Sure, this artsy enclave might not be the under-the-radar area it once was; even so, arguably Barcelona’s coolest neighbourhood still retains its creative, boho-chic spirit. Its delightfully tangled streets are lined with determinedly unpretentious restaurants, cafes, bars and – possibly its strongest suit – an assuredly off-beat network of always surprising, un-clichéd boutiques, which makes shopping in this part of the Catalan capital pure joy. The look among locals? Equally laid back, equally understated: think soft silhouettes and earth tones. Just don’t try too hard and you’ll fit right in.
This womenswear boutique’s is high on any Catalan local’s list, thanks to its tight edit of coveted European brands, coupled with personable staff and founded by Spanish fashion graduate Isabel Campelo. This is the flagship store, and the concept store has two other outposts in the city. Label-wise, expect the likes of Isabel Marant and Chloe. You won’t leave empty handed.
Carrer del Rec, 65
The Spanish are well-known for their high-quality leather goods, so don’t leave town without one of Beatriz Furest’s creations. Designed and handcrafted in Barcelona, Furest’s Italian leather shoes, bags and accessories in classic shapes with contrasting leathers are wardrobe must-haves.
Carrer Esparteria, 1
Pieces that are minimal, effective and eye-catching. Rohner’s nature-inspired contemporary jewellery – which marries silver with wood, porcelain and Murano glass – has found favour with brands from Paul Smith to Georg Jensen.
Carrer de l’Espaseria, 15
This quirky showroom-cum-gallery is peppered with unusual lamps, mirrors and artworks, most of which are one-off or limited-edition. From metallic silver space-age armchairs to paintings of women-bird hybrids, pieces are certainly conversation starters.
Passatge Sert, 5
In this former market, you’ll find the archaeological remains of buildings from the 1700s – and, if you’re in an expensive mood, pretty-but-pricey trinkets from the gift shop. Go for one of their glazed ceramic pots to take hime or browse their history books on life in old Barcelona.
Carrer del Comerç, 12