SPAIN

HOW I GOT RIPPED OFF ON LAS RAMBLAS IN BARCELONA & HOW YOU CAN AVOID IT HAPPENING TO YOU!

Come for the atmosphere, but beware of pickpockets!

The busy street of Las Ramblas, Barcelona

While in the wonderful city of Barcelona, you will definitely end up on Las Ramblas at some point, but have your wits about you, and you will have a much more enjoyable time here. Read on to find out more…

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The Magic Fountain

My husband Zac and I arrived here by metro one lovely, warm day in October and departed at the Catalunya stop. We made our way out of the station towards the Plaza De Cataluna, the cities main square. Surrounded by attractive buildings, it’s a lively area and a popular meeting point for locals and tourists alike. There was an ambiance of fun throughout the area. The restaurants had pavement dining, which dropped you right in with the street performers, making you feel like you were part of the atmosphere. It was also a great spot for people-watching. One of the squares main attractions is the Magic Fountain, which runs regular water shows throughout the day.

With the area so lively and busy, you would think it would be a near impossibility to notice a woman stood literally a few feet away wearing the same dress as me! But, oh my goodness, I was so embarrassed! Of course, the same-dress-lady was utterly oblivious at this faux par, but my face was flaming! So I quickly ran away with Zac clutching his stomach in laughter behind me!

Magic Fountain, Plaza de Cataluña

The square also marks the start of Barcelona’s most famous street Las Ramblas. Before we go any further, I need to let you know something about Las Ramblas, which most people don’t find out until they get there. This street is rife with pick-pockets. If you put your wallet in your back pocket, it will be emptied by a thief, and the wallet will be put back in your pocket before you get to the end of the road. They love tourists who are stuck in their holiday bubble, and let me tell you that if you act like this, you will be their perfect candidate! Luckily when Zac and I were here, we weren’t one of their targets, but the stories I’ve heard from friends and colleagues are many, so please, take my advice, and don’t put your money in your back pocket if you intend to spend it on yourself. Just don’t!

For me, Las Ramblas is very much like every other famous main street I’ve visited throughout the world. Although it has a fun atmosphere and a few quirky buildings, you probably won’t need to spend heaps of time here. But it is pedestrianised, so no cars, which is a huge bonus.

As we made our way down Las Ramblas, I kept looking out for all the quirky buildings designed by Goudy, and there was plenty of them. One building in particular that I loved was decorated in what looked like oriental-style paper fans. Although it was a little strange, the striking mix of orange and cream coloured façade with the Asian elements, really made it stand out.

By now it was around lunchtime, and our mouths were watering as Zac and I wandered past an abundance of delicious-looking tapas restaurants. Then, finally, we saw a sign that said, ‘€10.00 ($12.15 USA / $15.90 AUD) per person for three tapas plates and paella!’ Hurray! Something within our budget! We thought we’d hit the jackpot as it seemed like such a great deal. We entered the busy restaurant and eagerly sat down in anticipation of our delicious Spanish lunch. Everyone seemed in a jovial and happy mood, the sun was shining, and the great atmosphere rubbed off on us too.

That moment when you sit down in a restaurant, excited waiting for your food. Then the food comes and you want to cry!

Then the food came. At first, we thought what they’d put in front of us had to be some kind of joke. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it was an embarrassment to Spanish cuisine! And I can say this with a clear conscience, as I have been to Spain many times over the years and the food here is incredible. So I’m sure you’re wondering, what did they give us? Remember the three tapas dishes? Well, the first one contained ONE GREEN OLIVE! Yes – one olive! Even two olives would have been ridiculous. But one olive??? The second dish was just as bad. One small potato wedge with a drizzle of seafood sauce over it. Really?? The third and final tapas dish was one meatball on a wooden skewer! But by wooden skewer, I mean toothpick! And meatball? More like meat-SMALL! As a joke, Zac decided to cut them all in half so we could share our ‘loot!’ The saving grace (just barely) was the paella they served, which was actually quite good. Unfortunately, we only got around four mouthfuls each. What an absolute rip-off, right? We ate our food and left in disgust! We were still so hungry that we had to fill our bellies across the road at Burger King, as we couldn’t afford the required ten extra plates of tapas that would have made it a proper meal. So when it comes to lunch on Las Ramblas, buyer beware!

Placa de Catalunya, 08002, Barcelona, Spain

The beautiful Asian-inspired building on Las Ramblas

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You’ll see lots of random street performers like this guy here dressed up as a statue. As you do!

I was determined not to let this ruin our day, and Burger King ALWAYS makes Zac happy. So after our more substantial meal, we continued down Las Ramblas until we reached Monument A Colom, the Christopher Columbus Statue dedicated to the famous explorer. He once stopped in Barcelona on his outward voyage before discovering America, hence why they have a monument of him here. It’s a tall plinth with Christopher Columbus on top looking towards America and a base decorated with statues of lions, kings and queens. It’s definitely worthy of a look.

Christopher Columbus Statue at the end of Las Ramblas

Thanks for reading my blog post today on my experience of visiting Las Ramblas in the exciting city of Barcelona. I hope I haven’t put you off visiting here, as that certainly wasn’t my intension. However, I would rather you know that dodgy people do operate in this area, and I know people who have been robbed on this street. But it is definitely worth visiting, due to it’s great atmosphere, and wonderful architecture. I will definitely be back… but maybe I’ll eat in a different venue next time!!!!!

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4 thoughts on “HOW I GOT RIPPED OFF ON LAS RAMBLAS IN BARCELONA & HOW YOU CAN AVOID IT HAPPENING TO YOU!

    1. You’re so right! Sadly it was several years ago and I have narrowed it down to a few but I don’t want to mention the name unless I am sure 🙂 on Las Ramblas there are heaps of restaurants offering the same deal, so I’d be interested to go back and see which ones are sneaky 😉 Thanks so much for reading!

  1. Yikes! This can be the case with Spain as tapas are known to be smaller portions, but not that small 😅 Sorry to hear that it wasn’t what you expected, but hopefully it helped you discover even better restaurants to eat in Spain.

    1. Thanks so much for reading 🙂 Luckily I’ve been to Spain heaps of times so I know how amazing the Spanish food is! Sadly, it was my husband Zac’s first proper Spanish meal. But he’s since tried Spanish food and knows how amazing it is 🙂 I can’t wait to head back to Spain in the future and check out more delicious places to eat. It’s the only time I’ve ever been disappointed!

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