Almost a hundred years ago the famous poet Federico Garcia Lorca wrote lines that would define a complete street:
“It is the only street in the world that I wish would never end. "
Although you can't deny that Las Ramblas is the beating heart of cosmopolitan center Animated Barcelona, this is no longer the case today - the tourist traps benefiting millions of people.
here it is a complete guide to avoid nonsense and get out of La Rambla from enchanted Barcelona.
La Rambla in Barcelona - general information
Las Ramblas is a pedestrian street that crosses the city center. She measures 1,2 kilometros, Summit from Plaça de Catalunya to the foot of the Columbus Monument.
It is the busiest street of Barcelona with thousands of tourists and locals every day walking on its undulating slabs that recall the waves of the sea.
La Rambla is the symbol of barcelona: its controversial and artistic spirit, its cultural miscegenation, its dark sides, its vices and its festive DNA.
With the inauguration of La boqueria market In 1836, this area became the Barcelona's commercial hub, thus facilitating the process of urbanization and modernization of its surroundings, which has made the Rambla a street where you can buy, eat, have a coffee or see street artists.
In Spanish, the word Rambla is generally used to denote large tree-lined avenues with a central pedestrian zone. In Barcelona there are several Ramblas, Poblenou for example or Catalunya which runs parallel to Passeig de Gracia, but the “real” Rambla is the one to which we have dedicated this article.
We often hear about Ramblas in plural Instead of Rambla in singular, because in reality each section of street has a specific name. Starting from Plaça Catalunya towards the sea: Rambla de Canaletes, Rambla de los Estudios, Rambla de San José, Rambla de los Capuchinos and Rambla de Santa Monica.
All these parts together form what everyone normally knows as the Rambla or Ramblas of Barcelona.
How to get to the Rambla?
If you have chosen to stay in a more remote area of Barcelona, you need the metro. Las Ramblas is served by metro stations Catalonia (L1 / L3), High school (L3) y shipyards (L3).
The easiest way to see it is to make a stop in Catalunya and walk to the statue of Columbus.
The Tourist Bus stops for La Rambla are Plaça de Catalunya (above) and Museu Maritim (below).
The buses that run through the narrow streets surrounding La Rambla are 59, 91 and V13.
From the airport
Those with hotels or hostels on La Rambla have many options for transfers between the airport and the city center depending on the price.
The cheapest option There is the train to the rambla, from Terminal 2 to Passeig de Gracia then 15 minutes on foot. The 60-minute journey costs € 2,10. The train is included in the Hola Bcn discount transport card.
You can also take theAirbus (€ 5,90, included in the Barcelona City Pass) to Plaça de Catalunya, then get off. This trip takes approximately 35 minutes.
As a group, my advice is to take a taxi with Free now. This application allows you to call regulated taxis in the city, it is super convenient. The trip should cost about € 30,00.
Why do tourists visit Las Ramblas?
- It is a very busy street that never sleeps.
- There you can find almost anything: good and bad.
- It is close to many of the best attractions in Barcelona.
- There are incredible possibilities for shopping.
- It is the headquarters of one of the best markets in Barcelona.
- There are many options for night life.
The beauty of the Ramblas in Barcelona
The charm of this beautiful avenue is given by its liveliness, the colors that run through it and the faces that animate it. In fact, you will be drawn to everything around you: statues still alive for hours (what patience!), musicians, mimes, Caricaturists, designers y florists.
Ah, I forgot the peddlers, those that Manu Chao talks about in the song "Abdu Lula" and that allude precisely to the different protagonists who will try to stop you on the way.
The most famous object is a kind of lighted propeller toy that is thrown into the air with a rubber band and half the time gets stuck in trees or falls on someone's head.
Another toy is a strange object that (poorly) reproduces the sound of birds. They sell them believing that people are happy to hear this noise (it bothers me!); for my part I advise you to resell the old music boxes!
12 things to do on La Rambla
As you descend from Plaça Catalunya towards the sea, these are the main attractions that you will find on your way:
- Source of gutters
This fountain It is located at the beginning of the Rambla, next to Plaça Catalunya. According to legend, anyone who drinks this water will definitely return to Barcelona. So don't overthink it, drink and see if the legend is true!
The fountain is also linked to the history of FC Barcelona, in fact many years ago it was here that the newspaper La Rambla, based in front of the Font de Canaletes, released the results of the matches.
- Palau de la Virreina
Ce baroque palace has been built in the late XNUMXth century by the architect Carles grau and declared a national monument in 1941. Today it is the headquarters of Barcelona department of culture and it almost always hosts a free photographic or artistic exhibition.
You will find the list of exhibitions on the city council website. The Palacio de la Virreina is also the permanent headquarters of the Giants and Eagles of Barcelona, some figures of the city's folklore that parade through the streets of the city center during the days of the Mercé festival.
- La boqueria market
On the Rambla you can visit the oldest market in Barcelona as well as one of the most folkloric: La Boqueria. For market enthusiasts like me, it is a fixed stop.
If you rent an apartment, come here and do your shopping: fresh fish every day, spices from all over the world and fruits as if it were raining.
- Historic shops
Not everyone may know that there is one flagship merchants association which aims to protect them against constant modernization and tourism. Some of these shops are located directly on the Rambla and visiting them is a great opportunity to get closer to the most authentic Barcelona.
In order of location, from the mountain to the sea, you will find: Nadal Pharmacy, Vienna Coffee, Beethoven House Music Store, Old House Figueras Pastry (Escribá pastry), Xancó Shirt, Opera Café, Glaciar Bar and La Rambla Pharmacy.
You will find them all indicated on the map in the next paragraph. In this link you will find a list of all the emblematic shops in Barcelona in case you are interested in the subject (unfortunately the page is only available in Catalan). Do you want to differentiate between coming home with a Made in China magnet or with a nice shirt made by a historical tailor?
- Erotic museum
In this interesting museum you will find 800 works that trace the playful, religious and anthropological aspects of eroticism. Curious? Look for the person dressed as Marilyn Monroe, overlooking one of the balconies at the exit of the Boquería market and have you found the museum? You can buy your tickets online with a discount.
- Joan Miro Mosaic
You may have already guessed that the Rambla is the path of surprises, but walking on the Mirò mosaic is beyond imagination. Yes, on the Rambla, near the Liceu metro station (green line L3), you will find the large mosaic that the artist donated to Barcelona.
Miró's idea was to welcome visitors from the sea to the city; As it was a work of art for everyone, he made sure that the mosaic was not fenced off in any way so that people could walk on it.
The trampling of people caused some tiles, especially blue ones, to wear out over time and have to be replaced. The mosaic is about 8 meters in diameter and has a round shape, it will not escape you. . If you can avoid the herds of tourists who will endlessly try to distract you, there are a tile signed by Mirò himself. Let's see who finds it and send us a picture on our Facebook page?
After the attack of August 17, 2017, Miró's mosaic has become a symbol of memoryThat is why many times near the work you can see bouquets of flowers, candles or cards that the people of Barcelona leave in honor of the victims.
- Liceu Theater
it's the main theater of barcelona built in the 1847th century and inaugurated in XNUMX. It was the largest theater in Europe at the time and could host up to 2292 viewers, in addition to a reception room and a production room.
Some of the best interpreters of all time have performed there, such as Pavarotti, la Callas, Plácido Domingo… If you are interested, here is the calendar of events for the Gran Teatre del Liceu.
- Royal Square
Leaving the beautiful mosaic behind you, on your left you will see the romantic Plaza Reial, as a little oasis. Palm trees, arcades and a beautiful fountain in the middle are the setting for one of the most famous squares in Barcelona.
For those looking for details, the street lamps in the square are among the first works of a very young Gaudí. To return to La Rambla, I recommend going out through the picturesque Passatge Bacardì.
Lovers of nightlife will find in this square several places to go crazy or have a drink.
- Palau Güell
The Güell Palace, one of the first works of the master Gaudí, is not located on the Rambla, but in a small street meters from the famous avenue. Classified in Unesco world heritage Since 1984, this building contains the essence of Gaudí's later work and is essential to understand his architecture. If you want to visit it, buy your ticket online.
- Museo de Cera
If you are a fan, a stone's throw from the Rambla you will find the famous Barcelona Wax Museum, where more than 300 statues real and imaginary characters await you. You can buy your tickets online. If that's not your thing, you can always visit one of the fascinating cafes backs of the Museum, the Fairy forest, which recreates the environment of an enchanted forest, or the Passage of Time.
- Street performers
Through the lower part of the Rambla you will enter, as if by magic, another dimension, that of creativity and the genius of the different street artists. There are many and it is ideal for a pleasant walk in the presence of your children.
There living statues disguised in the strangest way, to arouse curiosity and why not, a few simple smiles. Then you will meet the famous Caricaturists, an old-fashioned profession (unfortunately). And then there are the mimes, The musicians, The puppeteersetc. On Saturdays and Sundays there are also several stalls where you can make nice gifts to your loved ones.
- Christopher Columbus statue
It is possible to climb inside the "tower" that holds the statue of Columbus to the viewpoint located in 60m in height. From here you can take many photos of the Rambla from the sky and enjoy a magnificent view in the port of Barcelona. This is where you can get your discounted tickets online.
Map of the Rambla Barcelona
Las Ramblas start from the southwest corner of the famous Plaza de Catalunya and they are divided between two important neighborhoods of Barcelona: the Gothic and the Raval.
The famous street ends at the Christopher Columbus statue in front of Port Vell and the cruise terminal.
For your convenience I have created a small map with everything there is to see on the Rambla, you can also see it from your mobile phone, I hope it is useful?
The negative points of the Rambla
The great Shakespeare in his book "The Merchant of Venice" said "all that glitter is not gold" (" All that glitters is not gold"). So don't be impressed by everything you see" sparkle "!
Especially in recent years, in fact, the Rambla has undergone a process of commercialization (it could also be called McDonaldization), due to the growing presence of franchises, which are based on standard, low-quality products and misleading prices.
Having said that, knowing what to avoid On the long tree lined driveway I think it is very important not to be fooled or disappointed by what you are going to find.
4 things to avoid on Las Ramblas
- Tourist trap restaurants
Beware of the multitude of terraces along the Rambla. Everyone will try to sell their specialty: “Paella and Sangria”. The paella seems to have returned from years of hibernation and the sangria could easily be a mixture of mysterious products.
- Insistent sellers
As you walk down the Rambla you will come across a myriad of characters who will try to sell you everything from the simple items I mentioned earlier, to marijuana and the aptly named 'Cerveça Biar' is misspelled.
Marijuana in Barcelona is legal, but only for residents and consumed within cannabis associations. Be careful, because if you are caught in the street, you will have problem.
At night, the famous beer vendors, which have become a classic in the city, appear like mushrooms. Available in every corner, you will always hear his melodic voice in the distance he wants to sell you a beer. At first I wondered if their warehouses were pools for swimming in gallons of beer, then I found they were often taken out of the wells!
Ah, very important you can't drink beer or alcohol on the streetIf they catch you, do they give you a fine?
Without alarming you, I think it is obvious that where there are avalanches of tourists walking at all hours of the day, there are also thieves who will try to deceive you. In a crowd, it's easier to steal a wallet and disappear.
An advice: keep your wallet in the front pockets of your pants. At night, however, it can happen that someone approaches you in a friendly and understanding way, and with the excuse of a hug and your wallet magically disappears. So walk steadily and if someone approaches say " No thanksAnd then avoid any inconvenience.
I am not writing to you with the intention of raising awareness or making some money out of it. I am not against prostitution and I believe that if it were regularized and controlled, it would be more beneficial than harmful.
But here, the ones you'll see at night on the Rambla are subject to a true form of slavery. I won't tell you how to spend your money, but watch your conscience and ask yourself if in 2019 a woman should still sell her body not by choice but by necessity ...
Restaurants towards the Rambla
Although I recommend avoiding the tourist trap restaurants on the Ramblas, but if you absolutely must eat something in the neighborhood, there are some places you should not miss.
Check my list of the best restaurants in Barcelona for a wider selection.
€€€ | Carrer del Caputxins 37 | Metro: Liceu (L3) | 13:00 to 15:30 and 19:00 to 23:30
The Louro is probably the only restaurant I would go to on the famous Rambla. This is one of my favorite modern Spanish restaurants in the entire city.
La Galician cuisine rich in seafood, give it a touch creative and avant-garde with the added advantage of one of more concise and friendly services From the industry.
Smoked sardines, crispy octopus, the scallop gratin, the Galician beef tenderloin and the highly underrated calamand sandwich are one of the highlights of the night. Without forgetting your exceptional cocktails like the blackberry mojito.
This is the perfect place for a romantic dinner or even with a large group; expect to pay € 30,00 per person.
As this restaurant is always very frequented, Configured a quick booking system directly with the restaurant.
By booking via the blue button below, you benefit from a reservation priority but also froma free glass of cava:
The Quim de la Boqueria
€€€ | La Rambla 91 | Metro: Liceu (L3 green) | 7:00 am to 17:00 pm (closed Sunday and Monday)
How to go wrong eating fresh ingredients from the market directly from the best of Barcelona?
This restaurant located in the famous La boqueria market offers five-star dining options to people sitting on the 18 stools from a simple bar. Get the seafood platter, the mushrooms with foie gras or any of the fillets.
It's also a great breakfast spot for your ham and egg trays.
€€ | Carrer d'en Quintana 5 | Metro: Liceu (L3 green) | 13:30 pm to 16 pm, 00 pm to 20:00 pm (closed on Mondays)
Can Culleretes perpetuates the Catalan gastronomic tradition, it is also a good option to enjoy a good paella a few steps from the Rambla.
€€ | Calle Escudellers 10 | Metro: Drassanes (green L3) | 13:00 p.m. to 23:30 p.m.
Ce Spanish restaurant It may be gigantic, but it exudes a warm atmosphere.
Go here for all the classic dishes like paella (squid ink black rice in particular) and beef carpaccio; what is remarkable here is the value of the lunch menu; you will get a multi-course menu and it came for about 15 euros.
If you fancy Spanish food outside Las Ramblas, check out my list of free tapas restaurants.
€€ | Calle Colón 2 | Metro: Drassanes (green L3) | 9h00 to 00h00
Yes, fast foodYou can visit Artisa, a stone's throw from Plaça Reial, where you will find brunches like scrambled eggs and various types of pancakes and sandwiches.
Accommodation in Las Ramblas in Barcelona
Many of you often ask us about hotels and accommodations in and around Rambla. I remind you that we wrote an article with all our hosting suggestions, but I leave you some options below:
Hotel Serhs Rivoli Rambla
La Rambla 128 | Metro: Plaça Catalunya (green line L3) | ☆☆☆☆ | Rating: 8,1 | Book
Excellent compromise for this 4-star hotel with an incomparable location. The rooms are very clean and modern., often in low season there are some offers.
Lloret Ramblas Hotel
Rambla de Canaletas 125 | Metro: Plaza Cataluña (green line L3) | ☆ | Rating: 8,5 | Book
Only one star earned for this very clean hotel a few steps from Plaça Catalunya, even if you are lucky you can find good deals.
Hostal La Terrassa
Carrer Junta Comerç 11 | Metro: Liceu (green line L3) | Rating: 8,5 | Book
Modest accommodation but with a Excellent value, ideal for those who do not want to give up comfort and cleaning without spending an arm.
Nightlife and discos on La Rambla
La Rambla is in constant fizz It does not stop even at dusk, it is precisely at night when it reveals its most seductive side. In this section we are going to tell you how to experience La Rambla in a more festive way.
Many ask us if it is safe to move around the Rambla at night, the answer is absolutely yes, always paying attention to what we have already said before, be careful with your personal belongings and not not overly relying on strangers.
The epicenter of La Rambla's nightlife is without a doubt the Plaça Reial, which you will have seen during the day if you followed our advice. There are several places to have a good time here, as all the nightclubs in Barcelona come to life late (from 2 in the morning) and close at first light.
These are not "cool" places, but places where you can go in peace surrounded by lots of locals, so leave your shirts and heels at home.
After soft the coins of the Plaza Real, you will find a historic nightclub where you can dance until the morning. They are almost all underground without any particular charm, but don't worry, the generous cocktails he will do his duty.
The most famous venues are Sidecar, Jamboree, Karma, and Ocaña, which also make great cocktails and are perfect for a pre-party.
Always to drink a cocktail made with a capital "C", I recommend the Bar Boadas historic (Carrer de Tallers 1). Founded in 1933, it is the oldest cocktail bar in Barcelona. I don't think it is necessary to present it more!
Another place our team members usually go is the Caribbean club, located in Carrer Sitges 5, in a side street of Las Ramblas. It is the ideal place to have a high quality cocktail with that Caribbean touch in a intimate and special atmosphere.
If you are young and lively, not far from Bar Boadas you will find the Historic pub L'Ovella Negra, where several generations of Barcelona left a piece of liver. If you go with a group of friends, fun is guaranteed!
Shopping on the Rambla
You will find Las Ramblas outside of some of the best shops in Barcelona. At the top, near Plaça de Catalunya, you'll find classics like H&M and Pull and Bear, but that's just the beginning.
From here you have two options.
The first is to walk 5 minutes past the plaza to the high-end shops of the Paseo de Gracia. Here you will find brands like Gucci, Burberry, Jimmy Choo and Armani.
The second option is to turn right in the square, pass the Hard Rock Cafe and take the first right on the largest shopping street in Barcelona: Portal del Angel. Here you can choose between the main brands.
Perhaps it is appropriate that our friend García Lorca was kidnapped and murdered by nationalist militias for his very outspoken leftist views: the dream of Las Ramblas died shortly after.
Finally, there is a spirit and a world to discover in the street of paradoxes of Barcelona.
If you need additional help visiting La Rambla de Barcelona or anything else while on vacation please let me know in the comments below.
Also, don't be afraid to join the discussion about Barcelona attractions on my new Facebook group called “For City Lovers”. Here you can ask questions, voice your complaints, chat with other travelers and more - anything goes!