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Explore the best of Gaudi’s world with my Barcelona self-walking tour recommendations
Barcelona is much more than Tapas and Vermuth (note that I did not say ‘sangria’, as it is not typical of Barcelona, and in my customized self-guided waling tour, I share eeeeeeverything i know!
After living here for over two years now, I can proudly say that I know the city very well. Add to that my monthly visitors and I can safely say that I have become somewhat of a Barcelona travel agent to most f my friends.
Because of this, and before I even started this blog, I had created a self-walking tour to hand out to my friends so that I would not have to go touring with them whenever they visited, which includes basic things such as what to see in Barcelona, to more specific tips such as La Rambla walking tour with specific tips on how to stay safe from pickpockets.
Don’t get me wrong, the city is amazing. But if I have to go one more time up to Parc Guell I will go crazy (I would only do that for my mother, or Paul McCartney if he ever decides to visit me #BeatlesObsessed).
So whenever my visitors come, I used to hand them my walking tour suggestions, including all my tips on where to eat and where to get the best free wifi (ahem, the Apple Store should be your wifi mothership whenever you travel, as they never require a login password and provide wifi faster than my house).
Besides Gaudi’s art, there are different neighborhoods and open-air attractions to explore, and Barcelona is a walkable city with very few hilly areas. A walking tour is one of the best ways to explore the neighborhoods and attractions.
So bear with me, I will walk you through a route that visits 10 of Barcelona’s must-see spots.
PS – It is important to say that I have already written various posts about Barcelona. In a separate post, I detail all the must-see attractions, altogether with valuable tips for each of them.
This post will focus on the tour side, rather than attractions information.
So if you wish to know more about Barcelona’s top attractions, don’t miss this post.
Here we go!!
Check out this 15s teaser I did with some of Cris’s images of Barcelona.
What you need to pack
- Comfortable shoes – keep in mind that Barcelona is an extremely walkable city and even in winter time, the weather is not bad at all (it can get quite hot during summer though, especially in August)
- A water bottle – don’t spend money every time you buy get thirsty. Remember that as a typical European city, there are thousands of drinkable water fountains spread out everywhere in the city. Simply refill as you go.
- A hat – especially in summer time. As this is a self-made walking tour, you can expect to be most of the time in open air.
- Google Maps (or an actual print-out if you are feeling old school). Having a map at hands will guide you towards which direction to take whenever you are confused. Barcelona has a public wifi, but is disconnects every 5 minutes or so, causing it to frustrate you a bit. If you ever need wifi on the go, be sure to check out Tep Wireless
- An extra pair of camera batteries (or a phone charger, if taking pictures with your phone).
- La Pedrera
- Casa Battló
- Passeig de Gracia
- Plaza Catalunya
- El Corte Inglés
- Las Ramblas
- Mercat de La Boqueria
- Porto de Barcelona
- Barceloneta (neighborhood)
- Barceloneta (beach)
- Start from the very top, and make your way down. Your first stop should be Casa Meliá, or also known as la Pedrera.
- From there, you go down towards Casa Battló
- Fancy a healthy snack? I strongly recommend trying a salad bar called Faborit, located just next to Casa Battló
- From there, make your way down Barcelona’s most prestigious street, Passeig de Gracias towards Plaza Catalunya. Take your time to look into the shops and maybe do some shopping.
- From Plaza Catalunya, make your way down Las Ramblas (remember, don’t sit to eat or drink there and always be careful with your bags at the Ramblas) . I’ve created a post with 12 mistakes tourists make in Barcelona and how you can avoid them too.
The closer the stand is to the entrance, the more expensive it will be. So make your way inside. They sell the exact same things, but sometimes for half the price.
Careful because the boqueria market is closed on Sundays and you definitely don’t want to miss visiting this amazing place.
- Finally done eating? Continue down the Ramblas and you will arrive to the Barcelona port, where the big statue of Columbus is (fun fact: to this day no one know which direction he is actually pointing to). Then take left, in the direction to Barceloneta and you will eventually arrive to the beach.
- There are many restaurant options to eat there. The fish in Barcelona is usually very fresh and delicious, by the way.
Time required for the tour from La Pedrera to Barceloneta, not considering stops (1h30)
And BAM, girl! Just like that you are done with day 1 like a pro, not needing to pay any guide to show you around.
- Gothic Quarter
- Gothic Cathedral
- Palace of Catalan Music
- Ciutadella Park
- Arc of Triumph
- Sagrada Familia
Today, a different self-walking tour: I recommend renting a bike for the day to make. I suggest starting your second day tour and there are many bicycle rentals in that area where you can rent a bike for a whole day under 10 euros.
I recommend Green Bikes (not affiliate) to all of my friends who visit, as it is the one I also used when I was a tourist here myself 🙂
Ready to start day 2? Lets go!!
Gothic Quarter and the Gothic Cathedral
As aforementioned, rent a bike in this neighborhood and enjoy a whole day pedaling around this amazing city. The Gothic quartier by itself is something beautiful to see (and very safe too). So get lost and explore the best of Barcelona.
Palace of Catalan Music (Palau de la Musica Catalana)
Pedal your way towards the Palaca of Catalan Music, which by outside it is already something to be seen (I challenge you to make it fit in one photo). Inside it is even more beautiful than outside, but rather than paying to go look at an empty venue, why not check the artists who will be performing during your visit and check if there is anything that interests you.
I’ve been to an amazing Beatles cover with my mother for my birthday in 2018 (I told you before that I am theatre-obsessed, right?).
Ciutadella Park (Parc de La Ciutadella)
If I can be honest, this park has good and bad days. The first time I went, I found it beautiful and charming. The water fountain was working and it was a stunning day at the park.
The second time however was quite different. I found the park dirty and unkept, the fountain was dry and a bit dirty to my mind.
So I dunno, maybe it was luck (or bad luck?). But I have many friends who love Ciutadella. There are many locals doing arts and a charming lake in the center of the park, where you can feed the ducks.
Be it as it is, I still encourage you to give the Park a visit, as only the entrance (or exist) through the Arch of Triumph is already something to be seen.
Challenge: Try and find the hidden Mammoth inside Ciutadella
Arch of Triumph
Upon leaving the Ciutadella Park, pedal your way through Barcelona’s majestic Arc of Triumph and make your way up the much-anticipated Sagrada Familia (don’t forget the importance of booking your ticket in advance AND to pay for the audio guide!!)
La Sagrada Familia
Probably the stop you are most looking forward to, the Sagrada Familia certainly deserves a whole post of its own.
There are 3 important, yet further away attractions to see and there are numerous ways of getting to them. I didn’t add them in the self walking tour recommendations as it wouldn’t make sense, considering they are so out of the way.
Well, you COULD also walk there. Heck, I walked up to Park Guell when I first came and when was a backpacker back in the golden age. However, now I’ve reached that phase in life where I value my comfort and the convenience of things. Plus taxis in this city aren’t expensive at all!!! So whichever transportation you prefer, don’t miss out these 4 amazing attractions:
- Park Guell
- Camp Nou
- Bunkers del Carmel
- Montjuic and the Fonte Magica
DONT’ MISS OUT ANYTHING FROM MY POPULAR BARCELONA SERIES
- Want to know more about Barcelona? Check out the complete city guide here.
- Check out my absolute top recommendations on where to eat in Barcelona after living here for 2+ years.
- 3 interesting, yet extremely WEIRD, Catalan traditions
- Top Barcelona Activity: Authentic Flamenco at Tablao de Carmen
- 12 Common Barcelona Tourist Mistakes
- 6 Mistakes to Avoid at The Sagrada Familia
- First Time to Spain Guide
- 10 Reasons Why So Many People Visit Barcelona
Planning a trip to Barcelona any time soon? That’s so EXCITING! To help you get started, check out Get Your Guide’s top-rated tours and activities.
Other Useful Travel Resources:
- World Nomads – The most popular and reliable insurance company, trusted by many travel bloggers (the one I used when I went to Sri Lanka)
- iVisa – Quick and seamless Visa application for any country. Try it out!
- Get Your Guide – for fun tours and attractions tickets – Buy tickets in advance and save money + time!