UNUSUAL RIDES FOR A FUN DAY IN TOWN
To me, a vacation is about having fun. And when traveling abroad, it’s important to plan some play time besides all the sightseeing. Maybe go visiting sites in the morning, but schedule something different for the afternoon. And that’s particularly important if you are traveling with kids or teens. Or maybe even better: combine your sightseeing with some unique type of ride. And yes, there are more options out there than the (not so original) bike tours.
In today’s post I want to share with you my favorite rides: for people who like to drive or who doesn’t, for families and even for handicapped – there are plenty of options for everyone!
These are our favorite rides in Barcelona:
The first time I tried a Segway I thought I was going to have a hard time: how was I going to keep my balance on those two wheels? But turns out Segways are designed to be easy to ride and very stable even for clumsy people like me. I soon figured out how to use my weight to control the directions just by shifting my position a tiny bit. And I never felt like I was going to fall!
There are many companies in town that organize tours, but we find this one to be the most complete: with 3 itinerary options that cater all tour lengths and energy levels. Plus they are totally compatible with our tours, because they mostly focus in the waterfront and Ciutadella Park / Arch of Triumph that we only superficially cover in some of our chauffeured tours.
Need a break from sightseeing and want some action? Then you must try land sailing: it is like sailing your own regatta sail boat, but on solid ground. You’ll be using a vehicle called blokart that has 3 wheels and a sail, where you seat in almost horizontal position.
The activity consists of a talk and a short practice with an instructor, followed by racing in an asphalt track. It might sound like a cool thing to do with teens, but if your child is very adventurous the young ones can also ride it together with a parent in one of the two-seaters blokarts, or if they are shorter than 4 feet, there are sidecars available but those must be used always with an instructor.
And if you prefer a family experience, no problem! They also have some with room for upto 4 people! Plus their track is located by the sea, so you can always head to the beach after your land sailing time is over.
Back to the 50s and 60s
In Spain the Spain of Franco’s dictatorship, the most popular car was the Seat 600. Just talk to any local that is old enough to remember: they’ll tell you so many stories lived aboard those cars! Similar to the British Beatles, and equally iconic, many car manufacturers are now going vintage and creating new car lines inspired in them. But what about riding the real thing? Yes, you can do it!
Plus did you know they were manufactured in Barcelona? That makes for a truly local experience doesn’t it? This company rents fully restored Seat 600 that incorporate GPS and a radio that will keep you in permanent contact with a dedicated guide. Need anything else to feel back in time? Then listen to some oldie music in the cassettes provided! They offer two itineraries: a night tour around the alleys of the Old Town (pedestrian during daytime) and a daytime Gaudi tour.
Ok, I must say I’m not a big fan of gocars… but that’s maybe because I’m afraid of riding bikes, too and that I have a strong sense of ridicule. But if that’s not your case, you love driving and being looked at by the people passing by won’t be an issue, then why not?
Gocars are small tiny cars for 2 people that incorporate a GPS connected to an audioguide that helps you finding your way around and enhances the ride with light explanations and colorful touches such as playing loud opera music when you pass the opera house or… making fun of you if you take the wrong turn – before telling you how to get on the right track, of course.
They can be booked for different lengths of time, and in case you don’t feel like working on an itinerary they also have set tours covering the top highlights. They are safe and easy to park, but you must own a valid driving license for Spain and be over 21 to drive them, and be 7yo or older to ride them. They are handicapped-friendly and if you are a green person, there are non-gaz electric gocars available too.
Drive a scooter
Barcelona is the second city in Europe for scooters and motorbikes: there’s over 200,000 of them in town – about 2 scooters very 1 car! And if when in Rome do as Romans do… in Barcelona you need to ride a scooter! Just let me warn you: it can be scary if you aren’t used to it, as you’ll have cars driving past you and other motorbikes zooming next to you – not to mention the huge buses!
But it’s an afraid-of-scooters person speaking here. Lots of locals consider it the fastest way to move around the city… and it’s so easy to park anywhere. This company offers 125cc scooters that can be rented by day or even weeks/months, and a valid driving license is required.
At their office they can give you directions to plan your sightseeing, but once you leave… you are on your own to explore the city. But if you’d rather just keep it to a short experience and need more help with your planning, this other company rents less powerful (25cc only) but more charming Vespa with integrated GPS and pre-programmed tours.
AND BONUS? If that’s not enough excitement for you? What about racing cars?
Racing cars are fascinating: their lines, the sound of their engines… Did you know there is a Formule-1 racing track just outside of Barcelona? The Circuit de Montmeló offers guided tours that take you to the areas behind-the-scenes to learn about the fascinating world of top speed.
A guided tour is not enough? You want to drive a dream car yourself? Then head to the marina of the Port Vell where in the exclusive One Ocean Club you’ll find the headquarters or Drive Me, offering supercar rentals and tours in and outside Barcelona: Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini…
The dream of any car lover! By the way, if you are a Ferrari lover, then don’t miss the only Ferrari themed park in Europe just an hour away from Barcelona. Get your tickets here, or tickets + bus transfer here.
What is your favorite ride ever?
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