This upscale part of Barcelona charms with grand buildings, modernist architecture, fine dining, and trendy bars and luxury shops.

“L’Eixample” means “The Extension.” The district was developed to connect the original city of Barcelona with the surrounding towns of Sarrià and Gràcia. It’s a huge barrio (neighborhood) with many different faces, but if you spend a few days here you’ll soon be able to recognize them all.

Start at the transportation hub of Plaça de Catalunya and stroll north to discover the neighborhood at your own pace. Because L’Eixample is so central, it’s easy to get here by metro and FGC train. It’s even easier to find your way around because the district’s wide streets were laid out in a geometrical grid pattern during the late 19th century. The Avinguda Diagonal, one of Barcelona’s major avenues, slices right through it.

L’Eixample was constructed during the height of Catalan modernism and talented artists, most famously Antoni Gaudí, gave this neighborhood its distinct art nouveau style. Sign up for a modernism walking tour, which will also introduce you to the master designs of Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Lluis Domenech i Montaner.

The iconic curving building of Casa Milà was nicknamed “La Pedrera,” which translates to the Stone Quarry, when it was built at the start of the 20th century. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was the last private residence designed by architect Antoni Gaudí. Take a tour to admire its ornate interior, period furniture and highly unusual rooftop.

Also don’t miss the stunning façade of the Casa Batlló, another one of Gaudí’s creations. It sits on Passeig de Gràcia, the neighborhood’s central shopping street with a focus on designer fashion. While here, have dinner at one of the five restaurants within El Nacional, an art deco dining venue created in a covered car park.

To the east, in the Antiga Esquerra de l’Eixample, (the Old Left Side) there’s an area nicknamed the “Gaixample.” Come here to hang out in the bars and clubs to experience the city’s LGBTQI scene. Another area within this “Old Corner” is Sant Antoni, an up-and-coming neighborhood with trendy cafés, boutique fashion shops and a popular weekday market.

If you are new to Barcelona, it’s a good idea to base yourself in L’Eixample and walk to La Sagrada Família, La Rambla, Park Guëll and many of Barcelona’s other world-famous attractions.

Popular places to visit