Las Ramblas or La Rambla (from the Arabic Ramla, which means sand) is the most beautiful landmark in Barcelona.
It’s a 1.2km long and busy street preferred by every tourist and local. The Ramblas leads from Plaza de Catalunya to the Columbus statue.
Walk straight down Las Ramblas Gothic quarter You can take a look at the many outlets or watch the various street performers, some of which make a spectacular appearance or are either quite an exclusive creature. There are also a number of newspaper kiosks, flower and animal stands.
There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants on either side of the Ramblas (including some of the best cheap tapas bars in Barcelona). Right here you can have one thing to eat or drink while watching the busy street.
Ask anyone who wants to visit Barcelona where to stay and the general answer is “near the Ramblas”. This Barcelona promenade is the most famous street in the city and it is really an old creek bed.
Exploring the Ramblas in Barcelona
Exploring the Ramblas in Barcelona
The Barri Gotic or Gothic Quarter used to be old Barcelona (known as “Barcino” in Roman times) and has a wall that runs around the city to protect it. The main entrance is the iron gate halfway along the Ramblas. and known as Portaferrissa (literally “iron door”). Barcino on the left flanked the landscape and the Roman Church of Sant Pau del Camp (Saint Paul of the Country) who is now in the heart of the Raval.
Las Ramblas now dissects the old town, leaving El Raval (also of Arabic meaning beyond the walls) on the left and El Gotico on the right. The name “Las Ramblas” is essentially plural – which means that many Ramblas have all been gathered together. Ramblas even coined its own word “Ramblear”. That means how many neighbors and visitors go for a walk on the weekend.
From the main city square – Playa Catalunya – As far as the port and the monument of Christopher Columbus, Las Ramblas embodies Barcelona and is a colorful 24-hour street where you will find a mix of neighbors and tourists.
The entire promenade is littered with paper kiosks that are open around the clock. This is the best place to get a hot off the press copy of local and international news.
Back in the day Las Ramblas requested a river bed that ran from the mountain tops to the sea.
The main areas of the Ramblas
Although the Ramblas are a fixed street, it actually consists of 5 Ramblas:
– Rambla de Canaletes
– Rambla del Estudis
– Rambla del Sant Josep
– Rambla del Caputxins
– Rambla de Santa Monica
Rambla de Canaletes is the first Rambla to start in Plaza de Catalunya. This rambla is named after a fountain. Legend has it that you can save your return to Barcelona by consuming from the fountain. The 2nd Rambla is Rambla del Estudis. It is named shortly after a 16th century university, the Estudis Generals.
Starting from the top of Plaa Catalunya and walking to the port (this is also a little downhill) we did first Rambla de Canaletes – named after the fountain on Plaa Catalunya. This part of the Ramblas is a favorite for the local OAPs to gather and fix the world, as well as a typical hangout for FC Barcelona fans after a win (especially when it comes to their bitter rival Real Madrid).
Next comes the continuous transition Rambla of Studies (Studies) taken into the Catalana Library in the Calle Infirmary, which so celebrated the dawn of the Ramblas street performers and human statues, are beginning to appear.
Rambla de Sant Josep is named after the famous Saint Joseph market, also known as “La Boqueria” – supposedly Europe’s largest food market that sells everything that is edible under the sun.
This route follows closely Rambla de los Capuxinos – Some of the most beautiful and oldest cafes in the city are located next to the impressive Liceu Opera House and have been inspired by several visitors and writers in Barcelona. What easier way to write a postcard than with a caf con leche here? This part is often referred to as the Boulevard of flowersDue to the many flower sellers who are in a small space here, this is a dazzling place to visit during the celebrations of Saint George (the patron saint of Catalonia), as roses are historically given on this day.
The following is Rambla Rambla del Sant Josep named immediately after a monastery that was demolished in mid-1900 and replaced by Mercat de Boqueria. La Mercat de Boqueria is a widespread market for coated fruits. Here you can find refreshing fish, vegetables, fruits and beef. Note that the stalls near the entrance are very expensive.
The fourth is Rambla Rambla del Caputxins. This Rambla is also named after a demolished building called Capuchin monasterysturdy. In this part of the Ramblas there is a very fascinating building called the Gran Movie House del Liceu.
The last stretch is Rambla de Santa Monica – named after the old Portal de Santa Monica, which is still untouched on nearby Parallel Street. This is where the city’s many artists and caricature painters plant their stands along with the everyday three-cup conmen, which always arouse interest. Crowning the base of the Ramblas and the entrance to it Port Vell (“The Old Port” is the Christopher Columbus Monument, pointing to Las Americas. Look for great cheap Barcelona apartments next to the Columbus Monument.
This rambla leads to a roundabout with the Columbus Monument. This part of the Rambla is wider than the higher Ramblas. As you stroll down, take a look to the left and head to Plaza True to cool off. If you’re looking for paintings by local artists, you should find most of them here. At the end of the Ramblas you can find a nice roundabout with the statue of Colom as its center.
From the Ramblas, you can cross a bridge over the sea and continue your hands-on experience by walking down the Ramblas Maremagnum complex.
For more information about staying in Las Ramblas and hotel options, check out our guide to where to stay in Barcelona.