I have been living in Barcelona all my life, so I know the city like the palm of my hand: from the best cafés and cheap traditional restaurants to the most underrated city attractions, I am one of the lucky locals who can brag about their knowledge of the best things to do in Barcelona.
That is why when one of my coworkers suggested that we went on a free tour around the city I couldn’t help but feel a bit skeptical. What could they tell me that I didn’t already know? Spending an afternoon following a crowd of thrilled tourists didn’t sound very appealing to me. However, I joined for the sake of team building and because I felt curious about how foreigners learned about my home town.
The perfect Barcelona free walking tour for tourists and locals
We decided to take the Free Tour Gaudí and Modernisme, which focuses on the most emblematic buildings of the Modernist movement in the 19th century. We met near Barcelona’s cathedral, three minutes away from Plaça Catalunya. As it was a Sunday afternoon we were only 6 people (three German tourists, my coworkers and I) and the streets were quite empty. Our guide Diana was already waiting for us – as she was holding a blue umbrella at the meeting point it was not difficult to find her. We started the tour right away.
The Gaudí and Modernisme Free Tour
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I spend half my time here alone as my partner works away, so of course the most perfect days are when he’s at home to enjoy this beautiful city with me, after all, that is why we moved here, for that “everyday perfect” lifestyle. April and May are my favourite times of year, not too hot but warm enough not to need a coat and not too busy with tourists. Russell makes the morning coffee as he always does and we sit in the living room as the sun streams through the window discussing our plan for the day. Coming from a seaside town, we both love to be near the water so spend a lot of time walking along the beach front and as a keen photographer, Barcelona is a great place for taking photos and today is a gloriously sunny day so I make sure I have my camera all packed up and off we head.
Beautiful Barri Gòtic
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Barcelona is a city of perfect days. Among all the cities I’ve visited, I consider it to be among the most liveable and lovable metropolises on Earth. Blessed with warm weather more than six months a year, flanked by the ocean and mountains, great nightlife and culture, dozens of parks, loads of good museums, bike lanes, citywide free wi-fi, and a broad variety of people from all over the world, each day in Barcelona is better than the last.
Which makes it hard to pick a ‘Perfect Day in Barcelona,’ but for the purpose of this article, I will try. In this edition of A Perfect Day in Barcelona I will try to illustrate not only Barcelona’s variety—food, culture, nature and wide open spaces—but its infrastructure as well.
Barcelona’s city planners prioritize pedestrians over cars. You can see this with its sidewalks that are as wide—if not wider—than the roads for vehicles, and there are lanes and parking stands for bikes everywhere. A city not so big, you can get everywhere on foot, bike, rollerblade, skateboard, or scooter, if you are so inclined. But should your feet fail you, there is Barcelona’s public transport system with buses, trams, and metros which are well-run and are relatively cheap.
Barcelona is a city that is centred on life. Tired? Here’s a bench to sit on. Thirsty? There are water fountains everywhere. Bored? Just go to any plaça and you will find buskers and performers so talented you wonder why they aren’t on television or on stage. Libraries and parks are open to the public so that people can exercise their body as well as their minds. Dogs are welcome in many establishments, and those that don’t, provide cute little leash hooks outside their doors so that man’s best friend doesn’t wander away. Read the rest of this article…