7 places in Poble Sec
Nestled between Montjuïc hill and Avenida Parallel, between the green hills and the most popular urban panorama, Poble Sec is a fusion of many shades and contradictions.
It is one of the city’s most culturally diverse area. Once known for being a good place where to find a cheap drink, Poble Sec has experienced many changes, though it maintains its bohemian feel. The atmosphere is unconventional, creative and relaxed, making Poble Sec one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods.
It was considered a marginal area where people used to set just because they couldn’t afford a house in the city centre. The name literally means “dry village” and refers to the lack of water sources in the neighbourhood itself. Poble Sec was mainly a rural area but during the 18th century the industrial development changed totally its aspect. When Avinguda del Parallel was built in 1894, Poble Sec was transformed in one of the most popular areas in Barcelona, rich in theatres and with a lively nfs ightlife.
What to see
Even though the area is not a tourist place, there are some places worthy visiting.
Created during the Spanish Civil War, this refuge is made by a series of labyrinths and tunnels dug into the ground. It testifies how people were forced to live, defenceless, during civil war bombings.
The bunker was equipped with anything people could need during everyday life, in order to allow them to take shelter for long periods : toilettes, rooms for children, an infirmary and a water spring directly supplied from Montjuïc Mountain. You will feel the authenticity of the place!
Jardins del Teatre Grec
Built on the occasion of the International Exhibition in 1929, it is a famous garden ideal to have a relaxing walk and escape from the crowdie city life. Formerly the area was dedicated to the second rose garden of the city, but nowadays you can appreciate a wide variety of plants, flowers and trees. Without any doubt one of visitor’s favourite places is the pergola located in one of the corner of the garden. Moreover there is a terrace exactly next to the pergola itself. From there you will have the chance to take stunning photos of the Barcelonan coast!
Despite its name -”Greek theatre”- it was not built by ancient Greeks, but it was projected and constructed in 1929. The architects took their inspiration from the ancient Greek theatre in Epidaurus, obtaining it from a quarry on the mountain. It is used in Summer for theatre performance, opera, music and mainly for the Festival Grec de Barcelona –a long-standing event that became a major summer attraction in the city-.
Plaça del Sortidor
Beyond the chaos of the bars, this square is a refuge for residents and visitors in search of a quiet beer. It's hard to find a prettier little square in Poble-sec, despite the underground car park that exits right into the middle of it. It's been a while since the neoclassic fountain that gave the square its name was moved up to Montjuïc, but never mind, you won't go thirsty!
Museu de Archeologia de Catalunya
Learn about Catalonian history at the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia. Another little known destination, this museum has managed to stay entirely off the beaten track. Unfortunately all information will be in Spanish, and the place largely empty. If you are passionate about history you should visit it : a beautiful building with items that trace back to the history of Catalonia.
Carrer de Blai
Also knows as the “tapas street”, it is a special pedestrian route where bars and restaurants follow one another. It is the ideal place to have a break, eat and drink. There is a great variety of places and for sure your attention will be drawn by counters full of pintxos, a typical Basque aperitivo where the stuff is literally piled on a slice of bread and everything is kept together with a toothpick –a pintxos actually!-.
Probably the most famous place in Barcelona, it is the Paradise for those who love live music. A lot of bands, artists and new talents liven up every evening of the year –even during the weekdays-. If you are passionate about staying up late, don’t miss it! Mondays at Sala Apolo are very popular!
How to get there
You can easily get to Poble Sec by underground : take the L3, the green line, and get off at Poble Sec or Paraŀlel stations, otherwise you can take the L2, the violet line, and get off at Paraŀlel station.
The Jardines de les Tres Xemeneis or literally “the garden of the three chimney stacks”. Its name derives from the three big chimneys part of an old power station -La Canadense- currently closed. The garden offers a series of original pieces of the industrial period, nowadays considered like real works of art.