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Hubtrail - The Human Statues of La Rambla – Barcelona, Spain

Updated on April 6, 2013
One of the best human statues in La Rambla
One of the best human statues in La Rambla

For anyone who enjoys street life, a buzz of activity, and a sensation for the senses, La Rambla in Barcelona is an absolute must visit place. Running from Diagonal to Plaça Portal de la Pau next to the harbour, the tree-lined avenue comprise 6 different "rambles" running for 2 miles.

Taking a stroll from top to bottom is one of life’s great pleasures. The street borders the gothic quarter (Barri Gotíc) to the east, and El Raval to the west, with many magnificent buildings and attractions on route.

There are beautiful buildings with stunning architecture, lit up in a spectacle of lights in December, and basking in glorious sunshine in the summer. You’ll see flower stalls, pet shops, cafes, bars and some amazing sights on route.

A walk down La Rambla

The main section of the street runs from the central hub of Plaça Catalunya down to the harbour, and it is in this section that La Rambla really comes to life, with the most people and the greatest range of attractions.

Halfway down La Rambla to the west is located the Mercat de la Boqueria, an impressive food market selling a vast array of succulent fruit and vegetables, the freshest seafood, high quality meat, and a giddying array of foods and drinks. If it’s fresh and tasty, one of the stalls will have it.

It is a real pleasure just walking through the stalls, however it gets incredibly busy, so if you want to buy daily essentials, its best to get there early in the morning when you can pick from the freshest produce and fish as it comes in from the farms and the fishermen, when the crowds have yet to wake up after a night of excess.

Whilst Barcelona architecture is stunning, with many beautiful buildings running the length of Les Rambles, the avenues are probably best known for their human statues, which line the street and add colour and add a touch of fun and excitement to your walk.

Always a huge attraction to tourists, there are usually around 20-30 lining the avenue, between Plaça Catalunya and the harbour. Whilst standing around doing nothing for a living might seem attractive, it is incredibly hard work being totally still day in day out, come rain or shine, in the cold of mid-winter and the baking heat of the summer.

Barcelona from Montjuic
Barcelona from Montjuic

The Human Statues of La Rambla

People are OK, but Alien prefers cheese and ham sandwiches these days.
People are OK, but Alien prefers cheese and ham sandwiches these days.
Mercat de la Boqueria - The best market in Barcelona
Mercat de la Boqueria - The best market in Barcelona

This hub is dedicated to them for the entertainment they offer throughout the year, and as thanks for doing nothing for the pleasure of others. Naturally taking pictures of them should not be done without a donation, so when you visit, if you want to have a memento to take home, be sure to add a few centimos to their hat, or Euros if you are feeling generous.

I hope you like the photos and decide to come and visit this wonderful Catalan city!

A moment of calmness.
A moment of calmness.
Not everyone enjoys their job
Not everyone enjoys their job
Its not particularly hard work for everyone
Its not particularly hard work for everyone

Les Rambles de Barcelona

Starting at Diagonal, the appropriately named diagonal street dissecting the city from Southeast to North West, Les Rambles comprise:

  • La Rambla de Catalunya
  • La Rambla de Canaletes
  • La Rambla dels Estudis
  • La Rambla de Sant Josep
  • La Rambla de Caputxins
  • La Rambla de Santa Mònica

Why should you want to know the names? Just cut and paste them into Google Maps, and you can take a virtual stroll with Google Street View! (below)

Take a virtual stroll down La Rambla with Google Maps

La Rambla from the air
La Rambla from the air

Interesting Facts About Barcelona

  • Barcelona has more trees than any other city in Spain, with virtually all streets bordered with an avenue of trees

  • Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain with a population of approx. 1,670,000

  • Barcelona city is located between two rivers, Riu Llobregat to the south and Riu Besós to the north, with the two neighboring towns of Llobregat and Badalona seamlessly joining the city and bringing the population of metropolitan Barcelona to around 4,200,000.

  • The average temperature in summer: 25ºC / 77 ºF, although expect temperatures of at least 30ªC / 86ºF in July and August. The average temperature in winter is 10ºC / 50ºF

  • Over 270,000 of Barcelona residents are foreigners

  • The official language is Catalan although the the majority also speak Castilian Spanish, with English spoken in tourist areas.

  • 23rd April is St. Georges Day in Catalonia, the patron saint of the region. It is traditional to give a rose and a book to a loved one on this day, which also coincides with the simultaneous deaths of William Shakespeare and Miguel Cervantes

  • The statue of Christopher Columbus points south rather than west to the new world. If he pointed west, it would be at Portugal, which was not considered a good thing at the time. If you are planning on sailing to America, follow his arm and hang a sharp right before you hit Africa.

  • La Sagrada Familia is a Gothic monster of a cathedral, designed by Anton Gaudí. Started in 1882, it still isn't finished, with estimates of the completion date ranging from 2020 to 2050!

  • Around 150,000 people walk La Rambla every day!

  • Barcelona will soon have the world’s longest fully automated underground train line in the world when the L9 line opens.

  • The Portal del Àngel is Spain's most walked street, with over 3000 pedestrians an hour.

  • Camp Nou, the home of Barcelona FC, is the largest privately owned football stadium in the world, seating 100,000. The cheap seats are not for sufferers of vertigo it has to be said.
  • One of Catalonia's founding fathers was called Guifré el Pelós, or Wilfred the Hairy!

La Rambla – A Word of Caution

La Rambla has long been a haven for street traders, fun lovers, entertainers, prostitutes, thieves and vagabonds throughout its long and rich history. Whilst the prostitutes have by and large been moved to El Raval, the thieves still remain. Watch out for your purse, don’t leave your wallet in your back pocket, and exercise caution at all times. The ingenuity of the thieves and their exceptional skill at removing valuables from unwary tourists is legendary in these parts.

If someone comes up to you and puts their arm around you in a gesture of friendliness, demonstrating their love for your country, their passion about a famous footballer, or their love of Obama, bear in mind that one of their hands will be in and out of your pocket in an instant. Make it easy for them and you’ll be relieved of your mobile and wallet before you can say La Rambla de Santa Mónica!

Keep your wits about you and enjoy the spectacle of sights - It’s one of the best places to visit in the whole of Spain, and an absolute must if you visit the Catalan capital. 

Free Hugs!

A free hug was inevitable
A free hug was inevitable


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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      We walked there the other day and enjoyed the human statues. It is so much fun to be there.

    • Kalmiya profile image

      Kalmiya 5 years ago from North America

      Thanks for your hub about las Ramblas and the still mimes. I went some years ago and was amazed at all the sights just walking down this famous pedestrian street. I hadn't caught any photos of the mimes and yours remind me of how good they are. Thanks; voted up.