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The Placa de Catalunya is a very popular tourist attraction because of the amazing and unique architecture.  This is a large town square and is considered as the center of Barcelona.

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Barcelona / Las Ramblas

La Rambla is a central pedestrian street in Barcelona and usually the first spot tourists head to when they begin exploring the city. La Rambla stretches for 1.2km from Placa de Catalunya to Port Vell.  La Rambla is usually called Les Rambles as it is in fact a number of streets, each with different names, which run continuously end to end along the tree lined boulevard. As you walk down Les Rambles you will see street performers and portrait artists as well as stalls and stores. There are many kiosks, hotels and restaurants. Les Rambles can be accessed from the Catalunya, Liceu and Drassanes metro stops.

Sites along Les Rambles

Starting at Placa de Catalunya the first site along Les Rambles is Font de Canaletes, legend has it that if you drink from this fountain you will return to Barcelona. A  Jesuit University once stood on Les Rambles but today only the Church of Bethlehem (Eglesia de Betlem) remains in its place and a bird and animal market is located here. A little further on you reach the open-air flower market. The Marcat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria (La Boqueria) is the city's most famous market with a wide range of fresh produce and 200 stalls. A monastery once stood on the Rambla dels Caputxins which is now best known for the Liceu Theatre. The Liceu Theatre was established in 1847 and is still regarded as one of the world's best opera houses. If you look down at the pavement near the Liceu Theatre you'll see a circular Miro mosaic design beneath your feet. The Centre d'Art Santa Monica is now housed within the former convent of St. Monica and has a museum of contemporary art.

Palace of the Virreina is a grand Baroque palace where there are museum exhibits and it is a venue for cultural events. A narrow lane leads you behind the buildings of Les Rambles into Placa Reial, an inner courtyard lined with palm trees and adorned with lamp posts designed by Gaudi. Many restaurants and cafes open on to the courtyard which hosts a stamp and coin market on the weekends. Opposite the entrance to Placa Reial on Carrer Nou de la Rambla is the Palau Guell, one of Gaudi's masterpieces. Other points of interest along Las Rambles include a Wax Museum (Museu de Cera); Erotica Museum and a fascinating dragon figure on one of the buildings. At the extreme southern end of Les Rambles is the Barcelona Monument a Colom which rises 60 meters from the ground and at the top is the Christopher Columbus statue pointing out to sea.

So there is plenty to see and do along Les Rambles but the real attraction is the wonderful atmosphere, the people and the dynamic vibe of the place. Les Rambles is the perfect place to start exploring Barcelona.

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