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La Rambla Street

La Rambla: The Best Things to Do in Barcelona’s Most Famous Street

by Christian Petzold - updated December 17, 2021

La Rambla (also known as La Ramblas) is one of the most remarkable streets in Barcelona. It’s a long pedestrian-only street that runs through the center of Barcelona, spanning about 1 mile. The La Rambla is full of life and bustling with activity during all times of day, but it becomes even more vibrant at night when bars and other businesses turn the street into an outdoor nightclub. 

The street is dotted with street performers and those who want to be seen, but I still found time to soak up its beauty. I saw people dressed in traditional Spanish attire while others were wearing flower crowns on their heads. There were groups playing instruments or dancing around for money, singing, or just being goofy for laughs from the passersby. Every few feet, kids ride on unicycles while some just hopped on, pedaling their bikes. I met lots of friendly people who even offered me travel tips.

La Rambla Center

La Rambla runs through the center of Barcelona, but it’s more than just a street; it’s more like an experience. Part of its appeal is its ambiance, but the other part is how it serves as a reminder to the generations living in Barcelona. It has existed since the 15th century and is one of Barcelona’s oldest streets.

Transportation Along La Rambla

The metro is the best way to get up and down Las Ramblas. You’ll notice that at some point or another, Las Ramblas becomes very narrow. If you’re riding on the metro, it will force you to get off of the train and walk on the street like everyone else.

This is also why I would not recommend driving in Barcelona during your visit. There are many one-way streets, pedestrians crossing every couple of feet, and traffic that doesn’t typically pay attention to driving laws (although they seem to be getting better).

Metro Stops in La Rambla

Taxis are plentiful on Las Ramblas, but I found them to be quite expensive. The best way to get around is to use the metro or hop on a scooter. 

Las Ramblas is serviced by three Metro stations throughout its length, giving it an excellent starting place for seeing the rest of the city by public transportation. The Drassanes Metro station is located at the southernmost end of La Rambla, next to the Christopher Columbus statue. (Green Line, L3)

The Liceu Metro Station is located Halfway along Las Ramblas,  immediately outside the Liceu Theatre. (Green Line, L3)

The Metro Stop Catalunya is at the northernmost tip of Barcelona Ramblas. Catalunya is also where you can board the Aerobus (express bus service to the airport) and the Barcelona Tours Bus (a Hop on Hop Off Tourist Bus), which will take you on a three-circuit tour of major tourist destinations.

Accommodation on La Rambla

There is lots of lodging along Las Ramblas, including hotels, hostels, and apartments.

Although Las Ramblas provides good access to the city’s center, it is essential to note that you have to prepare for noise if you want to stay in Las Ramblas. There is no getting around that. But, if you don’t mind, I would recommend staying in one of the hotels there. 

The Passeig de Gracia is a pedestrian street that runs parallel with Las Ramblas. It branches off into side streets that are quieter and are further away from the noise of the Rambla. So if it’s quiet you’re looking for, then check out the streets off Passeig de Gracia.

Shopping on La Rambla

The shopping in Barcelona is fantastic. La Rambla is an excellent place to pick up souvenirs and gifts for family and friends. One of the main advantages of shopping in Las Ramblas is its markets.

The Boqueria market is a  must-see when in Barcelona, and luckily it’s just across the street. 

Safety on La Rambla 

Barcelona is a very safe city, but petty crime does occur because of the number of tourists in Las Ramblas. It’s important to keep your wits about you when visiting Las Ramblas. 

As I said, Barcelona is a safe place, but don’t let it get to you. Be aware of your surroundings, and make sure that you keep a firm grip on your purse or wallet if you’re distracted by all the surrounding activities.

Safety in Las Ramblas is not an issue outside the metro stations. They are kept under control by the police 24/7. You can walk freely from one end of Las Ramblas to the other without encountering any problems. The only issues you might encounter are pickpocketers, especially in crowded areas. 

Best Things to Do Around La Rambla, Barcelona

When you’re in Barcelona, you’ll inevitably end up on the hectic, touristic, yet entertaining Las Ramblas at some point during your stay. The street is full of energy, and there are several attractions in the vicinity.

Here’s my choice of the best things to do in Barcelona’s most renowned street in the Catalonian capital.

1. Miró Mosaic – Art Gallery

Joan Miro Gallery Barcelona

Visiting the art gallery of Joan Miró is a must for any art lover visiting Barcelona. The building that houses the gallery was designed and built by Posada and Cuenca in 1972 and is a bold example of post-modern architecture.

Miró’s paintings cover the walls inside the museum, together with sculptures, installations, and drawings. His painting techniques vary from abstract to geometric surrealism to cubism.

The museum offers guided tours in English every Monday at 5:00 pm. Tickets sell out fast, so buy them online beforehand. If you can’t speak Spanish well enough to understand what is being said during the regular tours, I highly recommend the English tours as they are an excellent way of understanding Miró’s personal life.

2. Walking Tour

With a local guide, you’ll learn more than you ever thought possible, and you’ll have a lot of fun in the process. Las Ramblas, for example, means sandy riverbed in Arabic. It’s named after that because, in the 10th and 11th centuries, it used to be an area prone to flood from the mountains and beyond.

Pla Del Os Mosaic

Whether you go with a large group or ask a local to show you around, you’ll have a better understanding of the location, which is what the greatest city weekends are all about.

3. Human Statues  

There are several human statues along Las Ramblas, but if you want to make sure you see all of them (and be able to take pictures), I recommend walking along Las Ramblas towards Port Vell.

Living Statue In La Rambla

The garishly painted figures of Las Ramblas, who impersonate everyone from legendary Spanish thinkers to robots, are impossible to miss, yet they have the potential to make you jump. 

You may walk right past one and mistake it for a statue – the common technique is to stay still while a crowd gathers, then make some sudden movement that sends spectators into fits of terrified laughter.

Don’t forget to toss a euro or two into their caps — after all, this is a performance as well as a work of art that took time and practice to create. Additionally, the artists must be approved by a city jury and pay a monthly fee of a few hundred euros for the opportunity to perform.

Living Statue In La Rambla 2

4. La Boqueria

The best approach to get to know a new city is to visit its best-known markets. La Boqueria — through the wrought-iron bars on Las Ramblas in Barcelona—is the place to go. It has had the freshest and best grocery shop in town since 1836. 

La Boqueria

An hour of random strolling here will ignite your senses. There is a colorful traffic-light display of cases of fruit and vegetables, ice banks of glittering fish, curtains of blood-red meat, and heaps of fragrant blossoms.

There are several little cafés and kiosks where you may enjoy seafood and tapas while sipping on a bottle of crisp local white wine. And it’s a great place to try some cooking classes.

5. Christopher Columbus Monument 

Cristopher Columbus Monument

This 60m (197ft) tall monument towers above the lower end of Las Ramblas, where it meets the sea. It was built in 1888 in honor of Christopher Columbus, whose contentious bronze figure caps the memorial, allegedly looking towards America (some claim it’s Mallorca).

Take the elevator to the top, where an observation deck provides 360-degree views of the city, including the harbor, the Mediterranean, and Montjuic Mountain.

6. La Rambla del Raval

Remodeled in the late ’90s/early 2000s in the center of the once run-down Raval neighborhood, this is now a sprawling and attractive lozenge-shaped plaza surrounded by palm trees and cafes, complete with a weekend artisan market and many people-watching options.

In the end corner, Fernando Botero’s Gigantic Cat seems so content to be right there, sporting a massive smile on his face. And at twilight, make your way to the roof bar of the Hotel Barceló Raval – which towers over the neighborhood like a gigantic black metal drum – for great margaritas al fresco and 360-degree city views.

La Rambla Del Raval

Author’s Note

Las Ramblas is one of the most famous places in the world. It is an avenue in Barcelona, spanned by trees and lined with shops. It is made for people-watching and exploration, especially when it’s sunny out. 

An ideal time to visit Las Ramblas is in the morning when people are stocking up on produce for their kitchens or in the evening when all of the restaurants come alive with lights, music, and conversation. If you have time, while you’re in Las Ramblas, check out some of the nearby attractions.

While in Barcelona, a great thing to do is to grab a snack and a beer at a nearby bar while watching people walk by. This area has the best bars in the city with live music. I would also recommend visiting La Boqueria Market for the freshest produce from all around Spain and some tapas while sampling local wines.

We invite you to explore the rest of our website. Additionally, we have added a few of our articles below that will help you explore Barcelona like never before.  If you have any questions, please let us know. If not, we look forward to seeing you again soon!

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