This area has is origins in the church of Sant Antoni, which no longer exists but once stood outside the old city walls, next to one of the gates through which villagers could enter Barcelona. Up until 1930 the area was sparsely populated, but following the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition the areas of Raval, Sant Antoni and El Poble-sec all underwent urbanisation.
Sant Antoni is a small area in the district of L’Eixample Esquerra, and like the rest of the district, follows a grid-based layout. The area is enclosed by some of Barcelona’s main streets, such as Avinguda del Paral·lel and Gran Via, as well as Ronda de Sant Antoni and Ronda de Sant Pau.
Sant Antoni is also home to the famous market of the same name, designed by the architect Antoni Rovira i Trias. El Mercat de Sant Antoni was built between 1872 and 1882, and today is one of Barcelona’s oldest and most popular markets. Having recently undergone a comprehensive renovation programme, it reopened its doors in 2018. The market offers a thorough assortment of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and charcuterie. Whilst it may be small in size, its variety of top-notch restaurants and bars make Sant Antoni an attractive area amongst both the local population and tourists.
Despite its location in one of the most central parts of Barcelona, the area enjoys a calm atmosphere, with idyllic green streets such as Avinguda Mistral packed with little cafés and bars.
With construction in the area first gaining momentum in the 30s, many of the properties here boast lifts, setting it apart from the properties dating back to the middle ages in the old town. Sant Antoni has apartments of all sizes, although the smallest ones of approximately 30squaremetres can be a little harder to find.