During your trip to Barcelona, it’s absolutely necessary to visit Las Ramblas, a street in the center of the city that appeals to both tourists and locals alike, all of whom enjoy its charm.  A tree-lined pedestrian street, it stretches for 0.75 miles connecting Plaça de Catalunya in the center with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. La Rambla forms the boundary between the quarters of Barri Gòtic, to the east, and El Raval, to the west.  While Las Ramblas sometimes gets a reputation for being ‘too touristy,’ there are plenty of things to see and do around this famous avenue that are authentic as ever.  It's popularity with tourists has affected the character of the street, with a move to pavement cafes and souvenir kiosks. It has also suffered from the attention of pickpockets.

La Rambla can be considered a series of shorter streets, each differently named, hence the plural form Les Rambles (the original Catalan form; in Spanish it is Las Ramblas). The street is successively called:

Rambla de Canaletes - the site of the Font de Canaletes fountain
Rambla dels Estudis - the site of the former Jesuit University, whose only remainder is the Church of Bethlehem
Rambla de Sant Josep (or de les Flors) - the site of an open-air flower market
Rambla dels Caputxins - the site of a former Capuchin monastery, now dominated by the Liceu opera-house
Rambla de Santa Mònica - named after the convent of St. Monica, now an arts centre.
To the north of La Rambla lies Plaça de Catalunya, a large square in central Barcelona that is generally considered to be both its city center and the place where the old city and the 19th century-built Eixample meet.

Las Ramblas no doubt has a lot of history, but nowadays many people will just walk right by all of it without even taking a second glance. One example of this is Joan Miró‘s circular tile work, crafted by the artist himself right on the street. Miró actually helped build part of Las Ramblas, and it’s an important fact to remember while walking on this street; especially when you think about how much artists like Gaudí and Miró influenced the city. Look near Liceu Metro and Liceu Theater to find it. Look even closer, and you’ll find the tile that Miró signed himself.

Las Ramblas looks like it came right out of a scene from Eurotrip, with human statues imitating everyone, from Spain’s famous philosophers to regular robots. These guys and gals do an amazing job with their costumes, and sometimes you can walk right by one and think it’s a real statue. That is their goal, after all. Though they can be tourists traps, throwing a euro into one of their boxes won’t hurt anyone. Sometimes the statutes do tricks as well, so take your time admiring them.

Instead of walking through Las Ramblas, why not consider going on a bike ride through it? Renting bikes to ride through European cities is all the rage now, and Barcelona is no exception. There are bike rental places all over the city, but for five euros you can rent a bike from Mattia 46, located right next to Las Ramblas. Take your new bike for a stroll through the alleyways off the main street, or into the bustling areas nearby.

Liceu Theater, or the ‘Gran Teatre del Liceu,’ is located right in Las Ramblas and is an amazing place to watch a live performance in. If you don’t want to sit in on a show, then you can do a tour of the theater, which is just as cool. Going to the Liceu gives visitors to Barcelona an honest cultural experience that’s not always easy to find on the touristy paths of Las Ramblas.

If you don’t have a lot of time, the one thing you must do when visiting Las Ramblas is head to La Boqueria. This famous market has been the city’s best grocery store for as long as anyone can remember. Inside, you’ll find a wide array of fresh produce, meats, fish, and just about anything you might need to cook up a fancy dinner (as well as some flowers, of course). It’s also a great place to try some street food, take a cooking class, or have a glass of wine at a little stall.

If you need to do some real shopping and not just browsing for souvenirs, then head to El Corte Inglés, which is right at the end of Las Ramblas. El Corte Inglés is located in Plaça de Catalunya, and is Spain’s version of Macy’s or Nordstrom. Here you can find everything you need, from a pair of heels to wear to the club to a new piece of furniture for your apartment. It’s also a good place to hang out in, if you need a change of scenery.

Las Ramblas is not only the perfect place to try some delicious food, but also to appreciate the history of some of the restaurants and cafés that have made it through decades of change on this famous street. Two places to visit are Cafe de l’Opera and Pasteleria Escriba, where you can get some coffee or enjoy a croissant before siesta time. If you’re looking for something a bit more upscale, there are plenty of tapas bars and restaurants on Las Ramblas to check out.

An essential part of visiting Barcelona is getting to see the all the stunning art and architecture all over the city, and Las Ramblas is no exception. You’ll find a myriad of beautiful galleries here, such as Centre d’Art Santa Monica. This gallery houses an amazing space that is known for hosting various contemporary art exhibitions, featuring artists that come from all over the world. Just five minutes down Las Ramblas, and you’ll be there.

The tree-lined central promenade of La Rambla is crowded during the day and until late in the night. Its origins as a watercourse are reflected in the paving design, which appears to ripple like water. Along the promenade's length are kiosks that sell newspapers and souvenirs, other kiosks selling flowers, street traders, performers, and pavement cafes and bars. Several notable sights are also located within the promenade, including a mosaic by Joan Miró and the Font de Canaletes, a fountain and popular meeting point.

Along the Rambla are historic buildings as the Palace of the Virreina and the Liceu Theatre (Liceo in Spanish), in which operas and ballets are staged. The La Boqueria market opens off the Rambla and is one of the city's foremost tourist landmarks, housing a very diverse selection of goods.  One of the side streets, only a few meters long, leads to the Royal Square (Plaça Reial), a plaza with palm trees and porticoed buildings containing many pubs and restaurants and in which stamp and coin collectors gather on the weekends.

The Rambla is the location for several of Barcelona's cultural establishments, including:
the Gran Teatre del Liceu, or simply Liceu, is Barcelona's opera house, opened in 1847.
the Teatre Principal, is the oldest theatre in Barcelona, founded in 1568, although rebuilt several times since.
the Centre d'Art Santa Mònica is a public museum of contemporary art located on the Raval side of Rambla de Santa Mònica, with regular exhibitions of international artists.
the Palau de la Virreina, a Baroque palace, hosts museum exhibitions and cultural events.
In the Pla de l'Os can be found a pavement mosaic created in 1971 by the famed artist Joan Miró.

The most obvious transport mode on La Rambla is its heavy flow of pedestrians, who largely use the wide central pedestrian area. This is flanked by two narrow service roads, which in turn are flanked by narrow pedestrian walkways in front of the buildings. Despite its length, no vehicular traffic is permitted to cross the central pedestrian walkway.  Line L3 of the Barcelona Metro runs beneath the length of La Rambla, with stations at:
Catalunya, immediately adjacent to Plaça Catalunya, is a major interchange station served by several metro and suburban railway lines.
Liceu, in front of the opera house Liceu, serves the central section of La Rambla.
Drassanes is by the port next to Centre d'Art Santa Mònica.
Three Barcelona Bus lines operate along the service roads flanking La Rambla during the day (numbers 14, 59 and 91), whilst three different night time services also operate along La Rambla (numbers N9, N12 and N15).