If there is one place in Barcelona you should absolutely tour, that is La Rambla. The city’s most iconic street, La Rambla, is right in the center of Barcelona and connects Plaça Catalunya and the Eixample neighborhood with the Port Vell district and the sea.
La Rambla, Barcelona, is 1.2 km long and fully pedestrian. It is incredibly charming with its old-school florists, ice cream parlors, and tapas spots. La Rambla divides Barcelona’s Old Town in two, separating the charming Gothic Quarter and the area of El Raval.
Check out this quick guide to La Rambla, Barcelona, with the best things to do in and around La Rambla.
GOOD TO KNOW: La Rambla or Las Ramblas? Although many people, including locals, call it Las Ramblas, there’s only one promenade, so it is La Rambla. However, La Rambla is divided into different sections (Rambla dels Caputxins, Rambla de les Flors, etc.), hence the confusion.
Things to Do in La Rambla
The street is packed with not-to-be-missed attractions, from La Boqueria market to the Wax Museum. Defined by the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca as “the one street in the world I didn’t want to end,” these are the best things to do in La Rambla, Barcelona.
1. Drink From the Canaletes Fountain (Font de Canaletes)
This elegant, late 19th-century drinking font is one of the classic fountains of Barcelona. Located at the beginning of La Rambla, the Font de Canaletes (in Catalan) is popular as the place where FC Barcelona fans come together to celebrate their football team’s national and international championships.
This connection dates back to the 1930s when fans used to come here to read the results of football matches. If Barça was the winner, they celebrated the victory on the spot.
There is also an interesting legend linked to the Font de Canaletes: it is said that the fountain’s waters have magical properties, and if you drink them, you will always return to the city.
2. Enjoy a Meal (or Gourmet Shopping) at Boqueria Market
Probably one of the most recognizable places in Barcelona, the covered market of La Boqueria is a must-see attraction.
In the heart of Barcelona – La Rambla, the wrought-iron building has been in business since 1836. La Boqueria is the locals’ favorite grocery store, where you will find the best quality produce in Catalonia, from vegetables and fruit to seafood and meat.
La Boqueria is also a gourmand’s delight because of the many food stalls and eateries that prepare fresh meals and tapas to enjoy all day since the market is open until quite late.
Address: 91 La Rambla, Barcelona; Opening times: every day from 8 am to 8.30 pm; Sundays from 8.30 am to 8.30 pm
3. Take an Unusual Stroll at the Erotic Museum (Museu de l’Eròtica)
Among Barcelona’s peculiar attractions is the Museu de l’Eròtica. Definitely not a family-friendly visit, but one that sheds light on the history of the sensuous side of humankind.
The museum’s permanent collection boasts over 800 pieces displaying a historical and cultural overview of eroticism from the beginning of recorded history, including sexual practices of Ancient Greece and Japan’s Edo Era.
An area of the museum is instead dedicated to contemporary erotica works by prominent international artists. The Erotic Museum is informative and interesting and will surely be appreciated by history and museum lovers, kink enthusiasts, and giggling couples – Click here to buy your ticket to the Erotic Museum
Address: 96bis La Rambla, Barcelona. Opening times: every day from 10 am to 12 am.
4. Visit the Wax Museum and El Bosc de les Fades
Located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, on a small alley perpendicular to La Rambla, you will find the Museu de Cera (Wax Museum) inside the former building of the old Bank of Barcelona headquarters.
Divided into 28 areas, the museum displays hyper-realistic wax figures of famous personalities worldwide, from movie stars to politicians. There are also halls dedicated to cinematic sagas, like ‘Game of Thrones.’ – Click here to buy your tickets to the Wax Museum
After the visit, enjoy a drink at the incredible Bosc de les Fades café (separate entrance). Evoking a fairy-tale forest, this lounge bar/cafè has everything: trees illuminated by countless lights, gnomes here and there, and a magic mirror.
Address: 7 Passatge de la Blanca, Barcelona. Opening times: every day, from 10 am to 8 pm (on Sunday, closing time is at 7 pm)
5. Watch a Play at the Gran Teatre del Liceu
Opened in 1847, the Gran Teatre del Liceu is Barcelona’s most important opera house. A “Wagnerian theatre,” the ‘El Liceu’ is historically known for playing operas by Wagner (but not only).
Back in the 19th century, the theater was the place to go to show off fabulous dresses and socialize. Today, the dress code is smart casual, but there still are locals who dress up for the occasion.
Regulars of ‘El Liceu’ like to go for drinks before or after the show to the historic Cafè de l’Opera, located just in front of it. For its beautiful decorations, the Cafè is today part of the city’s historical heritage.
Address: 59 La Rambla, Barcelona; See the program here.
6. Take a Break or Dance the Night Away at Plaça Reial
Although not directly on La Rambla, Plaça Reial is a must-see. Incredibly picturesque, this famous square is flanked on all sides by beautiful Neoclassical buildings, majestic arcades, tall palm trees, and Gaudí lampposts, the first public works attributed to the architect.
Plaça Reial is the perfect spot for a coffee break or a delicious meal, being Les Quinze Nits (6 Plaça Reial) one of our favorite restaurants in the city.
At night, the square turns into one of Barcelona’s most famous nightlife spots, where iconic nightclubs like Sala Sidecar and Jamboree play the beats with live music and DJ sets until dawn.
7. Feel Like a Seafarer at Drassanes Reials de Barcelona
The Drassanes Reials is an impressive Gothic building with over 700 years of history. The space was dedicated to shipbuilding beginning in the 13th century and expanded until the 18th century.
Today, the Drassanes Reials houses the Maritime Museum of Barcelona (MMB).
The Museum displays an extensive collection of objects and documents related to maritime history, as well as interactive spaces and a multimedia center for a fuller immersion in maritime culture.
The MMB also restored and keeps active ten historic vessels you can admire in all their splendor. After the visit, relax at the museum’s back garden, a green oasis not far from the hustle and bustle of La Rambla.
Address: 1 Avinguda de les Dressanes, Barcelona. Opening times: every day, from 10 am to 7 pm.
8. Enjoy Scenic Views from the Monument to Columbus
The Columbus Monument (Monument a Colom) is one of the most famous landmarks in Barcelona. From here, the lively Barceloneta neighborhood and the sea are a few minutes away. It was inaugurated in 1888, the same year as the Barcelona Universal Exposition. The monument commemorates Cristopher Columbus’s discovery of the Americas and the explorer’s decision to end his first trans-oceanic voyage in the city.
The 60-meter-higher monument stands at the lower end of La Rambla and is crowned by the bronze statue of Columbus, sculpted by Rafael Atché. For the record, the statue is supposed to point to the Americas, but the direction is wrong.
Take the elevator to reach the observation deck on top of the monument, from where you can enjoy scenic views of Barcelona’s port and houses’ roofs – Click here to buy your tickets to the Columbus Monument Lookout
Opening times: every day, from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm.
9. Try Absinthe at Bar Marsella
Marsella is one of the oldest bars in Barcelona. Located in El Raval neighborhood, not far from La Rambla, the Marsella opened in 1802, and as soon as you step inside, you will travel back in time.
With a charming atmosphere that will remind you of bohemian Paris, Bar Marsella hasn’t aged well. However, the cracked walls, old ceiling with a dusty chandelier, and the old-fashioned bar full of alcohol are a big part of this bar’s charm.
Bar Marsella was the favorite drinking spot of Hemingway and Picasso, who frequented the place to drink absinthe. Absinthe is still the most-ordered drink at Bar Marsella, so make sure to try it (if you dare!).
Address: 65 Carrer Sant Pau, Barcelona. Opening times: from Tuesday to Sunday, from 5 pm to 12.30 am; Friday and Saturday, closing time is at 1.30 am.
10. Stroll Around the Via Sepulcral Romana (Roman Funeral Way)
Located in what is now Plaça de la Vila de Madrid, the Via Sepulcral Romana used to be a minor Roman road lined with different funeral monuments. The burial area was in use from the 1st to the 3rd centuries A.D., and it consisted of altars, steles, and ‘cupae,’ a type of semicircular grave.
In the archaeological area, you will see displays that indicate where the various objects found on the site used to be. The Via Sepulcral is one of the best-preserved Roman necropoles in Catalonia, so visiting it is an unmissable thing to do in Barcelona.
Address: Plaça de la Vil.la de Madrid. Opening times: Tuesday from 11 am to 2 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm and from 4 pm to 7 pm.