Old Town Barcelona is fascinating and fun! It is hard to believe we have been living in Spain for nearly 10 weeks, in Palamós, only 80km north of Barcelona and we haven’t visited this amazing city before now.
The Mediterranean cruise we are scheduled on leaves out of Barcelona in just a few days, so this seems the perfect opportunity to spend a few days here before we sail.
My family is starting to call me the queen of free city tours, and today was no exception. We took a free city tour of Barcelona’s old town with Runner Bean Tours. Our guide, Gorka was awesome. Here are some of the highlights:
Like most towns in Spain and nearby countries, old town Barcelona is marked by an old city wall. Our girls stood under the gate to give perspective to this remaining piece of the wall:
Old Town Barcelona
This is the main cathedral in old town Barcelona and the central point of the city back in its day. Although the still not completed Sagrada Familia by Gaudí is probably the most famous cathedral in Barcelona. We will visit it tomorrow.
We went into the cloisters of the old cathedral, where once again we were required to have shoulders and knees covered. I am always surprised how so many people disrespect the rules. I am not even sure how they do it, as there was a guard there when we entered making sure everyone was covered.
In the evening we headed to La Rambla, the main tourist/pedestrian street. Or, as described by my teen: “A big tourist trap with disgusting food.” And we know about the bad food first hand. The highlight of our meal was this very funny man who was following people up and down the road. It was way too hot to wear that outfit. He stopped to take a photo with us, so maybe we should add “smelly” to my daughter’s description of La Rambla.
Travel Tips for Barcelona, Spain:
- We went on two excellent free city tours with Runnerbean tours. Both filled up and turned people away. If you sign up in advance, you are guaranteed your spot, as long as you are not late – they will give it away at 5 minutes before the tour start time. Our tours were a free Gaudí walking tour and the Old Town Barcelona Walking Tour (on this page).
- Park Güell (the Gaudí Park) is still free, but they are talking of charging to get in by next year, so be sure not to miss this wonder while it is still free.
- You can visit the crypt of the Sagrada Familia, where Gaudí is buried, for free every afternoon.
- Sometimes the Gaudí houses offer exhibitions which are free. By going to these you get a glimpse inside the house without the fee or the queue.
- If you are looking for a great hamburger, I highly recommend Kioski Restaurant near the old town.
- There are several charming Medieval towns north of Barcelona.