Those of you looking to explore Modernisme in detail, beyond the usual Gaudi buildings, will enjoy visiting the recently renovated Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, at the edge of the Eixample district, and only a few blocks away from the Sagrada Familia (Gaudi’s church.) You can visit the Administration pavilion, the gardens, a couple of the pavilions which were once dedicated to healing the sick, and even some of the tunnels which once connected the different parts of the hospital, underground. The architect was Domenech i Montaner, the same one who designed the Palau de la Musica Catalana or the Casa Lleó i Morera, to name just his best known works. If you like glass, ceramics, or in general admire the beauty of Modernista architecture, this will be a nice addition to your exploration of thriving early 20th century Barcelona. To open up your appetite, check some of the pictures I took during my last visit.

 

 

 

 

 

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I loved visiting the interior of the Casa Lleo i Morera’s main floor, which was recently opened to the general public. I was the only gentleman in a group of lovely ladies admiring the fine sculptures, mosaic floors, and stained-glass windows of one of the three buildings of the so called “Block of Discord.” It was a very enjoyable visit, and one that put my little apartment to shame :-) In the early 20th century, Ms. Morera commissioned architect Domenech i Montaner the refurbishment of her residence on fashionable Passeig de Gracia. Unfortunately, she died before the works were completed, so she never got to live in the amazing spaces Domenech i Montaner created for her. Her son, Dr. Lleo i Morera finished it, and gave the building his name. The 400 square meter apartment is definitely worIMG_2681 IMG_2678 IMG_2680 IMG_2665 IMG_2651th a visit. I hope you enjoy the pictures I took!

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When touring Barcelona one often looks up to see the gorgeous buildings the city is dotted with. But looking down can be rewarding too, since the ground tiles of many Barcelona streets, and especially those in the Eixample district, are very pretty. They come in different shapes. The ones on Passeig de Gracia are hexagonal and were designed by Gaudi for the interior of the Casa Batllo, and later applied to his Casa Mila “La Pedrera”. Most of the other ones are square and come in different patterns. Typically the pattern is the same on the same street, or at least on the same block, but as I was walking down Diputació street earlier today I ran into a puzzle of different ones within just a few feet from each other, which is unusual. I took a few pictures and thought it’d be nice to talk you into looking down for once. In Barcelona, there’s beauty on the ground too!

Are you a little lost after reviewing the many Barcelona private tours you can possibly take? They all seem interesting, don’t they? But after all, you only have a few days  in Barcelona and there’s only so much you can do. Don’t worry. The goal of this post is to help you choose the tour or tours that are right for you out of the many choices I present on my website.

The first important decision is whether you should take a walking tour or one with a driver and a guide. In choosing this, you may consider:

  • Amount of walking you are comfortably with. If you enjoy walking, but don’t want or can’t walk or stand for a long time, choose the tour with driver and guide.
  • Whether you have children with you. In this case, having the vehicle so that the children can have some down time while we move from place to place truly helps make the touring experience smoother for the children and for the parents.
  • Number of people in your party. The bigger your party is, the more difficult it becomes to move from district to district to explore the different attractions in an efficient manner. If there are two or three of you (plus the guide), we can easily jump into a taxi to get to those places which are further out, but as the number of participants increase that becomes more difficult.
  • Budget: a walking tour is logically more affordable than one with driver and guide.

The tours outside the city are always with driver and guide.

Once you have decided the kind of tour you’d like to take, then the following question is how many tours to take. In order to help you with that, I have a couple of suggested 2 and 3- day itineraries on my website that can help you.

For most people, one or two half day city tours is enough. If you decide to take just one, it can be an overview of the main highlights. If you take two city tours, we can see things with more detail, and include more inside visits. It all depends on the depth you are looking for.

I also recommend that you take one tour outside the city. The region is so gorgeous! Montserrat is a great choice for a half day tour but you can review the other options to find the one that really suits your specific interests.