You may struggle to pronounce its name but this lively area of Barcelona must not be missed….
Eixample is a central barrio of Barcelona and its name translates literally as extension, as that’s exactly what it is, an extension of the original Barcelona. Izquierda is the Spanish word for left so Eixample Izquierda or Eixample Esquerra as it is known in Catalan simply means the left hand side of this area.
Eixample is a beautiful neighbourhood to wander around, shop, admire the superb architecture or take part in a spot of people-watching from one of the many cafes, bars or restaurants.
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Where exactly is it?
Eixample is a large area north of Plaza Catalunya and the two sides can be seen on the map below, separated by the diving street, Carrer de Balmes.
View Eixample left & right in a larger map
Benefits of the left side
– Full of great restaurants for all tastes and budgets.
– Lively nightlife with a great selection of bars and clubs.
– Closer to many museums including the MACBA, MNAC & the CCCB.
– Very popular with the gay community.
– Slightly closer to the airport so your taxi will be cheaper!
– Closer to the sights and sounds of Montjuic including the Magic Fountain.
– Fantastic public transport links and taxis are readily available
A little history
Characterised by its long straight streets, arranged in a grid pattern, Eixample was designed at the hands of Catalan engineer Cerdes in the 1850s and today the large area is divided into two halves for convenience rather than physical differences between the two sides.
Built slightly later than the right hand side, Eixample Izquierda is more residential and in the past was more of a working class area. It is liberally scattered with general city services such as the Hospital Clinic, the Escola Industrial, the 1905 Model Prison, a large slaughterhouse which was knocked down in 1979 and other activities which the middle class did not want to see on their doorstep.
L’Eixample Izquierda is the major gay district in Barcelona and has even acquired the nickname ‘Gayxample’ due to its vibrant gay scene, lively nightlife, stylish stores and numerous gay bars. However this is no way an exclusively gay area, it’s suitable for anyone to visit and you will find a wide selection of great accommodation on offer.
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