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La RamblaLa Rambla is a must-see place in Barcelona. The tree-lined avenue is popular for its huge variety of restaurants, bars and shops. Be warned though, that a beer on the terrace of a bar here will cost considerably more than most other places in the city, while the crowds and huge number of tourists that visit it each year have made La Rambla a consistent target for pick-pockets and scam artists—best to keep your wits about you while enjoying the sights and sounds of this world-famous street.
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Human statuesLa Rambla is a popular venue for street performers who dress up in various funny, scary and very creative costumes. Expect to meet Dracula, Micheal Jackson, talking ancient Greek statues and Leo Messi amongst many more. They're happy to have their photo taken with you, but generally appreciate a financial gesture in return-
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Street performerStreet actor takes a rest from his working day
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Mercat de La BoqueriaLa Boqueria (or, to give it its official title, the Mercat de Sant Josep) is one of the largest indoor markets in Barcelona. It offers an extremely large choice of vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and seafood, as well as some unusual and regional products that you might not find elsewhere in the city. There is also a small outdoor farmers' market to the right of the main hall, where you may find cheaper prices and fewer crowds, although also a smaller selection of goods
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Flower stallsHistoricaly, parts of the Rambla have been used as a kind of overflow from La Boqueria, with the colourful flower-stalls and controversial animal sellers examples of this.
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Football in La RamblaLocated at the heart of Barcelona, the streets that go off La Rambla are home to many families, which means that it's not just tourists or strolling residents who make the most of the space on the street
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Animals on La RamblaA regular source of heated debate between traditionalists and animal rights' groups, towards the top of La Rambla you'll find a row of stands selling exotic birds, hamsters, fish, rabbits and many other creatures.
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Lunch in La RamblaLa Rambla is very touristy and, as a result, can be an expensive place to eat, you may still find some offers on meals. Alternatively, why not venture down one of the side-streets that run off La Rambla and try your luck in one of the restaurants you'll find there?
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Carrying a sofa down La RamblaWhile La Rambla is popular with tourists, it remains one of the main thoroughfares in Barcelona and as such you can see people going about their daily lives there, which can include two men carrying a sofa down the middle of the street.
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Going for a walkAt this time of year, La Rambla is less crowded than in the peak summer season. This makes it an ideal choice for a gentle stroll, especially if you feel like stopping for a cup of coffee or meeting friends.
La Rambla and La Boqueria
The famous street (and side streets) that cannot be missed. Winding down to the port from Plaza Catalunya, and infamous for its bird sellers, street performers, flower stalls and of course its open markets; specifically La Boqueria, where colourful stacks of fruits and vegetables are piled next to herbs, meats, cheese and fish stands. Gelato and fruit juice as well as unique candies are also sold. Keep wallets somewhere safe as pickpockets are known to join the throngs. For an excellent pastry, tuck off to one of the side street patisserias where lower rent sometimes means more authentic.
Metro: Catalunya: L3; Liceu: L3
MACBA, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
A museum with an intense focus on pieces from the 1950’s forward. Because of this, many of the works have political, if not radical, themes. Increasingly international artists are appearing in both the permanent collection and the temporary exhibitions, which seems to hint at a more inclusive future.
Plaça dels Àngels 1, Tel. 93 412 0810, www.macba.es
Open: last week of June-Sept 24, 11am-8pm Mon & Wed; 11am-midnight Thurs & Fri; 10am-8pm Sat, 10am-3pm Sun. last week of Sept-June, 11am-7.30 pm Mon & Wed-Fri; 10am-8pm Sat; 10am-3pm Sun.
Admission: All exhibitions €7.50, only Permanent collection €3, only temporary €4
Metro: Catalunya—L1 and L3
Twenty mosaic covered chimneys decorate the rooftop terrace of Gaudí’s first major commission, and the only one the famed architect ever personally completed. Built as a dream home for the wealthy businessman Eusebi Güell, the interior features unique examples of Art Nouveau style, including a six-storey great hall. Renovations until 2010 mean certain areas are closed to visitors, but the main sights are still worth seeing.
Nou de la Rambla 3, Tel. 93 317 3974, www.palauguell.cat. Open: 10am-2pm Tue-Sat. Admission: Free.
Metro: Drassanes—L3; Liceu—L3