Author: Michael Bartkiewicz
Hola, my name is Michael Bartkiewicz and I am an intern at Stay U-nique. I find Barcelona fascinating and I love blogging about various things that are going on here such as food, drinks, events and beyond!
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The Free Gothic Quarter Tour is an english speaking tour of Barcelona. It is done by these guys! I will be reviewing it today! So you just got to Barcelona and would like to see all the best bits, hear all the stories and find about best places to eat and drink in Barcelona? Going on a free walking tour might be what you are looking for. A time efficient way for sightseeing Barcelona and discovering the hidden gems from the people who know it best! Here is my review of the free walking tour!
Plaça de Catalunya
This is the meeting point. The right-hand corner of the square opposite the Apple shop. Interestingly enough what now is the Apple shop, in the 1920 – 1930’s was the headquarters of the local communist party! Oh how the times have changed. If you are into little known facts like this you will really enjoy the tour. Plaça de Catalunya literally translates as ”Catalonia Square”. It is considered as the city centre and is the place where the old city Barri Gotic, Raval in Ciutat Vella and 19th century built Eixample meet. The square is entangled with Catalan culture. Architects such as Pere Falques, Puig i Cadafalch and Francesc de Paula Nebot were involved in planning the 5 hectare square which was open in 1927 by King Alfonso XIII. Loads of pigeons though, and the typical selfie stick merchant trying to flog you stuff. Moving on.
As we get out of the Plaça de Catalunya our Welsh tour guide Patrick takes us to La Rambla. To tell the truth, I was sceptical about a Welshman showing me around Barcelona but straight away it was obvious that he possesses a sea of knowledge about the city as well as loads of love for it, as he had lived here for almost a decade. Here you get to find out the local information about the La Rambla, stuff that you won’t find on TripAdvisor or Time Out. It’s a good way to acclimatise to a new city by finding out how the city came about and how the sewage system used to work in the 9th century. But that’s just me. Patrick also mentions the do’s and don’ts whilst at the La Rambla as well as a few intriguing anecdotes about FC Barcelona!
This is where you find the charming narrow streets, niche art galleries, quirky shops and of course tons of Catalan cultural artefacts! Walking round the Gothic quarter feels like going back in time. Like something out of Assassin’s Creed. Here I definitely felt a Moorish influence with strong Mediterranean undertones but with a Catalan flavour to it. If you are into Roman ruins, there is some here. While standing next to the ruins Patrick manages to squeeze 2000+ years of Catalan history into 8 minutes, and then shows you the best place in Barcelona for Churros. Apparently the best place to have churros is… Actually I am not going to give it away. Go to the tour and find out. Here also, we got to meet the saint patron of Barcelona, something you would 100% miss if you were not being guided by a kindly Welshman.
Things to do
Overall the walking tour gives one a great deal of useful information about Barcelona as a city. It stimulates the imagination and teaches you a lot. It provides a great scope as well. Caters for a broad audience. From showing you where to see free Picasso to best cocktail bars to where Woody Allen filmed. If that floats your boat go for it.
The great thing about it is you can leave whenever you like and you pay whatever you think the tour was worth to you personally. Furthermore, you get to see loads of things that you would most likely miss if you decided to explore the city solo!
What, when and how
Tour is on everyday at 11:00am and 2:30pm local time.
Duration 2.5 hours.
You will find them by seeing a purple umbrella.
it’s free but you have to book in advance.