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La Rambla, Barcelona

Great food, gorgeous architecture, and vibrant street life in the heart of Barcelona
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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.9 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview:  Barcelona's Rambla was originally a watercourse, a sandy arroyo called rmel (Arabic for "sand"). Today seasonal runoff has... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Plaça de Catalunya

Barcelona's main transport hub, Plaça de Catalunya, is the frontier between the Old City and the post-1860 Eixample. Comparable in size to Paris's Place de l'Étoile or to Rome's St. Peter's Square, Plaça de Catalunya is generally an unavoidable place to scurry across at high speed on your way to somewhere quieter, shadier, and... More

2. Font de Canaletes

This fountain is a key spot in Barcelona, being the place where all great sports victories are celebrated by jubilant (and often unruly) Barça fans. It was originally known for the best water in Barcelona, brought in by canaletes (small canals) from the mountains. The bronze plaque on the pavement in front of the fountain explains in... More

3. Rambla de les Flors

The flower stalls of the Rambla de les Flors make it aromatically unmistakable. The market was famous among 19th-century Catalan Impressionists as a source of beautiful flower vendors who frequently became their models and, often, their wives.

Barcelona's most spectacular food market, also known as the Mercat de Sant Josep, is an explosion of life and color sprinkled with delicious little bar-restaurants. A solid polychrome wall of fruits, herbs, wild mushrooms, vegetables, nuts, candied fruits, cheeses, hams, fish, poultry, and provender of every imaginable genus and strain greets you ... More

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5. Antic Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau

Founded in the 10th century, this is one of Europe's earliest medical complexes, and contains some of Barcelona's most stunningly graceful Gothic architecture, built mostly in the 15th and 16th centuries. Approached through either the Casa de la Convalescència entry on Carrer del Carme or through the main door on Carrer Hospital, the... More

A cut alongside the jagged edge of the Sant Agustí church leads straight to the Hotel España, remodeled in 1904 by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, architect of the Moderniste flagship Palau de la Música Catalana. The interior is notable for its Art Nouveau decor. The hotel is recommendable only for aesthetes who... More

Barcelona's opera house has long been considered one of the most beautiful in Europe, in the same category as Milan's La Scala. First built in 1848, this cherished cultural landmark was torched in 1861, then later bombed by anarchists in 1893, and once again gutted by a blaze of mysterious origin in early 1994. During that most recent fire,... More

8. Palau Güell

Partly closed for restoration through 2010, Palau Güell presently admits visitors to the basement stables free of charge from 10 AM to 2:30 PM Tuesday–Saturday. With a Pau Casals recording of Bach’s cello suites playing and a video presentation of the rest of the house to watch, this regime rivals the full visit and is highly recommended.... More

9. Plaça Reial

Nobel Prize–winning novelist Gabriel García Márquez, architect and urban planner Oriol Bohigas, and Pasqual Maragall, former president of the Catalonian Generalitat, are among the many famous people said to have acquired apartments overlooking this potentially elegant square, a chiaroscuro masterpiece in which neoclassical symmetry... More