La Rambla, Ramblas, Rambles, etc… There are many names to call this avenue, but only one way of knowing it. You must visit Ramblas. Arguably, the most amazing street in the world. Only in 2016 more than 71 million people visited this street so this is no joke. Las Ramblas avenue is full of people, colors, party-goers and pick-pocketers 24/7. Once you’ve been there you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Originally the word meant “water stream” as it was a natural water stream bed. With the time, the old-town walls were extended and the river dried, so now Ramblas was inside the city. Some monasteries were built along the walking path in the XV century and the street began to take shape.
Security tips at Las Ramblas
Many many things happen here. Sadly, not all of them are good.
I have to say that this a super secure area as there is a police station located here, but non-violent robberies occur at Las Ramblas daily. So, as always when we talk about large human gatherings, you may take into account some precautions:
- Pick-pocketers are everywhere. Pay attention to your belongings, especially your pockets and bags.
- Wear bags or backpacks to your front. This way you’ll have them always at sight.
- You might be offered drugs, beer, food or any other thing. Ignore this messages and smile.
- At night, sometimes prostitutes may stand there, but they will not bother you. Do the same and don’t bother them.
- Drunk at night? No problem, but avoid standing on this street for a long time.
- Try not to fuss around when partying at night.
Sadly, Las Ramblas was the scenario of a terrorist attack on August, 17th 2017. Unfortunately, no place on earth is completely secure from this kind of acts, but I can assure that you can walk safely down this Barcelona hotspot. The best answer to this coward acts is not having fear, not giving them this privilege.
Las Ramblas: a street of streets
La Rambla can be divided into many parts, that’s why it’s as well known as Las Ramblas, in its plural form. The order, from top to bottom, always looking at the sea is:
- Rambla Canaletes: the initial part, where you can find a metro access, and the most important meeting point of Barcelonians. Its name comes from the world-known Caneletes fountain, where Barça fans meet to celebrate victories.
- Rambla dels Estudis: know for hosting a part of the university. It was really common to see there animals being sold, especially birds.
- Rambla de les Flors: where you can find lots of flower stalls. Its colors and fragrances will cheer up all visitors. In this part, the Boqueria Market is placed.
- Rambla dels Caputxins: the central and most crowded area, where you can find Liceu (the opera-house) Gaudí’s Palau Güell and Plaça Reial
- Rambla de Santa Mònica: the final part, ending at Columbus monument. Full of restaurants, terraces, and painters. Also, here’s the Centre d’Arts Santa Mònica Museum.
Human statues at Las Ramblas
This street gives its visitors a present: the opportunity to watch the original, cheerful and eye-catching human statues that display here. To earn a place and perform at Ramblas is a serious issue: you need to audition in order to be allowed in front of a jury (members of Barcelona’s city council). Plus, they have working hours (there are 2 shifts) and they pay some money every month to maintain their license.
Leaving aside their “official status”, they put color, laughter, and originality to the final part of the avenue, and human statues are the main reason this lively walk-path is known all over the globe. Enjoy them, give them some coins if you feel like to but please, never embarrass or bother them. Actors are working, and they deserved to be respected in their job place as anyone else does.
What to do in Las Ramblas?
Basically, walk and see. Stare. Enjoy. You’ll see shops, painters, break-dancers, human-statues and all kind of strange people. Do you need more? There is more:
– Have a delicious fruit at Boqueria market
– Enjoy a ceramic mosaic by XX century top artist Joan Miró
– See some expositions at 2 different museums
– Discover some Mediterranean cuisine in one of its restaurants
How to arrive in Las Ramblas
Stops: Catalunya, Liceu, and Drassanes – Green / 3 Line
Buses number 59, V13, 66 and 120