Las Ramblas is truly Barcelona’s best known landmark. With spring upon us this is the perfect time to enjoy exploring Las Ramblas on foot, here we have a prepared a map and a route to enjoy, starting in Plaza Catalunya.
View Las Ramblas on foot in a larger map
Our tour begins in Plaza Catalunya outside Café Zurich. There is a large terrace here, an ideal rendezvous if you are meeting friends, where you can have a coffee before starting.
As we set off along Las Ramblas note the broad central walkway in the centre of the street. A Rambla is defined thus; a street with a broad pedestrian walkway along its middle. Often this is lined with trees, just as it is here. Look at Las Ramblas from above and it resembles a park.
We take the first left from Las Ramblas and continue along to Plaza Vila de Madrid. Here you can see a section of the old Roman Road into the Roman city of Barcino, lined with tombs as was the custom in Roman cities. Offering a fascinating insight into Barcelona’s Roman origins, there is a small museum that is well worth a visit to learn more.
Our route now doubles back onto Las Ramblas for a short stretch, no more than 5 minutes, until we come to Barcelona’s most famous market La Boqueria. Worth visiting for the spectacle alone even if you are not hungry or looking to shop, the market is a wonderful old art nouveau building offering an amazing section of fresh produce, seafood especially. There are lots of small restaurants inside offering great value. If you are looking for some presents to take home with you, there are many Spanish hams, wines, cheeses and other titbits on offer.
On exiting the market, we leave Las Ramblas again almost immediately and weave down narrow pedestrian medieval streets to Plaza Pi. Here there is a magnificent medieval church, mentioned in George Orwell’s ‘A homage to Catalunya’ and a beautiful plaza, the ideal place to stop and recharge your batteries, you will find many artists exhibiting and selling paintings here.
From here we carry on parallel to Las Ramblas to Calle Ferran, one of the main streets of the Old Town, and turn right along Calle Ferran back to Las Ramblas. On this last stretch down to the Columbus monument you will see street performers wowing their crowds. One Catalan tradition is to paint oneself blue all over and remain absolutely static, a form of street performance art that demands considerable discipline in the heat of July and August.
The Columbus monument marks Columbus’ connection with the city. He points out to sea marking his epic voyage, though in fact he points east into the mediterranean rather than westwards. Columbus spent a great deal of time in the city, which has always been closely connected with the sea and seafaring. At the foor of las Ramblas next to the Columbus monument is the Drassanes Maritime Museum offering an insight into Barcelona’s maritime history.
From here the walk can end and you can jump on the metro Drassanes, or make your way into the old town. Or, you can explore the Old Port and continue your walk by the sea on the Rambla del Mar, a giant pontoon style bridge that connects Las Ramblas with the Maremagnum shopping centre. On a sunny day (there are many) this is a very agreeable place to be, to sit and watch boats or just people watch.
Where to Stay
Accommodation on Las Ramblas can be very expensive. Lined with hotels, Las Ramblas is one of the more pricey accommodation options in Barcelona. A rental apartment is a more economic option and as these are generally found on the streets either side of Las Ramblas in the Old Town are also much quieter.
We have a wide selection of Las Ramblas apartments that offer a more economic option than a hotel. In particular we can recommend the Duran apartment building with 12 luxury Ramblas apartments situated in the old town next to the Gothic Cathedral, with a rooftop terrace and plunge pool to cool off in. If you like the sea then the Colon Building luxury Ramblas apartments next to the Old Port are a good option. They also come with a rooftop terrace and pool. Close to the start of the walk are the Pelai apartments Pelai D and Pelai C.
Apart from the above see our Barcelona Las Ramblas apartments section for many more apartments for rent in the are of Las Ramblas.