Barcelona on Foot A Self-Guided Walking Tour by JetSettingFools.com

Self-Guided Free Walking Tour: Barcelona On Foot

Welcome to JetSetting Fools, here you will find our best travel tips for destinations worldwide. Some of the links on this site are Affiliate Links and if you use them to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. For more information, read our Disclosure Policy.


   

Barcelona, Spain has an amazing history and the city is packed with iconic sights. The best way to experience the Catalonian Capital is to set off on foot on a Barcelona Walking Tour. 

Many of the city’s top attractions are clustered around the Barcelona Old Town – which is the best place to start exploring. Travelers can opt to join one of the Barcelona Guided Tours or plan to venture out and discover on their own with our DIY Free Barcelona Tour.

Our easy-to-follow Free Self-Guided Barcelona Walking Tour includes the best sights in the Old Town. Seeing these sights is a must for your Barcelona Itinerary – so lace up your travel shoes and follow in our footsteps for a fantastic introduction to Barcelona!

 

DIY Old Town Barcelona Walking Tour FREE

Famous Gaudi architecture, Casa Batllo, in Barcelona, Spain

Our Barcelona Self-Guided Walking Tour is ideal for visitors who like to discover sights at their own pace. We include information about each attraction – as well as a map link so that you can easily find your way. At the end of the blog post, we include a complete Barcelona tour map that plots all of the attractions on the route. 

The route of our Barcelona free walking tour loops through the metropolis, passing sights like Las Ramblas, the vibrant waterfront, Barceloneta beaches, the city’s greenest park and the most historic Barcelona neighborhoods. 

 

Guided Walking Tours Barcelona

We think our DIY Barcelona tour is the best way to see the city. However, if you would rather a guide lead the way to the sights, we offer recommendations on the top rated walking tours in Barcelona at the end of the article.

 

Tips For Exploring Barcelona on Foot

The Casa de les Punxes building in Barcelona, Spain

Before we get started, we have a few tips for your Barcelona, Spain walk! 

 

Barcelona Tourist Map

As we already mentioned, we provide a Barcelona Attractions Map at the end of the post that includes all the highlights of our tour. Additionally, we include a helpful link to Google Maps the provides walking directions.

However, to follow along online, a WiFi connection is necessary. Foreign visitors can use a Mobile WiFi device, like GlocalMe for internet access (which can be cheaper for families and groups of friends than adjusting individual local phone plans to include international data). 

Travelers who prefer paper maps can buy one online (like this one from Amazon!) or pick up a Barcelona tourist map from the Tourist Information Center. 

 

Self-Guided Walking Tour Barcelona Details

Our Self-Guided Walking Tour of Barcelona covers 5+ miles. The entire route can be (ambitiously) completed in about 2 hours. But, that won’t leave much time for stops, photos or detours. Unless you are short on time, we recommend slowing down and taking an entire day to enjoy the Barcelona sights. 

 

Barcelona Detours and Suggestions

Walking around Barcelona, Spain, you can be easily distracted by architecture, hidden lanes and old churches. While we think our outlined tour is one of the best walks in Barcelona, there is plenty of room for wandering! Use this as a guide, but create your own walking routes in Barcelona to experience the city as it suits you!

Be sure to Pin, Bookmark or Save our Barcelona Walking Tour for Free so that you can access it during your trip to Spain!


 

12 Barcelona Self-Guided Walking Tour Sights

See the Barcelona Walking Tour Map below for walking directions!

 

#1 Placa de Catalunya

Fountain at Placa de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

{MAP} The starting point for our Best Walking Tour Barcelona is Placa de Catalunya – or Catalonia Square. It is a vast square located on the north end of the Barcelona Old Town. In the square are fountains and statues – and it’s central location is the ideal place to start your Barcelona exploration!

 

#2 Placa Vila de Madrid

Placa Vila de Madrid, Barcelona, Spain

{MAP} The next stop on our free tour of Barcelona is the inconspicuous Placa Vila de Madrid Square – and it is filled with fascinating history. Once the site of a convent, excavations revealed an ancient past…one dating to the 1st century AD, when Barcelona was a Roman colony, known as Barcino. 

The archaeological findings – about 60 tombs lining a road – are now on display in the square. The Roman Necropolis lends insight into the history of the city. A small museum at the Via Sepulcral site provides further information and artifacts. 

 

#3 Las Ramblas

{MAP} The most famous street in Barcelona is Las Ramblas. What was once a drainage ditch is now a wide, pedestrian path – and the most well-traveled street in the city. 

Newsstands, flower shops and street artists line the length of The Ramblas. Extending from Placa de Catalunya to the Waterfront, strolling down Las Ramblas is a must for Barcelona visitors! Detour off the main strip to discover small squares and quaint streets.

 

#4 La Boqueria Market

Displayed fresh seafood at La Boqueria Market in Barcelona, Spain

{MAP} The La Boqueria Market – officially The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria – can trace its history to the year 1217. The city center market offers a range of goods, including everything from seafood to sweets – all presented in colorful displays. In addition to vendors, small kiosk restaurants are also on site. 

In fact, La Boqueria is home to some of the Best Tapas in Barcelona – so if you are hungry, take a break here and grab a bite to eat. 

 

DETOUR: Sights near La Rambla

Front of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, Spain

We mentioned that, although we think this is the Best Free Walking Tour Barcelona, there is plenty of room for detours – and there are a few great destinations just steps from Las Ramblas as you walk south from the La Boqueria Market. 

 

Gran Teatre del Liceu

{MAP} A luxurious opera house, Gran Teatre del Liceu opened in 1847 (although, it had to be rebuilt after a fire in 1994). The facade, however, is original – if not rather plain in comparison to the beautiful theater that lies within. Visitors can attend a performance or take a tour. 

 

Placa Reial

{MAP} A hidden gem right in the heart of the city, Placa Reial is a spacious square located off a side street (Carrer de Colom) from Las Ramblas. The square is ringed with restaurants and cafes – and features swaying palm trees, a fountain and lamp posts designed by Antoni Gaudí.

 

Palau Guell

{MAP} The Guell Palace, a mansion designed for the Guell family, is an early (and quite extraordinary!) work by Gaudi. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, “Works of Antoni Gaudi” and can be toured with a ticket. 

 

#5 Columbus Monument and Barcelona Waterfront

Columbus Statue, Barcelona Spain

{MAP} Continue your Self Guided Free Walking Tour in Barcelona to the Columbus Monument. The obelisk rises 200 feet into the sky at the south end of La Rambla. A statue of Christopher Columbus pointing to the New World is perched atop the singular, decorative column.

The monument stands to commemorate the return journey to Barcelona, where he reported the discovery to the Spanish Queen Isabella and Ferdinand. The statue was erected in 1888 for the Universal Exhibition. Today, visitors can take in the views from the top of the monument (buy your ticket in advance!). 

 

#6 La Rambla del Mar

{MAP} From the Columbus Monument, step onto the wooden walkway that is best known as La Rambla del Mar – the Walk by the Sea. The boardwalk leads to a hub of activity, including seaside eateries, the Maremagnum shops and the Barcelona  Aquarium (buy your Skip-the-Line Aquarium tickets).  

 

#7 Barceloneta

Surfers on Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona, Spain

{MAP} Heading north around the harbor, walk past the hundreds of sailboats and a few extraordinary large yachts in Port Vell and enter the seaside neighborhood of Barceloneta. Previously the local fisherman’s quarters, the dilapidated area was overhauled in the 80s – and is now one of Barcelona’s trendiest spots.

In addition to the wide, popular beach, the Barceloneta district features a plethora of seafood restaurants and ocean view cafes.

 

#8 Parc de la Ciutadella

Monument in Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona, Spain

{MAP} The enormous city park, Parc de la Ciutadella, is the city’s best (and, at one time, only) green space. The park encompasses the Barcelona Zoo, waterfalls, ponds and monuments.

Don’t miss Cascada del Parc de la Ciutadella, the most opulent fountain in the park. The decorative fountain dates to 1881, but was enhanced with sculptures and the arch in time for the 1888 Universal Exhibition – with some credit going to then novice Antoni Gaudi.

 

#9 La Ribera and Santa Maria del Mar

{MAP} After visiting the spacious park, navigate your way to the cobblestone streets of La Ribera. Many of the buildings in the district date to Medieval times, when it was home to the city’s most affluent citizens. Artist studios, boutique shops and hip cafes now line the streets. 

In the tangle of lanes, find the Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar. The expansive Gothic church, which dates to the early 1300s, is one of Barcelona’s most beautiful buildings.

 

#10 Barri Gothic Quarter and Barcelona Cathedral

Barcelona Cathedral in Spain

{MAP} Barri Gothic is the heart of the Barcelona Old Town and the oldest part of the city. The majority of the district is pedestrian-only – so take time to wander the streets, perhaps venturing into a few shops or tapas bars along the way. 

The massive La Catedral – or Barcelona Cathedral – is situated in the Barri Gothic Quarter (and should not be confused with the still-unfinished work of Gaudi, La Sagrada Familia). The cathedral façade is decorated with soaring spires and decorative gargoyles. The interior of the cathedral is lit by grand chandeliers. Beneath the altar is a crypt hosting the remains of Santa Eulalia, one of Barcelona’s Patron Saints.  

 

BONUS BARCELONA SIGHTS

If time permits, continue your free Barcelona Walking Tour to two more nearby sights.

 

#11 Palau de la Musica Catalana, Barcelona

{MAP} The Modernist Palau de la Musica Catalana is one of Barcelona’s most beautiful concert halls. Built in 1908 by Spanish architect Domenech i Montaner, the exquisite building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (just one of the many Modernist buildings in the city to earn the UNESCO status!). 

Want to see the interior of Palau de la Musica Catalana? Join a 45-minute guided tour that includes the famous skylight, the grand staircase and sights that are usually off-limits!

 

#12 Arc de Triomf de Barcelona

{MAP} Unlike most city arches, the Barcelona Arc de Triomf was not built to celebrate a military victory. The grand, red-brick arch was built in 1888 to welcome visitors to the Universal Exhibition World Fair. 

Subscribe Packing Checklist by JetSettingFools.com


 

Barcelona Sightseeing Map

Click for the Barcelona Tourist Attractions Map with Walking Directions in Google Maps

Barcelona Map of Attractions by JetSettingFools.com


 

Guided Barcelona Walking Tours

Our Barcelona Self-Guided Walking Tour is a great way to explore the city on your own! However, there are many guided Barcelona walks that are theme-based. We are featuring a few of the most popular Barcelona walking tours. 

 

Old Town and Gothic Quarter Walking Tour

Visitors who want a local guide to lead the way through the heart of the city can join a highly rated tour that features the best sights in the Old Town and Gothic Quarter. The local guides share history, facts and fun stories along the route. 

 

Gaudi Tour Barcelona

Antoni Gaudi is Barcelona’s most famous architect. Learn about his life, his designs and his impact on the city on one of the guided walking tours through the city. Top Gaudi sights to see are La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Batllo and Casa Mila.

Visitors can take a private tour, join a small group tour or even pedal along on a bike tour to Gaudi attractions. Read reviews on Viator to find the perfect Gaudi tour for your trip!

 

Barcelona Tapas Tour

Tapas are an art form in Barcelona! Let a local guide lead the way on an introduction to the unique cuisine on an evening tour

However, if you are in the mood to discover the taste of the city on your own, follow in our footsteps and create your own Tapas-hopping Tour based on our recommendations for the Best Tapas in Barcelona!

 

Free Barcelona Walking Tours

Many different companies offer free walking tours in Barcelona. Just keep in mind that ‘Guided Free Walking Tours’ are not in fact free – as the tour guide expects (and deserves!) to be tipped for their service. 


 

More Things To Do in Barcelona, Spain

Navigating the city on foot is a great way to spend a day in Barcelona. Guests staying longer can use the travel tips in our 3-Day Barcelona Itinerary for tips on what to see and do.

We offer tips for what to do in Barcelona for 3 days – plus offer day trip ideas, feature top museums and highlight activities – like a popular Flamenco show. 

 

Planning a Trip to Trip to Barcelona

We know that there is so much more to planning a Barcelona trip than deciding what sights to see – so we have a few more travel tips that will help you plan the perfect vacation. 

First, if you are traveling from overseas, read our guide to Planning a European Vacation. We share need-to-know details and tips that will help you make the most of your trip abroad. 

As you make your plans, be sure to stay on top of all the details! Use our Trip Planner Printables to stay organized for your trip to Barcelona. 

Travel Planner Printables by JetSettingFools.com 

 

Tips For Visiting Spain

Planning to visit more than just Barcelona on your trip to Spain? We have travel guides for top Spain destinations. 

Find more tips and guides on our Spain Travel Guides blog page!

 

Where To Stay in Barcelona

There are a lot of choices when it comes to places to stay in Barcelona! The city is big and there is no shortage of hotels and holiday apartment rentals. We recommend choosing centrally located accommodations – based on the activities that are of most interest to you. We like two areas – L’Eixample neighborhood and El Poble-sec. 

 

L’Eixample

We have stayed in the L’Eixample District in an Airbnb apartment (which we loved for the extra space and kitchen, where we could prepare breakfasts). The neighborhood was excellent for seeking out local cafes and bars – and extremely convenient to exploring the Modernism architecture.

 

El Poble-sec

Recently, we stayed in the Hotel Concordia Barcelona in the El Poble-sec district – which lies between Montjuic and the Old Town. The location was ideal for local transportation from the airport and within reasonable walking distance to the Old Town, Montjuic and the famous tapas street. The clean hotel features modern rooms, an outdoor pool and a casual on-site restaurant and bar.

Use our Guide to Finding the Best Hotels at the Best Rates – then start your search for the perfect Barcelona hotel on Booking.com!

 

What To Pack for Your Barcelona Trip

Now that you are well on your way to planning the perfect Barcelona trip, it’s time to start packing! We are sharing a few must-have items for Barcelona – but you can find all of our advice on our Packing Tips blog page. Grab your Free Packing Checklist before you go!

 

Comfortable Walking Shoes

Our Barcelona Walking Tour covers some ground – so make sure to pack good travel shoes. It’s best to wear shoes that are comfortable and versatile – which is why I like these sneakers. Kris prefers to wear Merrell trail shoes for men when walking around cities. 

 

Travel Camera

Barcelona is beautiful! We recommend upgrading to a real camera for your trip. We use a Canon Rebel with an 18-135mm lens. We love that it is easy to use, takes quality photos and is well-priced as a budget DSLR camera for travelers

 

Map and Guidebook

It’s easy to get turned around or lost in any new city! Be sure to have a good city map and/or guidebook prior to arriving.  

 

Anti-Theft Day Bag

While Barcelona has wonderful sights, it also has pickpockets. Be sure to pack a zippered day pack – like the ones by Travelon – to organize and secure all of your daily travel items. Read our tips for The Best Day Bags for Travel.

 

Spain Trip Insurance

We think travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected with World Nomads.

 

Start planning your trip to Spain! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!

 

We want to know: What would you add to our Barcelona on Foot walking tour? Give us your best tips and suggestions for a Self-Guided Barcelona Walking Tour in the comments!  

 

Click here for a Free Vacation Budget Planner Banner by JetSettingFools.com

 

Pin it! See all of our travel pins on our JetSetting Fools Pinterest Board.

One Day Itinerary for Barcelona See the city on foot JetSetting Fools

12 thoughts on “Self-Guided Free Walking Tour: Barcelona On Foot

  1. Came across your site while looking for things to do in Barcelona for an upcoming trip. Thanks for putting together this great walking tour.

  2. Pingback: Budget Travel: 26 Ways to Travel Spain for less

  3. Deanna

    Have been to Spain twice but never to Barcelona. Hope to get there someday. Would live in Torremolenos if I could.

    • We’ve never been to Torremolenos or the south coast of Spain, but it looks wonderful! We have been to Barcelona, Madrid and Seville – and liked them all. It would be nice to see more of the country, for sure 😉

  4. Oregon Follower!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Your barefoot tour of Barcelona brought back memories….but somehow we missed ALL THOSE SWEETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments are closed.