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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.
Church of Santa Maria del Mar
Built in Catalonian Gothic style, this Basilica has been through a lot.
Picasso Museum
A wonderful collection traces Picasso’s creative genius from his roots in Barcelona.
La Boqueria
This thriving market is bursting with Catalan culture and fantastic food.
Barcelona Cathedral
A magnificent Gothic cathedral in the old centre of Barcelona, and the seat of the Archbishop of Spain.
El Fossar de les Moreres
Memorial to the defenders of Barcelona who died in the siege of 1714

Related Tours

Private Full Day Highlights Tour inc Tickets: The Best of Vibrant Barcelona
Barcelona has become a popular tourist destination for visitors around the world as it is home to some of the world’s best historical buildings and sites, food and culture, and amazing beaches. 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, and soaking in the city’s uniquely designed buildings, you will experience a bit of everything through this tour.  

  • Explore Park Güell, a prime example of Barcelona’s modernisme, and one of the highest points of the city.
  • Visit the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage site La Sagrada Família Cathedral, designed by Antonio Gaudí.
  • Take a walk through the vibrant areas of Barcelona, which will lead you to the heart of the city Plaza Catalonia, the bustling street of  Las Ramblas, the unforgettable Gothic Quarter, and to the magnificent Church of Santa Maria del Mar.
  • Take the cable car to Montjuïc Castle, an ancient military fortress perched high above the City.
Please note: Your clothing must be appropriate to enter the Sagrada Familia. Whilst they are less strict on knees not being covered - the length of your shorts or skirts must be appropriate. Your shoulders must be covered, you cannot wear see-through clothing, nor have an exposed back or belly (no swimwear). 
The Historic Heart For Kids Private Walking Tour inc Tickets: Roman and Gothic History
In this three-hour tour, you and your family will learn more about the rich history of the Gothic Centre of Barcelona, which has developed enormously since the Roman period to become the thriving hub that it is today. 

  • Explore the majestic Barcelona Cathedral (Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia).
  • Discover the historic Gothic Quarter – where your kids will love learning about its Roman past.  
  • Treat your senses to the smells, tastes and sights of Boquería Market
  • Stroll through Las Ramblas – Barcelona's iconic, bustling promenade. 
  • Our team will match the perfect guide to entertain and inspire all ages.
  • Safely navigate the city, avoiding traffic and busy crowds. 
The Gothic Quarter – also known as Barri Gòtic, is the area that stretches from Las Ramblas 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.  As you enter each magical street and hidden squares, you and your family will learn about the fascinating history of this area that was first founded by the Romans. 
Barcelona's Private Half Day Highlights Walking Tour inc Tickets: The Gothic Historic Heart
In this three-hour tour, your private guide will unravel the rich history of the Gothic Centre of Barcelona, which has developed since the Roman period to become the thriving hub that it is today.  

  • Visit the majestic Barcelona Cathedral (also known as Cathedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia).
  • Try your luck at haggling in La Boquieria  marketplace and explore iconic Las Ramblas promenade. 
  • 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. 
  • Take centre stage with your guide. No other groups or noise to drown out the experience.
  • A personal tour ensures that you set the pace at which you are comfortable.


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. Currently, the Gothic Quarter is one of the most exciting part of the city as it’s home to some of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks, excellent restaurants, amazing restaurants and many squares (plaças) to relax and unwind. 
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