Santa Caterina Market brings an orgy of colour to the otherwise austere grey of one of Barcelona's oldest districts, El Born. Santa Caterina is one of Barcelona's liveliest and most historic markets, its playful contemporary design by Enric Miralles attracting lovers of architecture as well as shoppers.
The market features in our list of Barcelona's Most Controversial Buildings.
History of Santa Caterina Market
The market came into being in 1848 when a royal decree allowed Barcelona Council the chance to turn what was once the site of a convent into a a source of fresh produce for the people of La Ribera. After the Civil War it became an important hub, with people coming from as far as Matarò and Badalona to get their shopping via the old tramlines stopping at Ronda San Pere and Carrer Trafalgar. In recent times it's been given a funky revamp by Catalan architect Enric Miralles, without losing sight of its previous life as a convent.
The current Sant Caterina Market was designed by Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, who were responsible for the Gas Natural Tower in Barceloneta. The collaged roof weighs 604 tonnes, fixed into place over 109 arches of differing slopes and forms. Seen from above it's a sea of colour. Beneath the glass floor are glimpses of the original convent.
There are stalls selling fresh fish, embutidos (cured meats), cheeses and fruit and veg, as well as bakers, olive oil specialists, florists, butchers and cookware shops. There are also stalls serving tapas, and beside the main entrance, in the direction of the Cathedral, there's a highly-rated restaurant.
Cuines Santa Caterina
The market's main restaurant is an ample space lined with long benches and an industrial edge to its decor. It serves a broad range of Asian, Mediterranean food and has been included in Time Out's top ten restaurants in Barcelona. Prices are upper mid-range.
Sant Caterina Market Essential Info
Address: Avinguida Francesc Cambo 16, Born-Ribera
How to Get there: The nearest metro station is Jaume I on the yellow line. From there it's a short walk up Via Laietana.
Getting to Barcelona: Barcelona is served by Barcelona El Prat Airport, and Renfe trains connect from all other major Spanish cities to Sants Estacio.