Discovering Barcelona: Palo Alto Market

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One of my favorite things that I have done so far in Barcelona was attend the Palo Alto Market.

My roommate heard about the market in one of her classes, and we decided to check it out! It sounded like an interesting opportunity to explore a new part of the city and a unique tradition.

This fun event happens the first weekend of every month in El Poblenou, a neighborhood in Barcelona. The market is tucked into a corner of the city and is comprised of old buildings, walls covered in vines and greenery, amazing gardens and cobblestone paths.

The Palo Alto Market showcases a vast collection of food trucks and artisans. String lights hang overhead, and small tables are everywhere, filled with people talking, laughing and enjoying the sunshine.

Trucks and stands were selling nearly every type of food imaginable. You could find traditional dishes like tamales, meatballs, empanadas, and pastries, as well as some international cuisine. My roommate and I enjoyed noodles that were made fresh in a big wok right in front of us!

We also spent time wandering through the many tents selling oils, pastries, honey and cheese. Vendors also sell handmade and homemade items. It was interesting to speak with them and learn more about their products. Many of these vendors have been working in the same industry their entire lives, and some of their business were passed through their families for generations.

In addition to the vendors, local musicians and bands perform throughout the day. It was fun being able to enjoy a new neighborhood of Barcelona and take in a tradition that has been happening since the 1990s!

What I loved about this market was that it reminded me a lot of home! I go to school in Des Moines, Iowa, which has one of the biggest and best farmer’s markets in the country. While the Palo Alto Market was on a much smaller scale, there were a lot of similarities.

I would recommend that anyones studying abroad in Barcelona check out the market! It was a lot of fun, and there are a ton of great product and food offerings. I am excited to go back in a few weeks!

This post was contributed by Katie Simpson, a student from Drake University who is spending her spring semester studying abroad with AIFS in Barcelona, Spain.

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