Las Ramblas, Barcelona
Mike malloy and his gang of wiely bandits try to pull the wool over ur eyes literally they take a coat of wool and cover ur eyes and when ur eyes r covered they take ur stuff
Unique Suggestions: bring a knife
Fun Alternatives: cry me a river
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 restaurants in this square near the Ramblas have the worst paelia and food in whole spain. Because they are always full of tourists due to the position of the square (just near ramblas street) they serve ready made frozen food. If you don't have taste at all or are very very hungry then eat here else avoid these restaurants. One good restaurant was the "ATIC" on the ramblas street on the first floor.
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.
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.
Ahh, of course you expected the Ramblas to be in the tourist-trap section. That's why I put it here. And admittedly, iin many respects they deserve their reputation. BUT: it's a perfect place for people-watching. Don't eat in the restaurants or have your fortune read at the stalls, but treat yourself to a coffee in the Cafè de l'Opera and watch the world go by. The Ramblas is a stage, not the real world. If you look at it like that, it can be very enjoyable indeed.
Here is a photo of young ladies from England... taken at Las Ramblas, this is right next to the Liceu Opera House. A small regular pitcher of Sangria costs these tourists 30 Euros. This small pitcher only was good for 4 fancy glasses. So, avoid drinking your Sangria on this particular terrace which is right next to the metro stop Liceu, which is also infront of the Liceu Opera House.
Unique Suggestions: Go to this supermarket which is called "CHAMPION" and buy a bottle of Sangria which only cost 3 Euros. Avoid the terrace on Las Ramblas....
Fun Alternatives: We shall continue writing about this tourist trap....
Just about any outdoor seating along Las Ramblas is a trap. We ordered Cava Sangria, which conveniently did not have the price on the menu. Each drink was 13 euro. The menus are also all the same for overpriced, sub-par food.
Unique Suggestions: Ask pricing and order smart. I'd really just play it safe and avoid it.
Fun Alternatives: Travel on one of the side streets into the Barrio Gotico, they prices will go down and food quality will go up.
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.
The cup game is played on the street on the la rambla, and it's the game where they have three cups or three matchboxes and you need to guess where a small ball is hidden. The thing is that they trick you into believeing that you're actually winning alot of money until you suddenly bet to high and they, with their small quick little thief fingers switch the boxes so you loose the box where the ball is, and poof, you're money is lost to a silly game!
Unique Suggestions: Don't play... If you feel tempted to play, then watch some one else play first, and see how easy it seems to win at first but then suddenly the tourist will start loosing money! I say, if you want to spend your vacation money on something this stupid, then do it..
Fun Alternatives: Walk down the la rambla, watch all the funny clowns and artists that do alot of fun stuff to collect money. We saw alot of those standing-still-statue-people, and they looked all exactly like staues. We also saw a spanish dancer, a devil and an angel playing chess, and a clown scared the h*ll out of me.. They also sell a lot of wierd stuff there, like puppies and birds that eventually will grow huge, emu's I think they're called...
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.
Honestly the Ramblas probably is a tourist trap, but ironically it is still a must see for Barcelona, it's definitly worth strolling a couple times but you won't want to spend your entire trip, or limit your nightlife to the Ramblas.
Unique Suggestions: You must go becuase there are great places along the way, the columbus statue, la boqueria, the liceu opera house, and those street performers.
If you wanna sip a couple Sangrias and watch people go by and don't mind spending 20 bux to do so... then any of the cafes along Las Ramblas is for you.
Unique Suggestions: Be prepared to pay a hefty price tag for it.
Fun Alternatives: However, if you want a real meal... cheap, fun, delicious and with real Spanish flair, hit one of the tiny little Tapas Shops in the Bari Gotic. I promise they won't disappoint.
The famous, broad leafy boulevards of Las Ramblas are and aren’t a great place to get the feel for Barcelona. It’s a great place to grab a coffee and people-watch the throngs passing you buy, but when you realise that most are wide-eyed tourists like yourselves it kind-of looses its appeal a bit. The further you venture down the Ramblas to the Waterfront the more performance artists, street vendors, restaurants and kiosks you’ll find, but they are all predictably all geared heavily toward the tourist Euro. It’s a good introduction to the city to stroll the length of it as part of a morning, but I’d urge you to turn off into the Bari Gotic of L’Eixample once you’re all strolled-out to really begin to get the pulse of the city. Once the menus aren't automatically printed with english alongside big patronising pictures of the dishes, then you can generally tell you're heading in right direction.
You’ll hear it wherever you go, but the Ramblas is the main haven of the pickpockets. These warnings aren’t repeated ad infinitum for no reason, but as long as you keep your wits about you and are aware of your personal space and belongings at all times you’ll have no problems.
Las Ramblas is a boulevard linking Placa Catalunya in the city centre to the port area.
The boulevard has any number of "living statues", bird stalls (Spain has signed various international conventions but protection of exotic species seems virtually non-existent), craft stalls (especially at the Port end of the boulevard) and city life in general. The Rambla is lined with hotels and hostals (pensions) ranging from fairly upmarket and decent to the direst end of the budget range.
Starting from the Placa Catalunya end, highlights [to right and left] include:
-Virreina Palace (right) (occasional art exhibitions)
-Umbrella factory (left) (the interesting thing is the facade, with 19th century chinoiserie and chinese umbrellas)
-Boqueria Market (right) (foodstuffs. There?s even a stall selling edible insects!)
-Guell Palace (right)
-Liceu (Opera House) RHS (right) worth a visit to see the ravishing restoration of the opera hall after the 1989 fire).
-Placa Real (left) (Baroque Square - a bit seedy but lined with bar terraces away from the traffic).
-Wax Museum (left) (not worth a visit but building is a 19th century oddity)
-Columbus statue (arm points seaward - to the East, not to the West!)
-Maremagnum shopping centre - over the yacht haven footbridge. IMAX, Aquarium nearby.
There are any number of bars and terraces along the Rambla (the name comes from Arabic, and means water course a stream used to run here at the foot of the now vanished city wall).
The terraces are dear (see my home page) and the atmosphere spoilt somewhat by busy traffic on the roads running on each side of the boulevard. Barcelona should turn the entire Rambla into a pedestrian precinct.
Be careful of pickpockets and don't flash expensive cameras around. Wear shoulder and handbags cross-wise. Pickpockets tend to work round the edge of crowds watching street performances. Police Station (Comisaria) - English-speaking police on hand) is on right about halfway down.