La Rambla may be a Barcelona cliché—but it's one of those classic experiences that no visitor should miss. Be careful with your wallets and purses, as this is an area where petty theft is rampant. Enjoy the living statues. Drop them a coin, and they'll usually do a trick, or cooperate with you if you want to pose with them for pictures. While you're in the area, be sure to stop off for a snack at La Boqueria Market and meet the city's Gigants (massive puppets used in Parades) at El Palau de la Virreina.
A final warning: don't shop or eat in the stores and restaurants along this street. "Tourist trap" is an understatement for this area.
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Walking Down La Rambla
Barcelona is known for many things, there is obviously football or soccer (depending on which side of the Atlantic you find yourself on) there is architecture, food and wine, art in general and there is street art. La Rambla is one of the main streets in Barcelona and it is filled with street performers, one of which caught my eye for being as lost in the moment as I might have been in Barcelona.
My husband had to make several trips to Barcelona this year for work so I tagged along for his April trip. What an amazing place - the perfect walking city! On any trip to Barcelona wandering down La Rambla is a must. You'll see everything from jugglers to performance artists and flower stands with beautiful offerings like this one. Barcelona remains one of my favorite cities to visit, any time of the year.
Wandering through the charming Gothic Quarter off the famous La Rambla in Barcelona, I came across these two men guarding one of the historic buildings. I didn't know what or who was inside that needed to be guarded but I sure was curious. The Gothic Quarter is a fun place to stroll for a few leisurely hours any trip to Barcelona, with its rustic buildings and fun shops to its delicious food and entertaining street performers.
Strolling through Barcelona's enchanting Gothic Quarter right off the famous La Rambla and you'll see everything from boisterous street performers to quiet plazas ("placas") where you can enjoy the beauty of the centuries-old Gothic architecture around you. The small shops also are great for some retail therapy and offer unique items like these beautiful notebooks. The next time you're in Barcelona, make sure you carve out a day to wander leisurely through the city's one-of-a-kind "Barri Gotic," or Gothic Quarter.
La Rambla: In Catalan, Spanish, French, or English
For the few days we stayed in Barcelona, everyone quickly became fond of this dried fruit stall in the market on La Rambla. The woman in charge was patient with our lack of Catalan knowledge and mere 1 semester of Spanish between the 7 of us, able to converse perfectly with us in our languages--French and English--while also giving us a small fruit vocabulary lesson in Catalan. Definitely go for the dried poma--the dried apple!
Las Ramblas, they say, is the heart of Barcelona. While dragging my suitcase down the street, on the first evening that I arrived in this city, I knew it right then why it is so.
On a rainy morning, while walking down this famous street, trying to catch up with the walking tour guy, I looked up just to find this stunning building adorned with gorgeous Asian umbrellas.
Casa Bruno Quadras was once an umbrella factory in the 1880s. It has a Chinese dragon on the eclectic facade, said to be looking over the city. Ramblas umbrellas and the dragon is a pleasurable sight along with the wonderful street buskers that light up the street.
People watching is one of my favourite things to do while traveling. After hours spent combing the tourist-saturated streets of Barcelona, I finally sat down to take a break at a small, quiet street-side terrace off Las Ramblas.
This man, sitting at the table just in front of me had me transfixed: hunched over, in his old age, for hours over a mere glass of agua con gas, he scribbled in his little notebook, barely able to see what he was writing, determined and resolute in his search for Truth.
In a world full of mobile gadgets, apps and tech-fuelled communication, this moment held power in its simple, quiet strength.
La Rambla is one of the most famous boulevards in central Barcelona that connects the Plaça de Catalunya, a busy public square, to the Monument a Colom, a tall column erected in honor of Christoffel Columbus. After a long day of walking around the center, take a short siesta under the beautiful sunshine at the beach!
Ok, many will tell you that la Rambla is the biggest tourist trap in Barcelona and they will be right... BUT it is still a charming street if you know when to go and what to look for.
Plan to get up early and be there around 9 or 10am to avoid crowds, and start your walk from Plaça Catalunya and finish by the Columbus monument.
THINKS TO CHECK OUT:
- Canaletas fountain, where the FC Barcelona fans celebrate their victories. It is said that if you drink from it you'll come back to Barcelona.
- Press kiosks: buy here international press.
- Flower market: that's where I like to buy bouquets and plants for my home!
- Boqueria market: stop for coffee at Pinotxo Bar at the entrance, and enjoy the colors and smells of the food stalls.
- Miro mosaic: Watch your step! most people don't even see it!). From here, look out for a house with an Asian dragon in its façade (Casa Bruno Quadras) and the Liceu Opera House.
- Plaça Reial and Palau Güell (a Gaudi early work) are just around the corner in side alleys right and left.
- Artists: just like in Montmartre, get your portrait done or buy local artwork.
- Crafts market: great place for shopping (weekends only)
- Human statues: they are fun to watch, but give them a coin if you take pictures of them!
- Columbus statue: end of our itinerary! Now head for a walk around the Old Port
THINKS TO SKIP:
- Souvenir stalls (they substituted the former pet stalls with dubbious taste...).
- Outdoor cafés: They are all tourist traps!
Amble down La Rambla, stopping to admire fresh flowers, original artwork and Barcelona souvenirs at your leisure. Watch living statues come to life when you drop a euro in their cups—most will even pose with passers-by, for a price, of course. Keep an eye out for the Pavement Mosaic (No 80) by Joan Miró at Plaça d l’Os and the Canaletes fountain (No 133) at the top of La Rambla where F.C. Barcelona fans come to celebrate victories.