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Las Ramblas: What to do on Las Ramblas

Ten Best Things to Do on Barcelona's Most Famous Street

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Every tourist in Barcelona heads to Las Ramblas. But what is there to do there?

This article is part of our 100 Things to Do in Barcelona

See also:

1. Keep Your Chin Up and Look at the Architecture

© Damian Corrigan

Though much of the buildings on Las Ramblas are taken up by commercial stores at ground level, a lot of them have some impressive architecture one or two storeys up. My favorite is the Chinese-influenced architecture about the Sabadell bank.

See pictures from Las Ramblas

2. Get a Bite to Eat at La Boqueria Market

© Damian Corrigan

La Boqueria is Barcelona's flagship market. If what you got there wasn't the freshest and best in town, it would be an embarrassment to the whole city!

Towards the back of La Boqueria there are some very good little restaurants serving excellent tapas, using ingredients bought from the market. It's a little pricey, but you get what you pay for.

Alternatively, get a fruit juice or fruit salad from the stalls at the front. But be careful - the stalls right in front of the entrance charge double what the stalls just two or three to the right charge.

More on La Boqueria

3. Watch the Street Performers

© Damian Corrigan

Everyone has seen human statues before - but nowhere are they more in abundance than on Las Ramblas. It's like walking through a sculpture museum, only the sculptures might jump out at you! Due to the high number of performers, they can be quite competitive. Every time I visit the performers' costumes get more and more outlandish.

There's more to the Ramblas street performers than just human statues, though. I've seen all sorts of acrobatics and dancing at various times of year. Look out for the clown near the seafront.

See pictures of Las Ramblas Street Performers

4. Relax in Placa Reial

© Damian Corrigan

A very picturesque plaza just off Las Ramblas in the Barri Gotic. A nice place to have a coffee and look at the Gaudi lampposts, the first public works attributed to the architect.

There are also some great nightclubs in Placa Reial - my favorite is Sidecar (pronounced See-Deh-Car by the locals!).

See more on Placa Reial

5. Sit at a Cafe

Cafe de l'Opera
Carlos Lorenzo Some Rights Reserved

The clientele may be more international and the menu has changed a little, but a few of the cafes on Las Ramblas still look like they did 100 years ago, and a coffee is as classic as it has always been: order something simple and imagine you're lost in a distant past.

Read more about the best Ramblas Cafes

6. Go up the Columbus Monument

© Damian Corrigan

At the bottom of Las Ramblas is the Colon Monument - dedicated to the explorer, Christopher Columbus. I had heard you could go up it but couldn't believe it until I got up close. A small lift takes up to a very small viewing tower. Not for the claustrophobic. One of the best views of the city can be seen from here.

Read more: Columbus Statue 

7. See a Show at the Liceu

© Damian Corrigan

The Liceu is Barcelona's most famous theater. Though it is most famous for opera, there are a number of other performances throughout the year.

Unlike many performance spaces in Spain, Liceu has actually published its itinerary for the next year. Bravo!

Read more here: Gran Teatre del Liceu.

See also Teatre Poliarama

8. Check out the Art at Palau de la Virreina or Centre d'Art Santa Mònica

© Damian Corrigan

Contemporary art exhibitions right on Las Ramblas. Housed in the ground floor is the Barcelona Cultural Information Center, with some very helpful English-speaking staff.

Read more: Palau de la Virreina

Another art exhibition, this time at the bottom of Las Ramblas, is the Centre d'Art Santa Mònica.

9. See the Baroque Eglesia de Betlem

© Damian Corrigan

The austere church is a stark contrast with the extravagant commercialism on the rest of Las Ramblas.

More: Bethlehem Church

10. Hit the Museums: Wax and Erotica!

© Damian Corrigan

There are two museums on Las Ramblas - one dedicated to wax replicas of famous people (a la Madame Tussauds) and one all about erotica.

Read more about the Barcelona Erotic Museum

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