Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas are the central boulevards in Barcelona. Every visitor to Barcelona should take a walk down Las Ramblas at least once and take in the colorful activity of thousands of tourists, street performers and painters.

The numerous kiosks decorate the boulevard with a wide selection of flowers, newspaper and birds (yes, live birds!). Pleasant cafés along the Ramblas invite you to take a break and those who wish to shop will find all kinds of clothes shops as well as the typical souvenir shops.

Street Tango Ramblas

Every section of the Ramblas has a different name, for example, the first at Plaça Catalunya is called Rambla de Canaletas, the last section up to Maremagnum at the old port (Port Vell), is called Rambla de Mar. For this reason they use the plural form in Barcelona to talk about the Ramblas.

Rambla Barcelona

Along the 1.2 km stretch of the Ramblas from Plaça Catalunya to the statue of Columbus at the port, you can see many of Barcelona’s most important highlights (from Plaça Catalunya towards the Columbus statue by the sea):

  • Font de Canaletes: In the first section of the Ramblas is this very important fountain for Barcelona, dating from the 19th century. Legend has it that whoever drinks water from this fountain will return to Barcelona.

Ramblas Barcelona

  • Reial Academia de Ciencias i Arts: This building was converted into a theatre in 1910. Barcelona’s first official clock can be seen on its façade.
  • Palau Moja: a classic building with exhibitions in the main hall.
  • Palau de la Virreina: one of Catalonia’s most important civil building works in the Barroque style (1778), here you can find the town hall’s culture department and a long-term exhibition of the “Gegants de Barcelona Ciutat” and the “Àliga de Barcelona”.
  • The famous market “la Boqueria”: conveniently situated halfway down the Ramblas is this colourful market, which many say is the most beautiful in the world.
  • Plaça de la Boquería: A beautiful square with mosaic paving by Miró

La Rambla

  • The theatre El Liceu: Barcelona’s famous opera house
  • Palau Güell: This neo-Gothic palace is one of Gaudi’s main works of art, which he built for his patron Eusebi Güell. It is a little packed in among the buildings, so the façade is not really shown to its full advantage.
  • Plaza Real square (Cat. Plaça Reial): a short side street leads off the Ramblas to this palm-filled square surrounded by an arched walkway. Here you can find numerous bars and nightclubs, however, at the weekend it is a popular meeting place for stamp and coin collectors.

Placa Reial

  • Wax museum (Museu de Cera): At the bottom end of the Ramblas, the wax museum with over 300 exhibits can be found in a 19th century building.
  • In the historic centre close to the Ramblas you can see: Barcelona cathedral, Plaça Sant Jaume and the Gothic quarter (Barri Gotic), the neighbourhood of El Raval and the Born quarter.

Gothic Quarter Barcelona

Metro stations by Ramblas Barcelona:
Plaça Catalunya
Liceu
Drassanes

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Sagrada Familia


Sagrada-Familia-Cathedral-in-Barcelona

Sagrada Familia is Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece, the most visited tourist attraction in Barcelona and the city’s landmark.

Although building work was started on the Sagrada Familia in 1882, today visitors can still only see a half-finished building, as the Sagrada Familia follows the tradition of cathedrals in the middle ages, when building work spanned generations. When Gaudi took over the project in 1883, he radically changed the plans made by the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar (1828 – 1901).

Sagrada Familia

Until Gaudi’s death in 1926, and especially during the last years of his life, Gaudi continued with the Sagrada Familia project. However, when Gaudi died, only one tower had been completed. The millions of holidaymakers and tourists who flood to Barcelona every year can now marvel at 8 (of the 18 planned) towers.

Sagrada Familia Crypt

Since Gaudi’s death, various architects have taken over, who have again and again changed Gaudi’s original ideas for the Sagrada Familia wherever possible. Yet, it must be added that Gaudi hardly worked with building plans and, in addition, only a damaged plaster model had to some extent survived the Spanish civil war. The grand master’s heritage is consequently given a great deal of room for interpretation, which has also led to criticism, such as that of the sculptures on the “Fachada de la Pasión” (Passion façade) created by sculptor Josep María Subirach. Critics say they are not what Gaudi had in mind.

Sagrada Familia staircase

The finish date for the building work is difficult to estimate, as further construction of the Sagrada Familia is financed exclusively by entry fees and donations. For this reason, the entry fee is not cheap. Those who pay to enter the Sagrada Familia must also pay an extra entry fee for the modern lift, or alternatively, can reach the towers of the Sagrada Familia via the 400 steps of the dizzying spiral staircase and enjoy magnificent views out over Barcelona.

Sagrada_Familia_Aerial_View

Sagrada Familia opening times:
October – March: 9 am to 6 pm
April – September: 9 am to 8 pm
25th and 26th of December and 1st and 6th of January: 9 am to 2 pm

Sagrada Familia entry fees:
Normal: €11
Reduced: (Tour bus, Barcelona Card, Ruta del Modernisme): €10
Concessions: (Groups, Carnet Jove, Pensioners, Students, Under 18s): €9

Accessibility / How to get to Sagrada Familia
Metro station: Sagrada Familia, lines 2 and 5

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Park Güell

gaudi_park_guell_barcelona

Park Güell is a must see for all visitors to Barcelona. Just like Sagrada Familia, Park Güell is a masterpiece of Gaudí in Barcelona. Visitors to Parque Güell feel like they are walking through a fairytale park and, what’s more, they can enjoy spectacular views over the city of Barcelona.

The Pillars of Parc Guell

At one of the highest points of Park Güell you can find the so-called Hall of a hundred columns, a semi-cavernous area, supported by 84 pillars made from ceramic and glass mosaics. An ornate staircase decorated with ceramic animals climbs up to another of the highest points of Park Güell: It leads up to the great Plaça Circular measuring 3000m2, an oval-shaped square located on the terrace just above the Hall of a hundred columns.

Parc Guell BarcelonaThis is where what is probably the longest and most mysterious bench in the world can be found, which was once called the forerunner of surrealism by Salvador Dalí.

The bench, which is totally covered with pieces of fragile ceramic, was designed by Josep Pujol, one of Gaudí’s most important collaborators, and winds around the edges of the square. It is here where visitors should take a break to stop and enjoy the fantastic views of Barcelona.

It was the surname of the Count Eusebi Güell, the person who ordered the park project to be carried out, that gave the park its name. In 1885, the count acquired 20 hectares of land, which previously belonged to the outskirts of Barcelona. Gaudí commissioned the builders who converted this land into a garden city, homes in the heart of nature. Originally, sixty homes were planned to be built in the park, as well as other public buildings, however, only two were completed. As they could find no buyers for the buildings planned for Park Güell, in 1922 it was opened as a public park for the citizens of Barcelona. Gaudí lived there from 1906 to 1926. In 1963 a museum was opened in Park Güell in the old houses.

Gaudi Parc Guell

Entry to the museum costs €5 for adults and €4 for students and children. This is simply two flats with few rooms, in which there are a few old pieces of furniture and other accessories, such as an ornate mirror. The beautiful views over Barcelona from the house can also be enjoyed from other points of the park.

Parke Güell was finished between 1910 and 1914 and this work of art belongs to Gaudí’s naturalist phase, when he was inspired by the organic shapes of nature. It was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1984.

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