Las Ramblas Walk With Kids
Activity: Las Ramblas. Metro Stop: Placa del Catalunya. Cost: Free. Hours: Always open. I recommend visiting once in the daytime and once in the evening because the scene changes.
Las Ramblas is the most famous street in Barcelona. It’s a car-free walking street that caters to tourists and locals alike. It serves as a popular meeting and hangout spot. The scene totally changes from day to night, so I would encourage visiting twice if you can!
To get the full experience, start at Placa del Catalunya. This is a big square filled with busses and pigeons. Our kid had a ball chasing the pigeons here. Once you’ve convinced your child to stop chasing the poor birds, head for the downhill corner and cross the street. Before you leave, note the Mcdonalds on either side of the square in case you need to stop for a bathroom or Diet Coke. Start wandering down the pedestrian-only boulevard.
Look down. Notice that the ground below you is in a wave pattern. Las Ramblas translates to “The Stream.” The wave pattern is to pay homage to the stream that once ran here. This boulevard goes all the way to the ocean. Give yourself a whole afternoon to enjoy this are. Take time to enjoy the street performers and the shops. The lanes that line Las Ramblas are just as beautiful as Las Ramblas itself. Take a few detours (maybe even let the kiddos lead) and you won’t regret it. Watch out for pickpockets! They hang out here and prey on unsuspecting tourists.
Notice all the people walking with you. In Spain, there is this wonderful tradition called “El Paseo.” It directly translates to “the walk,” or “the stroll.” After dinner and before bed, everyone in Spain is out strolling. It’s the thing to do. You’ll see kids out way past their bedtime participating in the paseo too.
If you make it all the way to the end, you can see a column with Christopher Columbus at the top. It’s possible to pay to go up this column if you’re interested. If your kid poops out halfway, there is a handy metro stop to the right just after you pass the big flower mosaic pattern in the ground. To learn more about the history of this area and Barcelona, follow the Rick Steves audio tour. Directions on how to do this in this post.