Barcelona's "other" Ramblas
I’m spending quite a lot of time in Barcelona recently, it’s a great city but perhaps a little hard for outsiders to truly penetrate all that’s on offer here. This is not merely linguistic, the Catalan's just "do there own thing" - and it can be very different from the way things are done in the rest of Spain.
Avoid the Ramblas, do these Ramblas
Probably one of the most popular “must do” ítems for tourists is “the Ramblas” thing : personally I always avoid this area of town like the plague. Just like London’s Picadilly Circus, New York’s Time Square etc it’s a tourist trap where pickpockets, hustlers and vagbonds abound and all manner of tourist tat is on sale.
Zinc table tops and shady trees
So, forget the Ramblas of Barcelona and swap them (particularly on weekend and even more so at sundown) for the Ramblas of Poble Nou. This lovely, almost traffic-free space covered by shady trees is literally stuffed with open air terraces, bars, tapas and restaurants and, you maybe the only tourist in town, something reflected in the quality of service and the prices too.. 2 glasses of ice-cold cava and some olives, 8,00 EUR
The "aperitivo" for non-Spaniards...
I was there on a Sunday lunchtime following that most Spanish of customs, the “aperitivo” before heading off to lunch at Els Pescadors in Poble Nou. The aperitivo can be a small beer, glass of wine, a Campari or, as this time, a cold glass of cava accompanied by either olives, some potato crisps or something light. The idea is to "open your appetite" for lunch, so definitely a glass of your favourite tipple and time to arrive (fashionably late) at your lunchtime reservation.
There are literally dozens of bars in the Ramblas, where you can sit watching the folks go by and enjoy the sea breeze, only a few metres away. We're late already for the Restaurante Els Pescadors, but that's another story..
The quickest route to Poble Nou is Barcelona's excellent Metro underground railway, take the L4 (Yellow) line to LLACUNA, when you leave the station turn sharp left along Carrer Pujades and the Ramblas crosses this street in 3 blocks, the Rambla is easily spotted since it's pedestrianised and tree-lined.
Barcelona's TMB tube/metro map (opens new window as pdf)
And of course :
CarJet.com car hire Barcleona