Las Ramblas, Barcelona
La Rambla was the first street in central Barcelona I began to explore the city. I knew that it was popular with tourists and locals alike.it stretches for 1.2 kilometers between Barri Gòtic and El Raval, connecting Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell.
If you stroll along the street you will find a variety of street actors representing amazing personages who force to smile and laugh everybody who walk along La Rambla.
You can watch my 4 min 01 sec Video Barcelona La Rambla Boulvard out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
You can watch my photo of Barcelona on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 41° 23' 7.93" N 2° 10' 12.28" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio La Rambla.
Any hotel in the city is simple enough to get to the port. i took the same cruise last year and got in early also, and stayed a week in Barcelona after the cruise. Depending on your budget it is possible to take a bus, but a taxi is most reccomended if you have luguage. After we got our logistics straighten out, we found that the airport bus was the cheapest and easy to get into and out of the city (A1, about 5 euros) From there we walked to the hotel with our lugguage.We were in the Barri Gotic area and we got together with other cruisers that were scatter all over the city that cost 20-30 euros to their hotel from the port. The port where you get aboard has it's own bridge that goes to their port landing, so walking it can be done, but I wouldn't attempt it with or without baggage. there is one bus that goes to the port from Mirador de Colom, it is where Christopher Columbus was greeted when he return to Spain...there is a statue there of him. It is on the end of the road of Ramblas the famous tacky tourist road. When you do go on your tourist thing there, watch your bags, purse and cell phones. I have seen two of four sucessful attempts of pickpockets within the hour and even the locals was not spared. I carried fifty euros with me and left all my things in the hotel safe.
Most cruise might start on a Sunday and they observe it and most stores are closed, but lately I saw more and more stay open, just not the big department stores like El Corte Ingles. There is a lot to see in a day in barcelona, that is why I stayed a week after. So much to do with so little time. If staying for one day, I think the HO HO bus is for you so that you can go to the top of Miramar that overlooks Barcelona from the mountain top and they can bus you back into the city to see Gaudi works of building art. Where ever you start, you can get off and on where ever you find interesting. I got well aquinted with their bus and metro system after a few days, but the most fun I had was when I rented a bicycle and cruised all over at 10 euros a day. Have fun on your cruise.....most ports that you go to happen to be outside the main city and a lot of walking and taking trains and buses was involved if you do not take the tour with the cruise line that was very expensive. In Monaco, it is very easy to take the bus that goes around to all the interesting places for one euro. If you need more info and money saving tips shoot me a e-mail on side bar and I will help as much as possible,
cheers tommy x
Fondest memory: getting around town on my rent a bike and exploring all parts of the city
First of all, a couple of hints:
- The famous "Las Ramblas", is the promenade from Plaça de Catalunya to the sea.
Not to be confused with other locations as "Rambla de Catalunya", "Rambla Prim", "Rambla del Raval" etc. "Rambla" is a kind of avenue with a pedestrian area in the middle. The word rambla is derived from the Arabic term, ramla, which means "riverbed", and these streets actually once were riverbeds that channeled the water coming down from the hills. So, you can find streets with this name all around Barcelona (and many other towns along the Mediterranean coast).
By the way, not very advisable to stay right ON Las Ramblas. Too noisy and too touristy and too fake IMHO.
- If you look at a map of Barcelona, typically the sea is at the bottom of the page (odd, I know, not the South as usual in maps). Las Ramblas go up from the sea to Plaça de Catalunya and from there you can see two big parallel avenues up until you arrive to Diagonal: Passeig de Gràcia and Rambla de Catalunya (you should walk along these 2, the most beautiful houses of Barcelona are there). La Diagonal is the easiest avenue to spot in the map, as it crosses all Barcelona (obviously, in a diagonal way).
Here you have a good online resource to locate a particular adress: www.bcn.cat/guia
These references will help you to locate the other areas you may be interested on (pls see tip #2)
Las Ramblas is a 1,2 km long pedestrian promenade situated between Plaza de Catalunya and the harbour. It is made by six sections. For this reason its proper name is Ramblas; plural.
Each section of this street has a name. The first, coming from Placa de Catalunya is named Rambla dels Canaletes; then we find Rambla dels Estudis; Rambla de les Flors; Rambla dels Caputxins; R. de Santa Monica and Rambla del Mar.
The name rambla derives from the Arabic word ramla, meaning sandy riverbed.
On this boulevard there are various shops, stalls; cafes and restaurants.
The nearest metro stops to Las Ramblas are; Liceu; Drassanes (green line); or Catalunya (green or red line).
Favorite thing: Rambla is the most popular avenue in Barcelona and the most visited by tourists. A walk from Placa de Catalunya to the sea going down the Rambla gives you the chance to discover some interesting monuments and enjoy rather surreal sights involving the hundreds of characters who go there. Years ago “The Monos” and “The Sheriff of the Rambla” were popular, the later strolling up and down the Rambla with two revolvers in a holster given to him by the famous actor John Wayne. Today the mime artists ans puppeteers have colonized the space, providing an open-air theatre show for passers-by.
I enjoyed very much lookig at the outstanding gaudi architecture in Barcelona. Plus, the weather is pleasant.
Fondest memory: I went to Barcelona last February for a short trip, where myself and 2 friends stayed in Pension Fernando. The location is perfect, it comes off La Rambla the most famous and busy street in Barcelona, and the Carrer De Ferran which its on it's a good size busy street not a dingy back road. We all felt very safe here. About 10-15 minutes from lovely beach and some excellent nightlife at the harbour. I would recommend anyone stay here.
When you visit Barcelona make sure you take a stroll along La Rambla. This is a kilometre long, pedestrian-centred boulevard which runs from Placa Catalunya down to the Columbus Column near the port. La Rambla is filled with activity day and night - such as tourists checking out the sights, buskers, locals promenading and spray-painted human statues.
La Rambla is actually divided into five sections, each with a separate name related to the sights located along that section - hence it is often known collectively as Las Ramblas as it is five streets in one.
Here are some of the things you can see as you stroll down this grand, tree-lined street (more details on some of them in my 'Things to Do' tips).
At the start of La Rambla you can see the Font de Canaletes, a 19th century drinking fountain, which is inscribed with a legend that says if you drink from it you "will fall in love with Barcelona and always return", or something like that!
Next you will come across the Bird Markets, with an interesting variety of birds for sale, including ordinary looking pigeons. There are also some small animals for sale such as rabbits and rats.
Pop into the 17th century Esglesia de Betlem for a while to escape the crowds and enjoy its baroque interior, and then take some photos of the stunning façade of the 18th century Palau de la Virreina, a rococo mansion. Afterwards, have a browse at the Flower Stalls.
Fondest memory: One of the highlights of your ramble will be the Mercat de la Boqueria, Barcelona's most famous food market. Pop in and have a look at the large range of produce on offer, perhaps have a snack while you are there.
Don't miss the interesting façade of the Bruno Quadras Building, which was once an umbrella factory, and today has umbrellas decorating its exterior. Then you have the large Mosaic de Miro which is a colourful pavement mosaic sitting in the middle of La Rambla, created by the famous Catalan artist Joan Miro.
Another grand building you will see is the Gran Theatre del Liceu. This is the city's opera house and was founded in 1847, though has twice been gutted by fire since then. It is fully restored now and even if you can't get tickets to the opera, you can enjoy a guided tour through the beautiful building.
At the end of La Rambla you will see the Monument a Colom - a tall column with a statue of Columbus on top. Take a lift to the top for fabulous views back along this famous boulevard.
Favorite thing: When you go to Las Ramblas, and see the street performers (left), make sure you remember to put some money in their boxes. You will see these people, who look like statues, come to life and perform a movement or trick. You can even have your photo taken with them. Don't just watch other people putting money in the boxes, do it yourself. You dont need to put much in, and its fun!
Walking down Las Ramblas was entertaining at any point. It was constantly jammed packed of people and 'buskers'.....Lots of costumes and artists and market and people. Great times, endless fun.
Fondest memory: I enjoyed every aspect of Barcelona, from its food, shopping, weather, to its people and accommodation.
I shall return!
Favorite thing: As a result, Barcelona today is very much alive - a city bursting with new pride and self-confidence, which cannot fail to excite and delight. So before you leave, consider the city's motto - Barcelona Es Teva ('Barcelona Belongs to You') - and drink from the famous Canaletes fountain on La Rambla. It is said that after just one sip, you will fall under the city's spell and are sure to return again, and again… and again.
The City and Its People
Wherever you stay, the excellent public transportation system gives easy access to the entire city. For atmosphere, you might want to be somewhere near the street La Rambla or in the old town, and thus within easy walking distance of many of the main sights and the waterfront. The architecturally interesting Eixample area is more spacious, with excellent shopping and restaurants; other hotels are relatively far out of the city center. Barcelonans are exceptionally helpful and polite, with an ability to combine efficiency with a relaxed Mediterranean attitude.
Fondest memory: English is not widely spoken, although most hotel staff speak it adequately. All signs are in both Catalan and Spanish. Both are official languages in Barcelona; like Spanish, Catalan is a romance language with Latin roots.
I'm not putting this in the "Must See Activities" section because, wanting it or not, you WILL see it: The Rambla! You will walk through and/or across this famous pedestrian avenue at some point of your stay in Barcelona, as it starts almost in front of the sea (the Old Port) and it takes you right to the heart of the town: Plaza Catalunya. From here you can reach nearly all of the most important spots in Barcelona very easily without having to take the metro or the bus.
The Rambla is surrounded by souvenir shops, restaurants, banks, a big market, and you can see pretty unusual things and people right on it... There's also a great place for ice cream called DINO in front of the Rambla -- I highly recommend it. And, when buying souvenirs around here, BARGAIN! The owners are usually Arabs and they will drop the price of mostly anything just to make you buy something... so show some interest but not too much, and they will try to make a deal with you. Just be careful and check the quality of the stuff, but you can find rather good things here.
Favorite thing: Walk along LAS RAMBLAS towards Port Vell. This is where everything is happening & very busy during the weekends. All kinds of stalls are here: newsstands, flower stalls (pictured), tarot readers, caged bird & cafes! Very interesting!
actually just stroll ...
Life is on the streets. The street actors,entertainers, the vendors, the music, the scent of good food wafting through the air, the sun, the trees, the sound of traffic, the furtive glance of a passerby all combine to create a beautiful collage of life on the streets of Barcelona. And nowhere is that life felt more immediately and intensely than on the Rambla..
Fondest memory: Trees line most streets, making Barcelona such a beautiful city.
Favorite thing: From the statue of Columbus (can't miss it: very tall guy pointing at something .) follow the mass of people up La Rambla. This is a shopping and dining street that leads up to the Placa de Catalunya.