Las Ramblas is a pedestrian street in Barcelona, Spain. It is a massive thoroughfare that is popular with locals and tourists alike. It is one of the most unique streets in the world and the first place I always go when I am in Barcelona.
Las Ramblas is nearly a mile long or 1.2 kilometers stretching from the Mediterranean Sea at Maremagnum and the Columbus Monument to the heart of Barcelona at Plaza de Catalunya.
It is lined with kiosks selling everything under the sun from flowers and animals to magazines, postcards, gelato and FC Barcelona gear. It also features a ton of touristy style outdoor cafes wherein the food isn’t that great but the people watching may be the worlds best and I am not exaggerating on that.
Sitting at one of the outdoor cafes on Las Ramblas is one of my favorite things to do. Not only because they have great sangria by the pitcher or Oktoberfest style liters of beer but because of the diversity of the people you’ll find.
Street performers are also the major calling card of Barcelona. They are the best in the world. They are literally human statues that only come to life when you feed them money. They come in all shapes and sizes and are generally painted from head to toe and standing high up on a crate or something to gain more attention. They are fascinating. Small kids love them or are scared to death of them.
Las Ramblas is also famous for it’s petty crime, pickpockets and cheats. You have to be careful at night and I am not just saying that as a normal precaution. Just three nights ago I was sitting on Las Ramblas around midnight with my 2 friends, Kim and Jessica, and Kim had her iPhone on the table.
A young man posing as a homeless man looking for money came over with a sign and stuck it in Kim and I’s faces essentially blinding us. With his other hand he snatched her iPhone. Her or I never would have noticed until it was too late but Jessica caught the act and grabbed his hand and saved Kim’s iPhone. Her ninja like stealth is all that saved the iPhone and the hefty cost of replacing it.
These types of scams are commonplace on Las Ramblas. That man got away as we didn’t chase him or anything so hopefully he got busted later on but I fear those guys get away with a lot more than they get busted for, sadly.
I’ve heard many stories like that but that was the first I’ve actually witnessed. Las Ramblas is a haven for petty crime because there are so many people. Many people sitting are drinking and have been for hours so their wits aren’t about them properly. Just be careful and don’t leave money or phones on the table.
That all said, Las Ramblas is one of my favorite places in the world. It has side plazas like Plaza Reial that are fantastic to hang out in and have great restaurants. Go, explore, see it for yourself. Stroll the streets and watch the people. It is the pride of the great Catalan city of Barcelona-one of the world’s best cities and one I’ve been to over and over again.