Mercat de la Boqueria is the most popular. It is located on the upper part of the Rambla and occupies the porticoed Sant Josep Square. The constant flow of locals and visitors through the area means that it is always full of the curious as well as customers. It is the largest market in Catalonia and also has the most varied array of food on offer in its 300 plus stalls housed in 2,583 m2. Here you can find products from around the world, with a range that attracts even chefs like Ferran Adrià.
Mercat de Sant Antoni, is between C/Urgell, C/Comte Borrell, C/Tamarit and C/Manso, and is housed in the most spectacular iron-structured building of all. It was inaugurated in 1882 and is made up of three different markets: fresh food, clothes and books. It is currently being renovated and the stallholders have been relocated to a provisional market so that they can continue their business. The new market is forecast to open in 2016.
Mercat de Santa Caterina is another market not to be missed. It is located in the Ciutat Vella district, very close to Barcelona Cathedral and Via Laietana. Work on this, the first covered market, began in 1844. Some years ago it was spectacularly renovated in a project led by the architect Enric Miralles involving the construction of a new roof made of steel, concrete, wood and tiles, which floats over the original structure and has become its most iconic feature: 325,000 pieces of glazed stoneware in 67 different colours form a multicoloured mosaic that reflects the colours of the fruit and vegetable stalls.
Mercat de la Concepció is also one of Barcelona's most important markets. It is located in the middle of an island on the right side of the Eixample, surrounded by four streets: C/Aragó, C/València, C/Bruc and C/Girona. It was inaugurated in 1888 and stands out because of its iron structure. It is large, well organised and has a complete range of services. The façade facing Carrer de València has colourful flower stalls .
On the left side of the Eixample there is another market, the Mercat del Ninot, which has an imposing iron framework and is currently undergoing renovation. It began life in 1894 as the El Porvenir market, but over time it adopted the popular name of Mercat del Ninot, which was given to it by the local residents because of a ship's figurehead on the front of a tavern in the area. This figurehead can now be seen in the Museu Marítim de Barcelona.
A visit to Barcelona's most iconic markets is not complete without a trip to Mercat de la Barceloneta, located in Plaça del Poeta Boscà, in this working class, maritime neighbourhood. It is part of the first large group of municipal markets that are now more than a hundred years old, and which, from its beginnings, had a peculiarly maritime character, thanks to the area where it is found. The covered market was opened in 1884 and was reconstructed in 1939 after being bombed in the Spanish Civil War. It was totally renovated between 2005 and 2007, in a project led by the architect Josep Miàs, which won him the 2007 Ciutat de Barcelona prize.