Mercer – Medieval heritage meets minimalist luxury in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter.
On a quiet pedestrian street in a super-central Barri Gòtic location, Mercer features an abundance of historical architecture – medieval lintels, bare stone walls, even part of the Roman city wall. Sympathetically restored by award-winning architect Rafael Moneo, it combines original features such as centuries-old stone columns and frescoes with the contemporary art of Agusti Puig and minimalist yet luxurious rooms with supersize beds, blonde wood floors, and Scandinavian furniture. Each of the 28 rooms has its own special feature – a private terrace, two-person bathtub, or Catalan vigas (bow-beamed ceilings). Apart from excellent onsite dining, there’s a wonderful roof terrace with plunge pool that doubles as a summer bar.
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Mercer – Location
- Address: Carrer dels Lledó, 7.
- Nearest Metro: Jaume I is 200m away.
- Area: Quiet, narrow street near the eastern boundary of Barcelona’s medieval center – Barri Gòtic – just minutes’ walk from La Catedral, Museu Picasso, and other attractions. The nearest metro stop is a 3-minute walk away, while the western border of lively La Ribera neighborhood is a couple of minutes away on foot. El Raval neighborhood and La Rambla are a 6-minute stroll west, La Barceloneta is a 7-minute stroll south, while L’Eixample is 15 minutes away on foot. Barri Gòtic is the most compact of Barcelona’s neighborhoods, its narrow maze of streets lined with numerous bars, restaurants, and shops; best navigated on foot.
- How to Get There: Take the train from Barcelona International Airport to Barcelona-Sants train station, then metro Line 5 four stops east in the Vall d’Hebron direction to the Verdaguer stop, then change to Line 4 and ride south for four stops in the La Pau direction to the Jaume I stop. Mercer Hotel is a 3-minute walk away.
- Private Transfer: We use and recommend Welcome Pickups car service. Booking through a private car service will cost only a bit more than a taxi – about €37 from the airport – but can be worth it to avoid the long taxi queue and for the convenience of paying ahead.
- Handy to: La Catedral, Museu Picasso, La Rambla.
Mercer – The Basics
- Ages: There’s a grown-up feel to the hotel (most guests tend to be couples on a romantic vacation or honeymoon), but families with children can be accommodated. Mercer Cocktail Lounge is 18+.
- View: Good views of the Gothic Quarter rooftops from the hotel’s rooftop terrace.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools/Jacuzzis.
- Laundry: In-room laundry service is available.
- Parking: No on-site self parking, but valet parking service is available for €45/night.
- Extras: Turndown service, iMac and library for guest use. Knowledgeable concierge service can tailor tours of the city according to guest interests.
- When to Book: Reserve 2-3 months in advance for high season (mid-March to June), as well as September and October and the Christmas/ New Year period.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +34 93-310-7480
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: mercerbarcelona.com
Mercer – Amenities
- Pool: There’s a small plunge pool on the rooftop terrace.
- Spa: No spa.
- Fitness Center: No on-site fitness center, but the hotel has an arrangement allowing guests to use the nearby gym at a discounted price.
- For Disabled Guests: One room is adapted for wheelchair users.
- For Families: Baby cots are available for children under 2, extra beds can be provided for older kids (€75), and babysitting can be arranged on request.
Mercer – Food and Drink
- Restaurants: Helmed by chef Xavier Lahuerta, Mercer Restaurant (7-11pm Wednesday to Saturday) serves innovative Mediterranean cuisine that makes excellent use of regional ingredients. Impressive decor, including medieval frescoes and remnants of Roman city wall. Reservations essential, $$$. • Le Bouchon (12.30-11pm) is an informal bistro and tapas bar open daily, with the menu designed by the same chef and a good selection of mostly Spanish wines by the glass, $$.
- Lounge/Bar: Mercer Cocktail Lounge serves classic and original cocktails, as well as a good selection of wines. Medieval stone walls, romantic ambiance. Open 5pm-1am daily.
- Breakfast: Not complimentary. An extensive breakfast buffet, as well as a la carte options are available in Mercer Restaurant from 7:30-11am daily.
- Room Service: Available from Mercer Restaurant around the clock.
Mercer – Rooms
- Room Types: Superior Double • Deluxe Double • Junior Suite • Suite with Terrace • One-Bedroom Suite • List of all rooms
- Smoking Rooms: Mercer Hotel is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: During the warmer months, the suite with its own large, secluded outdoor terrace is particularly popular, while the one-bedroom suite is the most spacious and architecturally-striking.
- For Families: No family rooms are available.
Mercer – Local Transport
- Walking: La Catedral is a 3-minute walk away, La Rambla is a 5-minute stroll, as is the Museu Picasso. The surrounding streets are packed with cafes, restaurants, bars, and independent boutiques. Walkable to Barceloneta, El Raval, and L’Eixample neighborhoods.
- Metro: From the nearby Jaume I stop, the Line 4 metro runs south to Barceloneta and north to L’Eixample.
- Taxis, Uber, MyTaxi, Cabify: Taxis and Uber charge around €25-38 from the airport to the hotel. Within the city, Uber rides cost around half of taxi fares. It’s often quicker to walk, cycle, or jump on the metro.
Mercer – What’s Nearby?
Recommended Nearby Tours
- Fat Tire Bike Tours – City bike tours of varying length, from Gaudi-themed ones that end at the Sagrada Familia to e-bike tours of Montjuïc.
- Barcelona Segway Fun – Small-group guided tours of the old city that range from 90 to 180 minutes. Starting and ending in Barri Gòtic, they take in Port Vell and the waterfront in Barceloneta, as well as the medieval heart of the city. Start location: 2-minute walk.
- Eco City Barcelona – Based on the Plaça dels Traginers, these guys rent out “trixi-kids” – tricycles with a front-end trolley for young kids, and run city tours using three-wheeled cycle taxis. Start location: 2-minute walk.
- Capet – Stylish, well-priced, beautifully presented Mediterranean dishes. Emphasis on seasonal, regionally sourced ingredients; expect the likes of skate with black butter and fennel salad with mussels. Popular for dates and quiet evenings out.
- Bistrot Levante – Tucked away in a tiny square, this bright, light-filled bistro mixes Middle Eastern-inspired dishes with a good selection of local wines.
- Shunka – A block north of La Catedral, this casual Japanese oldtimer is all minimalist decor and open kitchen, with the short but sweet menu divided into rice, seafood, meat, udon, sushi, sashimi, and maki. The 10-course surprise tasting menu is worth the splurge.
- 7 Portes – Old-school seafood restaurant once favoured by Picasso and Orson Welles. It’s one of the very few arrocerías (rice restaurants) in Barcelona where you can get portions of paella, fideuà (paella-like vermicelli dish) and other rice dishes for one person.
- Casa Delfín – Popular for its solid menu of Catalan dishes for over a century, this sleek bistro serves the likes of traditional seafood stew and roast pig trotters, as well as seasonal delicacies such as calçots. Buzzy and popular.
- Oaxaca – Some of the most authentic Mexican cuisine in Barcelona, with traditional dishes such as cochinita pibil (Yucatan-style slow-roasted pork), chicken with mole negro and tacos al pastor. Sulty decor, plenty of Mexican art, plus a mezcal bar next door.
- Els Quatre Gats – Once the hangout of Gaudi and other Modernista artists, this restaurant serves traditional Catalan dishes. The food is only so-so; come for the beautiful tilework, the atmosphere, and a coffee.
- Black Remedy – Gallery-like, laptop-friendly hipster café, responsible for Barri Gòtic’s best coffee. Great for cakes, breakfast variations on eggs cocotte, plus smoked meat sandwiches.
- Churreria San Roman – This little café is among the best places in the city for crispy, piping-hot churros (deep-fried tubular doughnuts), served in paper cones. For best results, dip them in super-thick hot chocolate.
- Salterio – Tiny, candlelit café with heavy wooden beams, gourmet teas, largely vegetarian nibbles and Middle Eastern music in the background.
Nearby Bars and Breweries
- L’Ascensor – This elegant bar with vaulted ceilings and vintage mirrors serves classic cocktails to a discerning crowd. There’s usually jazz playing in the background.
- Zona D’Ombra – A wine shop with over 300 wines with a wine bar attached, Zona D’Ombra is a great place to acquaint yourself with a couple dozen Catalunyan wines by the glass, accompanied by classic tapas (cheese platters, marinated sardines…).
- Alcoba Azul – Tiny, candlelit bar with low ceilings and medieval stone walls. Squeeze in for good tapas – morcilla, tostas (open-topped sandwiches), patatas bravas – and plenty of wines by the glass.
- Bar del Pla – This vaulted, tiled tapas bar specialises in largely traditional tapas – baby squid with chickpeas, smoked sardines and patatas bravas, coupled with an extensive list of Catalonian wines.
- Euscal Etxea – Super-busy Basque tapas bar, with a great variety of pintxos (tiny, elaborate tapas piled on slices of bread); choose the ones you want and keep the toothpicks for the staff to count. Wash them down with a crisp txakoli (Basque white wine).
- Bodega Vidrios y Cristales – Traditional bodega inside an 1840s building, with house-made vermouth, excellent wine selection and an array of traditional nibbles. Standing room only.
- Perikete – This wine and vermouth bar is hung with ham legs and offers over 200 tipples. Limited seating, so in the evenings it’s often standing-room only.
- Can Paixano – Super-popular with locals, this cava bar has won ardent fans with its pairing of bubbly rose and tapas.
- BlackLab Brewhouse – Barcelona’s first brewhouse inside the historic Palau del Mar. There are nine home brews on tap, including a passionfruit IPA and German-style pilsner. Offbeat seasonal offerings, such as the coconut toffee stout, plus a lively kitchen sizzling with burgers.
Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops
- Papirum – A writer’s dream, with handmade leatherbound journals, Italian-made quills and ink, desktop globes and other beautiful high-end stationery.
- Art Escudellers – One of several branches selling colorful handmade ceramics, some with Modernista designs. Terrific gifts.
- FC Botiga Official Store – The Barri Gòtic branch of the official Barcelona FC football club. Get your Lionel Messi jerseys and other merchandise here.
- Cereria Subirà – With its dramatic staircase and shelves full of candles, this shop has been lighting up people’s lives since 1761 and is Barcelona’s oldest candle store.
- La Manual Alpargatera – A local institution for decades, this footwear store has been selling hand-made espadrilles (rope-soled canvas shoes) since 1941. Salvador Dali famously bought a pair here.
- Arlequí Màscares – Handmade carnival costumes and masks, as well as Catalan-themed decorative boxes.
- Artesania Catalunya – Unique, locally made gifts, from thimbles resembling Gaudi’s chimneys and Salvador Dali-inspired sculpture to jewellery, wooden toys and more.
- La Capell – Inside the Collegi de Arquitectes, this gift shop sells wonderful gadgets, educational toys, original, Barcelona-themed jewelry and books on architecture and art.
- Lurdes Bergada – Stylish men’s and women’s fashions made from natural fibers and designed by local mother-and-son team.
- Custo Barcelona – Cutting-edge Barcelona threads for men and women. Come here for jackets, pants, dresses and more. Two more stores around the city.
- Museu d’Història de Barcelona – The excellent Barcelona History Museum walks you through the excavated ruins of the original Roman settlement of Barcino, dating back to 12BC. Upstairs, the displays explore medieval Barcelona’s growth as an important Mediterranean trading port.
- Museu Frederic Marès – The former home of count Frederic Marès I Deulovol, this palace contains a fascinating collection of medieval Spanish sculpture, weaponry, 19th-century daguerrotypes and much more.
- La Catedral de Bracelona – Barcelona’s vast Gothic cathedral has pride of place in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. Apart from the richly decorated interior, it’s worth paying to take the elevator up to the roof for a bird’s eye view of medieval Barcelona.
- Museu Picasso – One of the world’s most important collections of Picasso’s work, spread across five medieval palaces. It includes pencil drawings he’s done as a boy, paintings of Barcelona landscapes from his art school days, Impressionist landscapes, a few paintings from his moody Blue Period and several Cubist works. Book your tickets online.
- Museu de Cultures del Món – Across from the Picasso Museum, two medieval palaces house the Museum of World Cultures, with an impressive collection of masks, statues, textiles, jewellery and ritual objects from Africa, Oceania, the Americas and Asia.
- Museu de la Xocolata – Popular with families, this museum traces the history of cocoa cultivation, shows off elaborate chocolate sculptures and offers chocolate tastings.
- Las Ramblas – Stretching from the waterfront to Plaça Catalunya, La Rambla is Barcelona’s most famous pedestrian boulevard, overlooked by stately 19th century buildings and lined with restaurants, historic buildings and souvenir stalls. It’s a great place for people-watching and acts as a boundary between Barri Gòtic to the east and El Raval to the west.
- Palacio de la Música Catalana – Covered in tiles and mosaics and boasting an elaborate façade, this concert hall was built in 1908 by modernista architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Even if you don’t come here for a concert (September to June), you can join one of the excellent hour-long day tours (purchase a ticket online).
- L’Aquarium – Hugely popular with families, the state-of-the-art aquarium in Port Vell showcases different marine ecosystems from around the world and those unique to Spain. There are plenty of activities, too, from daily feedings (sharks, penguins, rays, moray eels; check timetable online) which are particularly fun for kids, to cage diving with sharks.
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Mercat Gòtic – This flea market has been taking place in front of La Catedral every Thursday for over 40 years. Browse the stalls for antiques, decorative art, vintage cameras, silverware, coins, and more.
- Mercat de Santa Caterina – Architecturally striking produce market. Come here for all your charcuterie, olive oil and fresh produce needs; there are also a couple of good cafes here.
- Mercat de la Boquería – Barcelona’s most famous produce market – meat stalls with dangling legs of jamón and displays filled with botifarra (Catalan sausage) and chorizos, seafood stalls with heaped razor clams and shrimp, olive stalls offering dozens of different kinds of olives and fresh juice stalls. The tapas stalls that fringe the main market area make an excellent stop for a snack and a drink.
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