La Rambla | Barcelona Bus Turístic

La Rambla

Barcelona’s promenade par excellence

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La Rambla is undeniably Barcelona’s best-known street. Located in the historic centre of the city, it connects Barcelona’s Port Vell (old harbour) to Plaça de Catalunya. Its flower kiosks, performers, museums, historic buildings and numerous cafés fill it with life from dawn to the small hours of the night.

What can you visit on La Rambla?

In addition to living statues, flower stalls and bar terraces, which constitute the very essence of its central pedestrian area, some of the city’s most historic sites line the sides of La Rambla such as the Gran Teatre del Liceu, La Boqueria Market and Palau Güell.

Each section of La Rambla has its own name, which is why it is sometimes referred to in the plural, as Les Rambles. If you stroll down it from Plaça de Catalunya to the Columbus Monument you will successively discover:

  • La Rambla de Canaletes, with its famous Font de Canaletes fountain, where Barça fans gather to celebrate their team’s victories. Tradition has it that all visitors who drink from this fountain will return to the city of Barcelona.
  • La Rambla dels Estudis, so named because it was home in the 15th century to a studium generale or medieval university. It is also known as La Rambla dels Ocells after the Mercat dels Ocells (Bird Market) to which it was previously home. Its points of interest include the baroque Església de la Mare de Déu de Betlem (Church of Our Lady of Bethlehem), completed in 1729; the Palau Moja mansion, built in 1784; and the Modernista building of the Reial Acadèmia de les Ciències i les Arts (Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts), which was constructed in 1894 and includes a small astronomical observatory and a clock that marks Barcelona’s official time.
  • La Rambla de Sant Josep or La Rambla de les Flors, in honour of Saint Joseph and because in the 19th century it was the only place in the city where flowers were sold, an activity that although no longer exclusive to this site continues to this day. It is home to the famous La Boqueria Market, Spain’s only Erotic Museum, the Palau de la Virreina (1778) and the popular building known locally as the ‘Casa dels paraigües’ (House of Umbrellas) with its curious Japanese-inspired decoration, which was built in 1858.
  • La Rambla dels Caputxins or La Rambla del Centre, named after its location and because it was once home to a monastery of Capuchin friars, runs from the Gran Teatre del Liceu to Pla del Teatre. It was the first section of La Rambla to be opened as an avenue and is home to the Miró mosaic, Palau Güell, the Hotel Oriente (the city’s oldest), and Plaça Reial, the square where the monastery was located.
  • La Rambla de Santa Mònica, which reaches the harbour and is home to the Parish Church of Santa Mònica, Palau Marc (1781), the old cannon foundry (1777), where Barcelona Cathedral’s largest bell was made, and at the very bottom the Columbus Monument. This is where the much-photographed living statues are located.

 

How do you get to La Rambla?

Hop off at the Plaça Catalunya stop on the Blue and Red Routes of Barcelona Bus Turístic, which is located at the top of La Rambla. You can also hop off at the Colom – Museu Marítim stop on the Red Route to stroll up the avenue from the Port Vell or old harbour.

 

For the most curious of you

  • Did you know? It was traditional from the late 18th century to the beginning of this century to take a seat on La Rambla and watch the world go by. As far back as 1781 chairs could be rented at Pla de la Boqueria and from 1860 the Casa Gay chair rental service company installed them along the entire length of the street. The most popular were located next to the Font de Canaletes fountain until they were removed in 2000.
  • Local’s tip: On the feast of Sant Jordi (Saint George’s Day) La Rambla is full of stalls selling the holiday’s traditional gifts of books and roses.
  • A must: For those who want to experience the excitement of a street full of vitality and people from all walks of life.