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Welcome to the center of learning to deal in an urban environment. I'm not speaking Karate, Judo, Kung Fu or switchblades. I'm here to teach you about the roar from within. Now I don't want you to take my tip as "This will always work", it's just the way I learned to deal with pick-pockets in the streets of NYC before the Repubs grabbed control and rid this city of any grime. Placa Rieal, just off of Las Ramblas is the scene to this lesson. In your head picture me in all spandex, purple, with Sexy inscribed across the hind quarters...actually erase that thought. Start over, I was wearing most likely Jeans and a green jacket, not sure of the pocket situation. I was forwarned of the petty crime that inhabits these plazas by a expat. As I strolled through a man came up to me asking if I would love to make a purchase of some hash. My mind was telling me YES as my THC receptors lit up but my reasoning side, not represented by a angel on my shoulder, thought it wasn't a good idea. "No thanks" I replied.
This was the ticket, the man now knew I was a tourist. He put his arm around me, buddy buddy style and each step I took as I tried walking away he would interject his leg in between mine. I was up to his scheme and prepped myself with awareness and a wallet nowhere on my person. His foot distraction helped him get his hand into my back pocket but there was nothing there for him. My dinero was elsewhere, I have a pocket in the toungue of my sneakers. So I said get the F outta here and he walked.
Next day same plaza, same pickpocketeers. As they approached me this time I just made a load roar, with my mouth not my hiney. They turned around instantly, they knew I knew what they were up too. This worked everytime I was approached.
- Hiking and Walking
- Arts and Culture
Plaça Reial is perhaps the most beautiful square I know. Not extremely big, but very picturesque and extremely relaxed. It can be found close to the Ramblas (halfway) on the Barri Gòtic side.
An ideal spot to relax a bit. Moreover, the square and the streets surrounding it are filled with nice restaurants. Among others Les Quinze Nits (on the square) and Los Caracoles (close by). Prepare to queue for both restaurants.
This palace was built in the Royal Gardens in 1924 as a residence for king Alfonso 13th. In 1997 the palace hosted the wedding banquet of the Infanta Christina, daughter of king Juan Carlos.
Presently the palace hosts two museums: the Museu de les Arts Decoratives and the Museu de Ceramica. Unfortunately it was quite late when I visited the place so I couldn't see the museums :(
This is one of the most famous squares in Barcelona. In the middle is a fountain and the square is surrounded by palmtrees. You can find plenty of cafées and bars here, and it is also the place to find nightlife.
The Notorious Plaça Reial
The Plaça Reial is the somewhat notorious square just off the Ramblas. It's home to a few bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and hostels, as well as inummerable itinerant musicians. By day only a few of the bars are open, but come the early evening and the square really begins to come to life. If you come here, prepare to be "entertained" to the limit, which may or not be pleasant depending on what you're looking for. At night this is a very busy square, with all the bars and restaurants being busily used and in particular a long queue for Les Quinze Nits, which specializes in Catalonian food. A couple of the restaurants here very much have a production line feel, with average food and service to match; a couple of the newer ones looked promising but a little expensive for me alone.
The square was once the site of a Capuchin monastery, which was demolished in the mid-19th century, and replaced in the style we see currently. In the centre of the square is the Las Tres Gracias fountain, built at the end of the 19th century and now a place where people congregate. Also of note are the Gaudí lamps, one of which can be seen in the photo.
What a Placa
One of my most favorite places in Barcelona is the Place Reial. Unfortunately it is also a meeing point for homeless junkies, who fist fight for whatever. That always reduces the perfect atmosphere a little bit.
This popular square, located just a small arcaded passageway away from La Rambla, is another of Barcelona's landmarks. It is one of its most handsome yet decadent squares. Restaurants and bars predominate, and the very popular Jamboree Jazz club (which we did not visit) is here along with its sister club Tarantos (also didn't visit) for flamenco. The Font de Les Tres Gràcies (either Fountain of the three Graces or Fourntain of the three Happinesses) and the two fanals (street lamps) were designed by Gaudí himself (see picture). You'll find all kinds of people here, we got to enjoy a flamenco performance that was excellent. The buzz never lets up, day or night.
I read a ton of warnings about this square before I went to Barcelona, so I was very wary of coming here, much less staying here(which I only did for 1 night, but that's a whole other story). But I found it to be a beautiful relaxing place. There were some questionable folks around, but I was never bothered, even at night. So be watchful, but definately go see it.
A lot of great resturants, cafes and clubs are located here. it's a perfect place for an afternoon snack while sitting outside, a nice dinner or dancing and drinks!
The lampposts in the square were designed by Gaudi, his first known works.
- Arts and Culture
Placa reial - nicest square of the world
Every time I get to placa reial I just feel soooo relaxed. The yellow walls, the big palmtrees, to sun, the street musicians: nice nice nice!
You have got to eat something at les quince nits. Everything they say about that restaurant is true: there's always a long long queue (we once waited 1,5 hour), the food and the atmosphere are worth waiting for, the food is absolutely delicious and very cheap. And the atmosphere is great.
This neo-classical plaza is energetic and usually full of activity. Something the residents haven't been to keen on. It used to be a less reputable area of Barcelona but has really changed in the last 20 years or so. There are a number of cafe's and restaurants around the plaza that vary in price and atmosphere. Jamboree, #17, offers live jazz and funk music most nights and becomes a disco after that. Most of the lamposts are some of Gaudi's first creations
- Arts and Culture
A view from above Plaza Reial
If you can get into any building in Plaza Real (Plaça Reial) then get up as high as you can, sit down, and just watch. Sit in a restaurant, a flat, a roof terrace - do anything reasonable, but don't climb the palm trees
The plaza can be noisy, quiet, lively, lonely, but it's a constantly changing tableux, and for me the best part is watching people walk in who are obviously there for the first time in their lives. They all smile, and look up.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Luxury Travel
This is a very beautiful square & a great place to stay in Barcelona. The first time I went to Barcelona we stayed at a Pension in this area. It was great because we had a balcony over looking Las Ramblas. The second time we stayed in a hostel, but we didn't have any great views. It's still a great place to stay.
Royal Square (Placa Reial)
This was one of my favourite spots in BCN. This square with arcades ans palm trees is a lively meeting point and is all day and night busy with pedestrians and nice terraces where you can have a drink at noon or enjoy the amazing nightlife.
The are 2 street lamps in the middle designed by Gaudi in his early years. Here you acn find friendly youth hostels (Kabul), trendy bars (Glaciar), delicious restaurants (Els Quinze Nits) or hidden night clubs (Pipa Club).
It used to be a dangerous place at night, but now you can find a police car all the time there, though you still have to be careful, as in any crowded place…
The Placa Real is a lovely square just of the Ramblas. You will find many restaurants at this square. But be aware some are just there for tourists. If one has a long queue of locals waiting outside that is a good one! But if you are hungry and not very particular you can grab a bite at the other ones.
The streetlighting here is designed by Gaudi.
Walking along Ramblas, from Plaça Catalunya to the Port, you'll find Plaça Reial on the left side. Pass down an arch and after a small corridor the great square opens to you. This big and geometric square with classic façades was created in the XIX century. Here you'll find very different kind of people. Take some time to observe it while you are sitting in one of the terraces under the arcades. There are some street lights by Gaudi, that will be easy to recognise. You can have a drink here or tapas too during all day. At night is very crowded and you should be careful here.
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