La Rambla

A bustling tree-line promenade through the heart of Barcelona.

TravelCurious Tip

Check out the gorgeous Plaça Reial, a plaza just off La Rambla surrounded by porticoed buildings, palm trees and Gaudí-designed streetlamps with loads of great pubs and restaurants.

Humble beginnings

La Rambla (or Las Ramblas) is the major artery of Barcelona. It is the most popular street in the city among both tourists and locals, and buzzes with atmosphere day and night. Beloved Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once called it ‘the only street in the world which I wish would never end.’ La Rambla makes for a pleasant walk; it is lined with lush plane trees from its starting point at Plaça de Catalunya in the city centre all the way to the Christopher Columbus monument on the seafront. It borders two of the city’s most historic neighbourhoods, the Gothic Quarter to the east and El Raval near the port.

The pathway which La Rambla follows was originally a sewerage bed designed to take drainage and rainwater down from the Collserola hills, and also formed a barrier between the old walled city and the smaller settlements in El Raval. In the late 14th and early 15th centuries the old city expanded to incorporate La Rambla and El Raval into its borders, and by 1440 the stream was diverted to run outside the new city walls, leaving the track free for development. Soon it had become the thriving centre of city life with markets and festivals being held here, as well as the site of a number of religious institutions. The first trees were planted in 1703.

Barcelona old and new

The pattern of the modern La Rambla’s rippled paving stones hints at the street’s origins as a rainwater channel. Stroll down La Rambla today and you will see plenty of cafés, restaurants and bars where you can sip Sangria into the late hours, as well as numerous clothes shops and kiosks selling trinkets and souvenirs; on Rambla de Sant Josep there is a lovely flower market. There are also dozens of artists and street performers (many of them human statues) plying their trade. It should be noted that the southern end of La Rambla is its seedier side, and becomes something of a red light district at night.

Notable buildings include the austere Bethlehem church, which is the only remnant of the prominent Jesuit College which existed here during the Renaissance; Barcelona’s prestigious opera house the Gran Teatre del Liceu and the ancient Teatre Principal are also both located on La Rambla. It is home too to various museums, like the Centre d’Art Santa Mònica for contemporary art and the Palau de la Virreina, a striking Baroque palace which hosts short-term art shows and public events. Despite its more garish tourist attractions, the beautiful and vibrant La Rambla has endured as a cultural centre in Barcelona. Look out for the huge 1971 circular mosaic by Joan Mirò near the Liceu, and the Font de Canaletes, a 19th century fountain designed around a Victorian lamppost: according to tradition, whoever drinks from the fountain will return to the city.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Barcelona
Gothic Quarter
Barcelona’s oldest and most atmospheric district.
La Boqueria
This thriving market is bursting with Catalan culture and fantastic food.
Placa del Rei
Meaning 'Kings Square' this 14th century medieval public square is in the Barri Gòtic of Barcelona.
Plaça de Sant Jaume
Plaça de Sant Jaume is the administrative heart of both the city and surrounding Catalonia.
Plaza Reial
This elegant square is a must-see in the Gothic quarter.
Plaça Nova
See the only publicly displayed work made by Picasso at the "Architects Association Building".

Related Tours

Barcelona in a Day: Private Full-Day Highlights Walking Tour
Discover the best of Barcelona, from its famous Ramblas to the iconic Sagrada Familia, and explore its most famous highlights, panoramas and some well-hidden gems in a day! 

On your private tour you will: 

  • Experience the perfect combination of walking and driving to see the most popular landmarks, breathtaking views and famous neighbourhoods of Barcelona;
  • Enjoy a leisurely private walking tour of Barcelona’s historical Gothic Quarter
  • Walk along La Rambla and get immersed in the city vibes;
  • Refill energies with a lunch break before heading in the afternoon part of this tour;
  • Hop on your private car to take a panoramic driving tour and enjoy wonderful views as you head towards Montjüic;
  • Pass by Plaza España, the Olympic ring and Mirador del Alcalde and see the castle from the outside;
  • Continue your way in your private car along Passeig de Gracia with brief stops outside: Casa Milá and Casa Batlló, both designed by Gaudi, Barcelona’s darling and most famous architect;
  • Visit Park Güell, a beautiful hill-top park overlooking Barcelona where you will see Gaudi’s house, the aqueducts, the terrace and the market;
  • End your tour at La Sagrada Familia with a guided tour of the interior of this famous UNESCO-listed site

Barcelona has become a popular tourist destination for visitors around the world as it is home to some of the world’s most unique and beautiful historical buildings and sites, delicious food, and vibrant culture, not to mention the amazing 4km of beaches. Its’ warm and sunny climate also makes Barcelona a hugely popular place to visit! 

This tour is ideal for those who would like a taste of what Barcelona has to offer in a day. Whether you’re interested in history, taking a walk through the vibrant streets of the Gothic Quarter, indulging in various delicious cuisines, or soaking in the city’s uniquely designed buildings, you will experience a bit of everything through this tour. 

Start your tour wandering the beautiful streets of downtown Barcelona. Take a walk to the heart of the city at Plaza Catalonia, the bustling street of Las Ramblas, the unforgettable Gothic Quarter, and to the magnificent Church of Santa Maria del Mar.

After a lunch break, a private car will drive your group and guide towards a panoramic city tour to Montjüic to admire the city from above! On your way down back to the city you will enjoy a brief photo stop at iconic Gaudi's houses before arriving to Park Güell, a prime example of Barcelona’s modernism, and one of the highest points of the city to enjoy amazing panoramic views. 

Your tour ends with a privately guided tour of Barcelona’s crowning glory, designed by Antonio Gaudi, one of the greatest and most unique architects of all time: the UNESCO World Heritage site of La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, with tickets included. 

Please note: Your clothing must be appropriate to enter the Sagrada Familia. Your knees and shoulders, back, and stomach must be covered. See-through clothing and swimwear are forbidden.
Flavours of Barcelona: Private Tapas Food Tour
Spain has known the world over for its food culture and heritage. Tapas restaurants have cropped up in every major city, but there’s nothing like having an authentic experience in the Catalán capital. 

On your private tapas tour, you will: 

  • Enjoy several tapas tastings at various restaurants – all included and carefully curated by your guide;
  • Savour an assortment of Spain's finest dishes, delicacies and flavours; 
  • Visit a traditional Spanish food market;
  • See highlights of the Gothic Quarter, including the wide passenger walkway ‘La Rambla’;
  • Eat where the locals eat and drink while experiencing authentic Spanish cuisine;
  • Learn about Catalonian tradition and the history of the diverse food from each region. 

If you are passionate about food and if sampling the best of local cuisine is your top priority when you are on holiday, then this tour is how you should spend your time. Let yourself loose in Barcelona’s best tapas restaurants as you authentically experience Spain’s varied and traditional cuisine. 

Tapas refer to a variety of appetisers or snacks. Served cold or warm, tapas have evolved into an elaborate gastronomic event, with most regions in Spain showcasing the best of local ingredients with their own unique flavours and styles of cuisine – anything from exotically flavoured, spicy Moorish stews of the south, to fresh grilled seafood from the coastal areas of Spain. 
No trip to Spain would be authentic without days filled with tapas samplings. We recommend you arrive on this tour hungry! 

In case you have any dietary requirements please contact our team to adapt the tour to your needs.
The Historic Heart of Barcelona: Family-Friendly Private Tour
Explore the historic and vibrant heart of Barcelona on this family-friendly 2.5-hour private walking tour, including tickets to the Big Fun Museum - great for kids of all ages. Discover the Gothic quarter and Roman Ruins with amazing stories of the past, and see some of the city's dazzling architecture by Antonio Gaudi as you explore with your family-friendly private guide.

On your private walking tour, you will:

  • Begin your tour at the lively Portal de l'Àngel and walk along the charming old street of Carrer de Petritxol, filled with old shop fronts and enticing smells of churros;
  • Wander through the beautiful, winding cobbled streets of the Barri Gotic, learning all its secrets and surprises;
  • Hear about the Roman origins of the Old Town, and see the remains of the ancient Roman city walls - that once had 78 towers at 60 feet tall
  • Marvel at the amazing Barcelona Cathedral with its incredible gothic spire, statues of gargoyles and other mythic creatures;
  • Walk into the Plaça del Rei - the King's Square - an imposing series of medieval buildings - each with a story to tell...;
  • Stop at Plaça de Sant Jaume in the centre of the Gothic Quarter, with its glorious buildings and learn all about the politics and political leaders of Barcelona;
  • Wander to Bishop's Bridge, one of the most photographed spots in the city, and walk underneath it making a wish on the dagger and skull and cross bones - or have bad luck forever!; 
  • Pass by the Basilica Santa Maria del Pi which was built in the 1300s; 
  • Stroll into the elegant Plaza Reial, with its fountains and palm trees, and vibrant atmosphere; 
  • Wander down the most famous street of Barcelona, La Rambla, where you will be able to see an eccentric building by Antonio Gaudi - the Güell Palace, and see if you can spot the stone trees on the rooftop;
  • See the large, circular, and brightly coloured mosaic by Miró in La Rambla;
  • Explore the buzzing, brash and brilliant La Boqueria market, a popular destination for tourists and locals;
  • End your tour at the Big Fun Museum, for a quirky series of adventures and exciting activities for kids! 

On this family-friendly tour, you'll be taken on an unforgettable journey through Barcelona's prettiest area, the iconic Gothic Quarter also known as Barri Gòtic. With its charming, winding, cobbled streets, medieval yet vibrant atmosphere, markets, artisanal shops, and amazing gothic architecture - there are so many things to see and secrets to discover! From the ruins of the Roman walls and gothic splendour of the cathedrals to the eccentric buildings by Gaudicolourful mosaic by Miro, and vibrant streets and markets, your family-friendly guide will make the tour really engaging for your children - with quizzes, guessing games, interesting stories, and fun activities. 

You'll see all the most iconic sites of the Gothic Quarter, including the Cathedral with its amazing gargoyles on the rooftop and the imposing Placa del Rei. Enjoy wandering along Barcelona's iconic La Rambla - famous for its flower stalls and street food vendors; you'll see the leather and jewellery artisan shops and boutiques, and soak up the fun and buzzy atmosphere of the elegant Plaza Reial with delightful fountains and elegant palm trees. 

As you stroll towards La Boqueria, you will also see the legendary Dancing Giants on display. The Dancing Giants are wearable puppets and the traditional dances wearing these massive costumes are a highlight of the parades on Catholic feast days in Barcelona!

At the end of your tour, your guide will leave you with entrance tickets to the amazing Big Fun Museum - where you will discover a magical world, like stepping through the Looking Glass and into Wonderland... including an upside-down house!  
The Gothic Quarter: Private Half-Day Tour with Barcelona Cathedral
Explore Barcelona's iconic Ramblas and the historic Gothic Quarter filled with spectacular architecture in gothic style, including the remains of the Roman-era city walls, many medieval landmarks and Barcelona Cathedral, famous for its statues of gargoyles and other mythic creatures. Uncover the rich history of the gothic centre of Barcelona, which has developed since the Roman period to become the thriving capital of Catalonia that it is today.

 On your private half-day tour, you will: 

  • Explore the Gothic Quarter (El Barri Gòtic in Catalonian), one of the most exciting parts of the city as it’s home to some of Barcelona’s most famous attractions;
  • Take a stroll down the world-famous La Rambla promenade
  • See the remains of the ancient Roman city walls that rose up to a full 60 feet and boasted 78 towers;
  • Learn about the stories behind Barcelona landmarks and their long history;
  • Try your luck at haggling in La Boquería marketplace, and see where locals shop for their produce and meats;
  • Visit Placa Reial,  a vibrant and beautiful square in the heart of the city, with Gaudi-designed lampposts and an incredible fountain that draws in locals and visitors alike;
  • Walk through the Jewish Quarter of Barcelona, a small but vibrant district with several synagogues and other religious sights that honour the important role of Jewish merchants in medieval Barcelona;
  • Discover sleepy churchyards, medieval alleyways and crumbling Gothic Palaces;
  • Learn about the Roman beginnings of the Old Town, and see remnants of this lost past;
  • Finish your tour with a guided visit to the majestic Barcelona Cathedral and its famous rooftop filled with gargoyles and mythical creatures.

The Gothic Quarter – also known as Barri Gòtic, is the area that stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to Ronda de Sant Pere and is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. It is known as the Gothic Quarter, as it used to be the location of a Roman village and some of the remnants still remain. 

You will visit the Jewish Quarter, known as the Call, a collection of streets in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter that were established by a group of Jewish merchants in the 13th century. This section of the area was established because this group of people weren’t welcome anywhere else on the main land along with everyone else, they built their own space to live, build churches or synagogues and freely practice any religion they wanted in peace.

Your tour will end with entrance tickets and a guided tour of Barcelona Cathedral.  The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia is a gorgeous Gothic cathedral in the old centre of the bustling Catalan city; it is also the seat of the Archbishop of Spain. 

Construction of the Cathedral began at the end of the 13th century during the reign of King James II of Aragon and took around 150 years to complete. While the structure and internal decoration of the Cathedral were completed by the 15th century, its neo-Gothic façade was added at the end of the 19th century, covering the rather plain original exterior; the roof (which your tickets give you access to) was also adorned with an impressive range of gargoyles. 

Enjoy this masterpiece as the capstone to your highlights tour!
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