Las Ramblas (or La Rambla, whatever suits your fancy) is a tree-lined series of pedestrian streets in central Barcelona. It begins at Placa Catalunya in the north and ends at Port Vell, where a monument to Christopher Columbus, famously points in the wrong direction. Las Ramblas divides the neighborhoods of El Raval to the west and Barri Gotic to the east. Almost every travel blog, book and website I read warned of enormous crowds of tourists, rampant crime and pickpockets on La Rambla. So we tied down our belongings, took a deep breath and dove right in. The crowded part was absolutely right. There were fanny-packed, front backpack-wearing, camera-toting, slow-moving foreigners everywhere. But I never once felt unsafe and we survived with all our belongings in tact.
A look down La Rambla
|Fantastic food at La Bouqueria|
|Las Ramblas street performers|
|Barri Gotic, Bacelona|
|Barcelona Cathedral interior|
|Barcelona Cathedral Rooftop View|
|La Ribera/El Born|
|Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar|
|Arc de Triomf, Ciutadella and Palau de la Musica Catalana|
Eating and Drinking in the Old City
We found LOTS of fantastic places to eat and drink in Ciutat Vella. Here are a few of our favorites.
|El Portalon lunches|
We took a gamble on this place for lunch on our first day in Barcelona and liked it so much we returned for our last lunch before catching our flight. We each had lunch specials that ranged 11-15€.
|Lonja de Tapas|
Lonja de Tapas/Celler de Tapas/Celler de la Robera/Caputxes (http://www.lonjadetapas.com/)Each location of this local chain of restaurants has almost identical menus. We went to two different restaurants and both served excellent tapas. Order something with a fried egg on top!
Gocce di Latte
Hailing from the home of Jeni's, the Sleachmours consider ourselves ice cream connoisseurs. The unique flavors of this artisan gelateria in El Born gives Jeni a run for her money!
Elsa y Fred (http://www.elsayfred.es/index.php)
This super cute gastropub in El Born had really, really tasty food. The crispy brie with green salad was amazing!
Barcelona is wine country. It was tough finding a decent beer and even more difficult finding anything microbrewed or local. We were thrilled to find this teeny bar in El Raval serving a decent selection of Spanish (and other) microbrew beers.
Numero Nueve (https://www.facebook.com/numeronueve.es)
We enjoyed this bar in El Born's creative and reasonably priced cocktails.
*Yes, we ate American fast food on La Ramba. KFC to be more specific. It was deliciously fried and greasy and we have no regrets.