There’s simply so much to see in the Catalan capital, and taking a Barcelona tour gives you the chance to focus on one particular theme or neighbourhood at a time. We’ve scoped out some of the best tours in and around Barcelona, offered by the Barcelona Guide Bureau. Each excursion is accompanied by a professional guide, and several different languages are spoken.
Gaudí’s architecture is synonymous with Barcelona and is renowned the world over for its asymmetrical organic shapes, bright colours and startlingly original compositions. His magnum opus, the Sagrada Família is the most visited monument in the city, and it’s easy to see why.
This tour includes a fast-track ticket to visit both the Sagrada Família and Casa Batlló, on Passeig de Gràcia. A few blocks up you’ll also see the Casa Milà, nicknamed “La Pedrera”, meaning “the stone quarry,” for its unusual stone shape.
Take a tour through the narrow streets of the Gothic neighbourhood, where centuries of history jostle for your attention amongst the lively bars and cafés, trendy boutiques and shops. Barcelona’s old town was once the Roman settlement of Barcino, surrounded by high walls to protect its inhabitants from invasions.
You’ll also have a guided visit of the Picasso Museum, where you’ll discover insights into Picasso’s life in Barcelona and enjoy an extensive collection of the prolific artist’s works.
This is an ideal tour for anyone who would like to see Barcelona’s most spectacular views from the comfort of an air-conditioned coach. Visit the mountain of Montjuïc and look out across the sparkling Mediterranean and the city below.
You’ll pass the old Port of Barcelona, and climb the winding road to reach panoramic viewpoint of Mirador de Miramar, and the Poble Espanyol Spanish village where there’s a stop for lunch. Other highlights include the Joan Miró Foundation and the Olympic Stadium, which was built for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
Designed by the Modernist architect Domenech i Montaner, this lavish concert hall is built to perfection, both outside and inside. A guide will point out the cultural details and symbolism that abound here, from the busts of famous Catalan composers to mosaics that allude to the classical muses.
The main concert hall has excellent acoustics, and has welcomed many of the most prestigious orchestras and ensembles with standing ovations. You will also visit some of the more secluded rooms, and of course can take the opportunity to enjoy a refreshing drink in the bar or outside terrace.
Fancy a day trip? We recommend a visit to discover the largest surrealist object on the planet – as envisioned by Salvador Dalí himself! The famous Mae West room uses furniture and perspective to create an image of the actress’ face, when viewed from a specific angle. Many of Dalí’s sketches can be found here, as well as a good selection of his more famous works.
Figueres is a charming Catalan town with a lively old town and great restaurants. Yes, there’s much more to Catalonia than Barcelona, and this is a great place to start.
Another highly recommended day trip, this combines two of the most popular sights outside Barcelona in one unforgettable experience. The mountain of Montserrat is composed of unusual rock formations which reach up towards the sky. An important monastery nestles amid the rocks, and countless hermitages are scattered across its territory.
The Cordoniu winery in the Penedès region is famed for its quality cava and wines . Feel the rustle of the vineyards, explore the cellars, and raise a glass to good health and happiness!
For more details about these tours, and more, check out the Barcelona Guide Bureau website.