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Las Ramblas pulsates with life, from early morning when the locals come out to buy fresh flowers and breakfast pastries, until the last of the late-night party animals head for home in the wee small hours.
Las Ramblas is actually a series of streets that together comprise this much-loved and much-used pedestrian promenade. The main street, La Rambla, runs from the grand civic square of Placa Catalunya down to Port Vell, the old port, between the atmospheric medieval Gothic Quarter to the east and funky Raval to the west. The tree-shaded boulevard is lined with shops and cafés, flower stalls and souvenir kiosks, while the many street entertainers keep visitors amused with their mime, music and clowning.
Start at the northern end with a stimulating coffee at La Boqueria, Barcelona’s most famous food market, and listen to the voluble locals bargaining animatedly for fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy produce and seafood. This is a good place to pick up a snack to munch on later, as prices can be high in the cafés of this popular tourist area.
As you make your way along the 1.2-kilometre boulevard, take time to admire the buildings above the shopfronts and signage at street level. This historic area of Barcelona displays a fascinating diversity of architectural styles. About half way along you will find the Liceu Theatre, a grand opera and ballet house from the 1830s famous for its lavishly gilded auditorium – if you’re extremely lucky you might be allowed in for a peep, but the building is only officially open to the public during performances. Nearby, look out for the eye-catching pavement mosaic designed by the Catalan surrealist artist Joan Miró.
The southern end of Las Ramblas terminates at Port Vell. Here you will find some interesting old maritime buildings, notably the striking customs house which dominates the waterfront overlooking the ultramodern marina. Most of the clubs and livelier bars are at this end of the street and it can be noisy and boisterous at night. Even by day, it pays to keep your eyes open, as the area is notorious for pickpockets.
Three metro stations and four bus lines offer convenient transport links to Las Ramblas.
There's no place in the world quite like Las Ramblas. To help you make the most of your time here, we've put together a list of the leading activities:
For even more activities, peruse our Barcelona things to do page.
Located in Gothic Quarter, this spa hotel is steps away from Portal de l'Angel and Barcelona Cathedral. Palau de la Musica Catalana and La Rambla are also within 5 minutes. Jaume I Station is only a 3-minute walk and Urquinaona Station is 6 minutes.
Located in Ciutat Vella, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sant Pau del Camp, Refugi 307 and Raval Cat. Columbus Monument and Joan Miro Foundation are also within 1 mi (2 km). Parc de Montjuic Station and Paral-lel Station are within a 2-minute walk.
Located in Gothic Quarter, this hotel is steps away from Teatre Principal, Centre d'Art Santa Monica and Palau Guell. Barcelona Wax Museum and Gran Teatre del Liceu are also within 5 minutes. Drassanes Station is only a 2-minute walk and Liceu Station is 4 minutes.
Located in Gothic Quarter, this luxury hotel is steps away from Barcelona Cathedral and Palau de la Musica Catalana. La Rambla and Placa de Catalunya are also within 10 minutes. Jaume I Station and Urquinaona Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Gothic Quarter, this boutique hotel is steps away from La Rambla and Gran Teatre del Liceu. Boqueria Market and Barcelona Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Liceu Station is only a 2-minute walk and Jaume I Station is 6 minutes.
Located in Ciutat Vella, this hotel is steps away from Barcelona Arts on Stage and Sala Apolo. Maritime Museum and Columbus Monument are also within 10 minutes. Paral-lel Station and Parc de Montjuic Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Gothic Quarter, this hotel is steps away from Portal de l'Angel and La Rambla. Barcelona Cathedral and Gran Teatre del Liceu are also within 5 minutes. Liceu Station is only a 3-minute walk and Jaume I Station is 7 minutes.
Located in Ciutat Vella, this hotel is steps away from Palau Guell, La Rambla and Gran Teatre del Liceu. Boqueria Market and Barcelona Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Liceu Station and Drassanes Station are within a 5-minute walk.