Las Rambla Barcelona, also known as La Rambla de Barcelona, is the most famous pedestrian avenue in Barcelona, Spain. Located in the city centre, it stretches for about 1200 metres from the Plaça de Catalunya to the city's waterfront and the statue of Christopher Columbus. Las Ramblas attracts many tourists because of its special atmosphere, with its mixture of souvenir stands, bird shops, newspaper shops, flower shops, musicians, painters and street artists, such as the living statues, and it is a meeting place for all the people of Barcelona, who like to stroll under the plane trees.
Las Ramblas Barcelona or La Rambla?
In Spanish, "La Rambla" is usually used to refer to the famous pedestrian avenue in Barcelona, while "Las Ramblas" is a more general term that can refer to several streets called "ramblas" in different Spanish cities. In fact, all cities have their Ramblas, for example "La Rambla de Valencia" in Valencia. However, in common practice, the term "Las Ramblas" is now used to refer to La Rambla in Barcelona, due to its fame and popularity as a tourist destination. This is also the strength of Barcelona!
Video tour of Las Ramblas
Different sections of Las Ramblas
The word ramblas means "dry rivers" in Arabic. And in fact the Rambla of Barcelona was built from the 17th century on the bed of a dry river, the "riera d'en Malla".
From Plaça de Catalunya to Port Vell, the Rambla changes its name into five distinct sections:
Rambla de Canaletes, named after its fountain, the site of celebrations of FC Barcelona's victories.
Rambla dels Estudis, because this section was the site of the Estudi General, the city's centre of higher education founded in 1450, and today it is the site of newsagents.
Rambla de les Flors or Rambla de Sant Josep, the only place in the city where flowers were sold in the 19th century and still are today. There is also the famous Boqueria market.
Rambla dels Capucins or Rambla del Center, named after the former convent of the Capuchin friars, at the Liceu.
Rambla de Santa Mònica, which goes down to the port and to the parish church of the same name. Today it is home to the Santa Mònica Arts Centre and the Wax Museum.
History of the Ramblas
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Rambla was a stream surrounded by walls. The Ramblas were built from 1766 onwards when the city decided to extend its boundaries outside its medieval walls. The wall was destroyed and the Rambla came into being with the construction over the decades of family homes, convents, churches, study centres, shops, etc.
Over time, the Rambla became more and more popular and saw the appearance of flower and bird stands, shops, cafés, public benches, fountains and pretty street lamps installed by the town council.
In 1859, trees were planted on the Ramblas to provide shade for walkers. These plane trees have become an emblematic feature of the Ramblas in Barcelona.
Closer to home in 1963, the Ramblas were redesigned to improve traffic flow in the city. Traffic lanes were added on both sides of the promenade without destroying the spirit of the place, that of strolling and meeting people.
Las Ramblas is a busy and relatively dangerous avenue with pickpockets and a bad atmosphere late at night.
> To visit Las Ramblas in a pleasant way, take advantage of your morning between 10 and 12 o'clock, which is the least busy time.
> Watch your back, especially your pockets and handbags. There are some very good pickpockets at work 24 hours a day.
> Avoid all restaurants and cafés in this area, especially those with tables on La Rambla. They know you are passing through and the prices and quality of service are incredibly poor. Prefer the neighbouring streets.
> Do not go at night or late at night. It's not dangerous but not very well frequented either... Just avoid it if you are alone.
Ramblas tourist circuit
Here are some places to discover on or near the Ramblas.
Take advantage of our good addresses such as restaurants and shops. This is also part of discovering a city.
Plaça Catalunya the Square of Catalonia, the link of Barcelona, where all roads start. From here one can practically go anywhere, by means of taxis, the tourist bus, metro or by some of the most important public bus-routes in the city. Here is where some of the most prestigious shops can be visited, also some of the most modern ones.
Church Betlem (or The Church Of Bethlehem or Iglesia de Betlém) is located in the very heart of Barcelona. This is another catholic church located next to Las Ramblas. The frontage baroque started in 1681. The interior was unfortunately burned during the civil war of 1936.
The Palace Virreina is a palace built between 1772 and 1775 and decorated with both Baroque and Rococo elements, which hosts major temporary exhibitions .
It's now headquarters to the Town Hall's Cultural Department and its Centre de la Imatge (Image center). The exhibition centre shows works by some of Catalunya's most important contemporary artists, like Oriol Bohigas and Antoni Abad.
La Boqueria Market, one of the oldest markets in Barcelona, is no longer in the news, its name being mentioned as early as 1217. Criticized by some for being too crowded, adulated by others for the quality of its products and its small bars. It remains a must on Las Ramblas, a stone's throw from the Liceu and the Plaça de Catalunya.
The entrance porch, with its Art Nouveau stained glass window, is already an invitation to a gourmet journey. A dream that becomes reality in front of all the colourful stalls presented with great care by the many shopkeepers proud of their stands.
A visit to La Boqueria in video:
What can you find in La Boqueria?
You can find everything in La Boqueria: fish, meat, sausages, spices, cheese, vegetables, fruit and fruit juices, pastries, flowers... Fresh and local products that appeal to restaurateurs and locals alike. Many Catalans come here to do their daily shopping. Even more people come to have breakfast or lunch because there are many restaurants, cafés, and tapas bars that have been established in La Boqueria for a long time (a dozen bars for example).
>> In total, La Boqueria has more than 300 stands. With its surface area of 2583 m², it is the largest market in Catalonia.
Tip: If you're travelling light, we suggest you simply buy some chillies, Jabugo, chorizo and a few pieces of cheese before you leave.
If you are hungry, take a break at El Quim bar, our favourite tapas bar.
What does Boqueria mean?
Boqueria (also known as La Boqueria) is the term for this market whose official name is "Mercat de Sant Josep". The name "Boqueria" is derived from the Catalan word "boc", which means "goat", and refers to the area where the market was originally established in the 13th century as a place for goat traders.
The history La Boqueria market
The first mention of La Boqueria market in Barcelona dates from 1217, when tables were set up near the old city gate to sell meat. From December 1470 onwards, a market for the sale of pigs was held there. At that time, the market was called Mercat Bornet or (until 1794) simply known as Mercat de la Palla (Straw Market).
In the beginning, the market was not fenced in and had no official status; it was considered to be a simple extension of the Plaça Nova market, which then extended to the Plaça del Pi.
Later, the authorities decided to build a separate market on the Rambla, housing mainly fishmongers and butchers. It was not until 1826 that the market was legally recognised and a convention held in 1835 decided to build an official square. Work began on 19 March 1840 under the direction of the architect Mas Vilà. The market was officially opened the same year, but the plans for the building were modified several times. The official inauguration of the structure finally took place in 1853. In 1911 the new fish market was opened and in 1914 the metal roof that still exists today was built.
The famous Gran Teatre del Liceu was built in 1847.Considered by many to be one of the finest opera houses in Europe, it burnt to the ground tragically in 1994, the auditorium and stage were destroyed. The new Liceu was inaugurated in the year 2000, keeping the original facade and greatly expanding the facilities. Here, the finest operas of the international repertoire have been staged, and leading operatic stars have performed, among them several Catalans including Montserrat Caballé, Josep Carreras and Jaume Aragall.
Just off the Rambla, you can find the Plaza Real, one of the places with most tradition and interest around the city. It was erected in mid of the 19th Century, it has a fine arcade, palm trees and lamps designed by Gaudi. It is an interesting square ideal to relx and enjoy a coffee in one of the many cafes. On Sunday mornings there is a stamp and coin market.
Opposite the statue Christopher Columbus, in the bottom of Ramblas, the maritime museum is one of the most imaginative museum of the city and one of the most visited too. Installed in the royal arsenals- date from 1378 and are the biggest and most complete Medieval dockyards in the world- it exposes animated presentations and houses a big exhibition including model ships, drawings, replicas, paintings, figureheads and an interactive exhibition, "The Great Adventure of the Sea".
The FC Barcelona club offers you the opportunity to visit its mythical stadium. The Camp Nou tour begins with the locker room then you will follow the tunnel that leads to the stadium's lawn ... Chills guaranteed!
You can never think enough about the hop-on hop-off bus tour to discover a city! It is however an extraordinary and economic way to make a first connection with its main tourist attractions, without stress, at its own pace...
From the Sagrada Sagrada Família to the Parc Güell, we have selected for you the best tourist attractions of the Catalan capital and its region. Find and book online priority entrance tickets and guided tours with English speaking guides.
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to visit! - DocSplus (16 Mar 2023 - 12:06)
It's still a nice walk to the Port Vell which is also worth seeing.
vivir un sueño!! - malika (29 May 2012 - 08:30)
las ramblas son unas de las maravillas de toda Espana y no solo de Barcelona. podràs disfrutar de un màgnifico paseo gustando los colores, los perfumes y del continuo ir y venir de gente que caracterizan esta calle...podras saborear tapas deliciosas, reirte y hacerte fotos con los mimos màs artisticos y extravagantes de siempre y conocer sin embargo gente de cada ezquina del mundo... si viajais a Barcelona no podeis olvidar de pasar por aqui!!!
Me gusta las ramblas ! :) - sylvia (14 May 2012 - 09:00)
hola ! no soy de catalunya, pero me gusta mucho Barcelona y las ramblas ! ♥ :) invito todo el mundo ir en este ciudad ! :D porque es la mejor ciudad del mundo ! :)
saludo - bella (10 Jun 2011 - 12:15)
Questo posto è molto bello e meraviglioso! spero che ogni persona che arriva in Barcellona, vada subito a visitarlo.. Io ci sono andata e sono rimasta a bocca aperta. un saluto a tutti! :)