Life in Poble Sec is laid-back, low-key and lovely. Originally built beyond the Medieval city walls in the mid-19th century, it still retains a local village vibe - even though only a small portion of the wall still remains. A breeding-ground for the city’s theatre performers in the 50’s thanks to the music halls that lined the artery of Av. del Paral-lel , Poble Sec still hums with this artistic heart. On weekends, bars erupt with live music shows from emerging talents, while summer nights sees art-house movies screened under the stars and electronic festivals pulse through Montjuic park. Spread over a steep hill and housing the elegant Joan Miró museum (a stunning piece of architecture in itself), this expansive stretch of green adds to the pervading atmosphere of a Spanish Montmartre. Make sure you climb to the top - or take the funicular part way if you are feeling lazy - the views over the city are well worth it (as pictured above). Rooted in a tight-knit community and a growing selection of hip, low-key local bars (check out Quimet Quimet), on top of great value restaurants, services and schools, locals joke, quite rightly, that they need never leave. Mulling over a classic cortado coffee along the Carrer Blai, a pedestrianised street where tables spill out along the pavement, is a wonderful way to watch the world go by, while Catalan flags fluttering from windows leave little doubt to Poble Sec’s deep-rooted sense of tradition.
One of the many benefits of Poble Sec’s unassuming attitude is that it still flies comfortably under the radar of both tourists and Barcelona’s smart set. That was until the Adría brothers of El Bullí fame opened their latest restaurant, Tickets here in 2016. Quickly considered one of the hottest (and hardest to get) tables to come by, it put Poble Sec on the map. Scattered around Poble Sec and Sant Antoni, the brothers are now in the process of opening a further 5 restaurants, which, combined with a new bike path and revitalisation of Av. del Paral-lel, has given the area a real boost. Its evolution into one of the city’s newest foodie hubs will be cemented in late 2017 with the opening of the Sant Antoni market. The pace of change remains leisurely and for now, prices remain very good value, which makes the neighborhood a real favourite among young families - both local and international - looking for a calm, quiet place to raise children. Location wise, it’s pretty perfect - leading down to the port and bordering El Raval, you can walk to central Barcelona in 15 minutes and the neighbourhood is well-served by 3 metro stops.