Are you in Barcelona during four days? Do you want to spread your sightseeing, so you can take the most out of your days here and still have time on your own so you don’t eventually get overwhelmed?
But if you’d rather stay in the city, here is our favorite plan for 4 days. Come with us learning about the past and present of Barcelona and visit its top sites. And leave in our hands all the trouble of planning, scheduling and making reservations: we’ll take care of everything. Your private guide will be like a knowledgeable good old local friend… that helps you skip the lines!
Book 1 extra hour to walk around the Ciutadella Park and the Arch of Triumph.
Book 2 extra hours to enjoy a paella lunch at the end of this Old Town Tour or to visit the Roman ruins of the Museum of History of Barcelona.
Add one extra hour to enjoy a lovely tapas lunch.
Add two extra hours to visit also the Hospital of St. Pau by Domenech i Muntaner or the inside of Casa Batlló.
Add one extra hour to do 2 of the optional visits.
Add two extra hours to do 3 of the optional visits.
Add one extra hour explore the Sarrià district and taste the best patatas bravas in town (walking tours) OR drive around the exclusive Pedralbes district where the wealthy live.
Add two extra hours to visit both the FC Barcelona stadium AND Torre Bellesguard.
START YOUR 4 DAYS IN BARCELONA EXPLORING THE ORIGINS OF THE CITY
If your trip dates allow for it, it’s a great idea to use your first day exploring the lively Rambla, a famous vibrant boulevard with the magnificent Boqueria Market, for many the best marketplace in the world.
Next you’ll head to the Gothic Quarter where you’ll learn how the city was founded by the Romans 2000 years ago, and how in the medieval times Barcelona lived its first golden period with the Gothic style. Walk around medieval plazas and alleys, visit Roman ruins, the Royal Palace, the Barcelona City Council and the Generalitat Government building.
15 to 30 minutes
If you like churches, we’ll take you visiting the Gothic Cathedral of St. Eulàlia and the Holy Cross, featuring a historical wooden choir, artistic chapels, the crypt where the tomb of Saint Eulalia lies, and also an picturesque cloister where 13 geese live.
Alternatively, we’ll show you the Call (Medieval Jewish Section). Despite the pogroms suffered in 1391, you’ll be fascinated by its atmospheric area and sad history. Here is also located the oldest synagogue in Europe.
The last part of the tour takes you exploring the Born district, a trendy district full of cafés, tapas bars and special shops and the elegant church of Santa Maria del Mar with marvelous stained glasses. Finally, you’ll visit the Picasso Museum, of course skipping lines with your guide. Learn about Picasso’s youth and his evolution and life in Barcelona, then Paris until he became a famous master, and discover also what he did at the end of his life.
DISCOVER THE WORKS OF ANTONI GAUDI
Ideally, the second day will be devoted to the Gaudi sites (although this is the most flexible itinerary and can work pretty much any day of the week). Walk around the Eixample district and the exclusive Passeig de Gràcia boulevard, and learn how the city started growing after the city walls were demolished.
The Block of Discord displays works of the most important architects of the early 1900’s in Barcelona, including one of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces: Casa Batlló, that you’ll see from outside (unless you prefer to go inside this one and see Casa Milà from outside instead).
1h 15 minutes
Just three blocks further is Casa Milà, which we strongly recommend to visit inside. You’ll finally understand why some people call this building La Pedrera, admire the city views from a rooftop with very unusual chimneys, visit an exhibit on Gaudi’s technique, plus an apartment decorated with antiques from the early 1900’s.
A short ride will take you uptown to the Park Güell, another Gaudí project. A failed planned community that eventually became this whimsical park famous for its mosaics.
1 hour 15 minutes
End your tour visiting the breathtaking Sagrada Familia church, where Gaudi worked for the last 43 years of his life. 10 more towers are still missing, but the inside is already completed and it doesn’t look like any other church you’ve seen before. Undoubtedly, the highlight of your entire trip!
UP THE HILL OF MONTJUIC
Your third day in Barcelona covers the Montjuic Hill, southern limit of the city and one of its green lungs.
Start exploring the area of the World Fair of 1929, with its entrance in Plaça Espanya, and the former bullring Las Arenas, now a modern shopping mall.
While most of the pavilions built for the Fair are now used for trade shows, you can visit the reconstruction of the German Pavilion designed by Mies van der Rohe. Across the street stands the former Casaramona factory, now the Caixaforum art center.
Continue up the hill to enjoy the city views from the vantage point of Palau Nacional, home to the Museum of National Art of Catalonia (MNAC). Visiting the museum takes 2 to 4 hours, so it won’t be part of this tour unless you want to book a few extra hours. We can however take you inside to check out the huge Oval Room, where the Opening Ceremony of the World Fair took place.
Next you’ll get to the Olympic Ring, that gathers most of the 1992 Olympics facilities: Stadium, the Palau Sant Jordi by Arata Isozaki and the Calatrava Tower. Here you’ll learn how the Olympics were a huge turning point for the history of Barcelona.
The second part of the tour is customizable.
Pick one of the following activities:
YOUR LAST DAY IN TOWN TAKES YOU EXPLORING THE UPTOWN BARCELONA
This tour is more time-efficient if done as a chauffeured tour, although it can also be done by taxi.
If you have chosen to visit the FC Barcelona stadium, your day will start there. Considered one of the largest stadiums in the world, the visit takes you around all its facilities, including changing room of the visiting team, press conference room, VIP area, field level, commentators booths in the very top of the grades, tribune, and a museum with interactive displays, vintage objects related to the history of the team and of course… the trophies!
+ ride or walk
Next, a quick ride will take you North of the Diagonal Avenue into the Pedralbes district, where the Count Eusebi Güell (Gaudi’s best friend and patron) owned a real state. For him the architect built two pavilions that a spectacular metal gate shaped like a dragon.
You’ll get to learn about its symbolism and Gaudi’s relationship with the poet and priest Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer and the Marquis of Comillas, the most richest person in Spain in the late 1800’s.
Next you’ll continue (again, a short drive or 15 minutes walk) to the Monastery of Pedralbes, founded by Queen Elisenda de Montcada and built in an elegant Gothic style. It’s one of the few monasteries you can visit within the city limits.
You’ll learn here why often becoming a nun was a liberation and the opportunity to access power and independence if you were a woman in the Middle Ages, and see the spaces where they lived.
If you visited the FC Barcelona Stadium and aren’t adding extra time, your tour will end here.
If you added extra time for a ride around the exclusive Pedralbes district or to explore Sarrià and eat some tapas there, that’s what you’ll do next.
Pedralbes is the district around the Monastery, with quiet residential avenues lined-up with trees. Here are located prestigious business schools, renowned private hospitals, emblematic consulates… And here live local celebrities such as football players, members of the thigh society and artists.
Sarrià is another up-skilled neighborhood that still preserves a village feel: it only became part of Barcelona in the early 1900’s, and its main street Major de Sarrià is mostly pedestrian. That’s where it’s located a bar that many will consider to serve the very best patatas bravas in town (a famous tapa consisting of fried potatoes with allioli garlic sauce and a relatively spicy oil dressing).
If you asked to visit Gaudi’s Torre Bellesguard, this will be the last stop of your tour.
The name of this villa up in a hill was means “Beautiful Views”, and indeed, the views over Barcelona are magnificent from there! But that’s not the only thing that should drive you here.
This early Gaudi work is the perfect place to learn more about the architect background and his love for Catalonia, which he expressed in this building through historical symbolism. Its rooftop hides another dragon: maybe the largest in the whole city of Barcelona.
Final itineraries and timings might vary due to many factors (final itinerary, tickets availability, your location and pace, your main interests…)
These tours work great for people with no walking issues, such as adults and families with teens or young adults, staying at least 4 half days in Barcelona and wanting to see everything.
If you are traveling with kids, these itineraries are child friendly. Consider booking chauffeured tours when possible, to keep their energy levels up and their mood good. Also consider if they are early birds or late risers, and if they are likely to get hungry before the end of the tour make sure to bring some snacks. You’ll have the afternoon on your own to relax and do family activities that don’t require a tour guide.
If you have walking issues or use a wheelchair:
* ATTENTION. Upon booking, you’ll also be charged for the tickets of Park Güell, Torre Bellesguard (if requested) and Sagrada Familia in advance, as we’ll need to book them beforehand.
Our tours only include the towers upon request. You need to know that:
It is not possible anymore to just climb the stairs: the way up is now only possible by elevator. However, the number of tickets available is restricted to just a few every hour, for an extra fee.
If there is availability, you are given a specific time to get in the line for the elevator (either the one in the Passion façade or the one in the Nativity façade, but not both), and after a 5 to 20 minute wait you finally get in the elevator that takes you to almost the top of the towers. From there you must walk down: it is not permitted to use the elevator to go down anymore. The whole process takes almost one hour, so unless you are OK shortening the rest of the tour itinerary, you should book one extra hour to be able to do the towers.
Do we recommend the towers, though? Only for the adventure of climbing spiral stairs, but not for the views as you’ll get better views from many other city sites. After all, those towers were designed to be bell towers, not vantage points. Also, the way down is narrow and occasionally claustrophobic, and it is definitely not for people scared of heights.
THE TOWERS ARE NOT ACCESSIBLE FOR WHEELCHAIRS, AND NOT SUITABLE FOR PEOPLE WITH HEART OR LUNG CONDITIONS, CLAUSTROPHOBIA OR FEAR OF HEIGHTS. CHILDREN UNDER 6 YEARS OF AGE ARE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE TOWERS.
DURATION: 4 hours/day
Taxi rides not included.
Mercedes car or minivan upto 6 of you + guide & dedicated driver
OPTIONAL – Not included
Expect to pay €20-30/person (depending on your order), if you decide to include meals in your tours.
CHARGED UPON BOOKING:
PAID ON SITE skipping lines:
OPTIONAL – EXTRA HOURS NEEDED:
OPTIONAL – PAID ON SITE:
* Fees given as an orientation only. Sites might decide to change them without notice. Discounts might apply for students and/or seniors.
We can only secure a guide for you after full payment has been received. Don’t wait until last-minute: we often book out in high season, and Park Guell & Sagrada Familia tickets sell out, too.
These tours are:
|GAUDI TOUR||Available Monday through Sunday|
|OLD TOWN TOUR||Sunday: No visits allowed in the Cathedral of the Old Town and the Boqueria market is closed
Monday: The Boqueria Market is only partially open.
Afternoons (except Friday and Saturday): The Boqueria Market is only partially open.
|MONTJUIC TOUR||Monday: The Miró Foundation is closed.|
|UPTOWN TOUR||Not available on Mondays nor in the afternoon (as Torre Bellesguard and the Monastery of Pedralbes are closed).
Sunday: The patatas bravas bar is closed.
Recommended starting times:
|Morning Tours:||Anytime between 9AM and 11Am
(Uptown Tour: 9.30 to 10AM)
|Afternoon Tours:||Contact us before booking, to discuss your options.
(Uptown Tour not available)
Lidia is an amazing guide. We spent 4 days with her and enjoyed every moment. She is full of historical, artistic, political knowledge and much more. When you are with a licensed tour guide in Barcelona you get special perks. La Sagrada Familia would have been a different experience (not better) if we had attempted it alone. I can't say enough about Lidia and dealing with Marta at ForeverBarcelona. Simple and pleasurable!