Las Ramblas in Barcelona, the emblematic centre of the Catalan capital

Considered the most touristic place in Spain, Las Ramblas in Barcelona is the best excuse to let yourself fall in love with the city. We tell you everything you can do and see on Barcelona’s Ramblas, as well as other details that will be of great help during your visit.

History of Las Ramblas in Barcelona

Las Ramblas
Initial stretch of Las Ramblas in Barcelona from Plaza Cataluña | Photo: Shutterstock

Of all the places in Barcelona, Las Ramblas is the most famous. A 1.3 km walk that stretches from Plaza Cataluña to the old port of Barcelona. Along this route, a delightful collection of street artists, flower and craft stalls or terraces come together for the enjoyment of the passer-by.

A unique setting whose origin can be found in the presence of the Riera d’en Malla, an urban artery that connected Balmes Street with some point between the Plaça del Duc de Medinacelli and the Plaça de la Mercè. After the construction of the fortress in the nearby Raval district, several convents were created around it. However, when these disappeared, there was still space for different establishments.

Although there are no specific data on some aspects, it is known that in 1702 poplars were planted (replaced by elms) on the current Ramblas. In 1860 the Canaletas Fountain was inaugurated. Finally, flower stalls emerged in the mid 19th century.

Stretches of Las Ramblas in Barcelona

Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas in Barcelona, seen from above | Photo: Shutterstock

Las Ramblas stretches to offer numerous experiences. However, it will always be better to know its different stretches in order to orientate yourself. First of all, the upper part of Las Ramblas is known as Rambla de Canaletes and starts at Plaza Cataluña. Then, it is followed by the Rambla de los Estudios, also known as the “Rambla de los Pájaros” as it includes different stalls selling birds.

If you continue, you will reach the Rambla de las Flores, where perfume and colour meet at the main flower stalls. In addition, in this section you will find the famous Boquería Market. The next one corresponds to the Rambla de los Capuchinos, the central section. Here you can also find the Palacio Güell. Finally, the Rambla de Santa Mònica includes the main tapas bars and restaurants, as well as the Colón Viewpoint.

What to see and do in Las Ramblas in Barcelona

Flower stall on Las Ramblas in Barcelona | Photo: Shutterstock
Flower stall on Las Ramblas in Barcelona | Photo: Shutterstock

When it comes to the Ramblas itself, the most recommendable activity is always to let yourself go. On the route you will find street artists or flower stands. There are also vintage terraces, street artists, all kinds of vendors and stalls. At the same time, it is also the perfect excuse to discover some of the most iconic places in Barcelona:

  • Plaza Cataluña: The epicentre of Barcelona where surfaces such as Fnac or El Corte Inglés can be seen. Ideal to make a stop on the way.
  • Canaletas Fountain: One of the most famous fountains in Barcelona. It is the place to celebrate the titles of the F.C. Barcelona.
Las Ramblas
All the aromas and flavours come together at the Boqueria Market during a walk along Barcelona's Las Ramblas | Photo: Shutterstock
  • Boquería Market: Fresh fish, sweets or fruit skewers. Any gastronomic fantasy exists in one of the best markets in Spain founded in 1840.
  • Royal Academy of Science and Arts of Barcelona: Although it is a private building, its facade does not disappoint. A modernist icon inaugurated in 1894 and designed by the architect Josep Domènech i Estapà.
  • La Virreina Palace: On the right side as you descend from Plaza Cataluña is this other iconic building. Ordered by Manuel de Amat, the former Viceroy of Peru, in 1776, it is a Baroque style palace. It can be visited and houses different temporary exhibitions.
  • Miró Mosaic: Worthy of the best picture on Instagram, this mosaic was designed by the architect Joan Miró. It represents the symbol of perfection and it is one of the most emblematic places of the Ramblas of Barcelona.
  • Palacio Güell: Designed by Antonio Gaudí, it is located in Nou street. An iconic modernist house completed in 1890. Ideal to admire the magic of the Catalan genius.
Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona
Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona
  • Gran Teatre del Liceu: Located next to the aforementioned Miró Mosaic. Epicentre of the scenic culture of Barcelona (and perhaps Spain). Numerous opera and theatre plays take place in this famous theatre where some of the best sopranos in the world have sung.
  • Columbus Monument: This is the culmination of a walk along Las Ramblas. At 57 metres high, this monument to Christopher Columbus was built on the occasion of the 1888 Universal Exhibitions. The architect in charge of its construction was Gaietà Bruïgas.

Advice for visiting Las Ramblas in Barcelona

spots, there are a few tips to keep in mind. For example, it is advisable to visit the promenade at less crowded times, as it tends to become overcrowded at certain moments. You can go early, and visit the morning hustle and bustle of La Boquería on the way.

Finally, it is recommended not to establish a specific route and to let yourself go. On Barcelona’s Ramblas, surprises await in the most unexpected place.

How to get to Las Ramblas in Barcelona

Las Ramblas
Mosaic of Miró, on Las Ramblas in Barcelona | Photo: Shutterstock

Las Ramblas in Barcelona is located in the center of the city, between Plaza Cataluña and Plaza Colón. You can access it from both ends, or from others like El Raval or Portaferrissa street. In this last place, in particular, you can also visit different alternative clothing or jewellery shops. One of the most mythical places is El Camello, ideal to buy different products at low prices.

To reach the Ramblas by metro, line 3 is the most appropriate. Among the stops that facilitate access through this line are Liceu, Drassanes or Plaça Catalunya. Starting from this last stop is ideal for getting to know the whole walk from the beginning.

In addition, at the end it is possible to connect with other areas of interest in Barcelona as its port, or the recommended district of La Barceloneta. Turning around earlier will take you into the charming Gothic Quarter or into the surprises of El Raval, one of the most iconic quarters of the city. One of the places to include during your visit to Barcelona.

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