I recently talked to someone who’s traveling to Barcelona soon, and they mentioned how overwhelming it has been to plan their trip.
While they know which attractions they want to see most—finding information about tickets and guided tours has been a time-consuming task for them.
I helped them out, and I thought it may be useful for you too!
Why book a tour?
There are so many advantages of pre-booking a tour to see the highlights of a city!
A guide can tell you more about the history, facts, and legends of a destination, so you don’t have to spend your time with your head down looking at Google.
In case you want to see more than one attraction in a day, a tour will have a well thought out itinerary, so you don’t have to spend time meticulously planning your day and mapping yourself from place to place.
Tour operators may be able to offer skip the line tickets to some sights and attractions, so you don’t have to spend your precious vacation time waiting around specially under the strong Spanish sun.
When to book a tour?
I recommend booking as soon as possible. This way, you get the best deals and it ensures entry to the most popular sights.
For example, the Sagrada Família has a limited amount of tickets and is one of Barcelona’s main highlights, especially during summer months.
As for when to go on the tour: I personally prefer going on my first day at a new destination. That way I can get a feel for the city and plan the rest of my time around what I want to see more of, plus I can ask a bunch of questions about the best restaurants and shops and the local culture.
Which sights to see with a guide—and which to DIY?
Go with a guide for large monuments with lots of things to discover, like the Sagrada Família or Picasso Museum. The guide will be able to select the most important and add some fun anecdotes.
There are some attractions you can do on your own, like Camp Nou. Several monuments also have their own guided visits, like Palau de la Musica. Even better—in the summer many monuments have evening concerts which you can attend. Check Les Punxes.
It’s worth looking into a number of tour operators. Especially on the street, you’ll find operators offering tours at a high price.
Pay attention to the tour times.Montserrat is less busy in the afternoon, while we advise early (9 am) visits to monuments in central Barcelona. It gets busier from 11 am and people tend to go shopping in the afternoons, so you can also visit monuments in the afternoon.
The guide is the most important aspect of a tour. Ask about their language skills, where they’re from or how long they’ve been in Barcelona, and their level of expertise. Always look for an official guide!
For example, at Barcelona Guide Bureau, we work with expert guides who speak English. Our guides are licensed and constantly strive to ensure that everyone on their tours is completely satisfied.
Well, I hope this is as helpful to you as it was for my new friend. Reply to this blog below if you’ve got any questions left!
Guides from BGB ready for the visit in front of Casa Batllò
Antoni Gaudí is one of the world’s most famous architects, and most of his work is found here in Barcelona.
His work doesn’t only attract architecture lovers but is a must-see for many travelers to Barcelona. To help you discover his Barcelona, here’s our Antoni Gaudí 101 crash keys about him.
As you probably know, Antoni Gaudí was a Spanish modernist architect with a very unique style. His work was influenced by his passions for architecture, nature, and religion and is famous for its unusual shapes. His fervent religious faith and his fascination with nature are important, however, his best quality is his talent.
Details of the nature in the artworks of Gaudí
Gaudí’s most famous building is the church of the Sagrada Família. Construction of the church started in 1882 and still isn’t finished. Gaudí took over as chief architect in 1883 and devoted the rest of his life to the building—and death, as he is buried in the crypt.
Park Güellwas built on a hill in La Salut neighborhood. From here, you have a fantastic view over Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea. The best time to visit is on a weekday around sunset.
Wavy floors, fascinating mosaics, and curious shapes: Casa Milá (or ‘La Pedrera’) is a residential building, but part of it is open for public (with stunning views on the mountains and sea).
Another house by Antoni Gaudí is Casa Batlló. Its fairytale-like design surprised the city and earned the nicknames ‘House of Bones’ and ‘House of Yawns’.
Casa Vicens was built for a tile manufacturer, and Gaudí used this fact in his design. The tiles are combined with bricks, which makes for a special sight.
Gaudí, another concept of art
His work is spread all over Barcelona and you can easily fill a few days with just Antoni Gaudí-inspired visits.
The best way to see all of his buildings and learn more about his life and work is to take a tour.
We organize many Gaudí-based tours, so which one is best for you really depends on what you feel is most interesting.
Visit the exceptional works of the Sagrada Família and Casa Battló with The Gaudí Tour.
The Sagrada Família Tour is perfect if you’re especially interested in the church and the greatest creation of the architect.
Admire Park Güell with our Park Güell Tour, which includes skip-the-line tickets and a guided visit with an official and local guide.
Are you ready to discover the best kept secret in history with us?
Legend has it that the Yellow Emperor, Huang Ti, entrusted his wife, Lady Xi Lingshi, with the task of discovering why the mulberry leaves in her garden disappeared mysteriously until the plant died. The Empress began to observe and discovered some white worms that ate them. One of the cocoons had accidentally dropped into his cup of hot tea. She took it with curiosity and stretched it, seeing that from it came a very fine, smooth thread of extraordinary beauty. She realised that by joining a few the thread would be strong enough to weave nice clothes for his husband. After several attempts, she finally managed to weave a beautiful silk handkerchief for the Emperor.
How many years was this secret kept?
For more than two thousand years China kept the secret under threat of death penalty to anyone who dared to spread the sacred art.
However 550 after Christ, two monks arrived from Constantinople hidden in their bamboo sticks a few eggs. These monks put their lifes at risk by taking the cocoons as they were violating the laws of the Empire. Upon their return, the monks taught the Romans everything they had learned about sericulture and the manufacture of silk.
The worm of silk
In this way, the best kept secret of history ended up transcending borders through the Silk Road and after the Crusades, to Western Europe. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries Italy was gaining fame in the sector for the quality of its silk industry until other countries, such as France or Spain, also began to specialize by diversifying the market and significantly reducing imports from China.
The Emperator looking at the worm
After the Industrial Revolution and the mechanization of manufacturing processes, the price of silk products decreased, having a more widespread use. Even so, the highest quality silk fabrics have always been considered a luxury good and today, China is once again the main producer.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the authentic and unique House of Silk in Barcelona, just in the heart of the city. It was declared to be National Cultural Heritage in 1919 and won the Gold Medal of the City of Barcelona in 1929. Its walls of silk and the elegance of the Baroque leaves nobody indifferent. Come to visit it!