Most people will arrive in Barcelona Spain by plane via El Prat Airport. El Prat is the main airport in Catalonia. The airport services 37 million people arriving and departing every year. El Prat is 14 Kilometres from the city centre. Access to the city is available via airport transfer, taxi, bus and train. Aerobus BCN drops you off at Plaça Catalunya at the top of La Rambla. This is convenient if you have La Rambla Barcelona accommodation. Plaça Catalunya is where the ever popular City Sightseeing Bus runs from every day.
La Rambla is a street in central Barcelona. La Rambla is popular with tourists and locals alike. This is a pedestrian mall lined with trees which can help escape the relenting summer heat. La Rambla stretches for 1.2 kilometers in length. From Plaça de Catalunya in the center to the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. When planning our trip to Europe last summer I spent lots of time looking at La Rambla Barcelona accommodation.
La Rambla Barcelona Market
La Rambla Market is one of Barcelona’s most famous tourist attractions. La Rambla Barcelona market is full and bustling with people all day, every day. The people of Barcelona and tourists flock to La Rambla market. Popular items to buy are seafood, meat, fruits and vegetables. La Rambla Market is popular with tourists on a budget as they can pick up a meal on the cheap. La Rambla Barcelona market is an overdose on the scenes. There is a multitude of colours and smells coming straight at you. I frequented the La Rambla Barcelona market in the morning for coffee at Pintoxo coffee bar and then again in the afternoon for a well earned fresh juice for the girls after a long, hot day of sightseeing . Pintoxo is right near the front entrance to the La Rambla market. The first mention of the La Rambla Barcelona Market dates back to the mid 12th Century. La Rambla market has been modified many times throughout the years up to how it appears today.
Museums on La Rambla
The Jamon Experience is a museum on La Rambla dedicated to ham. Spaniards love their ham. The museum describes itself as a new and unique space dedicated to Jamón in the heart of Barcelona. At the ham museum, you will learn everything about Jamón in Spain! You get a variety of tastings of the Spanish style of ham.
The Museum of Erotica is something different. It is not a family travel museum that’s for sure. The Museum of
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Erotica boasts a collection of more than 800 pieces of erotica. The collection is from a wide range of cultures. Pieces are from a ritualistic, religious and recreational point of view. The collection spans several millennia in our history. Dating from Greece and Rome to the 1920s. The Erotic museum is straight across the street from La Rambla Barcelona market
Museu de Cera much like Madame Tussauds is a wax museum. Muse De Cera creates scenes from history out of wax. Located in a neo-classical style building at the bottom of La Rambla, you will pass through scenes full of surprises. These scenes may feature Kings, Queens, musicians and artists just to name a few. You will be in awe at the skills of the creators of these wax sculptures. This pedestrian thoroughfare is alive 24 hours a day, especially in the summer. We were lucky and managed to find La Rambla Barcelona accommodation for a great price. It was only 30 meters away from the strip. You will spend lots of time on La Rambla. Going places, catching public transport, buying things and just people watching. I have listed many facts about one of my favourite pedestrian streets in all of Europe. Say hello to my friend Chris Columbus when you reach the bottom of La Rambla. He will be standing on a pillar looking down at you!
The Barcelona discount card is great value for money, especially if you plan on visiting lots of sights that Barcelona has to offer. Valid for 48 hours your card helps you make the most out of your stay in the Catalan capital. The card includes public transport and discounted access to the city’s most popular museums, attractions, tours and activities.
La Rambla Barcelona Historic facts
- La Rambla was a stream and its waters came from the mountains above the city plain.
- Did you know that the word Rambla is the Catalanised form of the Arab term Ramla, which means “sandy ground”, “stream” or “watercourse”?
- Did you know that Barcelona was famed for its sewer systems, which were remarked upon by visitors? According to local legend, it was one of the first modern cities to have such a system, and people from many towns and cities came to see the layout of the sewers in Barcelona before building their own systems.
- Did you know that La Rambla is one of Europe’s busiest thoroughfares?
- Did you know that the first of the plane trees that provide La Rambla with shade was transplanted in 1859 from Girona’s Parc de la Devesa, the biggest and most leafy city park in Catalonia?
The first stretch of La Rambla is between the Plaça de Catalunya and the corners of Carrer Santa Anna and Carrer Bonsuccés. This part of La Rambla was named after the towers of the 14th-century city walls. Known as “Canaletes” because of the water channels that passed below the city. It was those channels that supplied this part of the city with water. The walls are believed to have been fortifications to defend a palace or castle.
- According to local legend, it was a tradition for first-time visitors to the city to drink from the Canaletes water fountain, thereby ensuring that they would fall in love with the city and return some day!
- On the corner of La Rambla and Carrer Tallers stands the Cocteleria Boadas (1 Carrer Tallers) the first bar to serve cocktails in the city. It opened in 1933.
Another section of La Rambla is bounded by Carrer del Carme and Portaferrissa. In the 16th century, it was the site of the
- The sunny side of the Rambla dels Estudis has traditionally been the city’s bird market.
- Did you know that, nearby, on Carrer Canuda, which leads to the Plaça de la Vila de Madrid, you can visit a Roman necropolis which was revealed after a bomb fell on the site during the Civil War in 1936?
- On the corner of Carrer Portaferrissa stands the Palau Moja, a mansion house also known as the Palau del Marquès de Comillas. Did you know that this was one of the first buildings to granted permission to have windows on its façade?
- Did you know that the writer Àngel Guimerà lived at number 4, Carrer Petritxol?
- Have you ever noticed the mask embedded in the pavement just across from Carrer Portaferrissa? It is a tribute to the artist Joan Brossa to La Rambla. In 1991 he won the Sebastià Gasch Prize, which is awarded by the decorative arts association FAD.
- La Rambla Barcelona market was once known as the “Pig Market”
O’Toxo Tres Hermanos is located a few hundred meters off La Rambla. O’Toxo is a traditional Barcelona restaurant and it is where you will find, without a doubt, some of the best Tapas and Paella in the city. We can recommend this restaurant as we ate here twice during our 5 nights in Catalan capital. The seafood and chicken/seafood paella is a must. Do not buy the Paella on La Rambla you will only get the mass produced version that comes frozen in a box. O’Toxo offers the real deal cooked from scratch while you wait. Nothing better than some cod cake tapas, paella washed down by some Sangria!
The Gothic Quarter is positioned in the centre of the old city of Barcelona. The district stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to Ronda de Sant Pere. It is a part of Ciutat Vella district in Barcelona
If La Rambla is my favourite street well, Bari Gothic is my favourite neighbourhood in Barcelona. By staying near La Rambla it would put us either in or be bordering this neighbourhood. Bari Gothic dates back to the time when the Romans occupied the area where Barcelona now stands. The area is full of history and winding lanes for you to get lost in. It’s possible to explore by yourself or for a more in-depth look and information you could go on a tour of Bari Gothic.
I was hooked on this area from the minute I got lost in it. It is an amazing maze of lanes, alley’s that seem to open up into many little squares dotted throughout the neighbourhood.
Highlights of Bari Gothic
Barcelona Cathedral dates back to the 13th century when construction first started. The cathedral is dedicated to Eulalia of Barcelona, co-patron saint of Barcelona. She was a young virgin who, according to Catholic tradition, suffered martyrdom during Roman times in the city. A legend says the Romans stripped Eulalia naked in the public square. A sort of miracle happened when snow started falling in mid-spring covered her nudity. This miracle completely enraged the Romans. The Romans put the poor girl put into a barrel with knives stuck into it and rolled it down a street. According to tradition the street is now called Baixada de Santa Eulàlia. The body of Saint Eulalia is now entombed in the cathedral’s crypt. In the late 19th century work started on the facade of the cathedral. The design incorporated a neo-Gothic look. This construction was to cover the nondescript exterior that was common to Catalan churches.
The Temple of Augustus in Barcelona was a Roman temple. Construction of the temple was during the Imperial period in the colony of Barcino (modern day Barcelona). The temple was a place of worship for Emperor Augustus but unfortunately, the temple fell into disrepair. The temple was rediscovered in the 19th century. It was 37 metres long and 17 metres wide, and the front contained six columns (hexastyle temple). What a sight it would have been two thousand years ago standing on the highest point of Barcelona. Today the 4 remaining columns sit tucked away off the end of Carrer Paradís in the Gothic Quarter.
Barcelona town hall is smack bang in the middle of the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona on Plaça Sant Jaume. The best thing about this amazing building is that you go on a free tour through the town hall. You will see some amazing rooms that have been in use since the 14th century. When Barcelona was a Roman city 2000 years ago. Plaça Sant Jaume was the site of the Forum. The meeting place and stage for political conversation and ideas. Some might say that the square continues to play the same role today as Plaça Sant Jaume is the site of Barcelona’s two political powerhouses. Barcelona City Hall and the seat of the Catalan government, known as the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya.
So we know La Rambla borders one side of The Gothic Quarter. On the other side, a few blocks away you will find Parc de la Ciutadella. For decades following its creation in the mid-19th century, this park was Barcelona’s only green space. Once home to Citadel of Barcelona, today the park house’s the Barcelona Zoo, a museum, small lake and a fountain designed by Josep Fontserè. At the bottom of the Gothic Quarter, you will find Barcelona Harbour. The harbour features a shopping centre and The Barcelona Aquarium. You will be able to see the famous Montjuic cable car traverse the sky above the harbour.
Bari Gothic is accessible by foot and Barcelona Metro. Metro stops Jaume 1 on the L4 line and Liceu on the L3 line via La Rambla. Metro tickets are available at the station for single journeys or a pass for extended days.
Carrer de Ferran is the main shopping street in Bari Gothic. The street runs off La Rambla into the Gothic neighbourhood. Calle Ferran is an important street in Barcelona. It has many good quality bars, restaurants and shops. You will find big name big brand shops from around the world along with traditional shops on this street. The street links La Rambla to Plaça Sant Jaume and the town hall of Barcelona.
- The Kings and Queens of Catalonia and Aragon transformed the Roman town into an important medieval city, now the site of the Gothic Quarter, one of the city’s most beautiful and romantic spots.
- Did you know that the name Gothic Quarter dates from the early 20th century? It was precisely at this time that Barcelona was beginning to be an important, modern city, and decided to “restore” the area known today as the Gothic Quarter.
- The bell tower of Santa Àgata still stands in the Plaça del Rei. It is shaped like a crown because it used to be a royal chapel. Inside was a secret passageway which connected it to the royal palace.
- Did you know that the Palau del Lloctinent was built as a home for the lieutenant or viceroy, although he never actually lived there? It has been used for different purposes throughout the city’s history: it was a prison and also the site of the Archive of the Crown of Aragon.
- According to information the house of Sant Domènec del Call (6, Carrer de Sant Domènec del Call) is documented as the oldest building in the city. The building has been inhabited since the 12th century. It is said to have been a famous brothel during the post-war era.
- You can still see the walls, which formed the façades of the buildings on Carrer Sant Domènec del Call. They lean outwards due to an earthquake that occurred in 1428.
- Did you know that Antoni Gaudí attended mass at the church of Sant Felip Neri every day? He used to go there on foot from the Sagrada Família, and it is said that on the day he died in a tragic accident he was on his way to the church.
- Did you know that the Roman walls defended the city for almost a thousand years? Despite their imposing solidity, they were unable to withstand the siege and attack by Almansor in the year 985.
- Did you know that the façade of Barcelona Cathedral is neo-Gothic (19th and 20th centuries) but was built according to the project designed by Mestre Carlí dating from 1408, which is preserved in the Chapterhouse Archive?
- In the Cathedral cloister you can still see 13 white geese, which guard the cloister and also remind us that Santa Eulàlia died at the age of 13 and was martyred 13 times.
- Did you know that the Portal de l’Àngel was a path leading out of the city via one of the gates in the 13th-century city walls?
- Did you know that the Plaça de Catalunya was built on in the early 20th century in order to connect the old town with the Eixample district? It covers a surface area of 50,000 m2 , comparable with other major squares, such as Saint Peter’s, in the Vatican, or the Place de l’Étoile, in Paris.
- Did you know that, in the Roman era, the Roman Forum stood in the area of the Plaça de Sant Jaume and that the city has been governed from the same site for over two thousand years?
- Did you know that the remains of Roman baths have been found behind City Hall, in the Plaça de Sant Miquel?
- Did you know that one of Europe’s first zoological gardens, built by Pere III “The Ceremonious”, stood nearby, on Carrer de la Lleona?
- The church of Sant Jaume, which survives today, was originally a Jewish synagogue that was turned into a Christian church by converted Jews in 1394.
I am sure the many attractions in Barcelona will keep you busy. You can book tours through the city Discovery banner above. There is also many Day trips from Barcelona that can be done. Day trips to Montserrat and along the coast are very popular.
Just as a word of caution The Gothic Quarter is one of two popular pickpocketing hotspots in Barcelona. The other being La Rambla. It is a major problem in both areas of the city. Tourists should be wary when in these areas. If there is a crowd especially in summer on La Rambla or in The La Rambla Barcelona Market Just be aware and you will be fine.
A full-time worker in Disability support and part time traveller when time, money and kids schooling allow.
Next up for Wyld Family Travel is 10 weeks in Europe from November 2016 till January 2017. We will be visiting Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, France, Poland, Iceland, Denmark, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia
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