This Barcelona Shore Tours blog post was originally posted on May 3, 2015, and was updated on January 10, 2018.
Stopping in Barcelona on your cruise? Lucky you! The Catalan capital is one of the most exciting cities in the Mediterranean, and you won’t even have one foot off the boat before seeing why.
From the buzzing beaches of Barceloneta to the beautiful modernist buildings decorating the streets, you’ll want to experience it, so make sure to get organized and plan one of these Barcelona shore tours while you’re here! For more information about arriving at Barcelona by cruise, check out our full guide on the Barcelona cruise port and our suggestions for how to best spend a day in the city.
Self-Guided Essential Gaudi
Let’s be honest—you could fill weeks of vacation time visiting works of the famous Catalan architect, Antonio Gaudi. Furthermore, when thinking about the best Barcelona shore tours, you truly couldn’t but visit some of these beautiful works. But, for time’s sake, we suggest you map out the essential monuments, grab an unlimited metro day pass and hop around Barcelona marveling at the work of a pure genius. Here is a suggested route (some are within walking distance):
- Palau Guell
- Placa Reial (Gaudi’s first work—the lampposts!)
- Casa Batillo
- Casa Mila
- Sagrada Familia
- Park Guell
You might not have time to visit all of these on the inside, and you probably don’t want to as tickets are expensive and the crowds can be a nightmare. That’s okay, though, as each monument is incredibly beautiful from the outside as well. Try choosing one in particular that you’d like to tour inside, and make sure to get tickets online in advance to skip the line.
Tour it: If heading out on your own sounds like too much stress, go with an expert guide for a guaranteed wonderful experience. Complete Gaudí Tour: Casa Batlló, Park Guell & Extended Sagrada Família
Mountains and Monastery in Montserrat
One of the most popular Barcelona shore tours is a visit to the monastery of Montserrat, about 45-minutes outside Barcelona. You will need a bit of time for this, but it will be worth it! Hear one of the oldest boy’s choirs in Europe sing before mass at the monastery, and then enjoy some of this region’s most stunning scenery and views atop the bizarre rock formation that makes up Montserrat. Take Walks organizes day tours that will pick you up and drop you off at central locations.
An Off-the-Beaten-Path Foodie Adventure
One of the best ways to get to know a new place is through its food. And that’s why a food tour is your best bet for a well-rounded taste of Barcelona, with a bit of history, culture and of course, tons of delicious regional food tastings! What could be a better choice out of all the Barcelona shore tours than eating and drinking your way around this fantastic city?
Try the Spanish sparkling wine, cava, or Barcelona’s most delicious tapa, la bomba. Later on, sit in a century-old bodega and drink vermouth with the regulars. Not sure what vermouth is? Check out this great video with local foodie expert and Devour guide Victoria and let her fill you in on this famous drink, and of course how to enjoy it at its best!
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