Palo Alto in Poblenou, Barcelona, is a creative hub and cultural space that brings together art, design, and innovation. Housed in a former industrial complex, this dynamic venue hosts art exhibitions, workshops, performances, and events that showcase the vibrant artistic scene of the neighborhood. With its unique blend of industrial charm and contemporary creativity, Palo Alto has become a meeting point for artists, designers, and creative thinkers, fostering a vibrant and collaborative atmosphere in the heart of Poblenou.

While iconic landmarks like Sagrada Familia and Park Güell often steal the spotlight, Barcelona has plenty of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. One such treasure is Palo Alto.


Discovering Palo Alto

Palo Alto, a former industrial complex, has been transformed into a thriving center for creativity and innovation. Located in the Poblenou district of Barcelona, this unique space combines history with contemporary artistry, making it a must-visit for anyone seeking a different perspective on the city.


Palo Alto, a place with history

In 1985 Antoni Vila i Bruguera built the factory for Ramon Gal and Joan Puigsech, which was originally aimed towards wool yarn production.

In 1990, the company Juan Ribas and Cía acquired the factory. 

The year 1927 the main activity taking place at the factory changed completely, since it became a factory dedicated to starch, dextrin and glucose elaboration. At that time, the factory was managed by August Ramoneda i Riu.

But then the Spanish Civil War took place and it took a toll on the factory. In the year 1940 the company managed by Ramoneda dissolved and some little workshops occupied some parts of the vast space that is Palo Alto. 

Finally, in 1980, the factory was completely abandoned.

Juan Ribas and Cía acquired the factory. Photo:

Palo Alto started in 1989, 9 years after it was abandoned, as a space where productions related to photography, design, architecture, painting, sculpture, and other creative activities found a home.

In 1998, it became a foundation in accordance with the Barcelona City Council, functioning as a Center for Cultural and Artistic Creation. This consolidation of the project provided stability, enabling the continuation of renovations to the old factory dating back to 1856. Over the past thirty years, more than seventy professionals and businesses from the world of visual arts, communication, and design-related industries – in all their facets – have contributed to shaping and giving content to what is now known as Palo Alto.

Companies and individuals from all over the city and other places, including the rest of Catalonia, Spain, and various European countries, have participated. The common thread among all these initiatives and activities has emerged from the realm of creativity and with a somewhat romantic and rebellious concept. Within this old factory, they have found the ideal space to develop personally and professionally, transforming this place into a reference point and a source of inspiration.

Photo: @paloaltobarcelona on Instagram

A Creative Playground

Palo Alto is best described as a creative playground where artists, entrepreneurs, and visionaries converge to explore their passions. It’s not just a place to see art; it’s a place to experience it, engage with artists, and immerse yourself in the creative process.

Photo: @paloaltobarcelona on Instagram

Art and Culture

One of Palo Alto’s main attractions is its ever-evolving art scene. The complex regularly hosts exhibitions, art installations, and cultural events, showcasing the talents of both local and international artists. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply curious about contemporary art, Palo Alto offers a dynamic platform to explore new ideas and perspectives.

Photo: @paloaltobarcelona on Instagram

Design and Innovation

Palo Alto’s commitment to fostering creativity extends beyond the world of art. It’s also a hub for innovation, design, and technology. The complex is home to a variety of startups, design studios, and co-working spaces where entrepreneurs and creatives collaborate to develop groundbreaking ideas.


Shopping and Dining

Palo Alto isn’t just about art and innovation; it’s also a fantastic place to shop for unique, handmade goods and enjoy a delightful culinary experience. The Palo Alto Market, held on selected weekends, features an array of artisanal products, vintage items, and gourmet food stalls. It’s a great place to support local artisans and sample some of the city’s tastiest treats.


Green Oasis

Amidst the creative chaos, Palo Alto boasts lush green spaces where you can unwind and escape the city’s hustle and bustle. The gardens are an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or simply relaxing with a book.

Photo: @paloaltobarcelona on Instagram

Community and Collaboration

What sets Palo Alto apart is its emphasis on community and collaboration. It’s a place where people from diverse backgrounds come together to share ideas, foster innovation, and celebrate creativity. Whether you’re a visitor or a local, you’ll feel the sense of camaraderie that permeates the atmosphere.

Photo: @paloaltobarclona on Instagram

Getting there

Palo Alto is conveniently located in the Poblenou district, easily accessible by public transportation. You can take the L4 metro line to Poblenou station and walk a short distance to reach the complex. Alternatively, you can enjoy a leisurely bike ride from the city center, taking in the scenic beauty of Barcelona along the way.


Barcelona’s Palo Alto is a hidden gem that invites you to step off the beaten path and explore the city’s dynamic and evolving cultural landscape. It’s a place where art, innovation, and community intersect, offering a unique and enriching experience for locals and tourists alike. So, the next time you find yourself in Barcelona, don’t miss the opportunity to uncover the wonders of Palo Alto and discover a side of the city that’s truly extraordinary.