Your day begins on the steps of the Sagrada Família where you’ll meet your expert guide and no more than 14 fellow travelers. Before you go inside you’ll be able to snap a few pictures at the nicest viewpoint of the church, then take a stroll around to see the various facades of and learn why they look so different. As you tour the inside, your guide will tell you all about Gaudí’s extraordinary life and point out the elements and details that will give you a deep insight into the mind of one of the most unique geniuses of the 20th century. After a full tour of the sanctuary, including a peek into Gaudí’s crypt, you’ll also step into the museum to learn exactly how Gaudí planned this puzzle-box of a building and why his methods were truly groundbreaking.
Aside from the Sagrada Família, the houses that Gaudí designed in in the late 20th century are his most beloved works in Barcelona. For the next part of your tour, you’ll hop on a subway to get across town. En route, your guide will give you plenty of tips and hints on how to use public transport in the city and the best ways to get around. Back above ground, you’ll step out onto the Passeig de Gracia, which has the highest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture in Europe. Here you’ll see the Casa Batlló, the Casa Amatller, and the Casa Lleó Morera. As you study their facades your guide will point out the very Gaudí-esque details that you might miss and help you understand what makes each structure so special. All of this will help you put your next stop, the Casa Mila / La Pedrera, into context as you take a full tour of its stunning interior.
As you move through the organic, undulating rooms (try to find a right angle - we dare you) which still contain period furniture, you’ll get a feel for what it was actually like to live in a space designed by one of the greatest architects to ever live. No tour is complete without stepping onto the roof, which is arguably the best in Barcelona. Considered a masterpiece of outdoor sculpture, each chimney has been sculpted into a different totem, giving it the feel of an open-air art gallery.
After hopping back on the metro and taking a quick stroll down Barcelona’s most famous pedestrian street, La Rambla, you’ll have a break for lunch. It’s not included but your guide will give you recommendations on where to eat at any price point and taste, including some amazing stalls in the Boqueria Market. We always work with local guides, and they will never recommend a spot where they wouldn’t eat themselves
In the afternoon, you’ll reconvene in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter for a stroll through the history of the City. Walking past Roman Walls that date back thousands of years, you’ll learn how this city went from a provincial fishing village to the heart of an entire region unified by a very hairy king.
Next, you’ll explore some of the most beloved areas of the city center, like Gaudí’s favorite square. You’ll also learn about Barcelona’s old Jewish community, the dark history of the Spanish Inquisition, and the Spanish Civil war as you visit spots like the Old Jewish Quarter, Sant Felip Neri Square, and the Plaça St Jaume. You’ll also see the city’ second most iconic church in the neighborhood of El Born and a shop selling trinkets you won’t find anywhere else in the world; the only hint we’ll give you is that they’re an ode to Catalonians’ near obsession with the topic of digestion.
Finally, you’ll head down to the historic port, see a sculpture by Roy Lichtenstein, and learn how the sea has shaped the city before hopping aboard a 85-foot sailboat for a relaxing, hour-long cruise up the coast with a complimentary glass of wine.
When you get back to the port, don’t forget ask your guide for restaurant recommendations and suggestions for other things to see and do. Now that you’ve seen Barcelona in a day, the rest of the city is at your fingertips.