9 Great Pit-Stops on Las Ramblas
To get the best out of a trip to Barcelona then a visit to one of its most iconic shopping areas, Las Ramblas is essential. Really a set of tree-lined streets strung together, Las Ramblas is packed with some fascinating sites. To find out the best bits and what not to miss check out the Generator Hostel Barcelona guide to nine great pit-stops on Las Ramblas:
1. Columbus Statue
Even though strictly speaking Columbus was not a native Spaniard he is undoubtedly linked to the country, so it is no surprise that Barcelona has a statue of the famous explorer. The statue lies at one end of Las Ramblas and is a great starting point. You can even get a great view of the city from a viewing point near the top of the column.
2. Street Entertainers
You can see statues with gorgeously coloured costumes and also dancers or acrobats. If you drop a few coins into the pot they will perform for you and are happy to pose for photos, and you may even get a sweet!
3. The Barri Gotic
Just off Las Ramblas is Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter known as the Barri Gotic. Simply wander the labyrinthine streets and get an eyeful of the beautiful architecture. Particular highlights are Plaça Sant Jaume, Barcelona Cathedral and Plaça Reial. Among its most famous residents was Picasso who lived and worked here from 1895 to 1904.
4. The Boqueria Market
One of the most famous markets in Barcelona is the Boqueria market, with its stunning entrance off La Rambla, which sells everything from olives and fresh meat to fruit and vegetables. This is a popular spot with locals so you may get a feel for the culture of Barcelona and if you are peckish the market is surrounded by decent cafes and tapas spots.
5. Gran Teatre Liceu
Just around the corner from the entrance to the Boqueria market is the Gran Teatre Liceu, which is Barcelona’s main opera house. If you are in the area it is well worth catching a show in this 19th century building. It is probably best to buy tickets from the box office in person as buying online can be expensive.
6. Have something to eat
If you are ready for a break there are plenty of cafes along Las Ramblas to stop and have a quick bite to eat or a sumptuous meal with a glass of wine. Two of the more well known are Cafe de l’Opera Barcelona, which is next to the Liceu and has a long history, and Cafe Zurich, which is a great place to meet as it is easy to spot at the head of Las Ramblas.
7. Palace Virreina
For a change of pace head to the Palace Virreina, on Rambla; an 18th century palace, which now houses major art exhibitions in the city. It is locally known as Centre de la Imatge and many of the most important contemporary artists have their work shown here.
8. Church of Bethlehem
This is one of the oldest buildings in the area and is a lovely spot for a bit of peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of Las Ramblas.
Even if you don’t visit any of the great spots we have listed here a walk along Las Ramblas can still be rewarding if you just look up. Although many of the shop fronts are taken up with branded facades the upper floors of the buildings are still original and the impressive architecture is a hidden gem of the area.