Barcelona Ramblas: Things to Do and See

Barcelona Ramblas: Things to Do and See

The Barcelona Ramblas is the most famous street in the whole city. Stretching for 1.2 kilometers through its midst, this street has been a central meeting place for residents since the 18th century. Originally situated outside the walls of the medieval city, Barcelona Ramblas was once the site of a flowing river. In fact, the word ramblas originates from the Arabic word ramla, meaning a sandy riverbed. When the walls came down and the river dried up, sometime around 1766, covenants, monasteries, and a university were built along this new city limit.

Barcelona Ramblas quickly became the ideal place in the city to stroll and congregate, as the rest of the streets were narrow and winding. As it gained in popularity as a meeting place and a crucial aspect of social life in the city, the original buildings were torn down and replaced with marketplace businesses typical of urban gathering places. Known most frequently as La Rambla or Las Ramblas, this busy promenade is actually home to six separate ramblas that were different streams and tributaries before being built up.

Rambla de Mar

From the name you may have inferred that this is the rambla closest to the ocean and is a boardwalk area with little seaside shops and movie theaters. This is the newest addition to Barcelona Ramblas, as for most of its existence the city did not embrace its seaside location. Rambla de Mar was a successful attempt to integrate the beach into the life of the city.

Rambla de Santa Monica

This rambla is named for its original covenant that is now a museum, Centre d’Art Santa Monica. Central to this rambla is the roundabout whose central focal point is the famous Columbus Monument representative to most visitors of the Barcelona Ramblas.  

Rambla dels Caputxins

Named for the demolished Capuchin monastery, this rambla is known for the famous Gran Teatre del Liceu, where visitors and residents alike go to see the classics like Swan Lake and also contemporary composers like Mozart Gerhaher. If you’re a fan of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi you’ll love this portion of the promenade where you can see some of his most famous designs like Palau Güell and Plaça Reial.

Rambla Sant Josep

The vibrant marketplace, Mercat de la Boqueria is a favorite place to stop along the Barcelona Ramblas, which replaced yet another covenant in the mid 1900s. Central to this wonderful market is the gorgeous Joan Miró mosaic, an Art Deco masterpiece.

Ramblas dels Estudis

Named for the university that once stood here, there are several historic buildings still to see in this area, including one that houses the city’s first public clock!

Ramblas de Canaletes

Home to the famous Plaça de Catalunya, this rambla is named for the beautiful Canaleta fountain found at its center. The fountain has long been central to the city’s lore, as someone who “drinks water from Canaletes” is known to come from the Barcelona. It has also been said that those who have drunk from the fountain will keep returning to the beautiful Barcelona.

 

Walking Barcelona Ramblas is the perfect pastime when you visit the city, and is conveniently located at the center of the all the best hubbub. Whether you’re looking for shopping, cafes, or the chance to see some historic buildings, you’ll have no problem spending the better part of a day exploring this street.

 

Get Lost in the History of the Barcelona Gothic Quarter

Get Lost in the History of the Barcelona Gothic Quarter

You won’t just get lost in the history of the Barcelona Gothic Quarter but also in the amazing variety of things to do in this corner of the city that is among the most visited places by tourists and residents alike. With its labyrinthine streets, it’s best to pay extra close attention to your surroundings as it’s common to literally get lost in the area. Along with beautiful squares that make for the perfect place to relax for an afternoon with a bottle of wine or a good book, there are numerous great boutiques for shopping, a grand cathedral, and a lively nightlife. During your next visit to Barcelona, be sure to take a walking tour though the Gothic Quarter!

History of the Barcelona Gothic Quarter

The Gothic Quarter is the center of the old city of Barcelona. Many of its buildings maintain their medievally designed integrity though there were many additions and improvements throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. The Roman Wall remains are evidence that the gothic quarter dates as far back as the Roman settlement in Barcelona. The labyrinthine street layout is further evidence, with many of the streets opening up into squares that would have been markets and meeting places in medieval times.

barcelona gothic quarter
Photo Credit: bbsferrari/iStock/Thinkstock

Barcelona Gothic Quarter Attractions

  • The Barcelona Gothic Quarter Cathedral is one of the main attractions in this area and is the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona, as well as breathtaking sight. Having been constructed from the 13th to the 15th centuries, its neogothic style is complete with rooftop gargoyles and other domestic and mythic animals.
  • Plaça Sant Jaume is located at the heart of the Barcelona Gothic Quarter and is the administrative center of the city as home to both City Hall and the Palace of the Generalitat of Catalonia. The square is home to many big events throughout the year.
  • Plaça Reial sits between the Gothic Quarter and La Rambla and is a popular attraction. It is well known for its rich nightlife as it is home to many famous nightclubs and outdoor venues. It is one of the most popular spots for national celebrations like New Year’s Eve.
  • Portal de l’Àngel is known among locals for being one of the poshest streets in the city both for its rental prices and its collection of classy boutiques and designer shops.
  • The Barcelona Gothic Quarter also has its own collection of remains, such as the Temple of Augustus, an old Roman temple built during the Imperial period. After being demolished, its remains were not discovered for centuries and have been slowly restored as they have been found.

A Few Fantastic Gothic Quarter Restaurants

There are far too many romantic restaurants in Barcelona‘s Gothic Quarter, but a few highly-recommended spots to eat include: Bilbao Berria, Cal Pep, and Pla Restaurant.

Whether you like shopping, nightclubs or are more interested in a beautiful place to sit outside and take in the atmosphere, you will enjoy the Barcelona Gothic Quarter.  There are numerous short term holiday rentals around this area giving you a historic experience on your stay here. While they are in the medieval corner of Barcelona, these flats are all newly remodeled with all the modern features you’re used to at home. Our Gothic Quarter apartments are conveniently located at the center of the city giving you easy access to whatever you might want to see on your stay. Our vacation rentals are where to stay in Barcelona, and are a perfect alternative to Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter hotels.

Christmas Shopping in Barcelona

On 21st November Barcelona welcomed the holiday season by switching on the Christmas lights, filling the streets with joy and color. This 4th December The Shopping Night Barcelona will officially open the Christmas Shopping season.

Christmas lighting Passeig de Gracia

Barcelona is considered to be one of those places you must visit at least once. Regardless your age and what your interests are, you will most definitely be able to find something in Barcelona that will make you fall in love with this place and have the time of your life while there. Now imagine visiting Barcelona for Christmas! 

Some will enjoy the magnificent architecture, art and museums. Some will love the Christmas lighting and they will spend most of their time strolling all over the city. And yet, there are those who will love Christmas shopping in Barcelona.

In the US, Black Friday is considered the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and since a couple of years Barcelona has adopted this date, which corresponds to the day following Thanksgiving Day, which this year falls on Friday 28 November.  Many large stores in the city now celebrates Black Friday, offering huge discounts.

However, The Shopping Night Barcelona is the event that officially opens the Christmas shopping season in Barcelona. One of the best moments to go shopping in Barcelona is during TSNB, which is going to be held on the 4th of December, 2014, between eight in the evening and one hour after midnight. Passeig de Gracia will be the location where the event is going to be held, like the previous years.

The shopping night barcelona Palau Robert

Not only is Passeig de Gracia one of the most important avenues in Barcelona, but it is also a major shopping and business area of the city. It also has some of the most exclusive stores. Most tourists visit Passeig de Gracia, as notable landmarks such as Antoni Gaudí’s Casa Batlló and Casa Milà, also known as “La Pedrera” are located in this street. Furthemore, Casa Bonaventura Ferrer by Pere Falqués i Urpí and Casa Lleó Morera by Lluís Domènech i Montaner are also located in this Barcelona’s avenue. During the event, the avenue is closed for traffic, so visitors of the shopping night will get a unique opportunity to walk along a busy street of Barcelona, without any vehicles in sight.  It is estimated that over 25,000 people participated in the last year’s event, and this number is expected to be exceeded this year.

The main idea behind the fifth Shopping Night Barcelona is to present the lifestyle of Barcelona, its culture, food and tradition. Besides the promotions, organizers expect the event to influence city’s economy, by boosting sales during the event. The festive atmosphere will be visible, through sparkly decorations, red carpets and cordial atmosphere, as the organizer want to create a memorable event for all of those who love fashion and shopping. In addition, the stores will offer limited edition sales, which might feature some exclusive items of clothing and footwear, which is a perfect opportunity to purchase certain items.

The restaurants in the close vicinity of the event will also make sure that you have a great time during this event. They will participate by providing live music performances, menu tastings and enjoyable atmosphere for all the visitors. All of this combined creates an eventful night full of friendly and festive atmosphere, which is a perfect way to spend an evening out, especially if you are a tourist and you want to experience true magic of the city of Barcelona.

The theme of this Shopping Night Barcelona is the Golden Age of Hollywood. The heyday of American film industry will be stressed out throughout the event, as well as through the exhibitions and presentations of the great stars that marked the golden era of film history.

Let’s go shopping with glam!

If you need accommodation for these holidays, don’t miss our Dandi apartment just two blocks away from Passeig de Gràcia.

Música, Motos y Moda Invaden Barcelona

Este fin de semana ha sido de esos en los que debes escoger muy bien a qué actividades te apuntas.

Fira Montjuic SónarPara muchos, especialmente para los amantes de la electrónica,  el fin de semana empezó el jueves con la apertura del Sónar, el Festival de Música Avanzada y New Media Art de Barcelona. En su 21° edición, nada menos que 109,000 almas ansiosas de buena música y mucha fiesta se reunieron en Fira Montjuic, para Sónar de Día, y en Fira Gran Vía, para Sónar de Noche.

Sin duda, el Festival Sónar se ha convertido en una cita anual y está considerado entre los mejores festivales de música del mundo. No sorprende entonces que la organización haya puesto entradas a precio reducido en pre-venta para Sónar 2015 y que se hayan agotado en menos de 24 horas. O sea que si esperas no perderte la siguiente edición del Sónar Festival, empieza por separar los días  18, 19 y 20 de junio de 2015 en tu agenda y mantente atento a la próxima pre-venta.

Circuito Montmeló Marquez

El fin de semana siguió subiendo de temperatura y atrajo a los amantes de la velocidad y las motos al Circuito de Montmeló, donde se vivió la adrenalina del Gran Premio Monster Energy de Catalunya. Luego de mucho sol y algunas amenazas de lluvia, ayer domingo, Marc Márquez ganó la séptima carrera del Mundial Moto GP. Después de un duelo sin cuartel con el piloto de Yahama, Valentino Rossi, el piloto catalán dejó claro porqué es el actual campeón. Grande Márquez!

barcelona mileycirus

Volviendo a la música, otra que se robó el show fue la cantante ex-Disney (que ya de Hannah Montana no le queda nada) Miley Cyrus. El concierto empezó con la cantante saliendo de una enorme boca con su típica pose de “lengua afuera”, que ya se ha convertido en su marca personal. El espectáculo estuvo inspirado en el tema circense y lleno de toques  irreverentes (no voy a explicar más porque creo que una imagen dice más que mil palabras).

Por cierto, este sábado, 19 de junio, vuelve INTENZ DIAGONAL, la Shopping Night más esperada de Barcelona.  Diagonal, específicamente el tramo entre Calle Joan Güell y Calle Entença, estará llena de moda, gastronomía, y cultura, todo un espectáculo artístico inspirado en el circo. Será que el tema circense es tendencia?