If you are interested in a unique and a little bit unconventional way to explore Barcelona, why not join one of the free walking tours on offer. We opted for the Gothic Quarter walking tour provided by the people behind Free Walking Tours Barcelona and we couldn’t have been more delighted with our choice. We booked the tour through the company’s website the evening before, but that was really not a must – arriving at the meeting point at Plaça Catalunya, we were greeted by some lovely people in purple shirts and umbrellas who took our details. Few moments later, we were assigned a group and a guide (the fantastic Giada), and off we went to unveil the history and legends of the Gothic Quarter.
We made a short pause by the monument of Francesc Macià in celebration of the independence movement of Catalonia, just to then delve into the past…
… staring with the 14th century Basilica of St. Maria del Pi …
… and continuing towards the Church of St. Felip Neri (which was said to be the favorite place of worship of Antoni Gaudí) …
… to finally end up in front of the Barcelona Cathedral (psst, free entry 8.00-12.45 and 17.45-19.30) and at Plaça del Rei which currently hosts the Barcelona City History Museum (no free entry here, but word is the ticket is worth every cent, especially for the history-savvy).
And while all these are beautiful buildings, it was the small streets and unexpected turns that made this tour that much more exciting.
On our way out of the Gothic Quarter, we returned to the present with a last stop was in front of what at first seemed to be just an ordinary fountain in the beginning of Las Ramblas. For the football fans however this turned out to be an important spot where every win of FC Barcelona is celebrated. For the rest of us, it is said that if you drink from its water, you are surely to return to the city.
So I guess I should be returning back any time soon.
As mentioned earlier, the walking tour is free – which means that you may tip your guide with as little or as much as you fancy at the end of the tour. Of course, you can also choose to explore the Gothic Quarter on your own – to help you with this, I created a map with all locations we visited during our tour. But just so you know, that way you might be missing on some juicy details from Barcelona’s history. Whatever you decide, don’t hesitate to simply wander around the small streets in the Gothic Quarter – guaranteed to find some hidden gems.
Our group surely spotted some lovely places to return to later during the day.