Renovation works to 'detouristify' Barcelona's La Rambla to begin on October 3

Construction will begin in Drassanes area by Columbus monument

Virtual image of what La Rambla boulevard will look like after renovation works (Courtesy of Barcelona council)
Virtual image of what La Rambla boulevard will look like after renovation works (Courtesy of Barcelona council) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 19, 2022 10:01 AM

Renovation works on Barcelona's iconic La Rambla boulevard are set to begin on October 3, as announced by mayor Ada Colau in an interview with Spanish public broadcaster TVE on Monday morning.

This first of five construction phases will start in the Drassanes area closest to the sea, beside the Columbus monument, and take around 18 months to be completed.

According to the council, this will help "encourage its use for social purposes" and is part of the larger aim of making the entire street a "more comfortable, green, friendly and cultural promenade with more space for pedestrians."

The local government has allocated €10m of the €45.5m it budgeted for the La Rambla works for construction on the Drassanes are of the boulevard, which will no longer be asphalted but rather paved in granite and porphyry, and will be lined by around 100 trees, 21 of which will be new. 

"The historic center really needed public investment to 'detouristify' it and give it more life," Colau said.

"We're making more public housing, we're making publically protected stores to ensure businesses are diversified and not only for tourists, we're reforming Via Laietana and La Rambla," she added. "Right now the city, and especially the old town, can look at the coming years with optimism."

Attracting locals to La Rambla

Although construction will begin beside the Columbus monument, the entire boulevard, a tourist hotspot, will be reformed.

The project is set to dramatically transform three different areas across La Rambla in particular, with new squares created in front of emblematic sites such as La Boqueria market, the Liceu Opera house, and in front of Palau Moja, a neoclassical building from the 18th century.

Aerial view of La Rambla boulevard in front of the Liceu (by Ajuntament de Barcelona)

At these sites, the road will be the same height as the sidewalks but security pylons will be installed.

Only vehicles driven by residents will be permitted, as well as public transport, bicycles, emergency vehicles, and cars using parking garages in the area.