Barcelona's world famous boulevard
Also known as Las Ramblas, no visit to Barcelona is complete without a ramble down this world-famous boulevard. A throwback to the rural roots of Catalonia, La Rambla draws a mix of locals and tourists with street performers and fortune tellers thrown in for good measure. The 1.2-kilometre strip stretches from Port Vell to Plaça Catalunya and cuts through the centre of the city with the Raval neighbourhood to the left and Barrio Gotic (Gothic Quarter) to the right.
Most of the stretch is a pedestrian mall lined with cafes, restaurants, flower stalls, shops (including the huge El Corte Inglés department store) and human statues – one of the more famous attributes of the street. Notable sights include the ornate Gran Teatre del Liceu (Liceu Theatre), a grand operatic venue resplendent with red plush interiors, gold leaf embellishments and intricate carvings inside the 2,292-seat auditorium, and the famous drinking fountain where superstition has it if you drink the water you’ll return to Barcelona.
Special mention must be given to Mercat de la Boqueria, a gastronomic masterpiece and Europe’s biggest food market. La Boqueria has been a marketplace since the 1200s and contains 15 different types of stalls selling everything from offal and charcuterie to fresh fruit and veg within the site of a former convent. Don’t be surprised to be confronted with pigs’ heads and innards among tiny tapas bars where you can sample local delicacies like chocolate con churros and coffee. More than just a gourmet destination, La Boqueria is a social event for Catalan locals and visitors alike.
There are 3 metro stops servicing La Rambla: Drassanes at the southern end of the boulevard near the Christopher Columbus memorial, the Liceu stop outside the Liceu Theatre midway along the strip, and Catalunya at the northern end.
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