What to See in Barcelona ~ Las Ramblas Street Entertainment and More

Rambla de los Flores in Barcelona, Spain

Wonderful flowers sold on the streets in Las Ramblas.
Wonderful flowers sold on the streets in Las Ramblas. | Source

Entertainment in Las Ramblas

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Many people line up in their chairs to watch the comings and goings as well as performances on the Las Ramblas streets.Entertainment in Las RamblasThis atheletic entertainer was about to stand on his head among other acrobatic things.Here he is demonstrating how to "eat" fire!
Many people line up in their chairs to watch the comings and goings as well as performances on the Las Ramblas streets.
Many people line up in their chairs to watch the comings and goings as well as performances on the Las Ramblas streets. | Source
Entertainment in Las Ramblas
Entertainment in Las Ramblas | Source
This atheletic entertainer was about to stand on his head among other acrobatic things.
This atheletic entertainer was about to stand on his head among other acrobatic things. | Source
Here he is demonstrating how to "eat" fire!
Here he is demonstrating how to "eat" fire! | Source

Barcelona, Spain

If your travels ever take you to the seaside city of Barcelona and you are wondering how to spend some time, one of the main attractions is a street or more accurately a series of streets. Yes...you read that correctly! These streets called Las Ramblas are literally in the heart of the city. Pedestrians can be seen milling about and living their lives both day and night in lively style.

During the Olympics back in 1992, our base of operation in Barcelona was at the Palace Hotel (a part of the Ritz Hotel chain) where the downstairs was converted for our use on a 24 hour basis. They provided air conditioned comfort, restrooms including showers, food and refreshments, comfortable furnishings and television screens where Olympic events were continually being shown. Published schedules and other information was provided to keep us on track with the daily activities that we had chosen prior to ever leaving our homes.

Those from our group were shuttled by airplane back and forth to the Island of Majorca where we spent the nights, when not attending Olympic events in and around Barcelona. A few from our party who missed the airplane, spent the night there. Not much of a hardship! In fact...if one has to become unexpectedly stranded...hopefully it will always be in a Ritz Hotel setting with all of the fore-mentioned amenities.

One day in between games or arranged tours, my husband and I decided to spend a bit of time exploring the famous Las Ramblas. The fortunate people who live near those streets have everything available to them right outside their doors including markets, cultural venues and street entertainment that would never fail to get old.


Monument to Christopher Columbus

Monument to Christopher Columbus is situated at one end of the Ramblas near the waterfront.
Monument to Christopher Columbus is situated at one end of the Ramblas near the waterfront. | Source

Street Entertainers, Las Ramblas, Barcelona

Street Entertainment


As you can see from the photos, many people have a front and center view of the crowds of people who come from all parts of the world to walk this main promenade. Those who get there early sit in the first row of chairs. They catch up on their visiting as well as having an ever changing panorama of stimuli in front of them. Talk about a great place for people watching!

This paved pedestrian-only walkway stretches from the Placa de Catalunya down to the harbor where a 197 foot (60 m) tall monument to Christopher Columbus stands with his arm extended and finger pointing out to sea.

It was Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand who paid for his journey to explore the New World and this is the spot where Columbus supposedly returned to tell the tales of that trip and why it is now memorialized.

The main promenade is wide and is seven tenths of a mile long or 1.2 km. One does not have to go far before seeing various street performances ranging from individual performers to groups of performers.

We even saw a band performing and many of the local residents (and probably some tourists as well) got up and were dancing in the streets. It was a jovial and happy sight to behold bringing smiles to our faces.


Other streets of the Ramblas intersect and a person could literally spend days investigating all of the interesting buildings and sites contained within that part of Barcelona. Alas, we did not have that much time, but at least we got an overall impression of this spectacular part of the city.

Las Ramblas Market

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Fresh produce at Las Ramblas MarketFish market at Las RamblasMeat market at Las Ramblas
Fresh produce at Las Ramblas Market
Fresh produce at Las Ramblas Market | Source
Fish market at Las Ramblas
Fish market at Las Ramblas | Source
Meat market at Las Ramblas
Meat market at Las Ramblas | Source

La Boqueria

Also known as Mercat de Sant Josep, this fabulous food market is a sight to behold!

For people living in Barcelona, there is a seemingly endless supply of fresh and dried fruit items, vegetables, spices, and aisle after aisle of tempting treats.

Even for tourists who simply wish to pick up some items for a quick picnic lunch or other meal, the market presents a visual feast of colors and aromas. I had personally never seen such a large market up to that point.

La Boqueria has an entrance from Las Ramblas and is under cover so that the stalls of food items including fish and other things for sale are safeguarded from inclement weather.

The original market goes back in time to 1217 and has evolved over the years to what it has become today...a major tourist attraction as well as a valuable site providing the locals with a wide array of food.

Shows some street scenes and then the fabulous food market called La Boqueria.

Barcelona Street Acrobats

Sightseeing in Barcelona

Definitely put Las Ramblas on your list of things to see in Barcelona! Depending upon the time you have to spend...a little or a lot...you will be able to enjoy some wondrous things.

Be sure and notice the mosaic tile piece of art that people walk upon in the tree lined promenade of Las Ramblas. It was created by famous artist Joan Miró who was born and lived in Barcelona during his youth.

Near the part called Rambia dels Estudis you will see cage after cage of colorful birds and other small animals for sale right out on the streets.

Every hue and color of the rainbow will assault your senses when you get near Rambla de les Flors.

No one in Barcelona need be gloomy when looking at such bright and vibrant bouquets of cheerful flowers!

Stalls filled with the latest magazines and books of all types are available as you stroll through these streets.

Various types of buildings ranging from the 17- 18th century Baroque Betlem church to a mansion, Palau Güell, designed by the famous architect Gaudi in 1888 will be there among numerous others to interest students of architecture.

Tapas bars as well as many other restaurants line the streets making it easy to grab a bite of food if and when one becomes hungry. Had my husband and I had more time, we would have loved to have gone into some of those tapas bars and tasted food specific to that area, but the clock was ticking and we had to return to the Ritz hotel in order to catch a plane back to Majorca for the night.

There are so many other buildings ranging from private residences ,to storefronts of various types, hotels and even public venues such as those housing opera troupes and musical theater in which one can stay or spend a bit of time.

So whether just strolling through Las Ramblas and absorbing some of the beauty of the exterior facades of the buildings or concentrating on the street entertainment and joining the moving tide of people enjoying themselves out on the streets, it is a place to see and also be seen if in Barcelona.

Iberia
Iberia

A friend of ours loaned us his book and I got to read it before we traveled to Spain. I would heartily recommend it! I think it makes a trip to Spain even more enjoyable.

 

Other sites in Las Ramblas

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Betlem church...this 17 - 18th century Baroque church used to belong to a Jesuit convent.Gran Teatre del Liceu...an opera house dating back to 1847.Facade of Foneria de Canons...a 17th century old canon foundry.Placa Reial...Many identical buildings in this area on the site of a former Capuchin convent.  Many motifs showing explorers of the New World.  Many bars and markets in this area.Need a newspaper, magazine, map, postcard or other periodical?  No problem in Las Ramblas!Rambla dels Estudis...an area where many caged birds are sold as well as other small animals.Need a new book to read?  You can find it here!Palau Guell...a (1888) mansion designed by the famous architect Gaudi which houses a music theatre.My hubby standing outside a small jewelry store in Las Ramblas.
Betlem church...this 17 - 18th century Baroque church used to belong to a Jesuit convent.
Betlem church...this 17 - 18th century Baroque church used to belong to a Jesuit convent. | Source
Gran Teatre del Liceu...an opera house dating back to 1847.
Gran Teatre del Liceu...an opera house dating back to 1847. | Source
Facade of Foneria de Canons...a 17th century old canon foundry.
Facade of Foneria de Canons...a 17th century old canon foundry. | Source
Placa Reial...Many identical buildings in this area on the site of a former Capuchin convent.  Many motifs showing explorers of the New World.  Many bars and markets in this area.
Placa Reial...Many identical buildings in this area on the site of a former Capuchin convent. Many motifs showing explorers of the New World. Many bars and markets in this area. | Source
Need a newspaper, magazine, map, postcard or other periodical?  No problem in Las Ramblas!
Need a newspaper, magazine, map, postcard or other periodical? No problem in Las Ramblas! | Source
Rambla dels Estudis...an area where many caged birds are sold as well as other small animals.
Rambla dels Estudis...an area where many caged birds are sold as well as other small animals. | Source
Need a new book to read?  You can find it here!
Need a new book to read? You can find it here! | Source
Palau Guell...a (1888) mansion designed by the famous architect Gaudi which houses a music theatre.
Palau Guell...a (1888) mansion designed by the famous architect Gaudi which houses a music theatre. | Source
My hubby standing outside a small jewelry store in Las Ramblas.
My hubby standing outside a small jewelry store in Las Ramblas. | Source

Do you think that you would enjoy Las Ramblas in Barcelona?

  • Yes, I have been there and enjoyed it.
  • If I get a chance to travel to Barcelona, I will definitely visit Las Ramblas.
  • It looks like fun but I will probably never travel there, so thanks for the snapshot of what there is to do and see.
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Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain

A markerLas Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain -
Las Ramblas, Pl. de Catalunya 17-S, 1, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
[get directions]

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Las Ramblas Barcelona...Impressions

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© 2012 Peggy Woods

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Comments are welcomed. 70 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 18 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Patricia,

We were fortunate in that my hubby won that trip to Spain during the Olympics many years ago. We may never have gotten to see what we did of parts of Spain otherwise...but we fell in love with it! Las Ramblas is certainly a great street for locals as well as tourists. Glad that you could get a glimpse of it here.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 18 months ago from sunny Florida

O Peggy What a great preview of what seems to a terrific spot to visit. So much to see, so little time :D If I win the lottery some day, this will be on my list of must see spots. Thanks you for this tour.

Angels are winging their way to you this evening ps


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 19 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Anne,

Lucky you to be headed in that direction for a wedding! Enjoy that as well as sites like Las Ramblas in Barcelona while you are there. Am sure you will have a great time in Barcelona! :)


Anne Harrison profile image

Anne Harrison 19 months ago from Australia

Hi Peggy,

We're heading off to Barcelona in a few weeks for a wedding in a nearby town, so this hub is more than opportune! Thanks for the tips - we're staying near Las Ramblas - now I wish I was going today!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 20 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi aesta1,

I believe that you will really enjoy visiting Las Ramblas when you once again travel to Barcelona. Wish I was there again with you! :)


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