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Barcelona: A Travel Guide To Memory Lane

Thinking of an unforgettable vacation in an unforgettable place? Why not consider Barcelona in Spain? With a rich history, colorful culture, vigorous nightlife, and breathtaking attractions, what is there to ask for in Barcelona?

Barcelona is one of the top city destinations in the world. It is the second-largest city in Spain and is the capital of Catalonia. It is the most populous city in the country, with a population of 1.6 million people in 2012 within its administrative limits and 4.5 million beyond it, which is its urban area.

This global city owes its importance in its arts and entertainment, media, international trade, finance, and commerce industries. Weighed down many times during its rich history, Barcelona emerges today as an important art and design center and a chief tourist destination. It was also well known for the Summer Olympics in 1992.

Considered to be one of the most “exciting cities in the world”, Barcelona has a wide range of landmarks and attractions that will make any visitors fall in love with the city. The medieval street plan of Barcelona, which is also one of the world’s most famous streets, manifests the interesting past of this Spanish city.

One thing that adds beauty to Barcelona is the geographical location that makes it very accessible wherever you are in Europe. Its international airport caters to a number of direct flights from various cities around the globe.

Learn more about the city of Barcelona here in Simplybarcelona.org. Find out how to get to the city, the best places to see and stay in as well as the best restaurants to eat in among others. If you are still thinking about dropping a visit to the city, this site might just help you make up your mind. Browse over our Barcelona pages to get to know this beautiful city more.

Tours

Some people just love to do walking tours when they visit a huge city like Barcelona for the very first time. They walk to help them get their bearings. If you walk a lot, this sightseeing activity can help you plan future days in Barcelona. It gives you an idea of what is walkable as well as what needs a metro or a taxi to get to.

But if walking tours are too pedestrian for you, there are many other Barcelona sightseeing tours you can choose from. Bus tours, also known as, “hop on and hop off tourist buses”, are a very popular way to view the city. If you want to navigate the city’s narrow streets, there are sightseeing tours to do it, including bike tours.

Here are a few of the tour companies in Barcelona:

Barcelona Tours (Address: Carrer de Muntaner, 9 / Phone: +34 933 71 25 12)
Barcelona Travel Point (Address: Carrer Ample, 12 / Phone: +34 932 69 11 28)
Vesping (Address: Passatge Simó, 24 / Phone: +34 936 67 79 77)
BCN Travel & Tours Barcelona (Address: Pasaje Bocabella, 10, 1-3 / Phone: +34 930 04 33 42)
Spanish Trails Day Tours and Events (Address: Ronda de Sant Pere, 23 / Phone: +34 935 00 16 16)

Bus Tours

Barcelona bus tours, colloquially known as “hop on and hop off tourist buses,” are a great way to view the city. Many tourists who initially brush off the idea of such kind of Barcelona sightseeing tours are pleasantly surprised by their experience.

Barcelona tour buses run almost every day from 9 am (leaving from Ronda Universitat, Montjuic, Plaza Catalunya, and Colon) until 5:55 pm. The only days when tour buses do not run are December 25 and January 1. The Barcelona Tours company states that buses run every 20 minutes, which is subject to change. Since there are no timetables at the stops, it is a case of arriving at the stop and waiting for the arrival of the next bus.

You can buy tickets for adults and children aged between 4 and 12; you can buy it for either a 1- or 2-day period. A 1-day ticket for adults costs €21 and a 2-day ticket costs €27. A 1-day ticket for children costs €13 and a 2-day ticket costs €17. Tourists under the age of 4 can get the ticket for free.

To help you enjoy the tour, you will receive a set of disposable headphones upon boarding the tour bus. If you prefer a personal headphone, consider bringing your own – you will need a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. But if you do not wish to have commentary during the tour, you always have the option not to wear the headphones.

Aside from the headphones, you will also receive a map to accompany you on your journey. The map shows the bus’s route, allowing you to figure out interesting things in the vicinity of every bus stop. The large, paper map is quite difficult to use on the bus’s top deck when it is windy.

Overall, Barcelona bus tours offer a comprehensive and convenient way to explore the city and its top attractions. Whether used more as a hop-on and hop-off way of transport or as a conventional tour to get an overview of Barcelona, you will find bus tours useful. This is a great introduction to a fun city where you have so much to experience.

Barcelona City Tour (Address: Balmes, 5 | 08007 Hours: Monday – Sunday from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm / Phone: 93 317 64 54 / E-mail: informacion@barcelonacitytour.com)
Barcelona Bus Turístic (Address:  Plaça de Catalunya, 17-S / Open: Daily: 9 am – 9 pm)

Walking Tours

Barcelona, Spain is a perfect place for people who love to walk. Its walking tours provide you with a very wonderful way to see, hear, and feel the city up close and personal. If you love walking, not to mention reasonably fit and healthy, then a walking tour is a nice way to explore the city and all those gems that would take you forever to find out on your own. A good friend of mine has a walking tour in Barcelona called ” Ma Barcelone ” which focuses mainly on tourist people from France. I am sure, she can redirect you to an English speaking guide within her organization. Do not forget to say that you got the name from SimplyBarcelona 

Here are some exciting walking tours in Barcelona :

Barri Gothic walking tour

This tour explores the popular historic quarter of the city – the Gothic Quarter. This district is filled with fascinating architecture, which includes the Barcelona Cathedral as well as the ruins of the Roman walls. Prices: €12 per person (adult) and €5 per person (children).Modernist walking tour

This city is popular for the modernist architecture designed by the likes of Antonio Gaudi, Luis Domenech I Montaner, and Josep Puig I CadafalchIn this walking tour, you will see some out of this world and unique architecture from these famous Catalonian modernist architects. Prices: €12 per person (adult) and €5 per person (children).

Picasso walking tour

Your tour is not complete without following the footsteps of the painter Pablo Picasso. This great modernist painter spent his early years in the city and this Barcelona walking tour will take you to many of Picasso’s old haunts such as the Els Quatre Cats Cafe Bar. Prices: €18 per person (adult) and €7 per person (children).

Gourmet walking tour

Barcelona also boasts of many special Catalonian cuisines that would take you ages to discover on your own. The gourmet walking tour will not only expose you to cuisine, but it will also guide you on some of the city’s best restaurants. This gastronomic tour of the city is perfect for food lovers.

Walking tour companies in Barcelona include:

BCN.travel (Address: Pasaje Bocabella 10, 1-3 08013 / Phone: +34 9300 433 42 / Office hours: Mon to Fri 10am – 7pm and Sat & Sun 10 am – 2 pm)
Local Barcelona Tours (Phone: + 44 203 355 1240 / e-mail:  support@isango.com)
Runner Bean Tours (Address: Carrer del Carme 44, pral 2ª 08001 / Phone: +34 636 108 776)

Bike Tours

If bus tours are too “touristy” for you and you do not feel like signing up for walking tours as you do not see enough attractions on foot, then Barcelona cycling tours might be your thing. To discover the marvelous city from an entirely different perspective, a guided cycling tour is the best bet. Here are some popular biking tours in Barcelona:

City proper cycling tour

 See the top attractions on this 4-hour tour of the city. An English-speaking guide will take you on a laid-back and enjoyable ride through the city’s historic center. The guide will show you the sights and offer recommendations on what not to miss for the rest of your stay in Barcelona.

This enjoyable cycling tour will give you an enlightening and a great outdoor experience. You will also have the chance to meet other travelers. There is no doubt that this cycling tour will be the best day you will spend in this Catalan city.

Caldes de Montbui Mountain cycling tour

This 1-day cycling tour starts in the city proper, where your guide will pick you up for a drive to Caldes de Montbui Mountain, your base for the cycling tour. In this village, 22 miles away from the center of Barcelona, you will see thermal waters that surface because of geological folds and faults throughout the region.

You will leave the village through the striking and charming sceneries of the Spanish countryside. The tour will end in the famous “La Font de Lleo”, where you can witness the hot (76 degree Celsius) thermal spring water coming from the fountain.

Collserola Park cycling tour

Collserola Park is an awesome oasis on the border of Barcelona. It has about 10 million trees, 1,000 plant species, and around 190 reptile and bird species. In this 2-and-a-half hours, you will bike around the park and you will see the most stunning views of Barcelona. Bicycle and helmet rentals are included in the tour package.

Barcelona sunset cycling tour

Witness the day-to-night transition with the sunset cycling tour. This 3-hour cycling tour is not the least bit exhausting, thus perfect for all ages. Many Barcelona monuments and buildings are illuminated as soon as the sunsets.

Particularly beautiful at this time of the day is the Maphre tower in Port Olimpic and the oddly shaped Agbar TowerLa Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s most famous cathedral, is also lit up in the evening along with buildings on top of Montjuic that overlook the city.

Here are some companies in Barcelona that offer bike tours services:

Fat Tire Bike Tours (Address: Carrer de Sant Honorat, 7  08002 / Phone: +34 933 01 36 12)
BCN.travel (Office hours: Mon to Fri 10am – 7pm and Sat & Sun 10 – 2pm / Phone: +34 9300 433 42)
Green Bikes (Address: Carrer Dels Escudellers, 48 08002 / Phone: +34 933 01 36 12)
Barcelona Ciclo Tour (Address: C/ Tallers 45 (only 50 mts from Plaça Catalunya) 08001 / Phone: +34 93 317 19 70 / e-mail: info@barcelonaciclotour.com)
BornBike Barcelona (Address: C/Marquesa No1 / Phone: +34 93 319 00 20)

City Guide

You have an extraordinary taste if you choose to spend a week in Barcelona. Definitely, this Catalan language speaking city has plenty of elegance, exquisiteness, and excellence. It is well known for its rich history, aesthetic lavishness, impressive culture, wonderful museums and art galleries, magnificent monuments, incredible modernist architectures, and interesting people above all. Here is helpful information for an enjoyable stay in Barcelona:

Area Code: Barcelona area code is 93 – so when dialing to the city, these digits should be dialed first.

ATM Networks: Cards readily accepted in Barcelona ATMs are Visa, Cirrus, and Maestro.

Business Hours: Most offices in the city are open on weekdays from 9 am to 7 pm; banks are open from 8:30 am to 2 pm. In July this schedule changes from 8 am to 3 pm, particularly those businesses in the public sector.

Drinking: The city has a drinking law allowing only those people 18 years old and above to be sold with liquor.

Embassies: Should you lose your passport, fall ill or get into serious trouble, your embassy or consulate should be where you should be asking for help. Here are there addresses and business hours:

  • United States Consulate (Address: Passeig de Reina Elisenda 23 / Phone: 93-280-22-27 / Open: Monday through Friday from 9 am to 1 pm)
  • United Kingdom Consulate-General (Address: Diagonal 477 / Phone: 93-366-62-00 / Open: Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 3 pm)
  • Canadian Consulate(Address: Carrer de Elisenda Pinós 10 / Phone: 93-204-27-00 / Open: Monday through Friday from 10am to 1pm)
  • New Zealand Consulate (Address: Travesera de Gràcia 64 / Phone: 93-209-03-99 / Open: Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm and 4 to 7 pm)
  • Australian Consulate (Address: Gran Vía Carles III 98 / Phone: 93-490-90-13 / Open: Monday through Friday from 10 am to noon)

Emergencies: Dial 061 if you need an ambulance; 080 in case of fire.

These pieces of information will help you get around Barcelona with ease and convenience.

Sandy

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