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Nou de la Rambla (map)
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Photo by Anna Klein
Nou de la Rambla
About a mile long and dotted with old bars, Carrer Nou de la Rambla represents a challenge for even the most talented of pub crawlers. Over the years, this street (which runs from the touristy Rambla up to Parc de la Primavera on Montjuïc), has gone from fashionable to seedy to somewhere in between. Time and tourism may have led to an explosion of supermarkets, souvenirs and kebabs but some historic points of interest do still lurk.
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Photo by Sebastien Bertrand
The Palau Güell (nº. 3-5) is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and of enormous architectural importance thanks to it being the only building that Gaudí finished that hasn't undergone mass alterations. It may not look much from street level, but from up above it is truly a sight to behold. For a bird's eye view of the building's fabulously eccentric chimney pots, ask for a room with a view on one of the upper floors of the Hotel Gaudí (nº. 12) across the street. Sadly, if you want to mooch around inside the Palau, you'll have to wait until April 2011 as it's currently closed for renovation.
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At the opposite end of the street, Refugio 307 (nº.169) is a labyrinth of underground tunnels which once served as a bomb shelter during the Spanish Civil War. On Saturday and Sunday mornings they offer informative guided tours costing just 3 euros.
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After such an emotive history lesson, the central section of the street between Paral·lel and Rambla del Raval can come as a bit of a nasty shock. Tina Moda (nº. 85), home to some of the bustiest mannequins you'll ever see, sell underwear worthy of a Playboy Bunny; so if corsettes, see-through knickers and nipple tassles are your underwear of choice, then this is for you.
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Photo by Anna Klein
As for the mannequins, they wouldd't look out of place doing a night-shift at nearby Bagdad (nº. 103). A popular venue for 'lads on tour' and stag nights, Bagdad is the self-proclaimed 'number one sala porno in Europe'.
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From stag parties to the big day itself, Novias Mafer (nº. 27) is not a wedding dress shop for shrinking violets. If you want your wedding big and fat and your dress to look like a bright cerise meringue, this should be your first port of call. The collection of bridal tiaras has to be seen to be believed too.
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Huguet Tintoreria (nº.143) first opened in 1955 and doesn't look like it's changed much over the years. Drop off your clothes and pick them up washed and dried for a resonable 12 euros.
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Photo by Anna Klein
Hairdressers galore surround the laundrette, so while you wait, why not get a trim at Norma (nº.136) or Color Tints (nº. 132). Alternatively, if you're eager not to be spotted by anyone in the Mossos d'Esquadra (nº. 76-78), Araceli Gil (nº. 77) has wigs of every colour and style. A brand new look will set you back between 20 and 30 euros and artificial hair extensions are also available.
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The potters wheel at the front of the shop is the giveaway for Ceramica Leal (nº. 22). A resident of the street for the past 12 years, you can pop in and watch them work while you choose from hand-made pieces alongside the more standard Gaudí souvenirs.
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For those with a sweet tooth don't miss out on your Tortell de Reis. Pujol (nº. 32) has been a sweet shop since 1825 and family-run for the last 84 years. International favourites share the shelf with Catalan delicacies and endless supplies of marzipan, chocolate and caramelos await your choosing. The Willy Wonka of Nou de la Rambla, Ferran Pujol is on hand to assist with any of your dulce dilemmas.
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Need to get your night off to a flying start? The trapeze in London Bar (nº. 34) ought to do it. Nearly 100 years on and the original bar still remains at this modernista masterpiece. While you're there, don't pass up the chance to warm Picasso's stool. Open until five in the morning and with live music every night, it's the perfect pitstop before the clubbing begins.
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El Petit Apolo
Next, head to The Queen Vic (nº. 24) to catch the footy and a pint of Bombardier English beer before getting in a Mojito or two at Pepino (nº. 44). That should leave enough time for a bevvy at El Gato (nº. 102) or El Petit Apolo (C/ Vila Vilá, nº. 62), where you can pour your own beer for 7 euro a litre.
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If you're still standing, head to Apolo (nº. 113) or its little sister La  (nº. 111). Both move to the sound of anything from indie to hard techno or electro, depending on the night. An old and now slightly shabby theatre, Apolo is also one of the best gig venues in town. Be warned though, drinks cost an arm and a leg. For an utterly untouristy experience, head further up the hill to Plataforma (nº. 145). Rammed to the rafters at the weekends, expect to hear everything from Spanish pop to Bon Jovi, Abba or Kings of Leon blasting from the speakers.
From the touristy Rambla up to Parc de la Primavera on Montjuïc, Nou de la Rambla runs the gamut of seedy to historic. Check out our slideshow to find out more:-