Often is the case that the road less travelled can make all the difference. When staying in Barcelona allow yourself to get lost with this map and guide to adventures which start and end on the city’s most famous street.

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas - Barcelona

Las Ramblas

Let’s lose ourselves here. La rambla in the native Catalan means a short street. The collection of streets, or ramblas, stretches out over 3,2 km to form the busy tree lined boulevard of Las Ramblas which serves as main artery in Barcelona pulsing with Catalan culture. Starting from your hotel near Las Ramblas in Barcelona, allow yourself to get lost in the atmosphere amongst the throngs of pedestrians who are as colorful as the flower stalls which line the streets.

La Boqueria

La Boqueria

La Boqueria

Let your nose do the walking into the La Boqueria, a massive market of fresh produce and dairy. Feast your eyes on exotic fruits and a wide variety of meats from butcher’s stalls and fresh breads from the baker. Getting hungry? Good, since most shops and restaurants tend to take a siesta in the afternoon it would be wise to stock up on provisions for an “on the go” lunch later in the day. A phrasebook will come in handy here if you are not familiar with some basic Spanish, although the international language of gestures and pointing will work just fine. The selection of goods is top notch and it would be wise to take a tour once around to make a mental menu of what you would like to purchase before any impulse buys.

Barrio Gotico (Daytime)

Berrio Gotico

Berrio Gotico

Adventures kick it up and notch in Barcelona’s Barrio Gotico (Gothic Quarter). Lose yourself in winding alleys and passages which lead to unanticipated courtyards and other revelations thanks to the mediaeval street plan. During the hot summer months escape into the refuge of the the Cathedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulalia (The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia ). The Gothic cathedral with its outdoor cloister gardens provides a quiet and cool sanctuary from the bustling streets and beating sun. Take a moment at the fountain of the geese, where 13 white geese march symbolizing the age of the cathedral’s namesake, Saint Eulalia, at her martyrdom.

Find a place to site in one of the many courtyards and plazas in the Barrio Gotico to enjoy your lunch fresh from the market. Stop by the Picasso Museum for inspiration and afterwards lose yourself on a photo tour amongst the labyrinthine backstreets for a glimpse into everyday life in the Quarter.

Plaza Real

Plaza Real

Plaza Real

Since dinner tends to be a late affair in Barcelona, find a café or bar in the Plaza Real where you can sit outdoors to enjoy a cocktail and some bar snacks to stave off any hunger. While sipping your Vermuth al grifo, a local favorite of macerated wine with herbs, sit back, relax and immerse yourself in the time honored tradition of people watching. The open spaced plaza is a favorite after work hangout for locals looking to unwind after a hard day. Review your photos from the day or experiment with plaza as your backdrop for new photos. If you time your visit right you might be treated to outdoor concerts or “La Merce”, an annually recurring festival celebrating Barcelona culture and history each September.

Barrio Gotico (Evening)

Barri Gótic

Barrio Gotico

Head back into the barrio for dinner. There are some real hidden gems of restaurants to be found in the Gothic Quarter. Keep your eyes peeled for a restaurant that offers no signs or menus from the outside. Behind two large oak doors a massive dining room is revealed filled with diners enjoying delectable Catalonian specialties as the restaurant shines with the opulence of a bygone era.

After you’ve indulged in a five course meal take your time to wander through alleys and medieval passage ways. If you find yourself in front of the cathedral you may be treated to traditional Catalonian music and dancing under the stars.

Las Ramblas and The Port

Las ramblas by night: passants

Las Ramblas

End the last leg of your journey where it began with Las Ramblas at twilight. The boulevard teems with pedestrians taking in the night air after a hearty dinner. People from all walks of life and society form a true “mezcla” , or mix mingling on the streets for a late night stroll. Follow the flow of the crowd down to the port where you will be treated to sea breezes and a menagerie of performers. Fire breathers, human statues and acrobats perform until well after midnight, providing vibrant spectacles and a good dose of entertainment for the evening. Before heading back to your hotel, cool off by dipping your feet into the sea after a day of getting lost in Barcelona.

 

[box color=”white” icon=”accept”]This article is a guest post written by Daniel Peaslee who enjoys a little adventure with travel when not working for the hotel booking site hotel.info. He once got lost in Barcelona by taking the road less travelled upon leaving his Barcelona hotel for the day. It was thrilling and he’s all the better for it.[/box]