La Rambla

Address: Barri Gòtic, Barcelona, Spain

- Free


One of Europe’s most celebrated boulevards.

I have a love-hate relationship with La Rambla. During the heat of the day it is a sea of tourists, hawkers, living statues and pickpockets, fringed by souvenir shops and fast-food outlets. Early in the morning, however, it is a different proposition; an elegant boulevard, dotted with grand and fanciful buildings, and strolling ground for ancient locals taking the air before the visitors take over.

The various legs of La Rambla have different names – Rambla de Canaletes, Rambla dels Ocells (‘birds’, from the stalls selling songbirds that ran along here until very recently), Rambla de Sant Josep (or de les Flors, from the flowersellers that still line this stretch), Rambla dels Caputxins and Rambla de Santa Mònica. For this reason it is often known in plural, as Las Ramblas in Spanish, or Les Rambles in Catalan.

Value for money

Expert tips

Check out the pavement mosaic by Joan Miró halfway down.

Recommended for

  • Culture vultures
  • First-time travellers
  • People watching