What to expect in Barcelona’s busiest and noisiest strip!
Las Ramblas – The Central Strip
La Ramblas of Barcelona – the long street that flows right through the middle of the city, is one of Barcelona’s most prominent sights. Due to its vibrant atmosphere, it is considered a must see attraction for any visitor to the city.
Every day the street attracts numbers in the tens of thousands. Most of these being tourists and holidaymakers residing in the nearby hotels and holiday apartments, and who frequent the numerous shops, restaurants, fast food outlets and nightclubs that dot the street as it winds down towards the city’s harbour. Such a hive of tourist activity of course means that the street is a beacon for club promoters, street stalls and of course, the finest swindlers and pick pockets this side of the Mediterranean. All of this combines to make crossing La Ramblas, a truly formidable, yet must-do experience.
As a large and beautiful city, Barcelona is famous for its sunshine, unique Gaudi-enthused architectural character and party atmosphere. Nowhere better represents this than the bustling promenade of La Ramblas. Some of the more famous sights on this 1.2 km stretch include the La Boquiera Food Market, where newly arrived produce and freshly made delicacies can found, the famous Liceu Theatre and the Virreina Palace, a beautifully designed 18th century building that now hosts the city’s Cultural Institute. One of Gaudi’s famous houses can also be found towards the lower end of the street as well. Yet the culture of the Ramblas is not only confined to its architecture.
Mean Catalan Cuisine
In amongst the classic architecture, franchised fast food outlets and Starbucks shops, you’ll find Barcelona’s wonderful street cafés and restaurants. Serving a mix of traditional Spanish food and Catalan dishes, these restaurants and cafés perfectly exhibit the wonderful culinary culture of the city. Alongside the restaurants, you’ll find the street hosts a wide selection of stalls and street performers. Those who are happy to ignore the usual clichéd tourist merchandise will be able to find one or two reasonably priced quality souvenirs. Alternatively, take in a live street show whilst enjoying an ice cream, or have your sketch taken by a resident artist.
After Dark in Barcelona
The street is also well known for its party atmosphere. Club promoters, usually good looking young men and women from Spain, Europe and America, traverse the street trying to convince other young travelers on how their club, conveniently located nearby or on the Barcelonetta beach strip, is the hottest night club on the planet. While the sheer number of these promoters can become very tedious very quickly, keen holiday goers can find value for money deals with these clubs, so long as you use your head. If the clubs aren’t your scene, you’ll be able to visit one of the many excellent pubs and bars in the area, or simply spend the evening at a restaurant, eating and drinking with friends until the late hours of the evening.
However, La Ramblas does have its problems. One of the very worst of these being Barcelona’s prolific and expert pickpockets that prey upon unsuspecting tourists. Trained to snatch your valuables in an instant, visitors must be constantly vigilant and ensure that all items are secure and accounted for at all times. Exercise caution and use your head when you’re around the area and you’ll avoid having your holiday prematurely ruined.
Continuously swarming with people, the La Ramblas has developed a unique image in the eyes of many. Adored by some, tolerated by others, as one of Spain’s liveliest and most colourful sites, the street is definitely one to be experienced for any seasoned traveler.