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Barcelona - Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas, Barcelona

Las Ramblas is Barcelona's ultimate pedestrian paradise - a broad tree-lined boulevard where traffic is confined to a narrow lane on each side. It is the place to see, and be seen, in Barcelona. According to the Rough Guide to Barcelona it is Spain's most famous throughfare with its street life as the greatest attraction:

No day in the city seems complete without a stroll down at least part of what, for Lorca, was "the only street in the world which I wish would never end."

Las Ramblas is actually a series of streets stretching from Catalunya Place (essentially a huge roundabout) where the tour buses start to the Monument a Colom (Monument to Columbus) and the harbour area. Originally it was a seasonal stream cum open sewer used as a walkway in the dryer seasons. However, it was paved over as early as the 14th century to form the main link between Barcelona's port and the old town. It gained its present character in the 19th century with the addition of trees and benches and some fine buildings along its course.

Las Ramblas flower stall

Las Ramblas Flower Stall, Barcelona

The boulevard is lined with stalls, with each individual Rambla specializing in, for example, newspapers and magazines, flowers, birds, jewellery and other items. Buskers, living statues and mimers make a living from the continuous throng of strolling locals and tourists. Several of the living statues are surprisingly good. Be careful with handbags, however, as bag snatchers also make a good living in this area of Barcelona.

More at:

The Rough Guide to Barcelona

The Rough Guide to Barcelona
by Jules Brown
  Barcelona has boomed since the early 1990s, when preparations for the Olympic Games wrenched it into modernity, and today it remains well in the vanguard of other Spanish cities (with the possible exception of Madrid) in terms of prosperity, stability and cultural activity. It's a confident, progressive city, looking towards the rest of Europe for its inspiration and its innovations - the classic tourist images of Spain seem firmly out of place in Barcelona's bustling central boulevards and stylish modern streets.
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