Exploring Palo Alto Market, Barcelona

Yesterday (2nd June 2018) was the first time that I went to Palo Alto Market in Barcelona. Palo Alto Market describes itself as a creative market and it is filled with artisanal products, such as handmade clothing, that is open only on the weekends. Many of the products are made from recycled materials, such as plastic bottle caps, which are broken down and remade into high-quality clothing. There are also sections where sellers offer home goods and there are many food and drink (alcohol) vendors throughout the venue. There are also live music acts, including international ones, which help add to the atmosphere.

The market itself is located at Carrer dels Pellaires, 30, 08019 Barcelona in an open area between many art studios and galleries. This market is more geared towards women (for every stand for male clothing, for example, there are at least 10 for women) but the food, while overpriced, is of good quality. The trick is to figure out where the food comes from (i.e. where the restaurant is actually is located) and keep it in mind for another time at their permanent location.

While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the market for the wares (although I must be fair, there are some things there that are worth the price they are being sold for), especially for the €4 entrance fee (€3 if booked online in advance), the venue in which the market takes place is worth seeing at least once.

The market takes place in and amongst several warehouse-style buildings, which is very typical for the Poblenou neighbourhood of Barcelona, which used to be very industrial. Starting in the 1990s (due to the Olympics), the neighbourhood has been undergoing renovations to become an artistic, technological, and innovative centre in Barcelona. The Palo Alto Market shows this meshing of the past and present with the buildings completely covered with climbing plants on trellises and overhanging grapevines. Especially if you can go earlier in the morning, I would say that the buildings are worth the visit for any photographer or plant enthusiast.

For those who are into more alternative music, the venue also has concerts on the first weekend of the month known as Palo Alto Fest. Local and international alternative bands come to give 1- or 2-hour performances. These concerts can be hit or miss depending on the band themselves. My personal experience was a great first band from France (guitar, double bass combo singing slower French love ballads) followed by a very mixed 9-member group of which at least 5 needed rudimentary music lessons and only the saxophonist and lead singer were coming up with anything that could be called music.

TL;DR: The market itself is alright, very geared towards women and overpriced. The food is wonderful, the buildings are even better.

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