There is no-one in the world who is not fascinated by life on La Rambla. In little over a kilometre you have the entire essence of the city. From Plaça de Catalunya to the Columbus monument, La Rambla changes at every step. Drink water at the Canaletes fountain, buy flowers, cross yourself in front of the Capuchins, eat in La Boqueria, be thrilled in the Liceu and end up right by the sea. And then back up La Rambla again. An unstoppable river of life that never sleeps, a city within the city itself that feels Barcelona's pulse.
The true Barcelona boulevard
On La Rambla you can ramblejar, in other words, you can wander up and down time and again on Barcelona's great boulevard, for nothing more than the pleasure it gives you, because it makes you feel at home. Because La Rambla is welcoming and inclusive. Here walk humble workers and the rich and powerful on their way to the Liceu, the shopkeepers from Ciutat Vella and the sailors who arrive in the port. Those who have lived here for years and those that are visiting for the first time. Everyone rambles on La Rambla. And this is the essence of Barcelona.
La Rambla’s five ramblas
When, in the 19th century, Barcelona broke free of its suffocating walls, it built a great promenade to join the upper part of the city, the mountain side, with Ciutat Vella, the sea side. La Rambla consists of five stretches with different names. Beginning in Plaça de Catalunya and heading down La Rambla, towards the port, is La Rambla de Canaletes, where you find the Font de Canaletes, a 19th century fountain. If you drink from it, they say you are sure to return to Barcelona. A little further down is La Rambla dels Estudis, so called because one of the city's first universities was located here. It closed in the 18th century when Philip V abolished the Catalan universities. In this area you can also find Palau de la Virreina, a fine example of civil architecture and a great gift of love from the Viceroy of Peru to his second wife. Continuing towards the sea, you come to La Rambla de les Flors, the only place in 19th century Barcelona you could buy flowers, and which keeps the trade alive today. La Boqueria and the Liceu, one a temple to food and the other to music, begin the fourth Rambla, La Rambla dels Caputxins, so called because of the Capuchin monastery that used to be there. The fifth part, La Rambla de Santa Mónica, where traditionally the artists and painters are located, links this spectacular boulevard with the sea.
La Rambla, which used to connect Barcelona from top to bottom, is an unmissable part of the city, the avenue that everyone has to pass down at some moment or other. To experience La Rambla is to experience Barcelona.