Barcelona on Foot A Self-Guided Walking Tour by

Barcelona On Foot: Self-Guided Walking Tour

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Barcelona, Spain has an amazing history and the city is packed with iconic sights. Many of the city’s top attractions are clustered around the Barcelona Old Town – which is the best place to start exploring. We created an easy-to-follow Self-Guided Barcelona Walking Tour that includes the best sights in the Old Town. Lace up your travel shoes and follow in our footsteps for a fantastic introduction to Barcelona!


Old Town Barcelona Walking Tour

Famous Gaudi architecture, Casa Batllo, in Barcelona, Spain

Our Barcelona Self-Guided Walking Tour is ideal for visitors who like to discover city sights at their own pace. The route loops through the city, passing sights like Las Ramblas, the vibrant waterfront, Barceloneta beaches, the city’s greenest park and the most historic neighborhoods. 


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

We provide a Barcelona Attractions Map link 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 or detours. Unless you are short on time, we recommend slowing down and taking an entire day to enjoy the city 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!


Barcelona Self-Guided Walking Tour

See the Barcelona Walking Tour Map below for walking directions!

#1 Placa de Catalunya

{MAP} Placa de Catalunya – or Catalonia Square – 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

{MAP} The inconspicuous Placa Vila de Madrid square 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} What was once a drainage ditch is now a wide, pedestrian path – and the most well-known 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

{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. 


#5 Columbus Monument and Barcelona Waterfront

{MAP} The Columbus Monument 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).  Subscribe Packing Checklist by

#7 Barceloneta

{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 city’s fisherman’s quarters, the dilapidated area was overhauled in the 80s – and is now one of the city’s trendiest spots. In addition to the wide, popular beach, the district features a plethora of seafood restaurants and ocean view cafes.


#8 Parc de la Ciutadella

{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 city zoo, museums, waterfalls, ponds and monuments. Don’t miss Cascada, 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 date to Medieval times, when the district 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 the city’s most beautiful buildings.


#10 Barri Gothic Quarter and Barcelona Cathedral

{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 facade 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.  



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 the city’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. 


Barcelona Sightseeing Map

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


More Things To Do In Barcelona, Spain

Wondering what to do in Barcelona for 3 days? Check out our top tips in our 3-Day Barcelona Itinerary!

Barcelona Itinerary: How To Spend 3 Days in Barcelona, Spain by


Our Top Tips For Your Trip To Barcelona

We have a few more tips for your trip!

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. 

The two most popular Barcelona walking tours are: 

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. 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 – or follow in our footsteps and create your own Tapas-hopping Tour based on our recommendations for the Best Tapas in Barcelona!

The Best Tapas in Barcelona Where To Eat by


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. 


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.

Not already a member of Airbnb? Create an account using our link and save money on your first stay!

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 4-Star hotel features modern rooms, an outdoor pool and a casual on-site restaurant and bar.

Start your search for the perfect Barcelona hotel on!


Tips For Visiting Spain

Planning to visit more than just Barcelona on trip to Spain? Use our 1-Week Spain Itinerary – which includes time in Barcelona, Seville and Madrid – or check out our Spain Travel Guides page, which includes information for other Spanish cities, like San Sebastian

Spain Itinerary Barcelona Seville Madrid by


Before You Go To Barcelona

  • Don’t forget to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable walking shoes. I (Sarah) have traveled with these shoes by Columbia and Reef. Kris prefers wearing these shoes by Merrell.
  • We’re certain you’ll be snapping tons of photos during your trip. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for higher quality photos. We travel with a Canon Rebel (which takes amazing photos, but can be a bit clunky) and a Canon PowerShot ELPH (which takes beautiful pictures and is a slim and lightweight budget camera).
  • 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.  
  • Whether you travel with a backpack or a suitcase, you’ll also want a great day pack to organize and secure all of your daily travel items.
  • 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!  


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

  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!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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