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Want an authentic Barcelona experience? Dont go to Las Ramblas

During the Summer last year I travelled for two weeks in Spain where I visited a vineyard, went to PortAventura Theme park and also stayed in the beautiful beach town of Sitges for a week. At the end of my trip, I spent two days in Barcelona. This was my first time in Barcelona in 10 years and I was excited to revisit some places like Las Ramblas and see what had changed in this beautiful city.

Bear in mind when I went there it was August which is PEAK tourist season. While I knew that certain tourist attractions were going to be busy I did not prepare for the crowds of people who were going to be in the most famous tourist spot, Las Ramblas.

What is Las Ramblas?

Las Ramblas or also known as La Rambla is a street in Barcelona, which is a popular tourist attraction because of its shops and local markets. A tree-lined pedestrian mall, it stretches for 1.2 kilometers connecting Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with the famous Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell.


On the first day, I landed in Barcelona, I was exhausted after the journey from Salou so I went straight to my hotel, the swanky Casa Fuster. This hotel is at the top of Passeig de Gràcia, a shopping street known for its designer boutiques. Once I had rested I decided to stay local and explore the streets nearby.

La Gavina Pizza

After rambling around the small cobbled streets we came to a lovely pizza place called La Gavina. This place was full of locals – a family celebrating a birthday, students sharing a pizza, a couple whispering sweet nothings. This place was full of life and a great place to people watch. The pizzas here were excellent. Even more delicious washed down with some sangria and tiramisu for dessert. This was a lovely place to spend the evening and a great introduction to Barcelona.

Local Life in Barcelona

After dinner, we strolled along to some of the bars were locals were sitting outside. We came across an amazing cocktail bar called The Old Fashioned . The cocktails were beautiful and very unique. Some came in oddly shaped glasses while one cocktail was presented in a sweet machine. This was a perfect first night in Barcelona.


The following day we had brunch in a small cafe nearby called Bar But where we got freshly squeezed orange juice, breakfast sandwiches, and coffee. After this, we took a tour of the hop on hop off bus. This was really good for getting around to the different tourist spots especially when you don’t have much time. We took the hop on hop off bus to the cable cars “Teleferic de Montjuic“. Even though there was a lot of people who wanted to go in the cable car, the queue went quite quickly and soon we were off in the car. The views from the cable cars were spectacular as you can see the whole city.

Disappointing Las Ramblas

Afterwards, we went to Las Ramblas to the famous Market. This place was thronged with tourists. It was difficult to get around and it really ruined the whole experience of the area. This was in stark contrast to the lovely evening I had the night before. I had lunch in a cafe nearby called El Drac de Saint Jordi where they had 4 tapas, a drink, and dessert for 10 euros. This was a good find and very reasonable for the area it was in.

As soon as we were out of the restaurant we headed away from Las Ramblas. It was not a pleasant experience and was the low light of my trip.

Peruvian dinner in Spain

Later that evening we went to the Market Peru Restaurant where we had a delicious three-course dinner. The food was so beautiful and well presented. It was the most expensive dinner I had while I was in Spain but it was worth every penny.

Go to Barcelona to soak in the local life

I really enjoyed my trip to Barcelona as there is so much to see and do, however, don’t just try to see the most popular spots. You will only get fatigued with the hustle and bustle of tourists. Barcelona is so much more than Las Rambles. If you are planning on travelling to Barcelona give yourself the time to enjoy the city and all the different things it has to offer.


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