District Guide: El Born, Barcelona
seen by Anabel Luna, fashion photographer
According to Anabel, Barcelona is a city that never sleeps — and, judging from her vast CV, taking a break is not really her thing either. Working as a fashion photographer can already be exhausting, but owning and managing two event and studio spaces on top must be quite a challenge. She shares the passion (and responsibility) for these creative hubs with her partner, musician and DJ, Gerard Daurella. Together they’re already planning their next big thing: NOU-STUDIOS which will be opened soon. Born and raised in Barcelona, Anabel knows the city inside out, her new favorite neighborhood El Born she actually explored only recently though. Being the restless open-minded person that she is, it didn’t take long to discover all the secret spots that made her fall in love with this district.
”The Neubau district in my town would be El Born. In this neighborhood, the traditional and the modern coexist in harmony. It’s one of the most charming areas in Barcelona, with lots of culture and nightlife to discover, the best cafés to hang out in, and the coolest shops to spend your money in.“
Do you have one beautiful memory that will always be associated with El Born? I didn’t know the area too well until Gerard — my business and life partner — showed me around. Strolling through the streets of Born, you can discover a fascinating side of Barcelona where old traditions are still thriving. The streets are lit with beautiful old lanterns, the shops wow with high ceilings, and you can find bars that have been around for more than 40 years. The El Born market, which has now become a museum, is another stunning spot in this neighborhood — don’t leave the city without visiting it!
1. Mercat del Born Plaça Comercial, 12, 08003 Barcelona
When you want to impress your date bring them to Café-Bar Mudanzas. It’s a bar that has been around for more than 40 years and really represents the spirit of the neighborhood. It’s close to the Church of Santa Maria del Mar, one of the city’s most beautiful churches. Here they create the most perfect cocktails and have a huge selection of Whiskeys from all over the globe. Sometimes they even have live musicians playing a fine selection of tunes.
2. Mudanzas, C / Vidrieria | 15, 08003 Barcelona, @barmudanzas
To make a foodie heart beat faster go to Koku Kitchen Buns. Founded in 2016 by Ross, Mark, and Robert — who also own another Koku Kitchen that specializes in Ramen — they serve the best ‘Hirata Bun’. You should also try the edamame, kimchi salad, calf phở and their refreshing homemade lemonade.
3. Koku Kitchen Buns | Carrer del Comerç, 29, 08003 Barcelona, @kokukitchen
You can find the nicest vintage clothes in Blow store. The guys who run it are adorable and they always help you find the best stuff.
4. Blow store | Carrer de Bonaire, 6, 08003 Barcelona, @leswingvintage
The most photogenic place in the city is the Estación de Francia (Station of France) — a must-see for all visitors!
5. Estación de Francia | Av. del Marquès de l‘Argentera, 08003 Barcelona
My urban oasis is Henna Morena. It’s a beauty salon for your hair and skin with all sustainable and natural products. Whenever I can, I escape to this oasis in the middle of Born where they take care of me and mesmerize all my senses with the scents of lavender and pine.
6. Henna Morena | Carrer de l‘Esparteria, 12, 08003 Barcelona, @hennamorena
The best place to people watch is sitting on a bench in Passeig del Born. All kinds of people pass through here: tourists, workers, waiters, nuns who go to the church of Santa Maria del Mar, young people who go partying, mothers with their babies, dogs and their owners, and so on…
7. Passeig del Born | Passeig del Born, 08003 Barcelona
Why does your job perfectly match your city? I am a fashion photographer and I own two studios that we rent out for shoots and events. And Barcelona is made for this particular branch! Working here is very inspiring; you meet people from all over the world and you just never know who might become your next client. Barcelona is an easy-going city with a very positive and happy vibe where people can find relaxation from stress no matter how big the district might be. It is and will always be interesting to live and work here.