Information about our rates
On quality service, taxes and other factors.
FIRST CLASS SERVICE AT A FAIR COST
We are not interested in comparing with other companies nor in competing in price but in quality.
We go above and beyond to deliver an excellent service to our customers, and we invest a lot of time, resources and money to achieve it. That, of course, reflects in our fees. We do not offer discounts or lower our fees, because we don’t wish to offer you less than you deserve: an excellent tour of Barcelona.
Dannyg555 (Melbourne, Australia)The price we paid was very reasonable and possibly a bit cheaper than we had paid in other countries.
We specialize in private tours
We believe there is no better way to explore a city than having your own private guide: a local that is passionate about the land and culture, that is knowledgeable, sociable and speaks your language. All your questions are immediately answered without having to wait for your turn, and you even get custom recommendations that will help you to continue enjoying the city even after the tour is over.
A private tour allows you to set your own pace and focus on what really matters to you, and it spares you the little annoyances of sharing your tour with a larger group. Which is why we don’t do “small group or semi-private” tours matching you up with other travelers, because those little annoyances continue to be there… just at a smaller scale. And we only want the best and most personal experience for you.
Of course, the downside is that you get to pay for the full cost of the guide’s time instead of splitting it with the other members of a group.
Beverly W (Providence, Rhode Island, USA)We have taken walking tours all over Europe, and prefer a private tour so that we can move at our own pace. We find that it is worth every penny and not something to skimp on.
We only use licensed guides... and we pay them well!
In Spain, only official tourguides are entitled to take visitors inside the sites and explain. And in our tours, we want you to be able to enter any site you wish to visit and get professional explanations there – not just see it from outside against your will. As a plus, official tourguides can skip lines to enter sites, so no time is wasted waiting to go in.
A cheaper non-licensed tourguide will only be able to explain sites from outside (some dare entering sites where they shouldn’t be giving explanations knowing that’s illegal to do it, but they get expelled from the site when they are caught, and that can definitely ruin a tour). A non-licensed guide can’t skip lines… because they are not supposed to take you inside the sites!
We also believe that well paid guides mean happy guides, happy guides are motivated guides, and motivated guides give the best tours. This is why we are more than happy to pay them way better than what’s standard in the local market. And knowing at the end of the tour you’ll have developed something close to a friendship with your guide, you’ll also be happy to know that we are not cheap with your guide and that are getting well paid. Around 60% of our fees (in a walking tour) goes to your guide.
Bruins11I’d rather pay more and get a first class experience than go with some cheap skip-the-line tour run by a college student.
Kathleen L (Los Angeles, California)We encountered many “free city tours” in the course of our day. All seemed over-crowded and the tourists eye-balled us longingly. Clearly we had the better tour!
We use dedicated drivers in our chauffeured tours
In our tours, drivers drive and guides talk: you don’t get one person doing both jobs at the same time. And here is why:
In Spain, a driver must have a special professional license and a SP plate (standing for Public Service), and most official tour guides don’t have that. Often English-speaking drivers will offer city tours, but then they won’t be able to take you inside any site and even less help you skipping lines: that’s the guide’s job.
We only use professional drivers with all the required licenses and plates. Plus the drivers company we use only works with Mercedes cars and minivans that they renovate often, all of them air-conditioned, with leather seats and all kind of comfort and luxury details. If you are willing to pay for a private driver, we believe you don’t deserve anything less than the very best.
Learn more about the other downsides of having a driver giving explanations (such us safety, time-efficiency…)
Ann C (Grosse Pointe, Michigan, USA)I was hesitant to pay the extra cost of the chauffeured tour but I am so happy that I did. The time that was saved by doing so only gave us more time to actually tour. Well worth any extra expense!
Elev8john (Perth, Australia)Picked up in an air con Merc, Marta took us to the hot spots of Barcelona in style!
Kdb52 (Macomb, Michigan, USA)A great decision! Although relatively expensive, it really was sorth it to have our very own private guide and driver.
From the Tripavisor Certificate of Excellence won every year since 2012, to other prizes run by prestigious tourism institutions. They all back up the quality of our services. Click here to see all of them.
Did you know Viator and other similar online tour listings charge 20 to 30% commissions to the companies advertising in their websites? And who do you think pays for that? Clients, of course, as companies would calculate their rates considering those percentages will be applied to many bookings and add them as costs.
Plus they don’t allow you to have cheaper rates in your own website, as they want to appear competitive. We believe such high commission rates are abusive, which is why we don’t advertise in such sites: we’d rather spare you their cost. We don’t give travel agents any commission either: our rates are net.
All our fees include 21% VAT
Taxes in Spain are high, and tour fees must include by law a 21% VAT. While working under the table and not paying taxes can evidently help to keep rates low, we chose to work legally because we believe taxes contribute to the welfare and progress of the local community.
Business costs and profit
Marta, the owner of the company, started the business on her own: she gave the tours, she designed the website, she took care of the accounting, she wouldn’t go to sleep until after midnight answering emails… But when your business grows you can’t keep up with all this without starting to make mistakes sooner or later, and then the level of quality is affected.
This is how the team started growing (you can learn more about the ForeverBarcelona staff here), and having a team means… paying salaries, of course! And improving our systems often requires more complex tools that aren’t free anymore. Cutting on company costs would result in a slower response and a mediocre service. We do consider carefully any new expense we add to our costs, but when we hire new staff or register for a new service, we do it because we know it’ll just take ForeverBarcelona closer to perfection.
In the other hand, we are also a business and therefore are here to make some profit out of the services we provide. We are inspired by the book Profit First by Mike Michalowicz to keep a sustainable balance between our company expenses and our profit. As we’ve already mentioned, roughly 60% of a walking tour fee goes to the guide, 21% is taxes, and the other 19% is divided between other company expenses and profit.
Clients agree it's well worth it
Hundreds of testimonials back up the quality of our services
We have been awarded the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence every year since we got listed there, and we are consistently listed among the top best tour operators for Barcelona (actually, the ones ranked better than us don’t specialize in private tours, but offer other kind of services such as bike, vespa and segway tours, specialty tours of the civil war or step-in/semi-private tours).
Atateka (USA)I like to travel on my own, and enlist the help of guides along the way, rather than going on organized tours.
I am returning to Spain with my teens and have asked again Marta to show us around. While I could attempt to recreate the tour I enjoyed with her some time ago, I know it will be money well spent to have my family be introduced to Barcelona through Marta.