Las Ramblas, located directly in the centre of Barcelona, is one of Europe's prettiest boulevards. An ideal way to experience Las Ramblas is to spend an hour or so chilling in one of its many quaint cafes, that offer everything from gourmet ice creams to delicious tapas. Many of the cafes have terraces on Las Ramblas itself, so you can enjoy your afternoon while relaxing in the sun.
If you've never been to Las Ramblas, or are looking for some new gems to discover in the area, check out our Top Ten Things to Do on Las Ramblas list. And if this is your first time in Spain and you're looking for your coffee fix, read up on how to order coffee in Spain here.
Variety and Convenience in the Heart of Barcelona
In terms of historical character, no Las Ramblas cafe tops Cafe de l'Opera, opposite the Liceu Theatre. It began life as a tavern in the 18th century, and the cafe still preserves mirrors from its Viennese decor from the mid-19th century, back when it was a chocolateria (although most of the decor now is modernist/neo-classical). Since 1929, not one day has gone by, not even during the Spanish Civil War, without the cafe opening. That's dedication.
For both its popularity and convenience, Cafe Zurich is always a good bet, located on the edge of Plaça Catalunya, beside the metro entrance at the top of Las Ramblas. It's got a great terrace and it's not that expensive, whether you're having a caña, a coffee, or a sandwich. A brilliant place to meet up with friends, before moving on.
Halfway down Las Ramblas is La Boqueria, Barcelona's most famous market, whose crowded mercantile core is surrounded on all sides by decent cafes and tapas spots, including Au Port de La Lune, an enticing French bistro and deli serving strictly traditional Gallic treats.
Near the bottom of Las Ramblas is perhaps its most unusual pit stop, El Bosc de les Fades, whose interior is an enchanted forest full of fairy sprites, strange noises, and illusory mirrors. It's worth it to check out the decor alone, or if you want a somewhat fantastical break from the hustle and bustle of central Barcelona.
In most of these cafes, you'll pay a little bit more than you would elsewhere in the city, but 1.50 for a coffee and 2 for a small beer still isn't bad at all, especially in the midst of such a handsome boulevard.
How to Get There
Metro stations Liceu and Drassanes (green line) or Catalunya (green and red lines) are all located along Las Ramblas. If you need help navigating the public transport system, read all about the Barcelona Metro.