One of the streets you should start getting to know right away is La Rambla, easily the most famous street in Barcelona and one of the most common meeting places.
This 1,2 km long promenade is divided into different sections where each one has a distinct name; there’s the Rambla de Canaletes, Rambla dels Estudis, Rambla de Sant Josep, Rambla dels Caputxins, Rambla de Santa Mònica and the Rambla de Mar. All sections combined can also be referred to as: Las Ramblas.
La Rambla Street
La Rambla starts at the epicenter of Barcelona, Plaça Catalunya (Catalonia Square), a place you’ll have no trouble finding on the map. It streches along many important spots you’ll also want to get acquainted with, for instance La Boqueria, Barcelona’s most fashionable and iconic street market, where it’s possible to buy (and taste) exotic products from all over the world, the famous Liceu Theater, where the most notable operas and ballets are staged, and the Plaça Reial (Royal Square).
La Rambla sort of spreads between three of the most notorious neighborhoods in Barcelona: Barrio Gótico (Gothic Quarter), El Raval and El Borne. Also standing just a few blocks away from La Rambla you can find Barcelona’s main Cathedral, La Catedral de Santa Eulàlia and its main square, the Plaça Sant Jaume, which houses the main Catalonian Governement Building (La Generalitat) and the City Hall.
The Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell marks the end of the street, althought the Rambla de Mar (Sea Boulevard) sets a continuation of the path connecting with Maremagnum Shopping Mall through a wooden bridge over the sea, delivering astonishing views of the Port Vell Marina.
The experience of walking La Rambla
Walking through La Rambla is a unique experience, where a melting pot of tourists and locals take place at all times. La Rambla is fully crowded all day long, but it gets heavier in the summertime, and most likely there will be more tourists than locals at anytime.
Once you start walking you’ll notice typical newsstands, kiosks selling souvenirs, cafes, restaurants, fruit and flowershops, but as the walk progresses, more untraditional establishments and peculiar characters start to appear, such as the human statues and street performers which are a must see spectacle in La Rambla.
The artists and performers in Las Ramblas are selected and regulated by the Department of Tourism of Barcelona, all of which are very mixed and offer very original motifs.
Tips to visit La Rambla
- La Rambla is always crowded with tourists and the prices on cafes and restaurants are considerably high. If you’re looking for more reasonable prices, walk away a few blocks and you’ll probably find better deals and half the price on your caña (glass of beer).
- As all tourist jammed places, pickpockets are common. It’s ok to carry your camera outside as long as you hold it well. It’s not a dangerous spot, just chill, relax and nothing will happen as long as you’re careful. Beware of small groups of men asking for directions or touching your back.
- Check the local football or soccer calendar for matches. If the local Barça team happens to win the day of your walk, you might find yourself surrounded by very enthusiastic (and drunk) supporters at Rambla de Canaletas, the place to celebrate when Barça Football Club wins a match.
- One interesting spot to catch art exhibitions and cultural events is at Palau de la Virreina, a former Baroque Palace.
- You’ll be able to get your hands on local craftmanships or paintings made by local artists, that sell their work at the end of La Rambla, near Columbus Monument. Or you can be the star of your own souvenir getting a very professional cartoon of yourself.
La Rambla Address:
Metro: Line 3, Catalunya, Liceu and Drassanes Station.
Pl. de Catalunya 17-S, 1, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Map of La Rambla
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