"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...

4) Stroll Sarrià

Sarrià-Sant Gervasi: Stroll Major de Sarria to Portal Miralles & More


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.

Although it can trace its settlement to the thirteenth century, Sarrià became known as a village inhabited by high quality artisans and craftsmen by the sixteenth century. By 1921, when Sarrià was assimilated by Barcelona proper, it had become one of the most affluent parts of the region.

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These days, if you go to Barcelona for business — as has for multiple visits — it is inevitable that you will end up in this corner of the city for a meeting or two; it is where local money resides. The neighborhood is popular with well-to-do French expats, also.

Tour bus routes clip the edge of Sarrià — formally the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district — on the way to the Pedralbes Monastery, but it nevertheless does not receive that much attention from tourists, perhaps because of its relatively distant location from the city center. At the time we first published this piece, the neighborhood did not reach even the top 250 attractions on the big tourist advisory sites and we think Sarrià is an excellent addition to our 7 Things Tourists Don't Do in Barcelona, but You Should, accordingly.

Stroll through Sarrià

Just because Sarrià doesn't have major attractions doesn't mean there isn't plenty to do, though. Below, we have shared one of our favorite strolls that includes some of the best streets, plazas, and places to eat in the area across both the older village and a newer, modern portion of the affluent neighborhood.

These seven places are organized in order on our map below:

  1. Casa Orlandai - We walked past this place many times assuming it was a school that wasn't open to the public. It once was a school, but we were surprised to later discover that it actually is a community center with an active event calendar and an attractive coffee shop.
  2. Carrer Major de Sarrià - Long the village's main street, a portion of which now is restricted exclusively to people on foot, it boasts upscale boutiques and mainstream shops catering to the local community.
  3. Plaça del Consell de la Vila - Sarria's main town square; a nice place to relax with a drink and watch the world go by.
  4. Sant Vicenç de Sarrià Church - An attractive neoclassical church first built in 1789 on top of previous temples.
  5. Mercat de Sarrià - Recently renovated, this is the local market with fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat as well as a handful of bars and cafes.
  6. Plaça de Sant Vicenç - A cute courtyard at the end of the people only Carrer de Cornet i Mas street.
  7. Portal Miralles (Portal i Tanca Finca Miralles) - Once the gateway to a private residence and now the entrance to a people only walking street flanked by modern apartment blocks, this is a relatively under appreciated Gaudi gem.

To eat in the neighborhood, inexpensive options include Bar Tomás — the best known joint for its patatas bravas (fried potatoes) — and El Pau de Sarria, also known for its tapas, but we especially liked its perfect location in Plaça de Sant Vicenç. For a fancier option, we had a local introduce us to Vivanda, which has classic Catalan cooking with an upscale twist. You might enjoy it, too.

We have mapped out our preferred walk below in a logical route from Sarrià Station to Maria Cristina Station.

How to Get Here: You easily can complete this walk in either direction, but the walk is nicer (and downhill) starting from Sarria Station. Take FGC Line 6 (Lavender) to Sarria Station and use the Via Augusta Exit to begin our suggested walk. You should pop out of the metro with a bike shop to your immediate right. To depart, a convenient option is Maria Cristina Station (Line 3, Green) via the Capità Arenas Entrance, although the last block or so of the walk could be better.'s Sarrià-Sant Gervasi Map (Full Screen)

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Like Sarria? Tell your friends and frenemies on social media that you discovered it first:

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

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

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

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Live in Barcelona? What's your favorite "local" thing to do? Spotted anything out-of-date or inaccurately translated? Please tell Gràcies! Thanks!

  • Writing & Photos By Brock Kyle. All Rights Reserved. Revision Published 6 January 2023. Feedback.