Walking around the Old Town and the Barri Gotic

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Gloria and Richard Mandel are passionate about history, so they hired my services to take them strolling around the Old Town of Barcelona. The perfect tour for people who like history and ancient buildings.

It’s one of my favorite tours, because also walking is a great way to get the feel of the local life. Appart from the important sites, I usually like to spice up the tour pointing at unique local old shops, tapas bars where you can go on your own as well as little curious details that most people completely miss!

So we started our tour in La Rambla, a vibrant boulevard in the middle of the Old Town, famous for its street performers and the pretty flower market (plus some other interesting sites). And as we walked down, we also took the opportunity to enter the wonderful Boqueria Food Market, where I showed them my favorite little secrets. They both love its outstanding displays, local products and exotic food, all in one place!

After that, we left La Rambla and headed to the Gothic Quarter crossing the Call, the medieval Jewish Section. Not many elements where left after the quarter was attacked in 1391, but if you are interested in the history of minorities, there you can still feel the athmosphere of the Middle Ages, and visit the oldest synagogue in Europe.

We next arrived to the Cathedral, and they decided to visit this remarkable gothic basilica. We paid the fee of the choir so I was allowed to go in with them (otherwise tour guide are not allowed in there with clients), and we discussed the stories of the artistic side chapels, the crypt of St. Eulàlia and the cloister with the gees.

After visiting the Cathedral, we kept strolling around the medieval alleys and squares of the Gothic Quarter, where I showed them Roman ruins, gothic patios, the Royal Palace, the City Council and the Generalitat Government building, amongst other.

Our walk took us next accross Via Laietana and on to the Born District, a trendy area of the Old Town, considered the local “SOHO”. The most important sights are the gorgeous church of Sta. Maria del Mar and the Picasso Museum, that of course we didn’t miss the opportunity to visit: I have so much fun digging into Picasso’s early years and revealing a whole new point of view that makes my guests underestand much better everything they knew about the artist!

We must have spent about one hour in the museum, and by the time we exited, our time together had ended. We reviewed in a map everything we have done today (making sure to mark in the map the street where they had to return to enjoy the best hot chocolate with churros in town, and a couple of shops they had liked on the way). I finally dropped them at one of my favorite tapas places in the area and made sure they know how to get back to their hotel from there.

It had been another gorgeous morning exploring Barcelona!

If you’d like to learn more about this tour and book it, check out my Barri Gotic Tour.