Barcelona’s hidden gem: Carrer d’Avinyó

Tired of the tourist packed streets, shops, and restaurants? Looking for a more authentic, local experience? Take a stroll through the winding streets of the Gothic Quarter, but be sure to keep your eye out for Carrer d’Avinyó, a hidden gem among the popular souvenir shops and paella restaurants.

Whether you’re looking for or happen to simply stumble upon this street, you will undoubtedly be impressed. Lined with an eclectic collection of stores and cafés, Carrer d’Avinyó, one of Barcelona’s oldest streets, is not only good for shopping, but also for a unique historical experience. From clothing and home décor to tapas and pastries, or even just a lovely stroll, Carrer d’Avinyó can provide it all.

Though it only takes a short 10-minutes to walk the length of this street, this Avinyó offers an authentic historical and cultural experience you won’t want to miss during your visit to Barcelona.

Shoes

For all of your genuine leather needs, Hector has you covered. Whether you’re looking for high quality leather boots, belts, or bags, you are sure to find it here. You might instinctively imagine a subdued all black, brown and tan tinted store, but if that’s the case, think again. Hector pulls you in with bright yellows, reds and blues, frills and gems, animal prints and funky hats.

Stop by next door at number 7 for a different but equally cool shoe experience. Perfect for your summer espadrille fix, La Manual Alpargatera, is a shoe store that specializes in these Catalan shoes. The first shoe factory to make espadrilles in 1940, La Manual Alpargatera offers not only the opportunity to come home with high quality, cute shoes, but also as an added bonus an interesting historical story. If you need more convincing, several stylish celebrities including Michael Douglas and Tyra Banks have passed through the doors of La Manual Alpargatera.

Apargatera

Design and décor

If you’re not looking for a specific thing; maybe you want every possible option in one place, visit Totem, a store that really can’t be categorized no matter how hard you try. At number 28, Totem has everything from soccer jerseys to arts and crafts to an extensive English literature selection. Bright and fun like everything else on this eclectic street, Totem is a gem that shouldn’t be missed.

Clearly, quirky and unique stores are what Carrer d’Avinyó specializes in. Their selection of home décor shops fits right in. La Case de Cousin Paul, at number 22, has mastered all things light. Specializing in indoor and outdoor lanterns of all different colors, patterns and sizes, after a visit to La Case de Cousin Paul your home will surely feel brighter and warmer.

La Case de Cousin Paul

Food

If all this shopping is making you hungry, not to worry, Carrer d’Avinyó has plenty of delicious food options to choose from. El Gran Café is a great place to stop if you want to experience an upscale traditional Spanish dinner. It is a popular destination for many older folks, which speaks to its quality and authenticity.

El Gran Café- Paella

For a more modern, young atmosphere, don’t overlook Venus, a tapas bar that not only offers exquisite traditional tapas, but also a fun laid back atmosphere. The paper maché animals that fill the windows will surely draw you in to this scrumptious destination. Another great option can be found at number 47, La Retama. Or, if you’re really hungry and would prefer plate-sized tapas, Agüelo 013 (number 37) won’t disappoint.

Throwback fashion

D’Avinyó’s clothing stores fit right in with the bright and playful, but also high quality theme that runs down this street. At number 29 Humus offers only fully sustainable clothing and accessory options—the perfect solution for people who tend to have buyers remorse.

For a vintage shopping experience, you won’t want to miss, (or be able to miss) checking out Wasabi, a store with window displays full of funky mannequins will undoubtedly catch your attention. This is yet another store along this gem of a street that offers much more to your shopping experience than just somewhere to buy something.

The vintage doesn’t stop there however; stop by Flamingos Club (number 24) or for specifically 50s vintage wear The Rent Shop (number 12) or La Veintinueve (number 29). Along with 50s style clothing, La Veintinueve offers a selection of fun swimsuits and Mary Janes to fill all your shopping needs.

The Rent Shop

And if the options listed already still aren’t enough, one more clothing store that shouldn’t be forgotten is Pygmees. If you’re looking to buy high fashion items, or simply to peruse the bold colors and unique styles that European high fashion has to offer, be sure to pop into Pygmees, found at number 46. This Parisian store feels and is authentically European. Bringing something home from here would be a constant reminder of your travels.

Though small and often overshadowed by the tourist sites along the winding streets of the Gothic Quarter, Carrer d’Avinyó is an entertaining historical gem you won’t want to miss during your visit to Barcelona.

Sandra Roig is Marketing Director at AB Apartment Barcelona.

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