This page will give you detailed information on the famous La Rambla (Las Ramblas as it is often referred to locally), including its main attractions, sights of interest and links to hotels on the Ramblas.
Las Ramblas is often the first landmark that most tourists identify with the city. It is the central most boulevard which cuts through the heart of the city centre and is a vibrant and lively promenade filled with Barcelona action at its best (and sometimes the worst. More later on this subject).
|Las Ramblas boulevard|
Las Ramblas is approximately 1.2 kilometres long with Port Vell (near the cruise port terminal) at the Southern most end and Plaça de Catalunya at the northern most end.
If you have your back to Port Vell and you are looking up towards Catalunya along the Ramblas on your left hand side is the Raval area and on your right-hand side is the Barri Gòtic (or Gothic Quarter).
Las Ramblas can also be roughly divided into seedy and non-seedy areas. This distinction between seedy and non-seedy becomes a lot clearer during the night time when the Southern most end of the Ramblas becomes something of a red light district and is frequented by night women (prostitutes).
In this article when I mention the northern most end of the Ramblas I mean north of the Liceu theatre (which is a mid way point along Las Ramblas) and the southern most end as being south of the Liceu Theatre.
La Rambla is primarily pedestrianized with only two narrow one-way traffic roads which run on either side of the central Ramblas Boulevard.
Barcelona city council have restricted traffic flow through this region and you have the overwhelming feeling that pedestrians rule in this area (which makes a welcome change). Unlike other cities that have huge roads running through the middle Barcelona has chosen to structure the road system such that the heart of the city centre is primarily pedestrianized with larger roads that service the periphery.
|Japanese paintings and decoration on a building on La Rambla|
The Ramblas is serviced by three Metro stops along its length making it a superb transport point to see the rest of the city.
At the Southern most end of La Rambla, near to Christopher Columbus memorial, you have the Drassanes Metro stop. (Green Line, L3)
Midway along the Barcelona Las Ramblas, just outside the Liceu Theatre, you have the Metro stop Liceu. (Green Line, L3)
At the northern most tip of the Barcelona Ramblas you have metro stop Catalunya which is serviced by the Metro on both the (Green Line, L3) and (Red Line, L1). Catalunya is also the point at which you can catch the Aerobus ( Express bus service to the airport) and the Barcelona Tours Bus (A Hop on Hop Off Tourist Bus) which will take you around 3 circuits of popular tourist attractions.
There is plenty of accommodation along the Ramblas in the form of hotels, hostals and apartments.
Although the Ramblas offers you excellent access to the heart of the city it is worth remembering that if you choose accommodation on the Ramblas you must be prepared for noise. There is no getting away from this. Regardless of whether your hotel has double glazing or not be prepared for some noise. There will even be street noise at night when the Ramblas can be busy until 3 am or later. See our guide to hotels near Las Ramblas
Attractions along the Ramblas including live performances, human statue art, artists that will draw your portrait or caricature, as well as established attractions like:
The Ramblas is famous for street performers including human statues.
|Human statue: Galileo|
|Human statue: White Painter|
Did you know there is a Miró on La Rambla? The famous painter Joan Miró actually created part of the Ramblas. Many thousands of people walk right over the Miró circle on the Ramblas every day and don't even know it.
|Barcelona Miró mosaic on La Rambla|
Where is the Miró you may ask? The place to find Mirós' circular tile mosaic can be found close to both the Liceu Theatre and the Liceu metro. Look for a large circular coloured mosaic tiling right in the middle of the Ramblas. If you look carefully you will also find one tile that was signed by Miró.
There are dozens of restaurants and shops along the full length of the Barcelona Las Ramblas. However due to the popularity of Las Ramblas, and sheer volume of visitors, you will find elevated prices and generally a lower level of service than you would experience in a less touristy area.
|La Boqueria Food Market|
I would be reluctant to dine in a restaurant along the Ramblas simply because there are better places to enjoy a night out. But for a tourists' first visit sitting on the Ramblas with a jug of sangria is an absolute must.
If you are looking for some speciality items, practically anything, from an electricity adapter, special camera batteries, clothing, or even stationary items difficult to find in a regular shop you will probably find in El Corte Inglés.
El Corte Inglés can be found in the Plaça de Catalunya square which is at the Northern most tip of the Ramblas. El Corte Inglés is a huge department-store with seven floors of shopping categorised by different genres. If you can't find what you're looking for there, you can't find anywhere!
|Eating out on Las Ramblas|
Las Ramblas is a popular tourist attraction in its own right. Any time during the day or night several thousands tourists will be meandering along the Ramblas soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the activities.
However there is also another group of individuals that are attracted to the Ramblas for a completely different reason. They are interested in taking advantage of the tourists. Who are they? Pickpockets and scam artists!
To help ensure your safety whilst visiting the Ramblas I highly recommend you read my Barcelona safety article that will help you be aware of the potential hazards and how to protect yourself. Help make Barcelona a scam-free zone by following the guidelines in this article. Without easy targets perhaps the pick pocketing and bag snatching problem will start to disappear. See our page on Las Ramblas safety guide.
|Human statue: Eagle Demon|
Accommodation on La Rambla
Staying in a hotel on La Rambla gives you direct access to the centre of the city and is one of the most popular locations on which to base your visit. There are quite a large number of hotels along La Rambla that you can choose from. To help you find the best hotel to meet your needs we have created an in-depth information page on how to find your hotel along La Rambla.
Map of La Rambla
You may wish to orientate yourself by referring to our map of La Rambla before your visit.
That's the end of this flying visit to Las Ramblas however there is more information about accommodation near and on Las Ramblas in the "Related Pages" below. You will also find links to both our Barcelona safety article and photo gallery of Las Ramblas.