Here are five amazing things to do around Las Ramblas
1.) A stroll on Las Ramblas
You first begin wandering on the Rambla dels Estudis. Two buildings catch your eye. On your right is the Reial Cièncas i Acadèmia of Arts, a Theatre since 1910. On the other hand, the Palau Moja dates from 1790. This spacious stateroom regularly hosts exhibitions. Do not miss the church of Betlem Mare Deu. Continue walking along the Rambla de Sant Josep. The Palau de la Virreina (1778), on your right, was the home of the widow of the Spanish viceroy in Peru. Then, sweet fragrances will take you to the Boqueria market, the most colorful and most lively market in Barcelona. After all your walking, you deserve to rest a moment on the Plaça de la Boqueria. At your feet, you can admire a mosaic pavement, designed by Miró in 1976. You never thought one day you would walk on a Miró! After your break, try to reach Rambla dels Caputxins. There you will find the Opera of Barcelona, the Gran Teatre del Liceu. A little further, the Plaça Real, a charming square with its palm trees which faces the majestic Palau Güell of Gaudí. Finally, on the Rambla de Santa Monica, you can visit the Museu de Cera (Wax Museum), which features over 300 models. Las Ramblas come to an end at the Columbus Monument. The best way to enjoy the stroll and mix history facts with local anecdotes is to take a Las Ramblas – Barri Gòtic Walking Tour in Barcelona.
2.) Shopping along Las Ramblas in Barcelona
You can’t miss the famous Corte Inglés in Plaça de Catalunya, one of the biggest shopping chains in Europe. And on the other side you’ll find Pelayo Street with all the Catalan and Spanish cheap brands. But don’t deprive yourself of the window-shopping at the Passeig de Gracia and Avingunda Diagonal.
3.) Barcelona Colom Monument
The Barcelona Colom monument (Colon in Castilian) is a memorial to the great explorer Christopher Columbus. You will find it at the very Southern end of Las Ramblas. It is a giant monument, 60 meters high with a statue of Christopher Columbus proudly standing at the top and pointing toward the sea. You must go up the monument, the view is amazing!
4.) Barcelona Wax Museum
Time stands still in the Museu de Cera in Barcelona. It contains about a hundred human-like wax figures representing various figures, from political personalities to showbiz stars. The Museu de Cera even brings the imaginary characters to life – and then makes time stand still (The Star Wars heroes for instance).
You will also see, alongside Spanish royalty and politicians, foreign political and iconic figures: former president of USA, Bill Clinton, Princess Diana and Lady D.
5.) La Boqueria
Make sure you don’t miss it! Consider setting a few hours aside to truly enjoy this market, which is one of the oldest in the city, and where you will find everything you may wish for. However, your priority should be to try some of their traditional chorizo and sausages and admire all the colors of the fruit arrays. There is even the possibility to ask for your purchases to be vacuum-packed, to transport them more easily in a car or on a plane. Finally, don’t forget to take a look at the stained glass and Art Nouveau architecture around the market.
Facts about Las Ramblas
First in Roman then during early medieval times, Las Ramblas was a gulley with a stream marking out the medieval walls of the city. ‘Rambla’ comes from the Arabic meaning dry stream, “ramla”. Today it is a tree-lined pedestrian walkway, stretching for about 1.2 kilometers between the Barri Gòtic and El Raval, connecting Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell.
Why it’s worth visiting
- Las Ramblas is the most famous bulevard, something to see even if nowadays it’s too touristy and the local people try to avoid it in summer.
- Because that’s where all the human sculptures and painters are. And those are symbols of the city!
- Because Las Ramblas is definitely the place to be for shopping in Barcelona.
- Because you’ll see Spain’s Champs Elysees, a huge and majestic avenue which perfectly expresses Spain atmosphere. Our Champs Elysees is Passeig de Gracia, not Las Ramblas.
- Drinking a cup of coffee on one of Barcelona’s most beautiful avenue… What else?
- Because you won’t be far from the Barri Gotic.
Las Ramblas – often called La Rambla by the locals, because it is one group of 5 shorter streets (la Rambla de Canaletes, La Rambla dels Estudis, la Rambla de Sant Josep, La Rambla dels Caputxins and la Rambla de Santa Monica) – are one of the most famous landmarks in Barcelona.
It is a central boulevard which goes through the city center and offers an unusual and lively promenade, typical of Barcelona’s atmosphere. The main interest of Las Ramblas is its exciting ambiance. Cafes, shops and kiosks are in a constant fever of excitement, especially at night and on weekends. Apart from the festive side, the avenue is characterized by the monuments of Barcelona that surround it.
Although it is comparable to its reputation to the Champs-Elysées in Paris or the Orchard Road of Singapore, this avenue is not just about shopping. It also has a bad reputation regarding public safety: pickpockets are everywhere! However, you can easily learn how to avoid them.
How to get there
Drassanes station: Line 3 (South)
Liceu station: Line 3 (Middle)
Catalunya station: Line 1 and 3 (North)
- 13 million visitors a year 99%
- Incredibly detailed 80%
- Contains hidden mysteries 70%
Shops in Barcelona are open mainly between 10:00 am and 8:30 pm. But you have to know that a great part of them close around lunch time (between 2:00 pm and 4:30 pm).
1.) Port Vell:
It is the marina area just across the road from the Colom monument. It also has an attractive walkway, but across the marina, called Rambla del Mar (Rambla of the sea) leading to a huge aquarium and an IMAX movie theatre. The walk in itself is a reason to visit the area as it is very charming and relaxing.
How to get there:
By Subway: Line 3 to Drassanes Station or Line 4 to Barceloneta Station
2.) Street performers on Las Ramblas Safety concerns:
There are several street performers on Las Ramblas, some of them do statue acts, and others dance, play music or do magic acts. But, like in any touristic area, you should watch your pockets, or better yet, use a money belt for your valuable belongings, and make sure to keep only a small amount of cash or change in your pockets. That way, you can stand in the crowd of tourists and not worry about pickpockets.
3.) Restaurants and sangria:
Of course, you can find restaurants and cafés everywhere alongside Las Ramblas. However, due to the popularity of the avenue, and the spectacular number of tourists, you will find high prices and generally a lower level of service than you would experience in a less touristic area. If you want, for example, a really good paella you should go to the Harbour of Barcelona or close to the beach. However, for your first visit, sitting on Las Ramblas with a jarro of sangria is an absolute must although you should know that the Catalans are a little bit bored of it so we prefer other kinds like the Sangria de Cava (cangria with typical catalan champagne). May be you can ask for this and feel like a real Catalan!