Looking across to Montserrat from the castle at Oller del Mas. Walking Barcelona. Trip Wellness

Looking across to Montserrat from the castle at Oller del Mas. Photo: Jessica Bowler via Trover

Barcelona is steeped in history, floating in good wine and tapas, and crawling with architectural wonders. It’s a lot to grapple with. Given the time and means, taking a walking Barcelona tour with a local expert can streamline getting around and introduce you to the city in ways that only a long life in the area can accomplish.

I’m a big fan of small tours, even in towns I live in! It’s fun, you hang out with a cool group that shares some of the same passions and learn so much. Here’s a trio of short tours to try the next time I’m walking Barcelona.

Barcelona Cathedral in the early evening. Walking Barcelona. Trip Wellness

Barcelona Cathedral in the early evening. Photo: Xavier Villanova Solano via Trover

The Picasso Museum and Gothic Quarter Walking Tour

When I was in Barcelona long ago the Picasso Museum was a magnet that never stuck – I was running around the city too much and staying too far away. That wouldn’t happen again.

The tour starts in the city core, the ancient and beautiful Gothic Quarter. You’ll learn about the many ties between the Master artist and the city, explore charming squares and explore ancient narrow streets. The Cathedral was the scene of a massive blessing on the Palm Sunday I was there but I missed seeing the remains of the Roman Wall nearby. It’s on the tour and then you get to skip to the front of the line at the Picasso Museum. Trace his evolution as a young artist through over four thousand pieces of art displayed, according to his wishes throughout five Medieval Palaces.

The New Barcelona Tour

Cities renew themselves through reinvention and Barcelona is no exception. For three hours join an architect guide to explore the vibrancy of new architecture. It ends with coffee and a skyline view, as the small group (no more than 12) lingers.  It can be heady stuff as your guide offers insights contrasting radical contemporary architecture with the industrial heritage, the textile revolution and the spawning of the Catalan bourgeoisie. You’ll walk away with a file that includes reviews, photos, plans, historical documents and a bibliography. Wow.

The wine region near Montserrat.

The wine region near Montserrat. Photo by Jessica Bowler via Trover

Montserrat wine, tapas and a castle tour

After all those urban and intellectual machinations, it would be time to get out into nature and more sensual pursuits. I’d join a half day tour of the Montserrat wine region and the Oller del Mas Castle. The guides and family, if they’re around, will share their expertise and insights about harvesting the grapes, the soil and weather while we explore French oak barrels and centuries old stone wine cellar walls. The tour concludes with a table laid with the best organic and locally-made food – cold meats, cheese, breads and pastries. I’d drink to that.

P.S. All of these are offered by Excursiopedia. The company is based out of Munich but they work with local tour professionals in cities around the world. I’m an affiliate. Should you sign up for one of their tours from this post, there’s no extra cost for you and it helps keep Trip Wellness going strong. Thanks!

Created as part of the Hipmunk City Love Project