Las Ramblas or Les Rambles is a 1.2-Kilometer Tree-Lined Pedestrian Mall:
Once exclusively a flower market, the historic and bustling Las Ramblas area of Barcelona is the perfect place for leisurely walks, shopping or engaging in some people watching. Whereas Las Ramblas was once lined with convents and churches, the streets are now thronged with performers, magazine vendors and a hundred other things. The convents and monasteries were all closed by 1830.
Las Ramblas, La Rambla or Les Rambles
Las Ramblas, or Les Rambles in Catalan, is actually a series of five 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, hence the plural Las Ramblas. However to the visitor strolling along the tree-lined
pedestrian mall, it’s just 1.2 kilometer of continuous delight. There are no cars allowed in the central sections. They are constrained to two small one-way streets on either side of the pedestrian areas. So, you can walk at your leisure among the many things to see and do.
Things to See Along Las Ramblas
Meander along from the Placa Catalunya, past the famed Monument to Columbus, to the water’s edge. There are many paths to choose from. The Rambla dels Ocells (Avenue of the birds) is aptly named for the once popular bird market in this old part of the Spanish city. The Rambla de les Flors once held the only flower shops in the city. Along the Rambla dels Caputxins there are old buildings, kiosks full of books and interesting people galore.
You’ll pass by the opera house of Liceu Theatre situated at the midpoint of Las Ramblas. Along the way, stop and see the Miró Mosaic. This circular tile created by the Spanish artist attracts thousands to the area every year. You’ll also pass the outside of the famed produce market, Mercat de la Boqueria. Rest a while at the Cafe de la Operaand enjoy a bracing cup of coffee, Barcelona style.
There’s no longer any need to avoid the Barri del Raval, once the red-light district of the city. If you hit the area in the evening, you’ll find dozens of small restaurants and bars to choose from that will delight any tourist.
Art lovers should be sure to walk along Carrer de Montalegre where the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona is located. It houses the restored Museu d’Art Contemporani, which holds many permanent and roving exhibitions.
The Barri Gotic, the Gothic section, contains many architectural wonders to explore, including the famed cathedral, La Seu. It stands in the centre of the original city and forms part of Barcelona’s two thousand year history. Nearby is the church of Santa Maria del Mar, which offers a representative example of Catalonian Gothic architecture.
Music lovers will want to catch one of the many afternoon concerts at Sant Josep Oriol. They’re a little more organized than the random street performers. But the latter are often just as professional, so sample both.
Now head for shopping at nearby Portal de l’Àngel and Portaferrissa. Along the central boulevard are hundreds of clothing shops, antique stores and more. Almost everyone will want to head for the El Corte Ingles in Placa Catalunya Square at the northern end. We did, at the start our Las Ramblas exploration, which unfortunately meant that we had to carry bags of shopping around with us. El Corte Ingles is the largest department store chain in Spain and is very popular with the Spaniards.
Las Ramblas Hotels
You could spend your entire vacation, not to mention your entire bank account, in the Las Ramblas of Barcelona. And that would be a great choice! And if you like being at the doorstep of this very popular avenue, there’s a huge variety of 1 to 5-star hotels to choose from. The Royal Ramblas is just 100 metres from Plaza Catalunya. The Catalonia Ramblas and Silken Ramblas are also hotels that are minutes from Plaza Catalunya. For a hotel with a water view, the Eurostars Grand Marina Hotel is a design hotel that overlooks Barcelona port. For the complete list of central Barcelona hotels, see HERE.
Las Ramblas Map: