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GAIXAMPLE

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Soho in London, the Castro District in San Franciso, Chelsea in NYC, Chueca in Madrid, Schöneberg in Berlin…all of the big western cities have their own gay neighborhood which acts as an epicenter for the lives of their respective LGBTI communities. As an open-minded, cosmopolitan city, Barcelona could not be an exception. Since the end of the 80s, Gaixample, located in the former left side of the historic Eixample district, has become Barcelona’s gay neighborhood. Here, we find the largest concentration of bars, businesses, clubs, saunas and other services directed toward the LGBTI community.

In November 1989, the discotheque, Metro, opened its doors in an establishment near Plaça Universitat, creating what is known today as Gaixample. At that time there already existed two bars dedicated to the LGBTI public: the Estebar and the Satanass – both gone now today. Two months after the opening of Metro, the café-bar Punto BCN was also inaugurated.

The choice of this neighborhood was the result of a search for more ample establishments, leaving behind the small, low-ceilinged buildings found in Gràcia or Ciutat Vella, areas which are full of LGBT nightlife even today. The welcome and respect shown by the neighbors to the gay community also favored the boom of businesses and shops opening in the area.

Today, Gaixample has not only been established as Barcelona’s gay neighborhood; it also has become one of the most highly desired areas to live in the city. The reasons are not few: there is an extensive offer of services and leisure opportunities orientated toward the LGBTI community, but open to all; it is located right in the center of the city; it boasts an enviable architectural patrimony, full of modernist gems; and it offers a rich commercial life…As if it weren’t enough, neighbors who have been in the area for decades, the part of Barcelona’s LGBTI community who has moved there, European citizens who decide to stay in the city for long periods of time as well as tourists who choose this neighborhood as the perfect place for their stay live harmoniously together in this neighborhood.

If you haven’t visited Gaixample yet, stop by to see it. It’ll be worth it! The only possible danger is that, after visiting the neighborhood, you’ll surely want to move there!

 



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