Poble Espanyol is a major tourist attraction, combining architecture, shops, restaurants and museums in a “village” setting.
The project was the brainchild of Josep Puig i Cadafalch, one of the greats of Catalan modernism, and was created for the Barcelona Universal Exhibition of 1929. Poble Espanyol was supposed to be dismantled at the end of the exhibition, but was saved by its success with the public.
The main attraction of Poble Espanyol is that it allows visitors to discover typical streets and monuments from all over Spain. If you know the country well, you shouldn’t find anything too surprising.
Poble Espanyol: a joyful mix of styles
Welcome to Spain!
Surrounded by greenery, Poble Espanyol is set over 50,000 m2. It’s made up of 117 life-size structures, which are reproductions of buildings and streets from other regions of Spain. It’s designed to be like a real village (poble, in Catalan), with squares, streets and shops… but no cars!
A walk around Poble Espanyol is a fun way of discovering the traditions and unique architectural styles of the different Spanish regions. Yes, it’s a reproduction, but it’s a good one and doesn’t look like a film set.
No, it’s not the most authentic place in Barcelona, but it has its own charm, and is worth a trip if you haven’t visited the rest of the Iberian peninsula, or if you want to get “out” of Barcelona for a while.
Some of the buildings in Poble Espanyol house modern art collections:
- Fran Daurel Museum: opened in 2001, this museum houses a very varied selection of modern artworks. The collection includes pieces by Picasso, Miró, Dalí, Tàpies and Barceló, and includes paintings, drawings, sculptures and ceramics.
- Guinovart gallery: this exhibition space presents work by the sculptor Josep Guinovart, alongside temporary exhibitions of work by other artists. The star of the show is a gigantic installation called Contorn-Entorn, previously exhibited at the Maeght gallery in Barcelona in 1976, then at the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art.
- Sculpture garden: Poble Espanyol is surrounded by over 3000 m2 of gardens, home to around 30 sculptures, created by various contemporary artists.
Crafts and shops
Like a “real” village, Poble Espanyol is home to all sorts of shops. In addition to souvenirs, you’ll find craft items which are hand-made on site by over 30 artisans. Products range from ceramics to jewellery, via leatherwork, glass, baskets and even guitars. Some places even offer made-to-measure articles.
- Beware of the high prices…
Other shops sell gourmet products from all four corners of Spain: cheese, honey, meats, chocolate, wine, oils etc.
Restaurants and cafés
There are several restaurants in Poble Espanyol, intended to represent different regions.
- Given that Poble Espanyol is intended almost exclusively for tourists, we wouldn’t recommend eating there – you’ll almost certainly be disappointed (we were).
Activities in Poble Espanyol
For a great day out as a family, don’t forget to pack a picnic! There are tables and chairs set out for your use in the gardens.
Christmas at Poble Espanyol
The streets are decorated with traditional ornaments and there are live music performances, workshops for children and adults, Christmas films… It ‘s a good plan to celebrate Christmas with the all family!
When? December 21 to 29, 2018 (except December 25)
- December 21-23 and December 27-29 from 11am to 7pm
- December 24 from 11am to 4pm
- December 26 from 11am to 2pm
Shows, concerts and nightlife
Activities at Poble Espanyol carry on into the night:
- Flamenco shows: unsurprisingly, you’ll find the Tablao Cordobés (which also has a branch on Las Ramblas) in the “Andalucia” zone. It plays host to tourist-oriented flamenco shows. (Avoid the dinner+show offer, which is usually disappointing).
- Festivals: Poble Espanyol plays host to concerts all year round, particularly in summer (see our article on concerts and summer festivals in Barcelona). It’s also home to the Blues Nights festival and to the Biergarten beer festival.
- Outdoor cinema: every summer, the Mecal Air film festival takes place at Poble Espanyol, where short films are shown outdoors. For more information, click here.
- Night clubs: there are three clubs in Poble Espanyol: The One, Upload and Terrrazza. The third, which is an outdoor club, is by far and away the most famous. It’s only open during the summer months. As one of Barcelona’s best nightlife venues, it’s part of the selection covered by the VIP-In Pass.
Poble Espanyol: prices
Top tip: get your tickets with 10% off!
- Adult: €14/ €12.60 with the reduction
- Children aged 4-12: €7/ €6.30 with the reduction
- Over-65s: €9
There are also some interesting packs: family (2 adults+ 2 children), Poble Espanyol + MNAC…
Poble Espanyol: opening times
- Monday: 9am – 8pm
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday: 9am – midnight
- Friday: 9am – 3am
- Saturday: 9am – 4am
Getting to Poble Espanyol
Poble Espanyol is located out of the city centre, on Montjuïc hill, so the transport links aren’t as good as for some of the other tourist attractions.
- Bus: nos 13, 23 and 150 stop just outside
- Tour bus: Poble Espanyol (red line)
- Metro: Plaça Espanya (L1 and L3), then a 10-15 minute walk