Barcelona: La Boqueria

m1Visiting markets has become a habit of ours whenever we travel to a different city and Barcelona was no exception. There are more than 10 big, big markets around Barcelona and one of the most popular is the La Boqueria. The market was legally recognized in 1826, but after constructions, renewals and modifications, the official inauguration took place in 1853. However, historical records of small tables installed near the area to sell meat dates back to the 13th century. In 2005, it won the prize for the Best Market in the World by the World Markets Congress. So it’s a very well known, much loved market indeed.

여행에 있어서 또 시장만큼 재밌는 곳도 드물다. 정신없고 지갑없어질까봐 계속 확인하고 다녀야한다는 불편함과 불안감이 있긴 하지만. 보케리아 시장은 바르셀로나의 가장 유명한 거리 중 하나인 람블라 거리에 있어서 찾기도 편하고 다른 곳으로 이동하기전에 잠깐 과일 쥬스 사먹기에도 안성맞춤. 시장으로서는 공식적으로 1853년에 열었지만 역사적으로 첫 등장은 13세기. 여기서 나고 자란 사람도 인정하는 바르셀로나의 꽃!  2005년에는 세계시장의회에서 세계 최고의 시장으로 뽑히기도 함.

m6I have to say La Boqueria is a good example of “market meets touristic.” As soon as you walk in, you are instantly drawn into the bright red and orange lights that shower over one of the market’s favorite goods: fruit. Fresh fruit juices are HUGE in La Boqueria, so for those who need a quick kick of sugar, stop thinking if you should get a chocolate bar or other unhealthy sweets. This is the place to be. This was actually very handy for us because the market is located in a very “strategic” position, and we would stop by the market to take a juice or a cup of fresh fruit on our way to a different location.

과일 혹은 생과일쥬스로 유명하다. 들어서자마자 상인들이 “1유로, 1유로” 소리치며 과일쥬스며 다양한 과일컵들을 가리키고 있고 불들은 어찌나 빨갛고 쨍한지. 정육점에 들어와있는 느낌. 게다가 과일들이 너무 반짝반짝해서 가짜같은 느낌마저 든다.

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m7But of course, there are also other goods, including meat, vegetables and seafood. It was quite clear that the market has become more of a touristic area than a locals’ market. I did see some locals walking by and buying some goods, but I would say 90 percent were tourists. Which is not bad, but not quite the best either. As a local, it would be impossible to move slowly and look for what you need. Tourists are EVERYWHERE, taking photos (ahem), taking selfies, skyping, moving from shop to shop trying to decide if they want the cup with the dragonfruit or the mango. All of this is happening while we are clutching onto our bags, backpacks and purses.

And then being touristic comes with a price. Because locals don’t shop, I have to say the quality doesn’t HAVE to be the best. It should be, but then there’s that loophole, which shouldn’t be a loophole at all. This I learned the hard, or rather bitter, way. I took a cup of mangoes. The top, say five, pieces were delicious, but than the bottom half were bland, no taste at all and at one point I even thought they were similar colored cantaloupes. Not cool. The FT also pointed this out in this article.

m3많은 관광지들이 그렇듯, 지역 주민들보다는 관광객들이 대부분이다. 이러한 변화는 사실 당연히 장단점이 있는데 장점이라면 일단 다니기가 편리하고 한꺼번에 많은 구경을 할 수 있고 일반적인 가게들보다는 가격이 저렴한것도 있고. 단점이 아무래도 많긴 한것 같은데 일단 소매치기의 위험이 그만큼 크고 상품의 질이 떨어진다는 것. 이것도 장사기에 이해는 하지만, 그래도 이해 안감. 예를 들어 망고가 든 망고컵을 사서 먹었는데 첫 5-6조각은 맛있었지만 밑으로 내려가자 아무맛이 없는, 망고가 아닌 것 같은 아이들이 나타나 당황케함. 장난하냐? 라며 집어던지고 싶었지만 참고 나왔다. 망고가 더 비싸서 그랬나.

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m14If you go way in the back, it’s a bit quieter and maybe a bit safer to check if you haven’t lost your cell phone, wallet, ticket of any kind, second set of camera batteries, map. Oh and your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend.

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m17다 어디서 나오는거지 얘네들은.

m18I’m not 100 percent sure, but I think they use red lights because they want the colors to stand out. But it just made me felt like a piece of meat. So RED.

m21Aside from the finger foods, many stalls at La Boqueria also offer full course meals. They are quite pricey and you have to risk getting your photo taken by everyone, but I have to admit, the food looked pretty good. We had a dinner appointment so we had to skip the fancy stall dining experience, but I would recommend trying.

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m23안쪽으로 들어가면 식당처럼 해놓은 곳들이 있는데 우리나라 시장의 모습과 흡사했다. 단지 프레젠테이션과 일단 레스토랑에서 먹는것과 비슷한 가격이었다는것만 빼면 비슷한 느낌. 앉아서 먹으면 재밌고 뭔가 시장과 한 몸?이 되는듯한 느낌이 들것 같긴한데 앉자마자 주변 다른 관광객들의 사진 플래시를 계속 받아야하는 부담감이. 나도 되도록 얼굴은 안나오도록 찍으려고 애썼는데 찍다보면 또 어쩔 수 없었네. 구경을 하는 동시에 구경을 당하는 상황.

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m22The greasy fingers say it all.

Places mentioned: 

  • La Boqueria market: Rambla, 91, 08001, Barcelona. Opening hours are from 9:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. The location is quite simple to find. The entrance is on the La Rambla, which is one of the most popular streets in the city center. The market is also right in front of the metro station Liceu.

All photos by rachelsanghee

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