For more than a century, strolling down Barcelona’s main boulevard, the Ramblas, has been the thing to do when visiting. Sadly, the charm of the Ramblas has not survived the rise of mass tourism in Barcelona. Back when locals enjoyed strolling here, there was plenty of business to keep characteristic flower stalls, bird markets, and newspaper stands healthy. It’s what gave the Ramblas its unique cultural charm. But today, the local clientele that kept these characteristic stalls in business is gone, replaced by tides of tourists. Consequently, the street is lined with what many tourists buy — tacky trinkets and lousy street food. Still, if you come to Barcelona…you’ve got to ramble the Ramblas.
This is Day 12 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. Find more at blog.ricksteves.com.