You know how everyone thinks its cool to live in the grimiest neighbourhood in town? Barcelona’s version has to be El Raval. Back in the day, all the sailors used to come here and fornicate with prostitutes, then it was known as ‘Barrio Chino’ (Chinatown). Whilst the whores remain, the sailors have gone and been replaced with the cool kids.
If you want to find a corner store selling beer at 4am, your best chances are in El Raval. If you want to get robbed, your best chances are in El Raval. If you want to have a memorable night, your best chances are in El Raval.
Raval is home to MACBA, a Modern Art Musuem, but most people just go there to skate or to watch people skate.
‘Carrer Nou de la Rambla’ runs from ‘La Rambla’ to Paral.lel, a street that is home to a few cool bars. My favorite is Cosmo, they will mix you a mojito for 3 euros. Then you also have Pepino’s, which is home to all your standard Vice Magazine wannabes, which also means hot girls.
Rambla del Raval has a couple of chilled bars with terraces where you can grab yourself a (fairly) cheap beer and sit outside.
You also have ‘Carrer de la Riera Baixa’ and ‘Carrer dels Tallers’. Here you can find yourself some heavily overpriced vintage and retro clothes. Beyond the high prices, generally the people running the shops are easy to talk to and won’t hassle you to buy, buy, buy.