Las Ramblas, Barcelona
I'd heard about some of the expensive/rip off restaurants on Las Ramblas, however I had been up to Montserrat and got back late, was tired and my daughter and I wanted to eat somewhere close to the Plaza Catalunya. After a short walk down one restaurant was advertising what appeared to be a Paella for 2 at a reasonable price. I got hit nearly 12 Euros for a small bottle of spanish (house) wine that should have cost about 3-4 no more. A simple meal for two ended up costing over 40 euros. Avoid the Ramblas....
Unique Suggestions: Try the freshly squeezed fruit juices for 1 euro in the market or one of the fruit platters, really good value and delicious.
Fun Alternatives: If you need to eat in this area then go to La Fonda, get there early or expect to queue, it does close for a few hours inbetween lunch and the evening (closes about 3pm if I remember correctly). Three of us had a fab 3 course meal with loads of wine, Paella, Ensalada, Pollo etc for 35 euro. The establishment is a training restaurant for a Barcelona University, all the chefs and waiting staff are students but the service is excellent as is the food...
I hate to say, but 65 euros later we left completely disappointed.
- First of all, the food was mediocre. Do not get me wrong, the salads (house salad, asparagus/ham salad) were quite good, but House Paella (18 euro per person, with minimum order for 2 people) was NOT. Seafood was old and rice tasteless.
- Secondly, we felt rushed. Waiters were nice and polite, but they kept coming to the table, eager to clean, thus making us feel we need to finish faster.
- Thirdly, the prices were quite high. I think 65 euros for a meal for two (NO alcohol) is too much.
Also, bare in mind that it is one of those places were they charge you for at least 2 pieces of bread (1 euro each), even if you have not eaten them. So, just send the basket away, if you do not plan on eating it.
Avoid this restaurant if possible. Menus seem to be reasonable at first sight, but none of the beverages have any prices listed. They get you with the large sodas(with many straws in them). When we got our bill (party of 9) we were shocked to see that they charged us $9.75 Euro dollars per soda which was more then some of the items that we ordered to eat. That's about $12.40 per drink times 9 persons came out to $111 US dollars.
Unique Suggestions: If you have to go to any restaurant around Las Ramblas always check the beverage menu and ask for prices when not listed.
On Las Rambles you will see people gathered in a circle. There are several people involved, the person running the game and the other con's looking like tourists. They play a game similar to finding the pea or ball under the cup or shell. They make it appear as though the make beleive tourists are actually winning however, (DON'T beleive it for a minute). Once the unsuspecting real tourist is convinced that the others are winning they also place bets. Guess What? the real tourist never wins it's all bait and switch. I will admit it is amusing to watch but don't even think for one second that you will win.
Unique Suggestions: Watch only. Don't get me wrong....... Las Rambles is wonderful and safe. Just be aware of the above mentioned con game.
Fun Alternatives: Do experience all that Las Rambles has to offer. See the street performers, sit down and have a drink at the outside cafes and people watch. You would do better not to eat on Las Rambles as it is know as a tourist area, therefore, prices are inflated.
The Ramblas was kind of ghetto to me--just full of souvenier kiosks and creepy street performers.
Unique Suggestions: Keep away from the street performers--just walk by them.
Fun Alternatives: One street over, the Placa del Angel had nice shops and beautiful buildings to look at.
Don't get me wrong, Las Ramblas is a wonderful place to stroll, take in the sights, smells, and sounds. But many of the shops along the way were full of junk!! I did not buy one decent t-shirt because I was so disgusted! LOL
Its really not worth the trip and the wine they gave you with the show is awful. I should have asked for water or fruit juice instead. The dance is not good and I saw half the people there fell asleep on the show.
Watch out for the card scam's going on in La Ramblas. There are usually 6-8 involved & the start playing 'find the lady' one 'punter' will put money down on a card & win, the next go he gets distracted & asks you which card to put his money he wins again, then he says to you have a go, that's when you are snared & so is your money. Also beware of pickpockets.
Unique Suggestions: If you get asked say 'I wasn't watching' & walk away.
It depends what you want out of the trip but I personally found Las Ramblas really nasty. In my opinion it's one of the worst parts of town but for some reason there seem to be loads of tourists.
We went up there one day on the way to somewhere and stopped off for lunch. The service was very poor and I felt the food was overpriced.
There were loads of gypsies begging, which I found off putting and intimidating.
The street bands can be quite fun but they tend to move from cafe to cafe and always come around at the end for tips so you could end up paying a fortune out.
They say it's the worst place for crime and I'd agree. Luckily were weren't targetted but walking up there that one day I spotted 2 of the con tricks we'd read about in our guide book. I was amazed at the amount of people who weren't looking after their bags etc.
I have not been tricked but bear in mind that a lot of central restaurants will not have VTA included on their menus. Therefore your bill will increase:)
Fun Alternatives: Restaurants in the not over rated tourist areas will definetely have good food and fair prices. Avoid all the crowded touristic restaurants.
Las Ramblas is packed with tourists at all hours of the day, but don't let that stop you from visiting this amazing street. The people-watching and attractions along the street are well worth the crowds and minor nuisances. Watch out for guys who are playing games for money. I saw some guys playing a game where you watch the ball under 3 cups and try to keep you eye on it as he moves the cups around. Somehow, people always seem to lose their money on that one. Don't bother.
A 1.2 kilometer-long tree-lined pedestrian mall between Barri Gòtic and El Raval, it connects Plaça Catalunya in the center with the Christopher Columbus monument at Port Vell.
Most of the time, there are many more tourists than locals occupying the Rambla.
My fiance wanted to eat on las ramblas.....as it was his birthday I gave in....I so wish I hadn't and so does he!
We ate at an over-priced mediocre restaurant where they obviously just piled your plate with food throwing wild oblivion to quality.
They were expensive and tacky and won't be an experience i will be repeating.
It is also a very busy area - don't get me wrong you can't go to Barcelona and not go down it but once you have seen it once that is enough - crowded, tacky (IMO) and nothing special - totally overated.
Unique Suggestions: you at least have to walk down it -you can't go without at least seeing it once! and the market just off it is worth a look.
There were two traps that I have encountered in Barcelona - they are:
1. The staff at the doors of restaurants will entice you into the restaurant; then the staff inside will tell you that there is a 30 minute wait - please have some drinks at the bar!
2. When entering several restaurants, I have asked if they accept Amex. The staff tell you yes - but when the bill arrives they refuse the Amex card!
Unique Suggestions: The suggestions to beat these tourist traps are:
1. If you encounter the time delay trap - just walk out - when it has happened to me, the long wait suddenly becomes a few minutes and you are seated quickly afterwards.
2. If you have an Amex card, ensure that you also have enough cash to pay for the bill.
Fun Alternatives: I know these may be a little trite, but all I can suggest for alternatives are eat in restaurants that display the Amex symbol on the front door and seem to have lots of staff and seating capacity.
Well, I didn't know much about Barcelona, but I had heard the name 'La Rambla' several times.
That was a serious disappointment: such a great street surrounded by lovely buildings but oh sooooooo crowded by people and... animals??? Strange combination.