Now that it’s been quite a few days here in Barcelona, I’ve found that the center point of the whole city revolves around the Placa de Catalunya. This Union Square-like center point represents the heart of the city that at each corner an important road vears to an entirely different part of the city with an entirely different feel. Buses, underground metro and railways also meet at this pivotal placa.
Aside from its important functions, the Placa de Catalunya is quite a site to see with a unique open circle in the middle, which somehow attracts hundreds of pigeons adding to the squares quaint beauty. El Centre Ingles– Barcelona’s major department store also lies at the corner, along with many other high end and recognizable shops. Old world statues make the Placa de Catalunya architecture extremely European. As a total tourist, I took one of the double decker buses around the cities, which despite everything, was definitely worth it and informative.
At the Southwest corner and beginning of the world famous La Rambla promenade sits Café Zurich – a replica of the same café and famous landmark once residing there long before the new one. Having had coffee and croissants there a few times already, I can say it is a great spot to relax while also taking part in the action at this busy crossroad.
After finishing a delicious “café con leche,” it’s quite hard not to make your way down the whimsical and most well-known boulevards in Europe – La Rambla. This majestic mile-long promenade is full of color and life exuding from the somewhat freaky human statues, fortune-tellers, pick-pocketing card sharks, magicians, dancers, etc.
Halfway down La Rambla is the Mercat de la Boqueria – not your average market. The famed area is not just for shoppers, tourist head in here to see the morbid sheep heads, gory skinned animals and to feel the fast paced energy. However large in its radius, the food is fresh and there is something very European about the bustling shoppers gathering their weekly produce.
La Rambla at night can be as busy as it is bazaar with its hopping after-hour discotheques and controversial sales. Let’s just say as a girl, I wouldn’t strut my stuff down the boulevard at night without a partner.