The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria or “La Boqueria,” as it is simply known, is a world-renowned market located just a few paces off Barcelona’s most famous street, La Rambla. There is no other tourist attraction in Barcelona that is as closely associated with the daily lives of the locals as this market.
La Boqueria market has been through several different phases of life. It was initially born as a traveling market at the Ramblas of Barcelona. The market’s location was ideal mostly because it received a lot of traffic from visitors and locals.
Its official name, Mercat de Sant Josep, stems from the Saint Joseph covenant which was constructed at the same site in 1593 for a religious order known as the Carmelites. In 1835, a fire destroyed the Sant Josep Covenant and the site was later converted into a public market. Before the market was constructed, market vendors had to sell their goods at a market located at Rambla where they obstructed traffic. In 1914, La Boqueria market was covered by a metal roof which currently provides weather and sun protection. The market’s entrance is exceptional as it is decorated with colorful glass panes. 1914 marked the year that the market was officially named a tourist attraction.
La Boqueria market is likely the liveliest market in all of Spain. Immediately when you walk through the front gates, all of your senses will be appealed to. The vendors market their products as loudly as they can and visitors can experience exotic, familiar and new smells. The goods are also colorfully presented like works of art.
The market has upwards of 200 stalls that sell virtually all kinds of fresh foods, from meat and fish, to fruits and vegetables. You can also find exotic food at the market like beetles and worms. For an authentic experience, you can visit a Tapas bar, where one can eat various Catalan and Spanish snacks.