We planned our last day in Spain to be one where we just rambled around, nothing specific on our agenda except to walk down La Ramblas to see what all the fuss was. Maybe because we were there in the mid-morning, it wasn’t crowded and we had a chance to just look around. As we were heading towards the waterfront, a side street caught our eye, so we turned and found ourselves in the Placa Reial, an open square that looked to be a gathering place with a fountain in the middle that you could sit around – perfect for a rest.
While we were in the square, I noticed some young people with green umbrellas and “free walking tour” signs. We like to do walking tours in new cities because we find the information provided by guides sets the stage for the city and enhances our appreciation. So I spoke to one of the green umbrella people who explained that they really do free walking tours twice a day, once at 11:00 and again at 4:30, each leaving from right where we were. Just come a bit ahead of time to get a sticker because they only take a limited number of people per tour (but it seemed to be a large enough number that you should be able to go). They were offering a Gaudi tour that would end up elsewhere in the city, and an Old City tour that would end about ten minutes away from Placa Reial. We had about 20 minutes before the tour would begin, but the boys didn’t feel up to walking another 2+ hours, the length of the tour, so we took their brochure with thoughts of joining in the afternoon tour.
As it turned out, we didn’t get back to do the tour, and I haven’t been able to put my hands on the brochure, so I’d been wracking my brain to remember the name of the tour company. Yesterday, I read a friend’s travel log from her trip to Barcelona in early June and wouldn’t you know it, but she did not one, but two tours with the company – which is Runner Bean Tours! She was very pleased with the tours, and I know this because if she didn’t like the first one, she certainly wouldn’t have joined the second one. And they get great reviews on TripAdvisor.
So if you find yourself in Barcelona and are interested in a free walking tour, give them a try. If we had known about them before our last day, we would have definitely planned our day to include time and energy to do it.