Las Ramblas or La Rambla? Well, both. This famous mile-long boulevard is five streets in one and each section has its own name. Starting from Placa de Catalunya, you’ll find the Rambla de Canaletes, so named because of the Font de Canaletes fountain.
It’s said whoever drinks from this is sure to return to the city. Next comes the Rambla dels Estudis, named after an ancient university that used to stand here. Now it houses traditional stalls selling birds and other small animals, which has led some to dub it the Rambla dels Ocells (birds).
After that comes the Rambla de Sant Josep, nicknamed the Rambla de les Flors. In the 19th century this was the only place in Barcelona where flowers were sold. Its flower stalls still add seasonal colour to the street. At the top of this stretch, to the right, is the Palau de la Virreina, an 18th-century palace that now houses a tourist information centre for culture, ticket sales desk and gallery spaces; its exhibitions are usually well worth a visit. This section of the street also features the world famous food market, the Boqueria or Mercat de Sant Josep. Crossing through the beautiful wrought-iron and stained glass archway you hit the front stalls with colourful displays and special packs of fruit and juices made especially for tourists. But beware, you pay a premium for shopping at the front and central aisles. For super-fresh, seasonal, local produce, try the temporary tables in the square to the right-hand side of the market. Amongt the market’s most iconic spots is the Pinotxo bar, where bow-tied pensioner Juanito serves with a smile.
At the end of this stretch of the Rambla look out for the Casa dels Paragigues with its pretty chinoiserie facade of dragons and umbrellas. It was the first stretch of the street to be made into a proper promenade for local citizens to take a turn and meet their friends.