La Rambla, one of the most popular and well known streets in central Barcelona, is widely described as the throbbing heart of the city and a window into the Catalan culture. A tree-lined pedestrian mall, the area stretches for approximately 1 kilometre (0.75 mi) and connects Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with La Rambla de Santa Monica which is home to the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. Unofficially divided into 5 distinct areas (hence why the area is often known by the plural Las Ramblas) La Rambla forms a boundary between the Gothic Quarter to the east and El Raval to the west. The street takes its name from a river or stream (raml in Arabic) which once ran through the area seasonally
Plaça de Catalunya makes up the initial stretch of the street and is named after a drinking fountain from which supposedly the springs of Canaletes are said to emerge. It was once said that to become a true Barcelonin you must first drink from these spring waters – a more modern take on the myth however states that whoever drinks the waters of Canaletes will always one day return to Barcelona.
The Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said that La Rambla, was “the only street in the world which I wish would never end.” By living in this exhilarating and highly cultural area of Barcalona you may also never wish to leave.
During the height of the tourist season La Rambla is buzzing with activity so be prepared for a total sensory overload. Admire and interact with the numerous street performers which can include live performances, human statue artists and pavement artists that offer to paint your portrait or caricature. A must see are also have to check out the areas more established attractions like the Christopher Columbus monument and the Modernist Boqueria Market.
The Ramblas is serviced by three Metro stops along its length making it a superb transport point to see the rest of the city. At the Southern end of La Rambla, close to the Christopher Columbus memorial, you have the Drassanes Metro stop (Green Line, L3). Midway along the Barcelona Las Ramblas, just outside the Liceu Theatre, you have the Metro stop Liceu (Green Line, L3). At the Northern most tip of the Barcelona Ramblas you also have metro stop Catalunya which is serviced by the Metro on both the (Green Line, L3) and (Red Line, L1).
There are dozens of restaurants and shops along the full length of the Barcelona Las Ramblas and for a tourists’ first visit sitting on the Ramblas with a jug of sangria is an absolute must. Along the street there are countless numbers of cafes and restaurants, shopping centres, markets and local super markets which include a large Carrefour Market, a Veritas and a further selection of local convenience stores, all within a very short walk of the area.