Are you a history freak? Have you already seen the Gaudi sites and now want to focus on the Old Town? Do you enjoy walking around Barcelona and entering old backstreets and alleys where you wouldn’t venture on your own? Are you planning to visit the Picasso Museum but find audioguides boring?
The Old Town constitutes one of the best walks in Barcelona. Some of its streets can be navigated by pretty much any tourist on their own… however they miss all the history behind the stones, and lots of surprising details that only a local can show you. And the rest of the historical district is a maze of medieval alleys that can be confusing to navigate unless you are constantly checking a map, but hide unique shops, unexpected sites and lovely plazas.
The Picasso Museum is located in one of this narrow streets, and in our experience it’s a museum that is likely to disappoint you without good explanations because it’s not the Picasso you expect to see but the early works that have little in common with his famous cubist works. However, there’s a story behind every painting and after going through his early works your understanding of Picasso will change forever.
This tour will reveal you the secrets of the Old Town, starting with an insiders tour of the famous Boqueria Market, a stroll around the Barcelona Barri Gotic and the hip Born district and a private tour of the Picasso Museum. Our Old Town tours are never the same, because the area offers plenty of opportunities to custom the itinerary and spice it up with stuff that matches your personal interests.
Final itinerary and timings might vary due to many factors (Park Guell and Sagrada Familia tickets availability, your location and pace, your main interests…)
Your Old Town and Barri Gotic walking tour will start in La Rambla, strolling down this lively boulevard of the Old Town and passing, amongst other interesting sites, a pretty flower market.
In the heart of La Rambla we’ll find the Boqueria Food Market, where you’ll discover the secrets of one of the best food markets in the whole world. You’ll love their gorgeous stands, and enjoy looking at the exotic produce as well as the local food.
Your Barri Gotic walking tour will take you next to the oldest part of the city, the Gothic Quarter, walking along medieval alleys and plazas, crossing Roman ruins on the way, entering Gothic patios… The Royal Palace, the City Council and the Generalitat Government building will also be included in this part of the itinerary.
Its most impressive building is the Cathedral, where if you choose to enter you’ll visit the choir, see fine side chapels, descend to the crypt where St. Eulàlia is buried, and go to the cloister famous for its gees. Alternatively, we can take you the medieval Jewish Section: the Call. After the attacks in 1391 it was mostly destroyed, but the oldest synagogue in Europe has been recovered and it’s open to the public.
Your Barri Gotic walking tour continues in the Born District. This is the trendy area of the Old Town, considered the local “SOHO”. The most important sites here are the gorgeous church of Sta. Maria del Mar and the Picasso Museum, that you’ll enter skipping lines with your tour guide.
Inside you’ll discover how a young Picasso arrived to Barcelona at a young age, hear about his training period and how he joined the local bohemian artists to finally move to Paris. You’ll see as well his first works in the city of lights, with a special mention to the Blue Period and the beginning of the cubism. The last rooms of the museum are dedicated to a series about Las Meninas, that were a personal donation of Picasso to the museum.
Your guide can put you on a taxi or give you directions to take the subway or walk back to your hotel, or help you find somewhere for lunch in the area that is packed with great tapas bars.
This tour is perfect for people able to walk about 2 miles in a morning, with frequent stops but mostly standing although there are some opportunities to walk or take a coffee break.
If you are traveling with kids, this tour can be child-friendly if we limit the historical facts and focus on the fun details and the exploration. The explanations at the Picasso museum can also be adapted. A stop for gelato or hot chocolate with churros half way through the tour will definitely make their day!
If you have walking issues, remember that this tour is 100% walking and that there are some opportunities to seat but not frequently. If your pace is slow, you might not be able to complete the whole itinerary in 4 hours. We are reticent to recommend a driver for this itinerary because it won’t save you much walk, just give you the opportunity to seat for a 10 minute ride to move from one of the visited areas to the next (the itinerary would be modified accordingly).
If you are on a wheelchair, the Old Town is relatively flat and has no cobble-stoned streets. The Cathedral and the Picasso museum are wheelchair accessible, but the medieval Synagoghe is not: there are a few steep steps at the entrance.
If you aren’t a Picasso fan, no problem! Ask your guide to take you to the Museum of History of the City to see its Roman ruins, or just continue exploring other areas of the Old Town off the beaten path.
DURATION: 4 hours
100% WALKING TOUR
Taxi rides, if any, not included.
PAID ON SITE skipping lines:
* 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.
This Old Town & Barri Gotic walking tour is:
|AVAILABLE||Monday through Sunday|
|SOME SITES CLOSED||Sunday: No visits allowed in the Cathedral of St. Eulàlia and the Boqueria Market is closed.
Monday: The Picasso Museum is closed and the Boqueria Market is only partially open.
Tuesday to Thursday, after 4PM: The Boqueria Market is only partially open.
Recommended starting times:
|Morning Tours:||Anytime between 9 and 11AM.|
|Afternoon Tours:||Anytime between 1PM and 4PM|
Four life-enriching hours on our private tour with Marta, on foot. Insights on Catalonian history, food, culture, current events as we walked ancient streets. Maximized the enjoyment of our too-few days in Barcelona. Did this tour on our first day, so the tour gave us lots of ideas for spending subsequent days.
We had a wonderful afternoon with Javier. Before we set out from our meeting place at our hotel he provided some information about the history of this amazing city, a wonderful prelude of things to come. We concentrated on a walking tour of the old city and his anecdotal stories really complimented each visual experience. Our 4 hours went by too quickly but we ended on a high note - a stop at a well known chocolate shop. Perfect ending to a great tour.
We chose the Medieval Tour of Barcelona. The tour was the best! Marta was very knowledgeable, energetic, fun, flexible, with great stories and just great! Showed us parts of Barcelona we would never have discovered alone. Thoroughly enjoyed!
Javier took my daughter and me for a 4 hour walk through the Gothic Quarter. He was so kind and patient with us, VERY knowledgeable, and had a great way of personalizing our tour. His explanations were just the right amount of history and human interest - never boring.
We did a 4 hour private walking tour of the old city and Picasso Museum with Lidia. She was easy to understand, very knowledgeable, met us in our hotel lobby, and was overall a delight! Her insights into Picasso's works in the Picasso Museum were a real treat!
Expertly navigated us through the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter.
Without Marta's explanations we would not have enjoyed our visit to the Picasso Museum nearly as much as we did.
She took us through the Gothic area into nooks and crannies that we would never have found.
Marta pointed out so many interesting observations about the progression of Picasso's work that I felt regret for the visitors simply wandering room to room.
Great orientation to major sites in Gothic Barcelona.