El Born


Can’t get much cooler than this trendy, uber-hip neighborhood
in the gothic quarter of Barcelona.


Cross the Via Laietana while exploring Barri Gotic and you'll be lost in El Born
before you know it. A thriving part of the old city since the 13th century, it
neverthless has an intimate feel and has become one of the most fashionable
neighborhoods in Barcelona. Shopping is big here – pricey boutiques filled with
shiny things, exhibition spaces and art galleries, and yes, ladies, shoe shops
galore. The Picasso Museum is here in these ancient narrow streets, and the Museo
de Xocolata, where you can practically get drunk on chocolate. Some of Barcelona’s
best restaurants are tucked into El Born, in tiny courtyards or around hidden corners
seemingly non-existent on maps (adding to the intrigue). Only want a snack? The
trouble is choosing which tapas or crepes bar to eat in because there are so many.
At night, don’t miss this area of the city. I had a Mojito in a funky bar in El Born that
I don’t think has been matched ever since. I can still remember the crunchy sugar
and fragrant mint in the rum – the perfect blend of sweet and intoxicating, like
Barcelona itself.