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Las Ramblas of Barcelona – the most famous street of the Catalan Capital

Ask anyone who is going to visit Barcelona where they’d like to stay, and the usual response is “close to Las Ramblas”. This Barcelona promenade is the most famous street in the city, and is actually an old river bed. The Barri Gotic or Gothic Neighbourhood used to be the old Barcelona (know in Roman times as “Barcino”) and has a wall running around the city to protect it, wit the main entrance the iron gates half way down the actual Ramblas, and know known as Portaferrissa (literally “Iron door”). Flanking Barcino to the left was countryside and the Roman church of Sant Pau del Camp (Saint Paul of the countryside) which now is in the heart of the Raval.

Las Ramblas now dissects the old town – leaving El Raval (from Arabic meaning beyond the walls) to the left and El Gotico to the right. The name “Las Ramblas” is actually plural – meaning many ramblas all collected together. Ramblas has even coined its own word “ramblear” meaning to stroll/ramble as many locals and visitors do on weekends.

From the city’s main square – Plaça Catalunya – down to the Port and the monument of Christopher Columbus, Las Ramblas epitomises Barcelona and is a vibrant, 24-hour street where you can find a mix of locals and tourists alike. The whole of the promenade is dotted with newspaper kiosks which are open 24 hours, and is the best place to get your hot-off-the-press copy of the local and international news.

Starting from the top of Plaça Catalunya, and walking down to the port (also this is slightly downhill) we first have Rambla de Canaletes – named after the fountains at Plaça Catalunya. This part of Las Ramblas is a favourite for the local pensioners to collect and set the world to rights, as well as the typical hang out for the FC Barcelona fans after a victory (especially if it’s over their bitter rivals Real Madrid!).
Next in the seamless transition is Rambla de los Estudios (studies), which joins the Catalana Library on Calle Hospital, and is where the start of the street performers and human statues las Ramblas has become so famous for, begin to appear.

Rambla de Sant Josep is so named for the famous market of Saint Joseph, also more commonly known as “La Boqueria” – supposedly Europe’s biggest food market selling absolutely everything edible under the sun. This stretch is closely followed by Rambla de los capuxinos – some of the city’s finest and oldest cafés sit alongside the impressive Liceu Opera house and have been inspiration to many a visitor and writer to Barcelona. What better way to stop and write a postcard than with a café con leche here!? This part is also known as rambla de les flores, due to the many flower sellers crammed into the small space here, and is an amazing place to visit during the saint George’s day celebrations (the patron Saint of Catalunya) as roses are traditionally given on this day.

The final stretch is Rambla de Santa Monica – named from the old Portal de Santa Monica still intact on nearby Parallel street. Here the city’s many artists and caricature painters plant their stalls along with the typical 3 cup scammers who never fail to attract interest. Crowning the bottom of Las Ramblas and the entrance to Port Vell (“the old Port” is Christopher Columbus monument – pointing out towards Las Americas.

Go To See Gaudi In The Park

There is much history to be seen in Barcelona, many of it recent. Much history is noted in Catalunya or the four regions surrounding Barcelona. With everything that is happening in Barcelona recently, tourism has exploded in the area. With so much going on now be ready for an action and fun packed vacation if everything is planned out properly.

Make A Plan When Visiting Barcelona

Your first stop should be Guell Park. This is an area that is completely filled with the works of Antonio Gaudi an architect. There are many structures in the park that have been converted into paintings by this artist. Make sure to take many pictures and then get fresh film for the Sagrada Familia Church and the many museums in Barcelona. It may look old at first sight but has been updated consistently since it first opened in 1883, so get many pictures.

Don’t Forget To Feed The Animals

The Barcelona Zoo was started in 1892. It is located in the center of the city and was started through donations. It is primarily located in the port area of La Ciutat Vella. There are more than 7,500 different animals here. All of the creatures are interesting to people of all ages. They are very proud of their primate collection which at one point included an albino. There are animals from all over the world that can be seen here without having to go anywhere to find them. Due to the mild weather of the region these animals are able to be viewed year round. If you go during the summer you will be able to see Aquarama Barcelona, which is the water park of Barcelona to see Dolphin shows and much aquatic life. The research department of Barcelona Zoo is world known for its efforts in species preservation

A lively street show to see would be Las Ramblas Promenade which is a colorful and fun show to see and observe. It is near one of the best markets in the city of Boqueria with much fresh vegetation and food.

Coastal Park was remade in 1992 for the Olympic Games that were held there making it updated and often visited. You can easily find the twin towers which highlight this city from the Arts Hotel and Mapfre Towers. This makes this site all the more entrancing and remarkable as it was also a stop on the torch tour for the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Attractions in Barcelona for children

Barcelona is a child friendly destination. It is usual to see children out in the dead of night on the streets and in terraces when usually you used to see them in bed.

Las Ramblas is the most famed street in the city, and everybody must attend the ancient riverbed on their stay. This street is a great spot for children to get pleasure from the human statues that are the best on the continent, the caricature artists, and different national artists. You may write down your name in Chinese, in different artistic ways, and delight the weekend craft market.

At the Las Ramblas’s bottom, crossing the bridge to feed the fish at the ancient Port, you will discover two wonderful attractions for children. Aquarium is a certain fire winner, which has Europe’s biggest moving walkway tunnel; here you may esteem the moonfish, stingrays, and sharks that swim around you.
Not far from Aquarium is the astonishing IMAX cinema. It typically can cater a double bill, a 3-D showing, or a usual IMAX cinema movie for children. It is a wonderful option with the screen that is much wider and bigger than your standard cinema screen, and made-for-IMAX films are awe-inspiring.

Barcelona Spain – That Sensational Second City of Spain

What more could you want out of life than a tremendous trip
to Barcelona?!

Second city of Spain and major Mediterranean port, bustling
Barcelona incorporates a delightful historic mix of Roman
remains, medieval quarters and 20th century avant-garde art.
It also possesses beautiful beaches nearby!

Nature lovers need not travel far to be able to hike through
hills that are part of the Coastal Mountain Range and
Catalonian Pyrenees.

Not only is Barcelona a tremendous artistic source, there is
also penty for the children to do. How they will love the
beaches that surround the city, the Aquarium, Zoo, Maritime
Museum, Museum of Barcelona Football Club, Olympic Stadium
and nearby theme park!

For shopoholics, the Barcelona Shopping Line will greatly
appeal!

The velvet night vibrates with night clubs, discos, shows,
restaurants, bars, cafAs … not to mention theaters,
cinemas, opera and classical music concerts.

Needless to say, Barcelona is a culture-vulture´s dream come
true with most places of historic interest being situated in
the Old Town.

The Old Town spreads north-west from the harbor and, at its
heart, is the Gothic Quarter or Barrio G³tico. El Arco de
Triunfo can be found there, plus the impressive Cathedral of
Ciudad Condal.

Adjacent to the Gothic Quarter is the Barrio de la Ribera,
also of medieval origin, where several historic buildings
have been turned into museums, such as the Palau Aguilar
which is, nowadays, the Picasso Museum.

The renowned Las Ramblas of Barcelona is a series of lively
streets that combine to make a broad avenue leading to the
harbor and Mediterranean Sea. What a superb atmosphere
they possess!

To the south-west lies the fortress-topped hill of Montjuic,
where the Barcelona Olympic Stadium and some fine museums
are located.

At the southern end of the Ramblas lies Barcelona Harbor and
Port Vell. This area now combines high-class restaurants
with trendy clubs and bars.

To be found in the central area of Barcelona (the Eixample)
are the fantasy works of Gaud­ such as Park G¼ell, Palau G¼ell
and Casa Mil  La Pedrera.

However, Gaud­ is best remembered for the part he played in
the construction of the Cathedral of Barcelona – La Sagrada
Familia.

So … boomerang on over to Barcelona and get to know Gaud­!

About the Author

Linda Plummer is webmistress of http://www.top-tour-of-spain.com
Top Tour of Spain
providing information on Spain for travel, food, language and
living.

Travel experiences: Barcelona,Spain – Part 9

Rambling Down To Las Ramblas

“Seor Goss, we want to go downtown to the Ramblas. Will you come with us?”

Gilbert, Donnie, and Joe, three of my high school students that were with me on a trip to Spain were pleading for me to go with them. We were at the Hotel Ruebens in Barcelona, Spain. We had already eaten supper and the rest of the night was supposed to be free time for the students to do what they wanted. We had briefly visited Las Ramblas earlier in the day on a walking tour of the old town of Barcelona. We had even drunk out of the old fountain with a sign that translated to: “If you drink from this fountain, you will have uncontrollable desires to return to Barcelona!”

Obviously, the three teenage boys had drunk from the fountain. They had also seen enough of Las Ramblas to know that it was an exciting place. They must have noticed the shops, the stands, the restaurants, the clowns, the singers, the artists and other performers. They obviously wanted to return to this impressive outdoor mall. I mentioned that they had been shown where the subway station was and had received a map of the subway systems. They really didn’t need me to come along. But they insisted that they enjoyed my company and wanted me to come. I thought to myself,” It is their first day in Spain, and they want the added security of having me along to speak Spanish in case of any problem. Give them another day or two and they will have enough confidence to realize that they really don’t need me.”

“Ok,” I said, “Let’s ramble down to Las Ramblas!”

They groaned at my Spanglish pun. We walked a couple of blocks to get on the Subway. I left Gilbert, Donnie and Joe standing on the dock while I walked around and looked at the posters on the walls while we were waiting the subway train. After a couple of minutes, I looked back just in time to see this little old lady yelling and flailing her little fists at Gilbert. He was backed up against the wall so he couldn’t escape. She yelled as he did his best to fend off the blows. I ran over to Gilbert, but by the time I got there, the little old lady had departed.

“What was this all about Gilbert? Did you make a pass at that 6o year old lady?”

He responded, “No! I don’t know what happened. She came up to me and started talking. I couldn’t understand what she was saying. I couldn’t remember how to say that I couldn’t understand Spanish. I just smiled and nodded my head. She said something

See Gaudi’s Work In Barcelona

Don’t be shy about taking lots of pictures when you visit Barcelona, Spain so you can send them to your friends and make them all jealous! When you get home you can organize your photos in various scrapbooks to remember all your great memories. Add a map to your scrapbook so you can remember what part of town you were in when you took different shots. Before you can make your memories you must have somewhere to begin.

Don’t lose a minute of time when you get to Barcelona. Organize yourself and your itinerary to make the most of your schedule. Depending on the time of year Spain can be very sunny or have rain showers. Pack in your museums on the cloudy days and save the outdoor parks and strolling around the neighborhoods for your sunnier days.

Make sure to check out the best in Barcelona’s architecture. You will want to hit up the Sagrada Familia or Sacred Family church, which was designed by famed architect, Antonia Gaudi. You can also visit La Pedrera or the “Block of Discord,’ all of these sights are very modern and lovely to visit.

If photography isn’t your thing then check out all the great postcard stands that are all over the city. You can great cards to send to friends and family back home that have shots from all over the city. Some may also have Gaudi’s works on them. If you do want to take lots of photos then buy high quality film or make sure your memory card on your digital camera isn’t full and your batteries are fully charged.

If the weather is great, then walk down Las Ramblas to admire all the beautiful flowers and exotic birds. You can also head north in the city to the lovely Park Guell to see more of Gaudi’s art. You can start a sightseeing tour at Park Guell and work your way down the city all the way to the Olympic Stadium and the Port. Check out Camp Nou, which is home to Barcelona’s famed football team, commonly referred to as “Barca.”

Leave Barcelona if you want to explore other parts of Catalunya for a short day trip or even for a few nights’ stay. You can visit other coastal towns or travel inland. You can check out Stiges and stay at a hotel right on the beach for the ultimate relaxation experience. Costa Brava has many delightful places to stop so drive up and down this coast for a day or two to take it all in. Make sure to take your camera for the beautiful rocky vistas you will experience if you travel inland from Barcelona.

A Country Within A Country Travel To Barcelona

The distinctive regional culture of Barcelona is largely due to geography and a plentitude of national pride and elitism. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, one of Spain’s 17 semi-autonomous states. The regional language is Catalan, along with the national language of Castilian Spanish. There has long been pressure from the Catalonian government and nationalists to earn complete autonomy from Spain. Consequently, the exclusive culture can be difficult to adjust to and there is significant animosity towards foreigners around the main tourist street of Las Ramblas. To thoroughly enjoy the sweet life and gentle hospitality of Barcelona, leave this busy area and explore the many diverse districts, endless with possibility.A Modernista Mecca
The architectural wonders of Barcelona will keep even the most novice eye bewildered and intrigued. Antoni Gaudi decorated Barcelona with his treasures of modernism as a painter on a canvas. The grand boulevard of Passeig de Gracia is lined with elaborately adorned Casa Batllo and Casa Mila, both with the most intricate rooftops known to modern architecture. Arguably the most stunning of Gaudi’s work is the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia. Each of the church’s facades are meticulously designed with different themes and styles combining nature with religion and the soaring towers topped with mosaic grapes are built around a conch-like coiled staircase that visitors may choose to take instead of the elevator. Another tribute to Barcelona’s artistic heritage is the Palau da la Musica Catalana. A view of the glass and mosaic inverted chandelier on the ceiling of the theater is alone worth the visit. Daily tours are offered in addition to the regularly held musical performances. Afterward, get lost in the tiny twisting passages of the surrounding historic Gothic Quarter.Barcelona should be traveled with care and patience. The only disappointment visitors have is the inability to see all of the city’s landmarks and hidden corners in a realistic amount of time.

Budget Barcelona – ways to save money in the Catalan Capital.

With so many low-cost airlines offering cheap flights to Barcelona, if you book well in advance and generally avoid Friday to Mondays, you can get some amazing deals. So why should the savings stop there? Here are some tips for those on a tighter budget to still enjoy all the city has to offer without spending a fortune.

The first chunk out of your budget will go on accommodation. It’s still better to stay inn the city centre and avoid the cheaper options on the outskirts, as you will spend more time and money coming into the city centre each day, and have longer to get back home when you’ve finished. There are some very clean hostels in the city centre where you can get a bunk, locker, internet access and a coffee in the morning for as low as 19 Euros per night. If sharing isn’t to your taste, then the many tourist apartments on offer can offer you a 2 bedroom apartment for as little as 80 Euros.

The best way to visit Barcelona is on foot, and walking is free! Take some comfortable shoes, as you will walk, believe me! The out-of-the-way sights can be seen on the tourist bus, but why bother – the metro system in Barcelona is really easy to navigate and has stops in all the right places. You can buy a ticket with 10 journeys (transferable between people, too) and this lasts over the time you’re here (it lasts for 1 month), so if you don’t use the metro on the following day, it doesn’t run out.

There are many free things to do and see in Barcelona – a walk and a picnic in the botanical gardens of Montjuic is a wonderful way to spend the afternoon or morning. Another beautiful park is the Cuitadella or “garden of Barcelona” – especially good on a Sunday when immigrants prepare home-cooked delights and music is provided by clusters of bongo players.

On an evening, steer clear of the bars on Las Ramblas, and try the local bars, with the local brews – a much cheaper option than paying for the continental beers. You could take a trip to the Magic Fountains at Plaça Espanya, too – an amazing spectacle (make sure you have space on your camera!).

The Barcelona Travel Guide

The Barcelona Travel Guide

Barcelona is one of the most popular visited cities in Europe with its own unique character and culture. The city is very much alive and offers an array of entertainment from cultured museums, dining in the night, quality beaches, and the Catalan interests.

Traveling to Barcelona

Flying there is easy as the large international airport is only 14kms to the west of the city. Taxis, train and buses are other less popular options.

Brief History of Barcelona

The city of Barcelona came to existence during the Phoenician and Roman periods. History states that the Romans were eventually driven away from the city by the Visigoths. This gave the city the name it holds today making it the focal point of the Catalan Kingdom. The most prestigious moment to come to the city to date was when it hosted the 1992 Olympic Games.

Accommodation

Barcelona is a tourist city and so accommodation options are vast and diverse. Las Ramblas is the main area of the town where many fancy hotels can be found. However, accommodation can be found in the city or closer to the sea in the forms of hotels, guest houses, self-catering apartments, villas and so on.

Shopping

Barcelona has plenty of shopping opportunity. The main area is a set designed retail area that is five kilometres long, starting at Las Ramblas. You will find all you need along that stretch especially if you are into designer clothing. If you are more into shopping malls then head into El Corte Ingles. This is a massive department store located on Placa de Catalunya.

Dining and Drinking

Barcelona is famous for its nightlife and social events. Las Ramblas is the area you should be heading for. It is a late night city where the main bars remain quiet until around midnight when the city really livens up. Food wise, the most popular dish served in restaurants is Paella and Rioja is the tasty special local wine.

City Attractions and Sightseeing

A must see in Barcelona is to head for the Port Vell marina complex at the waterfront. Then stand beneath the statue of Columbus and walk up the world famous street of Las Ramblas. Here you will find yourself in the middle of the cities culture amongst artists, street buskers and many quaint restaurants and cafes. Don’t forget to venture to the Cathedral de la Santa Creu and the grand Placa de Catalunya. Everybody who visits Barcelona must go and see the Sagrada Familia. This is the unfinished beautiful cathedral by the legend Gaudi. As well as the attractions mentioned there are also many museums scattere about the city. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Salvadore Dali Museum and Joan Miro Exhibition are well worth a check.

Boulevard in Barcelona – La Rambla

Las Ramblas is located centrally in Barcelona city and is popular with the tourists. It is a lively avenue filled with action. Las Ramblas is located at a distance of 1.2 kilometers from Port Vell. As prostitutes repeatedly visit it at the nighttime, the southern-most end of the Ramblas becomes a red light district. Factually Las Ramblas refer to the area around five interconnecting roads running from the Barcelona Harbor to Catalunya Square. There are ample of shopping centers located in proximity to Las Ramblas. A famous landmark on the Ramblas is a Dragon where concerts are held at night in Ramblas.

Ramblas, Barcelona’s famed Pedestrian Boulevard that cuts through the heart of the old quarter is a popular place to take a leisurely stroll. It is alive with activity day and night and is an experience to delight the senses. It is said that through Las Ramblas the city is reduced to one slightly out-of-whack focal point and all that makes up Barcelona is squashed into a thin line that runs from the city center to the sea. Fragrant flowers flourish, music fills the air, living “sculptures” catch the eye, appetizers lure one to stop awhile and indulge, and oil paintings are displayed for one’s admiration. There’s no place like the Ramblas – it is the place to wander- experience – breathe in the culture.

The word rambla is derived from the Arabic term, ramla, which means a riverbed, and these streets actually used to be a riverbed that channeled the water coming down from Collserola hill. In the 13th century, convents and churches were built on both sides of the Ramblas and the streets were named after these religious buildings. During the period of the 18th century the medieval walls that divided the Gothic Quarter from Raval district were pulled down, and in 1830 the convents and monasteries were closed. Las Ramblas in Barcelona is a 1.2 Km walkway through the very heart of the city centre. Here one will view all sorts of stalls, restaurants, bars and street performers along with the many thousands of people that stroll up and down the Ramblas until the early hours of the morning.

It is a tree-lined pedestrian avenue packed with buskers, living statues, mimes and roving salespeople selling everything from lottery tickets to jewelry. The noisy bird market on the second block of La Rambla is worth visiting. Also the nearby Palau de la Virreina, a grand 18th-century rococo mansion, with arts and entertainment information and a ticket office. Next to it is La Rambla’s most colorful market, the Mercat de la Boqueria. In the southern direction is the Boqueria the Mosaic de Miró having only one tile signed by the artist. The next section of La Rambla possesses the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the famous 19th-century opera house. La Rambla terminates at the lofty Monument to Columbus and the harbor. One can ascend the monument by lift. Just west of the monument, on Avinguda de les Drassanes, stand the Royal Shipyards, which has the fascinating Museu Marítim.

The colorful market in the centre of Las Ramblas offers everything a gourmet wishes – fresh fish, fruits, meat, and bread is piled up to the rooftop of the beautiful covered market. It is also a good place to try traditional Barcelona food as many stalls in the middle of the market sell original dishes to try and take away.