Barcelona during COVID-19: Las Ramblas and NO tourists!

The Rambla has become the place for everybody to come and take a walk. The one street that Loca said he wished would never end. Let’s take advantage while nobody’s here to take a stroll down Barcelona’s most famous avenue.

Any other day and the street is absolutely packed with tourism. It’s almost become a right of passage just to walk down La Rambla. So I thought it would be really interesting, while we have nobody visiting the city, just to take a stroll down from the top, at the Plaça Catalunya, down to the Old Port and the Columbus Monument and check out what’s going on, how the Rambla looks when we have absolutely no tourism inside the city. We’ll take a stroll, just you me and the camera and I’ll narrate a little bit about the history of La Rambla and what we can see today.

Now, you’ll see two different versions for the name LA Rambla (singular) or LAS Ramblas (plural) and both are correct, you can use either one. You’re not wrong if you call it one or the other. But what happens is La Rambla is actually divided into five different, shorter Ramblas. The first, and up at the top, by Plaça Catalunya is the Rambla de Canaletes named after the fountain there. Then you have the Rambla dels Estudis or the Studies which is where the first university in all of Barcelona was placed. The third, and where we currently are, is either the Ramblas dels Flors (the flowers), you see the flower shops are right here, but also the Rambla de Sant Josep, because of La Boquería.

Now this is an incredible picture just right here of an empty Boquería. Usually you have tourists just flocking over here to get all the pictures of the beautiful colors and food. This is Barcelona’s, and Spain’s, most famus, biggest market. It was originally a convent, and that’s where it gets the name Sant Josep (Saint Joseph) and that’s where you can see that at the top. The Rambla up until the 19th century was filled with different convents and thats where the last two names for the bottom two Ramblas come from. First is the Ramblas dels Caputxins which has been turned into the Plaça Reial and the last is Rambla de Santa Monica which has been changed into and art school.

(3:01) We’re now outside of the Liceu Opera House which was built in 1847 but has been rescontructed twice, the last time in 1994 after a fire that destroyed a large portion of the current building. Great place to go and see operas and one of the main attractions to bring the upperclass that had moved out of the old city walls, into the city. And this is when La Rambla was very much well known as a place to go and stroll, something that has changed quite a bit in recent years.

(3:43) Not too many recommendations for food per-say on La Rambla but if you want some great ice cream, Rocambolesc, absolutely incredible. Owned by the Roca Brothers who owned the best restaurant in the world in 2013 and ’15 and it’s right on the intersection of Ferran Street and La Rambla, check that out, I think the awards alone tell you enough.

(5:25) You can see a bit more open space down here at the bottom of La Rambla as we start making out way towards the port. We can see the Columbus Statue, set up in 1888 ahead of the World’s Fair, coming into view. We’ll get down there and take a little look around, but I want to thank you for joining me as we walk down La Rambla. Really interesting experience for me, I hope for you as well, just to see La Rambla without anybody on it. This is something that has really never happened before, where it’s just the locals here in the city. So, hopefully you got a better idea of what La Rambla would look like without anybody here. And as we start to open up more and more, I hope to see you guys soon!

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