The best free tours in Barcelona

Oscar Domènech

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Barcelona is one of the most touristic cities in the world with an endless number of places of interest that you should visit. Luckily, there are several free tours of Barcelona so you can get to know the must-see and most interesting aspects of the city with local and very well prepared guides. From the secret corners of the Gothic Quarter to the little-known details of Gaudi’s modernist works, you can find in this post the free guided tours that suit your tastes. In this post we propose you the 5 best free tours in Barcelona.


1. Free tour of Barcelona

This is one of the essential free tours of Barcelona to get to know the essence of the historical center of the city.

As a first contact with Barcelona you should explore the center of the city around Plaza de Catalunya. It is here where this free tour of Barcelona begins and, as a first thing, you will walk along part of La Rambla, one of the most important and most controversial streets of the city. It is undoubtedly one of the symbols of the Catalan capital with numerous emblematic buildings on it. However, this artery of the city has also been the subject of many controversies with its expensive and low quality restaurants and other places that we can qualify as “tourist trap”.

After getting to know the past and present of La Rambla, you will enter the Gothic Quarter, one of the neighborhoods to visit in Barcelona and probably one of the most photogenic places in Spain. Here you will learn about the origins of the ancient Roman city of Barcino and visit some of the most essential places in the city such as the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia (with its facade completely renovated after decades of restoration), the Plaza de Sant Jaume (the most political square of the city that houses the City Hall and the Palau de la Generalitat) or the picturesque Plaza del Rey with its medieval palace. You will also stroll through what remains of Barcelona’s Jewish quarter, known as El Call.


After the Gótico you will also stroll through some of the charming streets of the Borne, one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city. This neighborhood has the most beautiful church in the city, the Catedral del Mar and your guide will tell you details about its fascinating history. After finishing the tour in this neighborhood, you will find a variety of nice cafes and bars to relax in.

2. Free tour of Roman Barcelona

A perfect free tour to see what remains of the Roman city of Barcino.

A visit to Barcelona cannot be complete without seeing at least some of the remains of the Roman city that existed beneath what is now the Gothic Quarter. Your exploration of Barcino’ s history will begin at Plaza de Catalunya from where you will first head to Plaza de la Villa de Madrid. Here you will see ruins of the ancient Roman necropolis, more specifically a sepulchral way.

Then you will walk through the Gothic Quarter where you will find pieces of the ancient Roman wall and also visit the Ancient Temple of Augustus. This monument is located behind the Cathedral and because of its hidden location few people know about it. The visit will end at the Plaza de Sant Jaume which was the highest point of Barcino and is where the nerve center of the city, the Roman Forum, was located.

3. Free walking tour of the Gothic Quarter

An excellent alternative to get to know the Gothic Quarter and its fascinating history from Roman times to the present day is this free walking tour of Barcelona.

The Gothic Quarter is undoubtedly the most interesting neighborhood in Barcelona. Its long history dates back to the age of the Roman Empire. In this guided tour you will visit some of the most emblematic corners of the neighborhood and each of them will tell you an interesting story. You will discover places like Plaza Sant Felip Neri that tell intriguing stories about the Civil War or the Second World War.


From your guide you will learn some of the most amazing legends and superstitions of the city, along with the most interesting Catalan traditions. Of course, you will stop at some of the most important squares of Barcelona such as the Plaza Nova with the beautiful Cathedral or the Plaza Sant Jaume with the City Hall, the Palace of the Generalitat and the emblematic Pont del Bisbe in its surroundings. Your walk will also include monuments from Roman times or some secret corners of the Jewish Quarter.

4. Free tour of Gaudí and modernist Barcelona

One of the main attractions of Barcelona is its modernist architecture and the fascinating works of Gaudi. This is one of the best free tours of Barcelona to get to know the most important buildings of this era.

You cannot understand Barcelona and its recent history without knowing closely the modernist movement with architects as celebrated in the world as Antoni Gaudí or Lluís Domènech i Muntaner. This guided tour, like many others, begins in Plaza Cataluña and first you will tour the jewels of modernist architecture in and around Paseo de Gracia.


Some of the buildings you will visit from the outside are La Pedrera, Casa Batlló and Casa Amatller. During the visit you will hear many anecdotes about these modernist works. In addition to visiting several other jewels of the time, you can not miss the greatest modernist work in the world, the Sagrada Familia, where this visit will end.

5. Free Tour of the Old Town of Barcelona

Interesting free tour of Barcelona to know some of the treasures of more than 2000 years of history of the city that are in the Old Town.

In this guided tour you will visit some of the most important monuments of the city along with hidden and little known corners. In this guided tour you will see some vestiges of Roman Barcelona such as the remains of the Roman Wall or the Temple of Augustus. You will also enjoy the special atmosphere of some of the famous and less known squares of Barcelona such as Plaza Sant Pere, Plaza del Rei, Plaza de Sant Felip Neri, Plaza Sant Jaume and Plaza Sant Miquel.

You will not miss many of the most emblematic monuments of the old town such as the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, the Palau de la Música Catalana, the Mercat del Borne or the Church of Santa Maria del Mar. Finally, you will also get to know some of the almost forgotten corners of the small Jewish Quarter of Barcelona.

If you are in Barcelona for a few days and you want to discover Catalonia. Here are some getaways to do in a day near the city.

6. Other not free, but highly recommended tours of the city

Once you have known the essence of the city, you could consider doing other interesting guided tours in Barcelona that are not free, but are highly recommended if you want to deepen your knowledge of a neighborhood or some aspect of the city. Here are some of the best guided tours in Barcelona:

to know from up close some of the most important monuments that you have known in the free tours of Barcelona, you should do this tour that combines guided visits to Park Güell and Sagrada Familia.

here, if you want, you can get tickets to some of the jewels of the city. Book your tickets here and skip the lines at La Pedrera and Casa Batlló which are a must-see.

you can also take some interesting alternative tours that will show you a little known side of the city. We recommend the Shadow of the Wind tour, the Cathedral of the Sea tour, this tour of the mysteries and legends of Barcelona and the night tour of Barcelona and the Magic Fountain of Montjuic.

A little bit about free tours in general:

the word “free” in the name of these tours has a double meaning. On the one hand free=free, because the company offering the free tours will not charge you for the visit, but more importantly free=free, because at the end of the visit you will decide the tip you give according to your degree of satisfaction.
due to the large number of Spanish tourists traveling, you will find free tours in Spanish (like all the ones mentioned in this article) everywhere.
the guides who lead the tours are usually very well prepared or at least we have always had this experience. Besides knowing the city and its history very well, they will tell you interesting anecdotes and curiosities about the place.
many people ask us about the tip that is usually given at the end of the visit. Between 5 and 10 is the most general depending on your satisfaction, but also on the country (it is not the same to pay 5 in Cambodia or in Iceland). Anyway you should not feel pressured, the choice is always yours.

Here we end this article about the best free tours in Barcelona in English. Any of the free tours we recommend are a great way to start getting to know the city or familiarize yourself with a neighborhood you are especially interested in

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