’s most chic areas. Its restaurant Roca Moo was awarded with one Michelin star. Hotel Omm also has a spa, nightclub and terrace with a swimming pool overlooking Gaudí’s Casa Milà.

Nightlife

Lexington Bar

Lexington Bar

Lexington Bar Lexington Bar was established in 2009 by Irish and Catalan partners. Situated in the heart of Eixample, the stylish bar brings together a local and international clientele.

Hyde Club Hyde Club is famous for its Thursday Afterwork party which features live music and a buffet.

Mojito Mojito Club features salsa and bachata on Thursdays and Sunday nights. Friday and Saturday offer international Latin music and a lively dance floor.

Dry Martini This classic cocktail bar was opened in 1978 by Pedro Carbonell. It has been listed as one of the World’s 50 Best Bars and has served over one million martinis. Smartly dressed bartenders preside over the leather, wood and brass furnished interior.

Shopping

In addition to its iconic modernist architecture, Passeig de Gràcia, stretching from Plaça Catalunya to Carrer Gran de Gràcia, is a major shopping avenue. It is famous for high end boutiques such as Chanel and Prada.

Jaime Beriestain Features restored vintage furniture, books, candles, fabrics and fresh flowers. Beriestain also created his own collection of products ranging from candles, oil, honey, chocolate and rugs.

Coworking Spaces

Felisa CoWork

Felisa CoWork

Felisa CoWork A coworking space with coaching, mentoring and individual skills development plans among the services offered. Members can enjoy fruit, back massages and a brainstorming breakfast with like-minded people.

Makers of Barcelona (MOB) MOB//Makers Of Barcelona launched in 2011 on Carrer de Bailèn, focused on tech and the creator culture.