Do you only have one day to visit Barcelona? Don’t feel like having to plan your sightseeing (including moving around, timings, ticket reservations…)? Do you like to walk but think that with a driver you’ll get to cover more ground? Or maybe a driver in the afternoon would allow you to keep your energy levels higher to continue exploring the city than if you had to walk for the whole day?
Packing all your city sightseeing in one day can be tough, if you try to do it on your own. Too many things to take into account, and something is likely to go wrong in the end. Instead, hiring a private tour gives you the confidence that your itinerary is planed by a pro and all the details are taken care of. And that’s what we excel in!
We have designed this itinerary considering that while certain areas of Barcelona are best explored on foot, transportation is necessary to cover some other and taxi and subway aren’t always the best choice for everyone. A walking morning with a chauffeured afternoon offers you the best of both worlds, so you can take the most out of your short time in the city.
Final itinerary and timings might vary due to many factors (Park Guell and Sagrada Familia tickets availability, your location and pace, your main interests…)
Start your day walking around the Gothic Quarter, the heart of the Old Town, exploring its medieval alleys and plazas, passing by Roman ruins, taking a look at Gothic patios… The Royal Palace, the City Council and the Generalitat Government building are also located there.
The most important site of the Gothic Quarter is the Cathedral, where you can see the crypt where St. Eulàlia is buried, a remarkable choir, gorgeous side chapels, and the lovely cloister where the geese live. Entrance is optional: ask your guide to just see it from outside, or let you quickly go in and out to check it out, or take you inside and show you around in detail, as you prefer.
If you were not too interested in the Cathedral, you might prefer to visit the Call, the medieval Jewish Section, that despite having been attacked in 1391 it is still a place full of history that keeps its medieval flair. Here is located the oldest synagogue in Europe.
Your Barcelona in A Day Tour continues with a short walk that will take you to La Rambla, a famous promenade in the heart of the Old Town, always lively any time of the day. You’ll be seeing a few interesting sites, including a charming flower market, but the best part will definitely be the Boqueria Food Market, said to be one of the best food markets in the whole world. A great mix of colorful displays, local produce and exotic food that you will love.
Your walk will later take you into the Eixample District, the Expansion designed by the city planner Ildefons Cerdà. Here you’ll discover the Modernist architecture (local Art Nouveau) and its top architects reunited at the Block of Disagreement: Domènech i Muntaner, Puig i Cadafalch, and of course, Antoni Gaudí. You’ll see the outside of Casa Batlló and Casa Milà/Pedrera, two apartment buildings by Gaudi.
Around 1pm we’ll take you to a local tapas restaurant so you can enjoy our traditional food in and informal way: tapas! We’ll order and share small dishes to share, to try different local specialties and get familiar with our food. Yummy!
After lunch, your Barcelona in A Day Tour becomes chauffeured: we’ll be joined by the driver to continue exploring the city. First of all you’ll drive uptown to walk around the colorful Park Güell by Gaudi, famous for its ceramic bench and the salamander fountain. You’ll feel like you are inside a fairy tale.
Next you’ll head to Gaudí’s masterpiece and one of the highlights of this private tour: the Sagrada Família Church. Of course, we’ll take you inside with no lines! The architect worked here for 43 years until his death in 1926. Still under construction, it is said that it’ll be completed by 2026-30 approx. You’ve never seen anything like that before!
Back with the driver, after visiting the church your Barcelona in A Day Tour continues with a drive around the city past the area of the 1888 World Fair (Arch of Triumph and Ciutadella Park) and continue along the Waterfront, driving across the Olympic village and marina, along the beaches, around the Barceloneta fishermen district, the Port Vell (Old Port) & Columbus circle.
The last stop of your Barcelona in A Day Tour will be the Montjuïc Hill, where we will see the city views from a vantage point, see the 1992 Olympic facilities and the Stadium, and finally continue through the 1929 World Fair area. Enjoying the city skiline and learning about two important these two important events in the history of Barcelona will be a lovely way to end your day.
Your guide can put you on a taxi or give you directions to take the subway or walk back to your hotel.
This tour is conceived for people that only have one day to explore Barcelona, are able to walk but are happy to pay for a private driver to maximize their sightseeing time.
If you are staying more than one day in town, we strongly recommend to split your sightseeing in two days rather than trying to do everything on your first day.
If you are traveling with kids, this itinerary might work because the chauffeured afternoon helps keeping their stamina up. However, we usually recommend shorter tours (4 to 6 hours) so you have the afternoon free to rest or do family activities that don’t require a tour guide. Check out our walking and chauffeured half day tours. Same applies if 8 hours sound like too much for your (or your budget).
If you have walking issues or use a wheelchair, check with us before booking, as depending on your capacities we might or not be able to cover the full itinerary in 8 hours and we’d rather discuss it with you to set the right expectations.
* ATTENTION. Upon booking, you’ll also be charged for the tickets of Park Güell and Sagrada Familia in advance, as we’ll need to book them in advance.
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 can walk down, or if you chose the Passion façade you have the option to take the elevator down at no extra cost. 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.
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.
This Barcelona in A Day Tour is:
|AVAILABLE||Monday through Sunday|
|SOME SITES CLOSED||Sundays: No visits allowed in the Cathedral of the Old Town.
Monday: The Boqueria Market is only partially open.
Recommended starting times:
I booked a private guided tour through ForeverBarcelona to ensure our time in the city was well spent, and indeed it was! We parted ways with Miriam and made our way back to the apartment - hot, tired and thrilled to have done so much in one day.
I highly recommend doing a driving/walking combination tour because the driving portion allows you to see a large number of sights while the walking portion give a very intimate experience with the local culture. We were all fascinated with every place we visited.
If you have one day in the city, this is the way to go. I didn't leave with the feeling that I had missed something. I left knowing that I had seen far more than the usual tourist. Thanks so much, Javier!
Great way to spend a day in Barcelona. Definitely one of our best memories of our trip to Europe - Thank you.