This three-hour tour is designed to provide a perfect introduction to Barcelona for first timers, or to reorient returning travelers to the city center of the Catalonian capital. Focusing on Barcelona’s Barri Gótic, or Gothic Quarter, we'll pull back the many layers of Barcelona’s deep history to explore the city in all its complexity. Led by a local scholar, we’ll stroll through a historic neighborhood that retains its distinct atmosphere even today.
We’ll begin our tour in the Plaza Nova, where we’ll observe the remnants of the old Roman city and discuss the basics of Roman city planning and architecture. From here, we’ll dive into the heart of the Gothic Quarter, passing by the main Cathedral. We’ll use this late Gothic masterpiece as a backdrop for discussing the medieval evolution of Barcelona when suburbs, or ravals, grew up around the city’s compact Roman footprint. Our adventure will also take us into El Call, the Jewish neighborhood established in the Middle Ages. Here, we will discuss the periods of relative religious freedom, as well as periods of intolerance and expulsion that have marked Catalan and Spanish history. (For a deeper exploration try our Jewish Barcelona Tour
Our walk will also take us to El Born, past La Boqueria, Barcelona’s main market (also where our Barcelona Food Tour
takes place), and onto the Ramblas, the main thoroughfare of the city. Here, below the shady trees that line the street, we will look at how modern development re-cast the city in the 18th and 19th centuries. Examining the city's transformation, we will come to understand Barcelona's shift from Roman outpost to bustling medieval walled city and, now, a modern metropolis. We’ll next stroll up the lively Ramblas, taking in the convivial atmosphere of daily life in the city with fresh eyes. As our walk comes to a close, we will emerge with a sense of the remains of ancient Barcelona, the city’s medieval splendor, and the modern archaeology and urbanism that uncovered these sites to make them visible to locals and tourists alike.
Traveling to Barcelona with children? You may enjoy our Barcelona for Kids Tour
of the Gothic Quarter.This is one of our guaranteed departure tours. It has no minimum participant numbers and places you in a group of 10 or less. We have chosen certain tours to be guaranteed departure based on popular routes and times; Like our private and semi-private tours, our guaranteed departures are designed to be conversational learning experiences.
Will this walk enter the Barcelona Cathedral?
The walk will spend concerted time outside of the cathedral. Entering is up to the discretion of your docent and the interests of the group. It is a good idea to plan to cover shoulders and upper legs in the event that we do enter the cathedral.Will this walk view Gaudí's Sagrada Familia Cathedral?
This walk will not view the Sagrada Familia, which is located in a different part of town. This walk will view the Barcelona Cathedral, the city's Gothic cathedral. If you would like to visit the Sagrada Familia with us, please see our Sagrada Familia, Gaudí's Masterpiece in Context
seminar.Can you customize the tour to focus on the city's Jewish history?
Our standard walk will spend some time in the city's Jewish Call, which is located within the Gothic Quarter. For a more in-depth look at the city's Jewish history, you may enjoy our Jewish Barcelona
tour, which is led by one of Spain's most renown scholars of Jewish history.Is this tour walking-intensive and/or wheelchair accessible?
The general route may include narrow sidewalks and cobblestoned streets; please contact us to discuss in more detail your mobility concerns so that we can best advise. We are always happy to design a private, customized tour for visitors with mobility concerns.Is this tour appropriate for children?
For children we recommend our shorter Gothic Quarter for Families
tour, which is led by scholars specially trained in educating children.What is a guaranteed departure tour?
Our guaranteed departure tours are just that: guaranteed. They have no minimum participant numbers and will definitely operate as scheduled. They are typically orientation-style itineraries that place you in a group of 10 or less. Guaranteed departure tours are designated by the guaranteed departure seal in the tour listing.