SEE BARCELONA FROM YOUR HOME WITH THESE VIRTUAL TOURS OF BARCELONA
These are strange days. What at first didn’t look more than a strong flu has become a global alert, with people confined in their homes in Spain for at least 15 days (but rumors are it’ll be longer than that), schools and restaurants closed in many other countries…
At ForeverBarcelona once we confinement started we’ve been all staying at home, dealing with cancellations, reducing expenses, and taking care of our families.
In my case, with an active 4-yo at home at needs mom and wants to be entertained there’s not a lot of opportunities to create new content. Our usual automated social media posts keep on going, but that’s because it’s mostly re-purposed content.
I know some other travel companies around the world are giving short live streams, or posting every day about X… I’m afraid in my personal situation I just can’t, for now.
But this morning I woke up early and had an idea to keep you entertained. I’ve found for you the top sites that offer virtual tours, so while you might not be able to come to Barcelona this year, at least you can unplug for a short time and dream that you are here.
These are my recommended Barcelona virtual tours:
Sagrada Familia Church
I couldn’t but start with the number one site in the city – the famous unfinished church by the master architect Antoni Gaudi. Started in 1882 and scheduled to be completed by 2026 (virus permitting…), if there’s only one site where you want to spend your money while you are in Barcelona – this is it! It doesn’t look like any other church you’ve ever been before.
And while they are still building the towers, the inside was already finished in 2010 (so no excuses to see it only from outside – just get tickets online ahead of time or hire us for a tour of it, because tickets sell out!). Their virtual tour offers impressive 360º views of the different façades and the inside, as well as the work-in-progress areas that have restricted access to their builders only.
This is one of my favorite museums in town, but often overlooked because the top cubist works are elsewhere… However, it’s so illuminating to discover who Picasso was before Picasso, how he became who he became, and understand how his mind worked.
They have a 360º virtual tour of the courtyards of the medieval mansions that house the museum, and then you can check the highlights of their art collection here. Once you are done with that, if you still want more, they also have the complete catalog online (easy to access from their website sidebar menu).
Palau de la Musica Catalana
This gorgeous concert hall was designed by Domenech i Montaner, a leader of the Barcelona Modernism and teacher of Gaudi in college. While we don’t usually include it in our tours because visitors can’t walk on their own but must join on of their own tours, I always recommend my guests to visit it or attend a concert (flamenco and Spanish guitar are popular ones).
Their virtual tour takes you around its magnificent beauty. I found it a bit hard to navigate, but with a bit of patience and trial-error you’ll be able to follow the arrows to explore all its different rooms and details. Don’t forget to use your mouse to point to the ceilings too! The skylight at the concert room is just… wow! BTW, I experienced occasional errors when trying to load it. Just refresh the page and it should work fine.
Considered Gaudi’s first masterpiece, since everything he completed earlier was youth projects, this colorful apartment building is a favorite stop when walking around Passeig de Gràcia. They have a great media team, so it’s not a surprise that the virtual tour of Casa Batllo is really well done and easy to explore, with even a floor plan of each floor so you don’t miss any important element!
Do you want one more tip? Check out the video of the mapping show they created in 2012, inspired in all the possible things that could have inspired Gaudi for its façade: from the Carnival of Venice to water lilies or bones, and of course, the legend of Saint George and the Dragon. Just spectacular!
La Pedrera (Casa Mila)
There’s another Gaudi building in the same street: Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera – “The Quarry”. Their virtual tour is also pretty neat, even if I found it was slightly slow to load the images at full quality. It auto-plays if you let it go, or you can navigate it yourself using your mouse and clicking. There’s also a ground plan of the floor you are visiting, plus a drawing of the building that allows you to move from floor to floor, and pictures of the highlights at the top, so you don’t miss a thing.
NOT JUST ABOUT SEEING, BUT ALSO ABOUT LEARNING?
The Museum of National Art of Catalonia understands the concept of “virtual tour” not as a walk to visiting their venue online, but as a way to learn about specific content of their collection.
So rather than 360º views of its rooms, the MNAC virtual tours take you on slides that develop a variety of stories: about women in art, saints, monsters, expressions of pain… each point illustrated with a related piece of artwork from the museum. And of course, they have their entire catalog online, too!
I HOPE THESE SUGGESTIONS WILL KEEP YOU ENTERTAINED DURING YOUR CONFINEMENT OR UNABILITY TO TRAVEL!
We hope to see you again soon, once this madness is over.
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