Profile La Rambla street in Barcelona. La Rambla street is most famous street in Barcelona and also called Las Ramblas


Barcelona's most famous street is La Rambla 

Updated April 2024

La Rambla street is the main tourist street in Barcelona and the city's most famous street. It is also called Las Ramblas because the street has different sections with different names. Scroll down to find their names. La Rambla goes from Plaça de Catalunya to the Port Vell marina of Barcelona. It is in the old city, called Cuitat Vella, and borders the Raval and the Gothic areas of the old city. Las Ramblas is a popular place to stay for visitors to Barcelona due to the central location and lively atmosphere in the medieval areas of Barcelona. Find hotels on Las Ramblas.

It is estimated that the street La Rambla welcomes around 80 to 100 million pedestrians a year. The Spanish poet and friend of Salvador Dali, Federico García Lorca, once said, 'It is only street in the world, which I wish would never end'. Lorca made that comment in the 1930ies and since then La Rambla has changed quite a bit, but we think he would still love it. 

Today many visitors find La Rambla over-crowded with too many tourist shops. But La Rambla is still special and you can not really say that you have visited Barcelona. On a sunny day La Rambla often looks like sea of people, when you gaze down it from Plaza Catalunya - but there is always room for one or two more. One of the attractions of La Rambla is the people. Residents and tourists alike, it's people make La Rambla special, so don't miss a stroll down La Rambla to savour the atmosphere of this famous Barcelona walkway. 

Pictures Las Ramblas
Best hotels Las Ramblas

The name La Rambla is thought to originate from the Arabic "ramla," meaning "sandy ground." This was the name of the waterway, or storm drain, where rainwater would flow from the hills of Tibidabo down to the sea after heavy rains. This waterway was outside the first medieval wall of Barcelona. In the latter part of the 18th century the old medieval walls came down and the first buildings started appearing along the Rambla and the transformation into the tree lined avenue began. Although it is now officially called La Rambla, it actually consists of six ramblas, each with its own name. That is why you will often hear this street called 'Las Ramblas.'

Today La Rambla, or La Ramblas if you prefer, is one of the biggest attractions of Barcelona and definately the most crowded street in the city. It is is buzzing with the sights, sounds and smells of cafés, flower shops, street artists, tourists and locals all weaving a tapestry of sight and sound to make this Barcelona street so special. Unfortunately every tapestry has some loose threads and on Las Ramblas they are the pick-pockets, so keep a watchful eye on your bags and belongings while strolling on this famous street.

Six sections of La Rambla in the direction from Plaza Catalunya

La Rambla de Canaletes

The Rambla of the Channels.

The Rambla de Canaletes name comes from the old 14th century northern wall of the city called Canaletes. The medieval walls of Barcelona do not exist any more except a very short stretch on Av Parallel. The Canaletes wall was where the water pipes came through the wall to supply the medieval city of Barcelona with drinking water. On this part of Las Ramblas there was a famous drinking water fountain called the Font de les Canaletes. The present water fountain is not very unique in any way, but legend has it, that anyone who drinks from the Font de les Canaletes, will always come back to Barcelona. Rambla de Canaletes is also the part of La Rambla street where FC Barcelona fans traditionally gather by the Canaletes fountain, when FC Barcelona wins big titles. On this part of La Rambla you can find Restaurant Núria founded 1926 and where the first draught beer tap in Barcelona was installed. If you go a little way up the street Tallers you'll find Boadas Cocktail bar which was the first cocktail bar in Barcelona and a favourite of American novelist Ernest Hemingway. The Rambla de Canaletas borders Barcelona's central square Plaça de Catalunya where you can find popular hotels, the largest Zara shop in Barcelona, airport buses and train connection and the department store El Corte Inglés. The Rambla de Canaletas ends at the Poliorama Theater. If you are wondering what time it is, the clock on the façade shows the official Barcelona time.

La Rambla dels Estudis

The Rambla of studies.

This stretch was named after a mid-15th century building called the Estudi General or Universitat. It was demolished in 1843, but the name lived on. At one point there were more than 140 licenced street performers on La Rambla. Today the numbers have been reduced to 12 at a time. They are a colourful and vibrant addition to La Rambla's culture of today.

La Rambla de les Flors

The Rambla of the Flowers.

In the 19th-century this was the only place you could buy flowers in Barcelona. Now you can buy flowers all over Barcelona, but you will still find many flower stalls on the La Rambla de les Flors. Another less common name for this section is Rambla de Sant Josep, because of the plaza Santa Josep nearby.  Attractions on this part of La Rambla are La Boqueria food market and the former palace now art centre Palau de la Virreina.

La Rambla dels Caputxins

The Rambla of the Capuchins.

This section is also known as La Rambla del Centre. The name comes from an old Capuchin monastery that was on Plaza Reial. Look on your left for the entrance to Plaça Reial, one of the most famous plazas in the Barri Gotic. This part of La Rambla was the first section to be converted into a pedestrian area. On this stretch you can find the Liceu opera house, Gran Theatre del Liceu, and a pavement mosaic art work in the middle of La Rambla, created by Catalan artist Joan Miró

La Rambla de Santa Mònica

This part of La Rambla in Barcelona takes us down to harbour waterfront and the Cristobal Colon monument (Christopher Columbus in English and Cristòfor Colom in Catalan) built for the 1888 Universal Exposition. The name of this stretch of La Rambla comes from the church of Santa Mònica, now the Santa Mònica art centre, in a former convent of the Agustins Descalços (barefoot Augustines) from 1626. There is a permanent art market here and often also an art and crafts market. This is also where the human statues on La Ramba are now located. Look for the Barcelona Wax Museum on your left.

Rambla de Mar

The Rambla of the sea.

In 1992 the 6th section of La Rambla, called La Rambla de Mar, was added which is the walkway out to the Maremagnum shopping center. Next to the Maremagnum mall you can find the popular Barcelona aquarium which is one of the biggest in Europe.

Rambla resources

Pictures of La Rambla
L'Associació d’Amics, Veïns i Comerciants de la Rambla
Ramblejant - La Rambla association blog
Hotels near Las Ramblas
Walking tours Barcelona's old city

Places to visit on and near Las Ramblas

Liceu opera house 
La Boqueria market 
Plaça Reial square
Pasteleria Escriba
Palau de la Virreina
Wax museum

Best hotels on La Rambla

This article also answers the questions:

What is the main tourist street in Barcelona?
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What is the most famous street in Barcelona?

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Last Updated on Monday, 08 April 2024 18:32