La Rambla

Living statues, overpriced cafes and people, lol. I have lived around the corner there for years. Some people think you should avoid the world-famous promenade La Rambla at all costs, but I believe you should have seen La Rambla at least once during your city break to Barcelona.

La RamblaTickets, opening hours & public transport
AddressLa Rambla Barcelona
Public transport / SubwaySubway: Drassanes (L3), Catalunya (L3, L1, L6 en L7) en Liceu (L3)
Bus: 59 en V15.
Opening HoursN/A


What is La Rambla?

La Rambla is the most famous street in Barcelona and all of Spain, so a walk along La Rambla is actually a must during your visit to Barcelona. The street is 1200 meters long and runs from the central Plaça Catalunya to the sea. When Barcelona was no bigger than the Gothic Quarter, the city walls stood here. Today, La Rambla separates the central districts of El Gótico and El Raval. Also read all about the history of La Rambla later in this article.

Nowadays La Rambla is a big tourist attraction flooded by tourists. You won’t find many locals there. It is bursting with kiosks, stalls, flower stalls, easels, statues, terraces, restaurants, stores, people and traffic. And the hubbub goes on until the early hours.

But as a local, I can still recommend taking a stroll there, in part because of the beautiful buildings, the La Boquería fresh market, the beautiful plane trees and the cozy flower stalls.

How to get to the Rambla?

La Rambla can be reached in several ways. You can get there by metro, bus, Taxi or on foot. There are 3 subway stations where you can get off.

1. Drassanes metro station (L3, green line): is located at the southernmost part, near the Columbus monument. It is about a 15-minute walk from here to the other side of La Rambla.
2. Catalunya metro station (L3, green line and L1, red line, L6, purple line and L7, brown line. There are also trains from Plaça Catalunya and the Aerobus departs from here.) Near Plaça Catalunya you can find stores like the Zara and Mango and the large department store El Corte Inglés. So if you plan to shop, it’s best to get off here.
3. Liceu metro station (L3, green line): this metro station is in the middle of La Rambla and is only a 2-minute walk to the La Boquería covered fresh food market.

Besides the metro, there is also the possibility of going by bus. The following buses run along La Rambla: 59 and V15. If you are staying in neighborhoods of El Gòtic, El Raval, El Born or La Barceloneta you can walk just fine.

Tip: During your city break, do you plan to use public transportation a lot and visit various museums? Then the Barcelona Card is a must! With this discount card you receive discounts on various museums and travel for free with public transport. If you buy the discount card online, you get a 10% discount.

10 x seeing and doing at La Rambla

Walk it all the way and look around you and get a snack somewhere. These are my ten tips for walking the Rambla.

1. Columbus Monument

Columbus Barcelona

The Columbus Monument is a monument in honor of Columbus, placed for the 1888 Universal Exposition. You can take the elevator up and enjoy a beautiful 360º view. You can find the monument at the beginning of La Rambla near the old port.

2. Plaça Reial

Plaça Reial is the most famous square in Barcelona, and probably the most beautiful. In summer you can enjoy the sunshine here, the people around you and the many terraces. In the middle of the square is a large fountain surrounded by palm trees and many terraces. Also located here is Gaudí’s very first work in the city: two street lamps. The square is located in the Barri Gòtic district and can be found opposite La Rambla 43.

3. Rocambolesc

icecream Rocambolesc Barcelona

At Rocambolesc you can eat a 3-star ice cream by Jordi Roca, the youngest of Girona’s culinary Roca brothers (their restaurant was voted the best in the world several times). This ice cream store can be found right next to the Teatre Liceu opera house.

4. Liceu

Liceu Barcelona

At the Teatre Liceu opera house, you will definitely have a special evening. You can enjoy both classical and contemporary operas and ballet performances here. The building can be found at La Rambla 51-59.

5. Escribà

Escriba Barcelona

Escribà is a cute little cake store. The location is an old modernist pharmacy, which makes eating a cake even more fun. This cake store can be found at La Rambla 83.

6. Boquería

La Boqueria Market Barcelona

La Boquería is the city’s most famous fresh market and is a feast for the eyes and taste buds. You will encounter products from all over the world and it’s a perfect place for lunch or a quick bite, both at the authentic bars in the market itself and at the restaurants nearby. For practical information such as opening hours, check out my article on this famous indoor fresh food market. The location is 91 La Rambla.

7. Palau de la Virreina

Palau de la virreina Barcelona

Today, in the so-called palace of the Viceroy, you can see free exhibitions related to the city and its history. You cannot miss the big building when you walk by it, the location of the palace is La Rambla 99.

8. Arts Santa Mònica

Arts Santa Mònica is a cultural center in Barcelona and today is dedicated to art, culture and creativity. The exhibitions are usually free to visit. The cultural center is located at La Rambla 7 and is 120 meters away from Drassanes metro station.

9. Palau Moja

You cannot enter the eighteenth-century palace Palau Moja, but on the first floor is a unique space containing a beautiful souvenir store, a tourist information point and a Catalan restaurant. The building is located off La Rambla number 18.

10. Canaletes

Canaletes Barcelona

FC Barcelona fans gather here to celebrate their club’s victories. According to legend, if you drink the water from this fountain, you come back to Barcelona.

Shopping at La Rambla

What stores can be found on La Rambla?

On the Rambla itself there are mostly souvenir stores and restaurants. You will not find very many large stores, for shopping you better go to the nearby Portal de L’Angel. There is an H&M store and a Desigual. You will also find an FC Barcelona megastore (the second largest in the city). A walk along La Rambla is a good idea for a Sunday afternoon. There is plenty to see. You can also walk into the cozy side streets that border La Rambla. Be aware that on Sundays the big stores and markets such as the supermarket Carrefour and La Boquería are not open.

At Plaça Catalunya you will encounter several big stores (Note! These stores do close on most Sundays). From Plaça Catalunya there are several directions to other shopping streets such as Passeig de Gràcia, Rambla de Catalunya and the shopping street in the cozy Barri Gòtic neighborhood.

Food and drinks at La Rambla

If you want to have some money left over for the rest of your vacation, it is advisable to skip the terraces on La Rambla. You can easily pay triple what you pay elsewhere in Barcelona. Especially drinks are pricey. The food still looks affordable, but the quality often leaves much to be desired. On La Rambla you will find well-known fast food chains such as McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King.
My tip: walk down La Rambla towards the beach, which is close by and there you have other very nice places where you can eat and drink good food and often even cheaper

These are addresses (next to and near La Rambla) that I do find worthwhile:

  • Café l’Opera:This restaurant is located opposite the Liceu opera house. An old grand café and a place where you still get some of the atmosphere of the old Rambla.
  • Escribà: For the sweet tooth, you can score a pastry here ;).
  • Plaça Reial: This cozy square is a little further down from La Rambla and is one of my favorites. I prefer to sit down at a table Glaciar or Ocaña.
  • Lobo: A nice place to have lunch. This lunchroom is near La Rambla, but not as crowded. El Raval.
  • My Fucking restaurant: One of my favorites for an evening of tapas. The food is incredibly delicious and it also looks beautiful. Carrer Nou de la Rambla 35.

I also come to the Rambla for the large Carrefour, which sells many non-Spanish products not sold in other supermarkets in the city. And, of course, for the Boquería! Order a coffee or a small snack at one of the tapas bars and enjoy the atmosphere.

Origins and history of La Rambla

A dive into history. In the thirteenth century, Barcelona consisted of the old Gothic quarter and La Rambla was outside the city walls. At that time, a dry river flowed here toward the sea, flowing into the sea via the current Carrer Balmes and the current Rambla near the Plaça de la Mercè. In 1377, the new city walls of El Raval were built, thus drawing La Rambla into the city. In 1440 the stream was diverted and from then on buildings were erected along the drained river, eventually creating the current Rambla.

In the following centuries, the Rambla grew to become the center of the city and events were regularly organized along the promenade. Several religious buildings were also constructed during this period. In 1703, the first trees were planted along the road.

Since the growth of tourism in the city, La Rambla has become the domain of (mass) tourists. Millions of people visit the famous street. This has caused a lot of change in recent decades.

La Rambla today

The Spanish poet Féderico once said of La Rambla ‘it is the only street in the world I wish it would never end’. Nowadays, La Rambla has become the domain of tourists. You won’t meet many real locals here.

Tourists come here to store, sit on the terrace or just to walk around. In any case, there is plenty to do such as “performances” by the living statues and artists who make a caricature of you. During a walk on La Rambla you will feast your eyes, there is something to see everywhere.

Safety La Rambla

On La Rambla, pickpockets or purse thieves still run here and there. So it is very important to watch your belongings carefully! Always keep a close eye on your bag and never leave it open. Most pickpockets go hunting during the high season, this is the busiest period and that means the thieves can work inconspicuously. If you pay close attention to your belongings, they will not be stolen so easily.

Some tips to combat pickpockets:

  • Keep your belongings close and with you
  • Do not take expensive or valuable items with you
  • Don’t get distracted
  • Be alert

Despite the pickpockets and purse snatchers, La Rambla is pretty safe for me. I wouldn’t avoid the street at night. In the quiet side streets, however, I am more alert.

Following the 2017 attack on La Rambla, measures have also been taken. Concrete blocks have been placed to prevent attacks from now on. There are also enough police walking around to keep the area as safe as possible.