by Emily Collins
The 1.2 kilometre Las Ramblas is the most famous street in Barcelona, and in particular the south contains some of the city’s most unique tourist attractions. Many people don’t realise that this tree-lined boulevard is actually made up of five inter-connected streets, which stretch all the way up from the marina at Port Vell to Placa Catalunya in the northern end. The street features live performers, street theatre and human statues, which makes the street extremely popular with tourists. The Ciutat Vella area in particular features a number of popular Barcelona hotels that backpackers and young tourists flock to because of the central location and close access to some of the city’s best bars and nightclubs. But Las Ramblas has more to offer than just great evening entertainment, there is so much to experience along this famous street including these places of interest.
Museu de Cera or the Wax Museum is Barcelona’s answer to Madame Tussauds, but don’t expect to pose for faux photos with B-list celebrities. This museum takes you back in time to meet some of history’s most prominent figures and figurines. As well as Spain’s very own Christopher Columbus, you’ll meet kings, queens and people of great nobility. There’s even an area which traces back the origin of some of Spain’s most important traditions such as flamenco and cantaor dance – it’s one place the whole family will enjoy.
Now for an attraction that’s strictly adult’s only! The Erotica Museum at 96 Ramblas is often filled with groups of giggling tourists but in fact it’s a fascinating glimpse into the lesser seen side of history. Sure, it might feature some strange apparatus – but what it’s really known for is its wide collection of art. Featuring collections that range from 19th century Hindu art and Victorian postcards to modern contemporary art and Spanish cinema it’s definitely one to visit with an open mind.
Christopher Columbus Monument
The Christopher Columbus monument can be found at the southern end of Las Ramblas and acts as a testament to Spain’s greatest explorer. The monument reaches 60 metres into the sky and a statue of Columbus can clearly be seen gracing the top. If you turn off Las Ramblas at this point, you’ll reach Port Vell where the aquarium and IMAX cinema can be found. This area is also near to Barceloneta Beach – which was recently named the best urban beach in the world. It is certainly one of the best beaches in the Costa Brava region; the area of Spain to which Barcelona belongs. And many fantastic Costa Brava hotels can be found bordering its sandy shores, such as the H10 Montcada Hotel which boasts its own sunset terrace.
Joan Miro Artwork
Gaudi’s artwork can be seen all over Spain but few people are aware that they can also see the work of Joan Miro in the city. Miro’s famous tile mosaic is located right in the centre of Las Ramblas next to Liceu Theatre. The circular swirling pattern is automatically recognisable as classic Miro style, but just in case, if you look carefully you’ll find that one of the tiles in the piece bears the artist’s signature.
Barcelona’s most famous market is located on Las Ramblas and you’ll find that this is a fantastic place to stop for lunch, particularly if you’re on a budget. Even in an expensive city like Barcelona you’ll find that you can eat out here for next to nothing. Try El Quim, a family run stall in the middle of the middle of the market for the best tapas in town. Alternatively you could pick some up traditional cured meats, chorizo and bread and take a picnic in the nearby Jardins de Victoria de Los Angeles.
Photo Credits: human statue, wax model, Miro