Travel – Art, food and hipster vibes in Poble Nou, Barcelona…

poble nou barcelona littlegreenshed blog

Today, I travelled away from the main tourist drag of Barcelona, Las Ramblas and that famous Gaudi house. Being a tourist among other tourists in 30+ degrees searing heat isn’t recommended.  Opting instead for taking the Metro to Poble Nou. It’s still hot, of course, but there is a lot less traffic and the tourists have given way to artists and students. I only came here for the coffee, but I’m glad I made the trip. 

nomads coffee barcelona littlegreenshNomad coffee has been open a month. The roasting machine is stirring a batch of beans to cool them after the roast and the ex industrial unit is sparsely filled with a central concrete table, small steel stools and serious third wave coffee gear. The cold brew coffee was served in a fat tumbler, with ice, and easily outclasses any other drink I’ve had since being in BCN.

gallery space poble nou barcelona littlegreenshedblog cool bike shed poble nou barcelona littlegreenshed blog

Nearby, the local gallery, La Platforma, was showing a series of lo-fi square photography, displayed ad-hoc on all the walls. Its a mixture of street scenes, still life and the outright bizarre. Hot desk space let artists work online in the centre of the gallery.

art exhibition La Plataforma Barcelona

Valkiria Hub Space had an excellent three course menu for 12 euro. Parma ham, melon and walnut salad starter, roast chicken breast main and simple and delicious fruit salad.  As good as any food I’ve eaten elsewhere this weekend (and 10x better than is all too easily purchased in the main drag and fringe of the gottic). Poblenou urban district association produces a map of the area showing at least 100 galleries, co-working spaces, cafes, bars, hotels, design studios, creative services and dance studios.  It’s well worth picking up a copy to get a good idea of what is on.

There’s a great vibe from the locals, with bikes and cafe racer motorbikes ruling the roads.  I’m ready for an annual Viu Bicing bike subscription and an apartment – although I suspect the family would miss me.

street art poble nou barcelona littlegreenshed blog2

street art poble nou barcelona littlegreenshed blog

Creative universities are spread out in refurbished industrial buildings and empty lots are filled with street art and vans converted into artist studios. Artists display their names above their side street spaces alongside taxi lockups. With such vibrancy in the creative sector here, it makes you wonder how long it will be before land value rockets. It’s saving grace must be the grandeur of the streets 3km down the way.

Written as part of our challenge to find street art and creative spaces and exhibitions in Barcelona. Poble Nou is the creative hub, and well worth a visit.

I was challenged by Time Out London and Booking.Com to have a spontaneous trip to Barcelona.  You can read my other Barcelona posts here and here.

  • sarie

    Ah you were in my neighbourhood. I LOVE it here, you’ve captured everything I love about it. It used to be old fisherman cottages, bunkers/shacks and factories. I am glad to see that they are restoring some of that vibe.

    Come back soon!

    • Lou Archell

      We are coming back! In late August, and bringing our boys!!! Cannot wait x