Barcelona, the mesmerising Catalan capital, is brimming with culture, sights, and Mediterranean charm. Its extraordinary art and architecture along with the gratifying climate, fantastic culinary landscape, and vibrant street life make it one of the world’s most charismatic metropolises.
This is where Gaudi’s surreal buildings jostle for space with bohemian cafes and bustling cava bars, and where the colorful beachside chiringuitos are as tempting as the avant-garde restaurants run by the planet’s most revered chefs.
Nevertheless, Barcelona is not only the city of architectural marvels, stunning museums, and gastronomic novelties, but also the city of locals, atmospheric neighbourhoods, and hidden gems. And there’s no better way to experience it, feel its energy, and be part of it than with a one-of-a-kind city tour with someone who actually lives there, knows all of the city’s best spots, and can teach you things you may not have the opportunity to learn otherwise.
Here are 5 alternative tours with locals in Barcelona that will immerse you in the local culture:
Modern & Contemporary ART Tour
Brimming with prestigious museums, unconventional galleries, and fresh, creative talent, Barcelona’s contemporary art scene is downright spectacular. Nevertheless, for the first time visitor it can be overwhelming to try to see everything in a short trip, so this special 2-hour guided tour will be a great introduction to the subject.
Run by Beatriz, a Barcelona-born painting artist, the Modern & Contemporary ART Tour is a cultural journey through the city’s Modernista heritage, covering not only iconic sights such as Park Guell, but also lesser-known, one-of-a-kind attractions. Highlights comprise Gaudi’s surreal buildings, Gran Teatre del Liceu, and the exquisite Hospital de Sant Pau, but the tour also includes a visit to one of Barcelona’s most famous museums as well as an insight into the vibrant street art of Poblenou. Needless to say, your host will be more than happy to share her knowledge with you along the way.
Original Soundwalk Tour Barcelona
Tired of the same old tours? Take in the sights and sounds of this fascinating city with an expert in sound maps and ethnomusicology.
Ilaria, a musicologist and sound anthropologist who has previously worked for UNESCO, will take you on an unconventional walking tour around Barcelona, pointing out some of the hidden treasures in the neighbourhoods of El Born and Barceloneta along the way. What really sets this tour apart is the fact that you will be able to learn about the culture, nature, and history of Barcelona through sounds and music. So what are you waiting for, grab a pair of comfortable shoes and go out there to listen to the city’s rhythms. Don’t forget your recorder/phone and headphones, this is a sound-focused experience.
Boqueria Market Tour and Cooking Class
If sounds are not exactly your thing, then the vibrant colors and smells of Barcelona’s Boqueria Market will certainly brighten up your day.
Although born in Rome, Italy, Ravi lives since 2010 in Barcelona, where he likes to share his passion for food with friends and strangers alike. By embarking on his Boqueria Market Tour and Cooking Class, you will have the opportunity to experience one of Europe’s greatest food markets like a local, learn about its history, and discover its best-kept secrets.
After buying fresh ingredients from La Boqueria, Ravi will take you to a walk through El Raval, one of Barcelona’s oldest and most characterful neighbourhoods. The tour, which lasts about 4 hours, culminates at your host’s apartment in Rambla del Raval, where Ralf will teach you how to cook a delicious Mediterranean 3-course lunch.
The City of Gaudi is best explored on foot, and this 3-hour walking tour with Konstantin takes you to the major sites of central Barcelona, but also off the beaten path to places and streets that tourists never get the chance to explore.
Major points of interest include the spectacular Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona Cathedral in the heart of Barri Gotic, the Palau de la Generalitat in Plaça de Sant Jaume, as well as the beautiful church of Santa Maria del Mar in Ribera.
Along the way, your friendly host will lighten the atmosphere with unique, interesting stories about the city’s history, architecture, and local customs.
Phototour + Photosession in Barcelona!
Combining sightseeing with a photography class and professional photo sessions in some of Barcelona’s most scenic spots, the Phototour + Photosession in Barcelona! is a truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
Throughout the tour, your host Mischa, who is a freelance photographer, will immortalize the most beautiful moments and offer you photography tips. The route includes famous destinations such as Las Ramblas, the Boqueria Market, Maremagnum, the Gotic Quarter, El Born, and the beach. There will also be several stops for drinks and tapas along the way.
We found these interesting tours with locals in Barcelona on Withlocals and thought they would be a nice, friendly way to discover the city in good company. Don’t hesitate to visit their website and choose the experience that best meets your interests.