La Rambla

La Rambla is a street in central Barcelona, popular with tourists and locals alike. A tree-lined pedestrian mall, it stretches for 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) connecting Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. La Rambla forms the boundary between the quarters of Barri Gòtic, to the east, and El Raval, to the west.

La Rambla can be crowded, especially during the height of the tourist season. Its popularity with tourists has affected the character of the street, with a move to pavement cafes and souvenir kiosks. It has also suffered from the attention of pickpockets and, especially towards its southern end, sex workers.

The Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said that La Rambla was "the only street in the world which I wish would never end."

The tree lined central promenade of the Rambla is crowded during the day and until late in the night. Its origins as a watercourse are reflected in the paving design, which appears to ripple like water. Along the promenade's length are kiosks that sell newspapers and souvenirs, other kiosks selling flowers, street traders, performers, and pavement cafes and bars. Several notable sights are also located within the promenade, including a mosaic by Joan Miró, and the Font de Canaletes, a famous fountain and popular meeting point.

Strolling along the Rambla one can see such historic buildings as the Palace of the Virreina and the famous Liceu Theatre (Liceo in Spanish), in which operas and ballets are staged. The La Boqueria market opens of the Rambla and is one of the city's foremost tourist landmarks, housing a very diverse selection of goods.

One of the side streets, only a few metres long, leads to the Royal Square (Plaça Reial), a plaza with palm trees and porticoed buildings containing many pubs and restaurants, and in which stamp and coin collectors gather on the weekends.