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"Capital of a stateless nation, Mediterranean port city, the place where anarchism triumphed, the site of the rebirth of the Olympic movement in an orgy of spectacle and urban potential… Barcelona is all of these things at once." — Robert Davidson, A Companion to Catalan Culture, 2011 (p. 112)

Cities > Barcelona > 7 Things Tourists Don't Do in Barcelona, but You Should...

7) Find the Little Fox

Stroll Via Júlia in the La Guineueta portion of Nou Barris

 

2023 Travel Update: As of 2023, Spain essentially is open for tourism by both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers without Covid-specific documentation or testing. However, be sure to double check the official government site for up-to-the minute details.

La Guineueta — "Little Fox" in Catalan — is one of the original nine neighborhoods in Barcelona's Nou Barris district in the upper right corner of the city toward the Besòs river. Although immigrants self-constructed informal settlements even earlier, this area started to be developed into neighborhoods in the 1920s and 1930s. In the 1950s and 1960s, the population of the area increased dramatically as new arrivals from across Spain continued to pour into Barcelona with the hope of finding manufacturing jobs.

In tandem with its population growth, high rise estates sprung up to accommodate the increasing need for housing. Some estates were built by the Franco government and others by private developers, but the majority of housing in La Guineueta is built in the Modernist style, characterized by rows of cloned towers nestled in green park-like space. This type of Modernist development tends to make today's Western architecture critics bristle, but it provides an interesting contrast to the warren-like labyrinths in areas like Ciutat Vella and Barceloneta and the grid structure in areas like Dreta and Sant Antoni.

Stay Safe in La Guineueta

As an experienced traveler would guess given its history, La Guineueta is not a wealthy area; it has poverty levels nearly on par with El Raval, the poorest portion of the center city.

Now is a good time to remind you that travelgasm.com, and the author thereof, are not legally responsible for you in any way in La Guineueta or anywhere else and you always should be vigilant about your safety. It would not be a good idea to go wandering around in high rise housing estates, especially after dark. If nothing else, you don't live there, and residents rightfully might be concerned that you are up to no good.

However, unlike El Raval, because La Guineueta is nowhere near the tourist trail, if you visit during the morning, stick to the main streets on our map below, and don't go looking for trouble, you are unlikely to find it.

The Best Walk in La Guineueta-Verdum: Via Julia

Many cities around the world manage to have an attractive, walkable shopping street for the well-to-do. Barcelona, on the other hand, should be especially praised for its efforts to provide quality walks throughout the city, even in working class communities like La Guineueta.

Hola BCN Card

Technically running along the border of the La Guineueta, Verdum, and La Prosperitat neighborhoods, the Via Júlia street provides a respectable walk between much of the Llucmajor and Via Júlia metro stations. Its nicest portion is toward the Via Júlia metro station and it is well worth a stroll for a broader perspective of the city.

Via Júlia wasn't always this nice, though. It started life as an "ill-conceived" route through these neighborhoods in 1929 laid down as two different roads separated by a large dirt patch between them, presumably in anticipation of a future expressway or elevated freeway. This middle space became an informal car park for decades. Thankfully, a vehicular-centric plan from 1960 never was implemented, and in the 1980s, the area instead became an underground conduit for Metro Line 4. This metro line was then topped with a walkable rambla to stitch the neighborhoods together and provide what is now a proper central shopping street.

Where to Eat in La Guineueta

To eat in just about any neighborhood in Barcelona, the local market is a good option, and we stuck with eateries in the Mercat de La Guineueta like the inexpensive Cafeteria Bar Yolanda and El Racó de la Carme when we were in the area. Refurbished in 2013, the market itself is a modern design that may lack some of the character of famous markets in the center of the city like La Boqueria and Santa Caterina, but it still is attractive and everything definitely is priced for locals.

If you want to eat on the main walking street itself — Via Julia — and watch the world go by for a bit, a locally well regarded tapas bar is La Freidu. It, also, is quite affordable.

Below, we have mapped out the best walk from Llucmajor Station to the Mercat de La Guineueta and along the Via Julia walking street to the next metro, Via Julia Station.

How to Get Here: Take Line 4 (Yellow) to Llucmajor Station and use the Passeig Verdum / Llucmajor Exit. You should pop out of the metro with a Caprabo supermarket on your left. Walk straight ahead on Passeig de Verdum toward Placa de la República to begin our suggested walk. To depart, Via Julia Station (Line 4, Yellow), is straightforward. The Via Júlia / Argullós Entrance is closest, but if you are enjoying the walk and want to see a bit more, Via Julia / Carrer de Joaquim Valls also is a convenient option.

travelgasm.com's La Guineueta-Verdum Map (Full Screen)


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All 7 Things Tourists Don't Do in Barcelona, but You Should:

  • 7) La Guineueta-Verdum
  • 1) Modernisme Beyond Gaudí
  • 2) Rambla del Poblenou
  • 3) Sant Antoni
  • 4) Sarria
  • 5) Parc del Turo del Putxet
  • 6) Sant Andreu

Be sure to see our Top 7 Things to Do in Barcelona, too.

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  • Writing & Photos By Brock Kyle. All Rights Reserved. Verification Published 7 January 2023. Feedback.