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Saying that Vila de Gràcia, more commonly called Gràcia, is perhaps the most beloved neighbourhood in Barcelona, is no exaggeration. You will have proof by asking residents and tourists, because this area reminds us of atmospheres from another time, but without nostalgia: just great vibrancy.
Vila de Gracia can be reached by getting off at the Diagonal metro station (green line L3 or blue line L5) and then walking north, towards the heart of the neighbourhood: Plaza de la Vila de Gracia. Alternatively, you can get off at the Fontana or Lesseps stop (green line L3), located higher up in the quiet streets of the Vila de Gracia district.
Vila de Gracia is a walking discovery: exploring its narrow streets and distinctive squares will be a pleasure for the eyes and the soul. The neighbourhood is awkward to move around in by car, and in fact the reaching the centre is only possible on foot. Among the neighbourhood's attractions, in addition to the squares that will be discussed below, two social and cultural centres stand out: the Cine Verdi, with its original language art films, and the Café del Teatre, a bar located in a charming location where theatre performances by emerging companies are organised. The Cine Verdi is located in the street of the same name, Carrer Verdi, a street that goes up and is a little bit magical, where you will find artisan shops in front of which it will be easy to stop and take a look at the shop windows. The Café del Teatre is located in Carrer de Torrijos 41, near the Cine Verdi and the Plaza de la Virreina. The Vila de Gracia neighbourhood also boasts the presence of the first private house planned by the architect Gaudí: Casa Vicens is located on Carrer de les Carolines 18-24. One of the best activities to do in the neighbourhood is the colourful Festa Major de Gràcia, which is always organised in mid-August: it is a real carnival, with floats, masks, games, music, street shows and, of course, good food. People come from all over the city to participate because this neighbourhood party is considered one of the most beautiful festivals in Barcelona.
Vila de Gracia is a lively and at the same time a relaxed neighborhood, both during the day and at night. Many people choose it as a meeting point with friends or a couple for dinner. In fact, in Gracia you can find a lot of special restaurants. For those who want to taste the flavour of the Catalan tradition, the Nou Candanchu restaurant is highly recommended. In this restaurant, located in the Plaza de la Vila de Gracia, you will be able to taste traditional tapas (the portions are hearty) and seasonal ones (like when it is time to eat the famous calçots!) For sushi lovers, Kibuka will be a pleasant surprise. This Japanese restaurant offers traditional dishes and "gourmet" versions, with local ingredients, whose flavours are not only original but also perfectly combined with each other. There is no need to be afraid of the queue that has to be cleared before you can enter, as the wait will be rewarded. Kibuka has two venues, both in Gracia: you can find them in Carrer Verdi 64, and Carrer de Goya 9 and there is a third "Fast Kibuka" with a single takeaway pizza service in Carrer del Torrent de l'Olla 23. In the same street, but at number 99, there is also the Vespa Burger: this is a hot table with a welcoming and modern atmosphere that offers hamburgers prepared with quality ingredients and original creations.
Gracia is famous above all for its squares: the most famous is undoubtedly the Plaza de la Vila de Gracia, with its wonderful bell tower, where you can easily reach the Plaza del Sol, which can be recognised by the word " SOL " composed of 3 yellow panels placed on a modern structure with poles and a raised position. This last feature makes it the perfect place to sit on the floor and chat, play, drink a beer with friends... simply be together at all hours of the day and night. Plaza de la Libertad is, however, the neighbourhood's market square, while in Plaza de la Virreina you can see the wonderful church of Sant Joan. Plaza del Diamant, on the other hand, is the venue for one of the most special events in Barcelona: at the end of January, a large barbecue is organized in which all participants can bring their meat from home and prepare it together with other people over the bonfires lit in the square for the occasion. It may seem like a dangerous moment, but the atmosphere is relaxed, convivial and very collaborative, where people lend each other grills and space to allow everyone to make the meat, spend it and eat it on the floor, in the heat and light of the fire. If you don't want to miss a single party in Barcelona, ask your private guide for advice!