The following is a guest post from Ricardo Gisbert, an Editor of Barcelona N’ Do. He shares the inside look on Poblenou, Barcelona.
Barcelona is a city with a strong, unique personality. Each neighborhood has a unique image; however, there’s currently one that finds itself immersed in a complete process of reinvention. Although Poblenou stands for ‘New Town’ in Catalan, its origins date from the 19th century, when it became the epicenter of the Industrial movement in Catalonia. In addition to its extensive industrial blocks, the neighborhood also included residential flats (destined to the working class) and was known for its harsh living conditions. In the 1960s, shortly after the factories started moving from the city and to the outskirts, Poblenou entered a period of decay.
Nothing to be sad about, though: the 1992 Olympic Games started generating interest for new developments. With lots of space to play with, new projects began to grow, especially on the outer borders of the district (Gloriès, the Olympic Village and the Fòrum). There are still some in process: the 22@ District, for example, is an ambitious plan to turn Poblenou into an innovative technological district.
All these developments injected the most delicious ingredient a city needs: life. Cool new buildings have fused with the old factories, creating experimental hybrids of Catalan tradition, mixed with global hi-tech styles, making it the most dynamic neighborhood in Barcelona. Every time we go back to Poblenou it’s like we’re watching a garden grow, along with the high-rises and the new office buildings, museums, bars, hostels, art galleries, production companies and residential lofts; these all contribute to its great, growing appeal.
Nowadays, foreigners are becoming increasingly noticeable around town, and this happens for two basic reasons: the proximity to the beach and the great connectivity with the city center (thanks to subway, streetcar and bus transportation). On the other side, plenty of new establishments are aimed at foreign tourists; for instance, new hostels that offer modern and clean low-cost accommodation, driving away the old-fashioned idea that hostels are dirty and unreliable; language schools, take-away sushi restaurants or bike rental services. Resuming, Poblenou is now proclaimed cool.
The center of social life – especially nightlife – can be found along the Rambla del Poblenou, a street filled with Modernista buildings, beautiful sculptures, bars and restaurants. Straight from Diagonal Avenue to the seafront, this traditional avenue is extremely busy, especially at night, blending local residents with foreigners, lacking the overcrowded atmosphere you can feel at the city center.
Things to do at Poblenou
● Hit the beaches! Rambla del Poblenou leads directly to the Bogatell, Marbella and Nova Icaria beaches. You can spend all morning relaxing at the beach, walking only a few blocks for lunch, and then quickly return.
● Taste the nightlife: mythical Barcelona nightclub Razzmatazz is in the heart of Poblenou. The club features five separate areas with different music styles.
● Go Mediterranean! Indulge yourself in the delights of the best seafood in town. We recommend trying out Els Pescadors (‘The Fishermen’), located at 1 Plaça de Prim.
● Reach the top: Terraza Dos Cielos is placed at the 24th floor of the ME Hotel. You can enjoy the best views of Poblenou right there, along with tasting great food and drinks.
● Sightseeing: some of Barcelona’s landmarks, such as Agbar Tower and the new Design Hub, are located in Poblenou. In addition, you can also check out the Poblenou Cemetery, a stunning example of what we’d call ‘funerary art’.
● In addition, don’t forget to share your own must-see list with us after your visit!