Las Ramblas is a pedestrian walkway. It stretches from Port Vell (southern end) to Placa Catalunya (northern end). The Liceu theatre marks the halfway point of the Ramblas. Barcelona is unique in that the oldest part of the city is nearest the Mediterranean Sea. In many cities around the world, you’ll find that the most expensive houses and real estate is near the beaches, but this is not the case in Barcelona. The more expensive real estate is near the mountains. This is because the area near the beach is the oldest. You’ll also find that Barcelona, unlike many other cities, has created the road structure to be quite pedestrian friendly. This most evident near the Ramblas, where most of the traffic is foot traffic.
There are three metro stops allowing you to access the Ramblas. One is near the southern end, near the Christopher Columbus memorial, and is the Drassanes stop. The second is midway in the Ramblas at Liceu. And at the northern part, you’ll find Catalunya.
There are several attractions along the Ramblas including a wax museum, the La Boqueria Market and the Christopher Columbus monument. You’ll also find dozens of restaurants, coffee shops and vendors. Keep in mind that this area is very touristy and has been known for pickpocketers. Due to this, you’ll likely see many people carrying their backpacks on their front. You’ll also find that the prices for items are generally more expensive than they would be in other parts of the city.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Las Ramblas is the street performers. Each will have a bucket or can in front of their stand and when you drop a euro in the can, they’ll perform or allow you to take your picture with them. From experience, we learned that these performers do not appreciate you simply taking their picture and moving on without compensating them. If you do take their picture without compensation, do expect them to invoice their opinion in Spanish!
The Las Ramblas is definitely a must see while visiting Barcelona. It’s also near the Gothic Quarter and Placa Catalunya where you’ll find the famous pigeons and tons of shopping opportunities.