Party Earth Review A bullring turned shopping center, a “magic” fountain, a famed museum, and beautiful parks can all be found around Plaça d’Espanya, easily one of the liveliest squares in Barcelona. The several major thoroughfares that... ... read full review
Plaça d'Espanya, 1
1, 3: Plaça Espanya
Montjuic, Barcelona –
A bullring turned shopping center, a “magic” fountain, a famed museum, and beautiful parks can all be found around Plaça d’Espanya, easily one of the liveliest squares in Barcelona.
The several major thoroughfares that connect here mean there’s a constant buzz of traffic around the square itself, which is anchored by a towering sculpture built for the 1929 World’s Fair and surrounded by grass – a far more bucolic setting than the ground’s original use centuries before: public hangings.
The Arenas de Barcelona just north of the square underwent major renovations after almost eighty years as a bullfighting stadium, and though designers maintained the façade, the interior now houses six floors of shops, restaurants, and a movie theater.
Landscaped with palms and eucalyptus, Joan Miró Park just beyond the shopping center provides a mellow – and aromatic – escape from the urban bustle, while across from Arenas the looming Venetian Towers – modeled after the bell tower of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice – mark the starts of the wide Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina.
Trade fairs and local markets regularly spring up along this wide avenue, but evening visitors tend to make a beeline for the Magic Fountain further south, where streams of water backlit by beautiful lights are seasonally choreographed to classical music.
Further still, the famed National Art Museum attracts a mass of museum-goers daily, all of it in the shadow of the even more renowned Montjuic hill, and just one more reason why Plaça d’Espanya is the perfect place to begin exploring this beautiful part of town.
Museum-goers, shoppers, tons of tourists, park-bound groups, market participants, and scads of locals going about their day. All ages.
Magic Fountain operates Thursdays through Sundays or Fridays and Saturdays depending on the season. Check the official Fountain website for the latest schedule.
Outdoor concerts are sometimes held in the area.
Restaurant options abound in the Arenas shopping complex.
Access to Plaça d’Espanya is always free. Area restaurants run the gamut, but most are budget-friendly, especially in the shopping center.
During the day to explore the myriad activities around the square or at night to view the Magic Fountain with a special someone, though it’s best to check the schedule first.
Beyond the Magic Fountain, Montjuic hill stretches between the city and sea, and offers a rich array of cultural sites and sporting activities, including a sprawling fortress, gardens, and the Olympic Stadium.