Las Ramblas (La Rambla)

This tree-lined pedestrian thoroughfare runs from Plaza Catalunya to Barcelonaís port district, and is a major attraction. Itís called Las Ramblas because it consists of five different Ramblas or boulevards one after the other. A casual walk down Las Ramblas is a must for all tourists. Itís a wonderful, vibrant part of the city where street vendors and performers vie for your attention.

On a typical stroll you might encounter spray paint artists doing spacey works or Flamenco dancers performing or a lone guitarist busking. On Las Ramblas there are many kiosks selling magazines, maps, guidebooks, as well as an open pet market with exotic birds, lizards, and other animals.

There are many specialty shops and dozens of restaurants lining Las Ramblas, and the streets leading off into the narrow alleys of the medieval Barri GÚtic (Barrio Gothico). Day or night thereís always a lot to see and do in the area. When you tire of walking and shopping, you can just have an outdoor cafe seat where you watch the endless parade of people go by.

The best produce market in the city is about midway down La Rambla, called La Boqueria. Here you can choose from an amazing array of fruit, vegetables, meats, fish, pastries, breads and wine, all at reasonable prices. The colorful La Boqueria is the oldest market in Barcelona, and well worth a visit to see what kind of produce is available locally.

On the opposite side of Las Ramblas from the market, is the famed Museu de l'erÚtica, where you can learn about erotic art from around the world. Features include porn from the 1930s, sculptures and sex phones, where you can listen to ďhotĒ talk in your own language. More info at their website: www.eroticamuseum.com.

About midway down Las Ramblas is the famed Gran Teatre del Liceu (Liceu Theater), which opened on April 4th, 1847 as the largest Opera house in Europe. On January 31, 1994 a fire destroyed most of the opera house, and it has been completely rebuilt. It remains one of the biggest opera houses in the world, seating 2,300. It hosts a varied program of opera, dance and concerts. The lavish interior is in the classic European style, and joy to behold. Check out their excellent website, in English, with a virtual 3D tour! http://www.liceubarcelona.com/eng/

The last section of Las Ramblas goes through Barcelonaís red light district. In the evenings you can see prostitutes looking for work. This section is probably best avoided at night, unless you need some servicing. During the day, itís less seedy. In all tourist areas, we recommend you be aware of pickpockets and keep your valuables in a safe place.

At the port end of Las Ramblas stands the Monument a Colom (Columbus Monument). It stands 80 meters high and has an elevator to a viewing platform for 1.80 Euro. Excellent views over Barcelona here!

We recommend you start your trip down Las Ramblas from Plaza Catalunya, as it's mostly downhill that way. If you venture off into the barrio and get lost, just ask anyone to show you the way back to Las Ramblas. Or better still, stay lost if you're having fun!





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