The most famous street in Spain is undoubtedly La Rambla in Barcelona. In fact there are several ramblas (some of them all joined up and some of them parallel), but let’s not worry about that – or dwell on their lowly origins (as open sewers). Suffice to say, you haven’t been to the Catalan capital if you have not completed a promenade down “the ramblas” from, say Plaza (or “Plaça” – again don’t worry about that) de Catalunya (aka Cataluña) right down to the Old Port area (Port Vell, almost never known as El Puerto Viejo, thank God). The success of the Ramblas is such that you may just find it hard to find an actual Catalan on it these days, as it is simply loved by tourists haling from Sevastopol to Southend. But don’t let that put you off. And remember, the streets leading OFF the Ramblas are where the real excitement lies.
Las Ramblas – get down it, get around it, and, get over it!
Las Ramblas provide ample over-priced souvenir opportunities, and get you jostling with plump North European lager lovers, and maybe a prefessional transvestite or two. Shops abound, as do restaurants, peep shows, bars, mime artists, buskers, and, of course pick-pockets The most sensible approach to the ramblas is to veer off into the fascinating maze of medieval streets with Raval on the right (as you walk towards the sea) and the Barrio Gotico (Gothic Quarter) on the left (especially the fantastic Plaza Reial square). Bishop-fanciers can check out the the Cathedral, after a walk through atmospheric squares and alleyways. Check out the real Barcelona – follow our walking itinerary around La Ramblas and enjoy the benefits of being lost, without actually being lost.
Map Showing Central Barcelona Itinerary
The following Google map shows our suggested itinerary for a walk through the Old Quarter in Barcelona (Ciutat Vella):