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Strolling Down The Ramblas

This quintessential city walk delivers high energy, bold theatricality and design heritage
id_2999426
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours

Overview :  Just because something is a tourist trap doesn't mean that it can't be fun. If you want to soak up the incredible energy of this most ... more »

Tips:  Depending on the spec of the camera in your phone, you may also want to carry a dedicated camera—this is a flamboyantly colorful route... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Placa de Catalunya—Gateway to La Rambla

Start your tour by taking the Metro (lines 1 or 3) or bus to Plaça de Catalunya, an elegant space laid out amid Belle Ėpoque buildings in the early 20th century by Puig i Cadafalch, one of Barcelona's signature architects.

Whether or not you get a chance to admire it depends on the political state of play; it's a favorite spot for peace ... More

2. Rambla dels Canaletes

You will be met by the prospect of a wide, central boulevard for pedestrians flanked by narrow lanes of traffic. As you walk along, you will find that La Rambla, changes moniker a number of times; the names reflect the historic activities staged there.

The first, Rambla de Canaletes, owes its name to the Font de Canaletes, an elaborate drinking... More

3. Rambla dels Ocells/Rambla de les Flors

Make your way toward Carrer de la Portaferrissa along the stretch formally known as the Rambla del Estudis, but more descriptively as Rambla dels Ocells, reflecting both the stacked cages of a bird market and the sparrows roosting in the canopy of plane trees that stretch above. Not all the bird song you hear is for real--expect to be approached... More

Head to the right for more evidence of nature's bounty. In a famously photogenic city, La Boqueria market (formally known as the Mercat de Sant Josep--you will see both names on the coat of arms sign suspended from the stained glass and wrought-iron gateway) is sure to have you reaching for your camera.

The stall holders display their wares in... More

Come out where you entered and back on La Rambla and a few steps away on your right you'll find a sanctuary for those for whom fructose is not the sugar rush of choice.

At La Rambla 83, behind the shimmering mosaic and peacock stained glass of the Modernista-style Antigua Casa Figueras--a 1902 building that reflects the full flowering of Catalan... More

Tack over to the left and look above the rather incongruous ground floor façade of the Caixa Sabadell at Rambla 82, on the corner with Plaça de la Boqueria, to check out the quirky Modernist flourishes of the Casa Bruno Cuadros, where metal parasols stud the walls of the upper floors and a fantailed Chinese dragon projects into the... More

The halfway point of La Rambla is marked a few steps farther on in the middle of the thoroughfare, where a large, abstract tiled mosaic in his signature primary colors is the handiwork of distinguished Catalan artist Joan Miró, who was born a few streets away in the Barri Gòtic. If you are traveling with kids get them to play hunt... More

Continue to stroll toward the sea and on the right you'll see the Hotel Oriente, a former convent still boasting an Art Nouveau frontage and handsomely traditional public areas in a confident mid-19th century style. When author Ernest Hemingway wasn't running with the bulls in the Basque country, he liked to stay here. A certain stately charm... More

Proceed until you reach Carrer Nou de La Rambla where, just off to the right on the fringe of the Raval neighborhood, you'll find the Palau Güell, a white marble-fronted mansion the young Antoní Gaudí designed for his most loyal supporter, the shipowner Güell.

It re-opened in May 2011 following a major renovation and,... More

Back on the Ramblas, especially at night, you'll see the pavement restaurants fill up as wave after wave of visitor heads inexorably port-ward. It can feel like something of a corridor, so if you want the general buzz of a lively spot, but prefer a little less exposure to the tsunami of visitors, cross over to the left side, pass through the... More

If you resume your stroll, the human statues and street entertainers gradually give way to streetwise acrobats and con men with their sleight-of-hand shell game, and the pavement restaurants give way to caricature artists and artwork vendors.

If you are of a dreamy disposition you can imagine yourself in the footsteps of young Daniel Sempere who... More