Barcelona is a beautiful ancient Spanish city located on the northwest Mediterranean coast. Founded in 230 BC by Carthaginians, the city has undergone rule from Romans, Visigoths, Muslims, and the Catalans before being integrated into modern Spain. Barcelona has a lot of sightseeing to offer the tourist including the Gothic Quarter, art museums, unique Gaudi architecture and various other parts of the city that must be seen in order to properly experience what Barcelona has to offer.
Barcelona Excursions (http://www.spanish-fiestas.com/barcelona/excursions.htm) offers several sightseeing options depending on what is desired. The tour most popular with devout Catholics features a trip to the shrine of Montserrat 40km north of Barcelona where since the 12th century pilgrims have journeyed to view the miraculous Black Madonna statue (La Moreneta). Tradition holds that this statue was carved by St. Luke himself. Other popular tours include one that highlights a trip to the Salvador Dali museum and visits to Spanish wineries in the countryside. Additionally, Barcelona Excursions features three tours lasting from a half day to a full day that highlight the city’s famous architecture and culture. There is also a night tour emphasizing the city’s brightly lit streets and flamenco dancing indigenous to Barcelona.
Another firm offering sight seeing in Barcelona is Viator (http://www.viator.com/Barcelona/d562-ttd?activities=all). This is a travel-oriented website much like Travelocity or Hotels.com, but is oriented towards sightseeing only. There are numerous sightseeing tours available for booking here. The most highly rated I found was a half-day cycling tour said to take you where the buses can’t. The bicycle tour is not strenuous at all and is said to be ideal for anybody who can ride a bike, no matter what age. Another highly rated tour is one of the La Boqueria Market in the Gothic Quarter where Catalan cooking at its finest can be experienced. Tourists here get the chance to sample Catalan wine, chocolate, fruits, and pastries.
City Discover (http://www.city-discovery.com/barcelona/index.php) is a site similar to Viator and also offers excellent tours of Barcelona. One of the most comprehensive day tours I’ve found is the Barcelona Clasica, a 10 hour tour embarking 6 days a week (except Monday) past Gaudi’s famous buildings, Guell Park, the Gothic Quarter, Christopher Columbus Monument, Montjuich Mountain with is panoramas of the city, and lunch at Poble Espanyol complete with an authentic lunch Catalan style. The tour concludes with a visit to Barcelona’s Monumental Bull Ring and the Picasso Museum.
Europe Cities (http://www.europe-cities.com/barcelona-city-tours.aspx)is yet another online index of Barcelona sightseeing tours. The website features the authors’ favorite sightseeing tours and details on how to book them. One such tour highlighted is the 7-day ‘Catalan Cuisine – A Mediterranean Morsel Tour’ where travelers are immersed in Catalan culture by partaking in elegant meals and visiting local markets and lodging in authentic rural Catalan hotels.
Top-tour-of-spain.com (http://www.top-tour-of-spain.com/Barcelona-sightseeing-tours.html) features the traditional day tours on the other sites but also has some more tailor made for particular interests in the city. One such unique tour offers a Tapas dinner and a show at the Casino Barcelona.
Obviously in a city as rich in culture and history as Barcelona, there are many options available for sightseeing. Tours can be guided or the adventurous can venture out on their own. All of the above sites can help this aforementioned option available also with passbooks full of museum coupons and ‘hop-on-hop-off’ bus passes that allow unlimited bus trips throughout the day.
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