How many times have you walked down Las Ramblas? How many times have you entered the Market known as La Boqueria? We have already lost count. But… Didn’t you know all these curiosities of La Boqueria?
Today La Boqueria is a mandatory visit in Barcelona, either for its products or as a tourist visit, but first, we are going to know a little more about this peculiar municipal market for its mixture of colors and smells.
1. The official name.
The official name of this market is Mercado de San Jose, (the Catalan translation is Mercat de Sant Josep.) Colloquially it is known as La Boquería, (La Boqueria in Catalan).
Two reasons for the name of this market are; La Boquaría was known for selling «Boc» which means goat in Catalan. However, legend supposes that this name derives from the words Badocs or Mouth Open. Since, as they believe, Count Ramón Berenguer IV, put the treasures of a raid in this area, that he had brought from Almería and the people who looked at him were left speechless (bocabadada in Catalan).
This is how the perplexing name of this great market in the centre of Barcelona turned out to be La Boquería.
2. Anniversary of La Boqueria.
The Boquería Market in 2020 celebrated its 180th anniversary. It was on March 19, 1840, when the first stone of the market was laid. The market was a project of the architect Josep Mas I Vila. In 1913 the arch at the entrance of La Boquería that you are able to see from La Rambla was placed. In 2002 an overall restoration of the market took place. Moreover, in the latest reform of the market in 2015, the surface of the market was expanded with 1,000m2.
3. The number of stalls and the size of La Boqueria
La Boqueria has a total of more than 300 stalls. These are spread over no more and no less than 2,500 square meters. In these stalls, you can find a wide variety of products, such as Poultry and Eggs, Sausages, Meats, Fruits and Vegetables, Nuts, Legumes, Olives and Preserves, Fish and Seafood, among others.
Although on this visit you cannot miss the different bars, restaurants and sweet stalls.
4. Location and time.
La Boqueria has long opening hours from Monday to Saturday. For early risers, its doors open at 8:00 a.m., with uninterrupted hours until 8:30 p.m. for those who prefer to go in the afternoon.
The location of this market is on Street La Rambla, number 91. Very close to Plaza Cataluña. The nearest metro stop to reach La Boqueria is Liceu, which is line L3 (green line). The entrance to it is free, and you can enter through La Rambla, Through Plaça Gardunya and la Plaça Sant Galdric.
Currently, we can also enjoy these products in our homes without having to go there. Many stalls offer home delivery. As long as you place your order before 1:30 p.m. we receive it that same day. In the case of placing the order after 1:30 p.m., nothing happens, we receive our order the next day at our address. It is very simple, Order at home.
6. Free parking.
Some prefer to go shopping by car, so La Boqueria also has this option, free parking. The car park is located on Street Las Floristas de la Rambla, at number 8. Next to Plaça de la Gardunya.
A total of 450 vehicles fit in the parking lot. In order to have the first free hour of parking, it is necessary to make a purchase of at least € 30 and go to validate the ticket at the market information point. That is located on the sales floor.
7. Restaurants in the market.
Yes, yes, La Boqueria has restaurants within it. So you don’t have to leave the market to drink or have tapas. We can find a total of more than 8 restaurants and bars within it.
The variety of foods that can be found is extensive, typical food such as patatas bravas, fried eggs, potato omelette, Andalusian squid, ham, prawns, gratin cod, Iberian secret or a coffee in its many varieties among others. The local restaurants stand out; stalls specialised in Catalan tapas, fresh fish and seafood, grilled vegetables and quality meats.
8. Tourist resource of the city.
The fact that La Boqueria is located in this strategic point of the city means that it does not go unnoticed by Barcelona Tourists, it is a place where both local people and tourists are found shopping at the same stalls simultaneously.
La Boqueria maintains its image of a traditional market, as a place to buy the local people and restaurants of the city, now tourism is added, without losing the precious essence. La Boqueria is the largest market in all of Barcelona, and it receives thousands of visits every day.
Some stalls look like museums due to how the products are displayed, and this makes La Boqueria even more attractive with this mix of colours. And also exclusive of Italian, Japanese and Arabic food.