If you’re looking for a unique and vibrant experience near Barcelona, then a visit to Mercantic in Sant Cugat is a must. This former factory complex has been repurposed into a cultural and shopping center, offering visitors a range of activities and attractions.
Sant Cugat del Vallès
Sant Cugat del Vallès is a charming town located just 20 kilometers northwest of Barcelona, perfect for a day trip from the city. This town is known for its rich cultural heritage, beautiful Gothic architecture, and stunning natural surroundings. Visitors can explore the impressive Monastery of Sant Cugat, which dates back to the 9th century, and wander through the winding streets of the Old Town. The town is also surrounded by the Collserola Natural Park that offers hiking trails, breathtaking views, and a tranquil escape from the bustling city. With its history, culture, and natural beauty, Sant Cugat del Vallès is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the Barcelona area.
Related article: Barcelona Day Trip to Sant Cugat del Vallès : Things to Do and See
The History of Mercantic Sant Cugat del Vallès
Mercantic Sant Cugat is a former factory complex that has been transformed into a cultural and commercial center. The complex has a long and interesting history, dating back to the 19th century when it was originally built as a textile factory. Over the years, the complex has housed a variety of different businesses, including a brewery, a foundry, and an electrical equipment manufacturer.
In the late 20th century, the complex was largely abandoned and fell into disrepair. However, in the early 2000s, a group of investors saw potential in the neglected space and decided to turn it into a hub for vintage and antique goods. The restoration process took several years, but by 2010, Mercantic Sant Cugat was open for business, featuring a wide variety of vintage shops, cafes, and cultural spaces.
Today, Mercantic is a bustling center of activity, attracting visitors from all over the world who come to shop, dine, attend cultural events, and learn new skills. The complex retains much of its historic charm, with many of the original industrial features still on display. It’s a unique and vibrant space that celebrates both the past and present of the Sant Cugat region.
Things to do in Mercantic Sant Cugat
Shop for Vintage Treasures:
Mercantic is a paradise for vintage and antique lovers, with over 90 shops and stalls selling a wide variety of goods. Whether you’re in the market for vintage clothing, furniture, jewelry, records, books, or collectibles, you’re sure to find something special at Mercantic. The shops are located in the old factory buildings, which have been carefully restored and repurposed, giving each shop its own unique character.
One of the great things about shopping at Mercantic is that you can find items from a range of different eras and styles. Some shops specialize in mid-century modern furniture, while others focus on antique jewelry or vintage clothing. There are also shops selling rare books, records, and other collectibles.
Many of the shop owners are passionate collectors themselves, and are happy to share their knowledge and expertise with visitors. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just starting out, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye at Mercantic. It’s a wonderful place to browse, discover new treasures, and take home a piece of history.
Enjoy a Meal or Snack
One of the many highlights of Mercantic is its diverse dining options, which range from casual snacks to full meals. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a leisurely lunch, there’s something for everyone.
The complex features several cafes and restaurants, each with its own unique style and atmosphere. You can enjoy a delicious pastry and coffee at one of the cozy cafes or sit down for a full meal at one of the sit-down restaurants. Many of the eateries at Mercantic pride themselves on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and creating dishes that showcase the best of Catalan cuisine.
For those looking for something more casual, there are also several food trucks and stalls scattered throughout the complex. These offer a range of street food-style snacks and meals, including gourmet hot dogs, tacos, and Mediterranean-inspired dishes.
Many of the dining options at Mercantic offer outdoor seating, which is perfect for enjoying a meal or drink on a sunny day. The atmosphere is lively and convivial, with a mix of locals and visitors enjoying good food and conversation.
Attend a Cultural Event: Art & Live Music
Mercantic is not just a shopping and dining destination – it’s also a hub for cultural events and activities. Throughout the year, the complex hosts a wide variety of events, ranging from live music performances to art exhibitions to craft markets.
The events calendar at Mercantic is constantly changing, so there’s always something new and exciting happening. For music lovers, there are regular concerts featuring local and international acts spanning genres from jazz to rock to electronic music. The complex also hosts film screenings, literary events, and theater performances.
Art enthusiasts will also find plenty to admire at Mercantic. The complex features several galleries showcasing the work of local and international artists. There are also regular art fairs and exhibitions, providing opportunities to discover new talent and add to your collection.
Take a Workshop
One of the unique features of Mercantic is its workshops and classes, which offer visitors the opportunity to learn new skills and explore their creativity. The workshops cover a wide range of topics, from crafting to cooking to photography, and are led by experienced instructors and artisans.
The workshops at Mercantic are suitable for all levels, from beginners to experienced hobbyists. Many of the instructors are local experts, passionate about sharing their skills and knowledge with others. The workshops are typically held in small groups, which allows for a more personalized learning experience and plenty of one-on-one instruction.
Some of the most popular workshops at Mercantic include jewelry-making, painting, and pottery. Visitors can also take classes in cooking, photography, and even furniture restoration. These workshops are a great way to try something new, develop a new skill, or simply have fun with friends and family.
Mercantic also offers workshops specifically designed for children, which make for a fun and educational activity for families. These workshops cover topics such as arts and crafts, cooking, and even gardening.
Bring the Kids:
Mercantic is a family-friendly destination, with plenty of activities and attractions to keep kids entertained. There are several areas throughout the complex that are specifically geared towards children, as well as activities and events that are designed with young visitors in mind.
One of the highlights for children at Mercantic is the play area, which features a range of fun and interactive activities. There are climbing structures, slides, and other equipment that will keep kids active and engaged. The play area is located near several cafes and restaurants, making it easy for parents to keep an eye on their kids while enjoying a meal or a drink.
Another popular attraction for kids is the craft market, which is held regularly at Mercantic. Here, children can discover handmade toys, games, and other items, as well as take part in craft workshops and activities. The craft market is a great way to introduce children to the world of art and craft and inspire their creativity.
El Siglo is a cultural space at Mercantic that offers a wide selection of books, including rare and antique books, as well as new and second-hand books. The store is known for its collection of vintage comic books, magazines, and graphic novels. Additionally, El Siglo is a cozy and intimate space that hosts live music events, among other cultural activities, and can accommodate up to 70 people. It’s a great venue for acoustic performances or small concerts, and the varied program of events also includes literary events, poetry readings, and art exhibitions.
The store is located in the central plaza of Mercantic, and it’s a charming and inviting space that’s perfect for browsing and discovering hidden treasures.
El Siglo also hosts cultural events, such as book presentations, signings, and literary workshops. It’s a wonderful destination for book lovers and cultural enthusiasts alike, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in Sant Cugat del Vallès.
Explore the Surrounding Area:
The area surrounding Mercantic in Sant Cugat del Vallès offers plenty of opportunities for exploration and discovery. One of the most popular destinations nearby is the Monastery of Sant Cugat, which is just a short walk from Mercantic. This historic site dates back to the 9th century and features a range of architectural styles, from Romanesque to Gothic.
Another nearby attraction is the Parc de la Pollancreda, a beautiful park that is perfect for a relaxing walk or picnic. The park features several trails and paths, as well as a lake and several scenic viewpoints. It’s a great place to unwind and take in the natural beauty of the area.
For those who are interested in art and culture, the Museu del Càntir de Argentona is also located nearby. This museum features a collection of ceramics and pottery from the local region, as well as other parts of Spain and beyond.
Finally, for those who are looking for a bit of retail therapy, there are several shopping destinations in the area surrounding Mercantic. The Avinguda de la Plaça del Mercat is a popular shopping street, featuring a range of boutiques, shops, and cafes. There are also several shopping centers and malls located within a short drive of Mercantic.
Overall, the area surrounding Mercantic offers plenty of opportunities for exploration and discovery, from historic sites to natural beauty to shopping destinations. Whether you’re looking to learn more about the local culture, enjoy some outdoor recreation, or simply relax and unwind, there’s something for everyone in the surrounding area.
Related article: Barcelona Day Trip to Sant Cugat del Vallès : Things to Do and See
Mercantic in Sant Cugat del Vallès is a vibrant and exciting destination that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re looking to shop for vintage treasures, enjoy a meal or snack, attend a cultural event, take a workshop, bring the kids, or explore the surrounding area, there’s something for everyone at Mercantic.
With its rich history and unique character, Mercantic is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the authentic flavor of Catalonia. So if you’re planning a trip to the Barcelona area, be sure to add Mercantic to your itinerary and discover all that this fascinating destination has to offer.
How to Get to Mercantic:
- By train: Take the S1 or S2 train from Barcelona to Sant Cugat del Vallès. From the Sant Cugat train station, it’s just a 10-minute walk to Mercantic.
- By bus: Take the TMB bus number 196 from Barcelona to Sant Cugat del Vallès. From the bus station, it’s about a 15-minute walk to Mercantic.
- By car: Take the C-16 highway from Barcelona towards Terrassa and exit at the Sant Cugat Nord exit. Follow the signs to Mercantic, which is located at Carrer del Riu Sec, 7-9, 08173 Sant Cugat del Vallès.
- By taxi or ride-sharing service: You can also take a taxi or ride-sharing service such as Uber or Cabify from Barcelona to Mercantic. The trip takes approximately 20-30 minutes depending on traffic.
The most sustainable and eco-friendly way to get to Mercantic from Barcelona is by taking the train and walking. Not only is it a more environmentally conscious choice, but it also allows you to enjoy the scenery and experience the local culture along the way.
Related article: 5 Reasons Why Responsible Travel Matters?
- Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 8pm.
- Sunday from 10am to 3pm.
Mercantic does not charge an admission fee on most days of the week, including Tuesdays to Saturdays. However, on Sundays, there is a ticket price of €2 between 11am and 2pm. Visitors who arrive before or after this time period can enter for free. Children under 12 years old do not have to pay, and people with disabilities and their companions are also exempt from the admission fee.