Barcelona is a hub for technology as well as contemporary living. The trendy bars and tapa locations along with the emerging coworking spaces make it a hotspot for digital nomads and freelancers. Poble Sec has become a blend of an alternative and artsy scene. Located between the port of Montjuic and Parallel, its history is as unique as its name. A desolate neighborhood, it was inhabited by much of the lower class and wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century when theaters began emerging along the “Avinguda Parallel” that it began to urbanize. A couple of popular theaters include El Molino, Apolo Theater, Hiroshima, and Teatre Lliure.
foto by: https://www.teatrebarcelona.com/teatre-lliure-montjuic
Poble Sec has paved its own way onto the local foodie scene. There are a range of locations that will satisfy every palate and every budget. Carrer Blai offers a vast array of tapas places. La Tasqueta de Blai serves well-priced tapas and decently priced cocktails. Taberna Blai Tonight has a young ambience and is always filled with locals. For people with special diets there is also Buenas Migas which offers vegetarian options and salads. Juice House serves veggie burgers, smoothies, and juices. Cafe Cometa houses pop art, coffee, and sandwiches. If you’re in the mood for a good burger you can try out De Paula L’Hamburgueseria del Poble Sec, a popular hamburger house.
If you’re in the mood for some of the best fried fish in town head over to La Chana which also plays rhythm and blues music. Quimet & Quimet is a perfect place to go to for a quick and diversified meal. For a fun meal you can try Tinta Roja which offers latin music and hosts artistic events in a theatre style cafe. If you feel like splurging a bit, Mano Rota is a good restaurant to try with its hipster surroundings. They offer fusion flavors and guests sit across from the chefs while they prepare the food. Xemei is a Venetian-style dinner and locals favor it.
As a freelancer finding housing accommodations can be a bit stressful. A Landing Pad: Coliving Barcelona offers most everything a coworking space does as well as a place to stay. For the younger crowd Sleep Green is a good choice. It’s the first youth hostel in Barcelona and Catalonia to achieve the EU Ecolabel in recognition of its commitment to sustainable tourism. Other hostels in Poble Sec include helloBCNhostel which starts from 54 euros a night and also Sant Jordi Hostel Mambo Tango. Sant Antoni is a good area to stay in because its near Plaza Espanya and some big city tourist attractions like the Magic Fountain. El Poble Sec and El Raval have an alternative mood and neighbor Montjuic mountain.
You have many options for getting around Barcelona. Bicing is a popular bicycle sharing system that is also affordable and has many pick up and drop off locations. There’s also Donkey Republic which you can access through their app and lock and unlock your bike through your phone. If you aren’t in the mood for biking around the city the Metro is the most efficient and used way to get around the city. Also, if you want to “live like a local” the metro is the way to go. A single pass costs about 2 euros so a better deal is to purchase the 3,5, or 10 day passes. You can use the TMB app to plan out your trip and see routes beforehand. If you don’t mind spending more money on transportation, a quicker way to get around the city is by taxi. MyTaxi is an app that allows you to call a taxi and pay either by card or cash as well as the Hailo app.
As a “beach town” there are a plethora of beaches to check out. You have the famous Barceloneta which is typically the most crowded and touristy stretch but it’s the most entertaining. Bogatell beach is much cleaner and calmer than Barceloneta. Nova Icaria beach is probably the most peaceful beach and is nearby the Olympic Park. Mar Bella offers good opportunities for water sports. Sant Sebastia is one of the longest beaches here in Barcelona. A more local beach is Badalona beach which attracts lots of families and has a relaxed vibe. Majority of the beaches in Barcelona are easily accessed via the Metro. Hitting up multiple beaches in a weekend is an activity that’s relatively cheap and fun to do.
Ultimately Poble Sec is a barrio that is versatile and unique not only in its history but in its essence. The affordable restaurants and bars within Poble Sec reflect that. The ambience projects the artistry and cultural diversity that you’ll find here. It’s centric but not in the middle of “Ciutat Vella” where its tourists heavy. This modifies the authenticity of the neighborhood. Similarly, La Vaca has its own aesthetic. Nestled within Poble Sec, the people and space at La Vaca manifest the mood of this chill neighborhood. Good weather is a staple feature of Barcelona making it a suitable place for work, play, and fun. The features of the area, Poble Sec, bring people to the neighborhood and La Vaca is reminiscent of the chill and free-spirited vibes.