Destinations Europe

Walking Tour And Tapas In Barcelona

We have visited Spain many times but unbelievably it was our first visit to Barcelona. From experience, we’ve found that the best way to familiarise yourself with a new city is a walking tour, preferably on the first day.  They are a great way to get the feel of the city and check out the different neighbourhoods. They are also a good way to get a bit of fresh air and to clear your head after all the travelling and drinking too much airline wine.

This time we booked a ‘free‘ walking tour by NewBarcelona. What they exactly mean by ‘free‘ is that there is no fee but instead ask you to pay what you think the tour was worth at the end. They also try and sell some paid tours during the 20 min break but don’t be put off, we were not subjected to any hard sell.

Walking Tour Of The Gothic Quarter, Barcelona
Walking Tour Barcelona

Walking tour of Barcelona with our guide, Macu

The make or break of these tours is the guide, we were lucky to have Macu. Although not a Barcelona native he was very informative, funny and also very tall which helped in the crowded areas.  The route led us through the winding streets of the gothic quarter from the Roman remains and medieval buildings around Plaça del Rei to the Gothic cathedral of Barcelona, the Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi and the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar. Yes there were lots of imposing churches but with Macu’s commentary we didn’t get to ‘Gothed Out’.

Gothic Quarter

The Narrow Streets Of The Gothic Quarter

It was interesting just wandering through the narrow streets and squares of the Gothic Quarter and old Jewish Ghetto. The area has been used as a location for many films and we passed through Plaça de Sant Felip Neri, a cafe location from Vicky Christina Barcelona. The tour ended in the the picturesque Passeig del Born which was originally the site for medieval jousting. After the tour we had time for lunch and a large sangria then back to the hotel for a siesta before the evening Tapas and Wine tour.

Tapas And Wine In La Barceloneta
Tapas

Tapas On The Bar

Like the earlier walking tour, the success of the Tapas tour relied on the quality of the guide, we were lucky to have a Catalan local, Montse. She quickly got our group chatting and we were soon in the first bar. This was a paid tour at €20 each, although you could have done it slightly cheaper on your own it was great to have the insights and tips of a local. The quality of the tour also depends on the people in your group but as it is advertised as ‘Tapas and Wine’ I doubt if you’ll end up with a group from the local temperance society.

Porron

Our Guide Montse Using The Porron

We visited 3 bars around the La Barceloneta area near the sea. Here we tried a local ‘bomba’, a ball of potato filled with meat and served with spicy sauce. Finally, acting like drunken tourists we also tried the ‘Porron’, the glass wine pitcher you pour into the mouth. Sensibly we first tried with water to get the hang of it, we didn’t want to pour red wine into our faces!

We had a great time with Montse and Macu earlier in the day. We would definitely recommend these type of tours during the first couple of days in Barcelona, it really helped us to get to know the city.

Have you been on any other city tours that you can recommend, then let us know in the comments below?

We flew to Barcelona with EasyJet, the first time we have used them for a number of years. You can see our quick video review on our YouTube channel.

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle
    September 12, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    OMG! I can’t even with all the beauty. This is the kind of thing that makes me love visiting Europe so much! And Barcelona is one of my favorite places. I go there every time!

  • Reply
    Audrey McClelland
    September 12, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Oh wow! Look at those streets and those vendors. I could see myself spending my entire European trip JUST in Barcelona. It’s so beautiful.

  • Reply
    Kecia
    September 12, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    I agree that walking tours are the best way to really connect with a new city. Back in college, I was about to tour Venice, Italy on foot and it was just magical!

  • Reply
    Brandy
    September 12, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    It looks amazing there! I would love to go to Barcelona some day, it looks like there is so much to do!

  • Reply
    Marcie W.
    September 13, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Authentic tapas in Spain is an experience that is extremely high on my bucket list. We are thinking of taking our first trip there next summer!

  • Reply
    Liz Mays
    September 13, 2016 at 1:01 am

    I’d definitely be excited to go on a tour like this. What a nice way to experience some cool parts of Barcelona!

  • Reply
    O
    September 13, 2016 at 1:22 am

    The walking tour in Barcelona sounds great. Since I barely reach 5’5″, I’d definitely appreciate a tall guide. I took a walking tour of Walkerhill, Seoul, Korea and enjoyed it quite a bit. As you said, a lot of the enjoyment depends on the guide and the rest of the group on tour with you.

  • Reply
    Toni | BoulderLocavore.com
    September 13, 2016 at 4:54 am

    This is amazing! We’ve been to different cities but never tried the walk tour. Sounds like a great way to enjoy the city!

  • Reply
    Amanda Love
    September 13, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Barcelona is such a lovely city and it would be nice to go here and just explore as much as you can of the place. I am loving your photos!

  • Reply
    Jeanine
    September 13, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    This is something I’d love to do. Especially in Barcelona! Looks like a beautiful place to explore, and see. Looks like a great time.

  • Reply
    Brianne
    September 13, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Barcelona is so on my list of places to get to. This tour looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Tonya
    September 13, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    I love to explore new areas with a tour. And when they offer food, that’s just a bonus!

  • Reply
    Mixed Reviews
    September 13, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    City tours are a lot of fun and educational too. I’ve been on various city tours in San Francisco learning about landmarks and historic places/facts. Barcelona looks like a great place to visit and go on a tour.

  • Reply
    Kita Bryant
    September 13, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    You made me jealous with the first line about visiting Spain many times. I so wish I could visit! I’m saving your blog!

  • Reply
    Louise Bishop
    September 13, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    It looks and sounds like a magical place. I’m curious to know how many times you’ve been to Spain. I love adventure stories!

  • Reply
    Nicole Escat
    September 14, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Wow, that place looks so wonderful. I want to wlak on those stunning streets and have a light vacation there.

  • Reply
    Rosey
    September 14, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    That’s awesome that you could pay at the end. I’ve never heard of such a thing, but I like it!

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