Poble Espanyol which translates to ‘Spanish Village’ in Catalan is a charming melange of spanish architecture and culture spread over 50,000 m² meters at the foothills of Montjuic hill. If you want to consume a big gulp of spanish cultural sangria without having to travel all across the country, Poble Espanyol is where you can experience an encompassing spectrum of Catalan culture.
This open air museum housing 117 buildings representative of 33 Spanish regions exhibits houses modeled on authentic Iberian villages, extrapolated and transported right to the heart of Barcelona. Meandering the traffic free streets and squares of Poble Espanyol will transport you to an Andalusian neighborhood in one stretch and take you the Balearic Islands is a few steps around the corner.
Poble Espanyol - A Brief History
This scrapbook of Spanish architecture was built over a span of 13 months for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition hosted in Barcelona as an exhibit in the Spanish crafts section . The architects Puig I Cadafalch, Ramon Reventos , Francesc Folguera and the two artists Xavier Nogués , Miquel Utrillo scouted and visited over 1600 towns and villages across Spain in order to bring to life the Poble Espanyol with such surreal resemblance to reality.
Their aim of creating and presenting the convivial aura of Spanish villages in its glorious beauty was a great success that received much praise and laurels. Though the village was to be demolished after the Exposition, its popularity outlived the occasion and it continues to remain alive until our time. Today, it is one of the most coveted attractions in Barcelona for its vibrant setting with something for adults and kids alike; from museums to shops to crafts and art displays, contemporary installations, kids play area and more.
Poble Espanyol Tickets
Barcelona Card: 20% discount on Poble Espanyol Ticket + €1 discount on audio guide fee
Barcelona iVenture Multi Attraction Pass: Skip the Line Entry to Poble Espanyol
Hop-On-Hop-Off City Bus Tour: Transport + €10 discount on Poble Espanyol ticket
Things to do at Poble Espanyol
Like I said earlier, Poble Espanyol has something for everyone. A walk through Poble Espanyol will take you through regions of Aragon, Castilla, Andalusia, Asturias, Murcia and Catalunya, Basque Country, Extremadura and Castile. After your amble around Poble Espanyol, you may forget that the village is mere replica and that you’re still in Barcelona!
Based on your interest and time in hand, you can explore the following at Poble Espanyol.
Museu Fran Daurel
Museu Fran Daurel houses an eclectic collection of 300 works by fabled contemporary artists like Picasso, Dalí,Barceló and Miró. From paintings, to creative installations to sculptures,ceramics and tapestries, this exhibition offers a glimpse into the fine arts realm of Spain. With the admission to the museum being included in the entry ticket, this one’s a definite must go while in Poble Espanyol!
A circular luminous space with a gigantic sculpture of the world renowned artist Josep Guinovart is what the Guinovart Space is all around. A mere 5 minute walk through, the multiple floors and abundance of natural light oozing in from the large skylight makes the Guinovart Space an apt choice for artistic portrait photography.
Monastery of San Miquel
An exquisite example of Catalan Romanesque architecture, the Monastery of San Miquel was never really constructed with the intent of being used as a convent, but as a testimony to the umpteen Catalan Romanesque structures around Spain. Overlooking unparalleled views of Barcelona, there is an undeniable medieval air around this monastery. It is often rented out for celebrations and film shootings, so watch out for movie stars lurking around.
Close to the Monastery of Sant Miquel lies the sculpture garden , a space that evocatively blends nature and art with 36 contemporary sculpts. Set on a slope boasting splendid views of Barcelona city, this garden is an incomparable setting for settling down on a picnic mat and munching on some palatable tapas aftering sauntering around Poble Espanyol. If you’re lucky, you might catch a concert, theatre performance, magic show or some form of performance in this garden during your time here.
The latest addition to Poble Espanyol, Fiesta is a multimedia facility allowing visitors to experience and discover the soul of a Catalan culture through its popular Spanish festivals. From the festival of Tomatina, Jaleo, Castells, San Fermin and La Patum, this immersive experience over breathtaking images and sound offers an unprecedented cultural and sensorial journey.
All the handicrafts and curios you see in the shops around Poble Espanyol has been made with great love and care by a community of 50 odd traditional artisans and craftsmen from around Spain. Each and every piece in here retains the charm of ancestral intricacy and is the result of weeks and months of hard toil. Clothes,belts, masks, baskets, bags, toys, ceramics, jewellery, musical instruments, soaps, stained glass and metal artifacts; all are worked upon using age old techniques that result in refined finish and meticulous designs you cannot find in any other part of Barcelona. Dig out a few souvenirs to take back home!
Watch Craftsmen at Work
If you want a glimpse of how the products on display are created , you can walk into the handicraft workshops and admire the artisans at work. If you’re overly fascinated, you can even order a personalised piece!
Timings for the handicraft workshops are as below:
- Winter: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- Summer: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
- Autumn and spring: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Poble Espanyol may not seem like a children friendly visit, but you’ll be surprised to know that there are a ton children friendly activities and programs here that will keep your little one entertained and amused. Sundays in particular have a pandora of kid friendly happenings like circus, puppet shops, musical shows, ingenious workshops, dance, theatre and games.
The Flamenco show at Tablao de Carmen in Poble Espanyol has quite often been called the highlight of many people’s visit to Poble Espanyol. After all, a taste of Spanish culture is incomplete without a good show of Flamenco? Tablao de Carmen was opened in 1988 as a tribute to the renowned Flamenco dancer - Carmen Amaya. Ever since, they have been hosting daily shows at 6:00 PM and 8:30 PM with top Flamenco artists , direct descendants of the tradition. If you purchase a ticket for the Flamenco spectacle, you get a complimentary 4 course authentic Spanish dinner. So, enjoy your evening in a picturesque Andalusian amphitheatre setting, sip on Sangria , munch on tapas and groove to the traditional Spanish dance and music. Read reviews of those who have attented the Flamenco show at Tablao de Carmen here.
Sample Traditional Spanish cooking
From snug cafes to terrace bars and fine dine restaurants, Poble Espanyol is offers a diverse range of traditional spanish cooking give you a chance to sample the local delicacies set in the backdrop of their region yielding the flavor of Spain. Grab a bowl of paella, gorge on a plate of tapas or devour a slice of Iberian ham, you won’t be able to stop with just one serving.
Concerts & Festivals
The Poble Espanyol hosts a range of festivals yearly : the El Festival, Poble Espanyol Annual Festival, Biergarten – Beer Festival,Minimúsica music festival, Jazz festival, Mecal outdoor film festival, Puppet Festival of Barcelona and many many more throughout the year. Concerts with famous musicians of different genre are held regularly too, so check out the Poble Espanyol Activities page to see if your visit is coinciding with any of the upcoming festivals. Be sure to grab tickets in advance because we hear they sell out really soon!
Dance the night away in a Discotheque
There are 4 happening clubs inside the Poble Espanyol premises - Sala Upload, Input , The One and La Terrazza . La Terrazza , the most famous amongst the 4 is an open air club that opens only during summer and is a perfect mix between music and nature. If you’re looking to experience the nightlife in Barcelona, you know where to head! The Barcelona Night Card allows you access to these nightclubs along with a host of other happening clubs. Grab your Night Club pass here.
Poble Espanyol Reviews
This a touristic complex called “The Spanish Village”, with narrow streets and traditional Spanish houses. There are a lot of souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants. Interesting place to feel the Spanish culture. We got there by Barcelona’s touristic bus (hop on / hop off) - this is the next stop after Placa d’Espanya.
Spent a very interesting morning in the Poble Espanyol. We heard a choir from Portugal perform in the main performing arena. They were very good. From the Village one gets an idea of the different nuances and products of the different areas of Spain. Seeing the glass artifacts being made was interesting. Their leather products, jewellery and other souvenirs were good.Also witnessed a performance by a guitarist and celllist in the monastery chapel in the village. A place where one gets acquainted with all aspects of the regions of lSpain. Thoroughly enjoyable and a must visit while in Barcelona.
Read what others have to say about Poble Espanyol on TripAdvisor.
Practical Information & Insider Tips
Poble Espanyol Timings
The Poble Espanyol is open 365 days a year. The weekly timings are as follows:
- Monday - 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday - 9:00AM to 12:00 AM
- Friday - 9:00 AM to 3:00 AM
- Saturday - 9:00 AM to 4:00 AM
Reaching Poble Espanyol
To reach Barcelona Zoo, look out for modes of transport heading towards Parc de la Ciutadella. From here, the Barcelona Zoo is a mere 2 minute walk.
Bus number 13, 23 and 150 have stops right outside Poble Espanyol
Get down at Plaça Espanya (L1 and L3) and a short 10 minute walk will take you to Poble
By Hop On Hop Off Barcelona Bus
The Red Line of Hop on Hop off Barcelona stops at Poble Espanyol
- Buying tickets to Poble Espanyol off the net is highly advisable. The queues during peak season amount to an hour, hence buying tickets online and redeeming them while walking in works like a charm.
- Though a guided tour of Poble Espanyol is not recommended, you can indulge in an audio guided self tour. This will walk you through the history of the buildings and interesting facts about Poble Espanyol which will rest assured enhance your experience at the village. Audio guides are available in English, Catalan, French, Spanish, and Italian.
- Onsite amenities include over 12 restaurants, 22 shops, 40 craft workshops, 4 music bars and discos, a picnic area and taxi service outside the village.
- If you book tickets for a Flamenco show online, you are advised to arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the show. This will allow you to enjoy the first course of your meal before the lights go down for the show.
- If you’re traveling with children, look up the activities tab on the official website to know the programs running on the given day. This way, you can catch an activity of your choice right from the beginning.
- If your on a budget, you must know that the restaurants inside Poble Espanyol are not pocket friendly. However, you are allowed to pack a picnic and spread out your meal in the designated picnic area for a meal.
- If you’re looking to explore the rest of Montjuic Hill after strolling around Poble Espanyol, a fun way would be taking the Montjuic Cable Car from the foothills all the way up and enjoying the scenic aerial views. Read more about the Montjuic Cable Car experience here.