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Plaça dels Angels Concrete playground

Epicenter of this so-called civilized society and Skateboarding mecca of the world, the plaza is surrounded by historical buildings and serves as a pulsating cultural core. Blinding white light presides over the area courtesy of MACBA. Flanked as well by FAD (Foment de les Artes i el Diseny), La Capella, a primary school and a few restaurants and cafes (Pla dels Angels, Fragil, Original) on one of its corners, Plaça dels Angels is the result of a neighborhood development measure from the mid-nineties that included the development of other nearby note-worthies like CCCB and the recently inaugurated Philosophy Faculty of the UB up Montealegre street.

The plaza is a daily witness to many an exchange of goods and culture involving as diverse a group of individuals as possibly imaginable, and sometimes unimaginable—from local old timers to foreign skater bus tours to policemen to street dwellers, Pakistani vendors to modernos, school-kids to executives in suits, and not to mention all the rats, cats, dogs, birds and even reptiles present at the plaza at any given time. Enjoy the scenery, and watch out for creepy crawlers and accidentally rocketing skateboards as well.

Mercat Fira de Bellcaire Treasure trove

Barcelona’s largest, oldest and, arguably, best flea market, Mercat Fira de Bellcaire dates back to the 14th century. While most of the items are of a more recent vintage, the baffling range of weathered treasure to be found does the market’s long history proud.

Alongside idiosyncratic selections of dusty bric-a-brac and old curios, more conventional commodities are in impressive supply—secondhand clothing and vinyl abound. Also, be sure to check out the section where carpenters sell their own new and refurbished furniture.

The market opens at nine, and an early start is recommended if you want to catch it before the crowds roll in and decimate the day’s store of goodies. Once you’re shopped out—and you will be—fall into one of Barrio Clot’s many tapas bars to sample the local hospitality and cuisine.

Placa Duc de Medinaceli The Duke

The Plaza of the Duc de Medinaceli is one of Barcelona’s defining examples of urban approximation to the sea, vividly displayed by palm trees sprouting out of cement. Barcelona has always provided one of Spain’s primary commercial links with the ocean. But the limits of contact with the coast have traditionally been left in the hands of port and industry authorities. No longer.

Famously featured in a scene of Almodóvar’s film Todo Sobre mi Madre, the plaza sits on the site of a 13th century Franciscan convent, which disappeared along with the old city walls in the 19th century. The plaza is currently a key factor in offering city residents a quick escape from the concrete jungle, as a good place to enjoy life at an even more relaxed pace.

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