Here at Barcelona Tours, as much as we love the beautiful city that is Barcelona, we also love to travel the globe.  

When we can’t do that travel blogs are the next best thing. At Barcelona Tours we love to hear from those who dedicate themselves to exploration.  We devour travel adventures accompanied by amazing photos. 

Curious to find out how travel bloggers have experienced the pandemic, we reached out to ask some of our favorites.  How has the pandemic affected them, and where they plan to travel to first when they are able to do so? 

Kathy is an Australian Travel and Lifestyle blogger at www.50shadesofage.com and although has travelled all over the world, she is very passionate about her own country – Australia. When she’s not travelling, taking photos and blogging, she enjoys long walks, yoga, reading, cooking and watercolour painting.

 We caught up with Kathy who shared some of her thoughts with us. 

Interview: Being a travel blogger during covid, what’s next? 

  1.  How much has the pandemic affected your life as a travel blogger? 

Covid-19 and the immediate introduction of international and domestic travel restrictions in my country Australia, have heavily impacted my life as a travel blogger. Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to travel as frequently as before and this has limited the amount of material I’m able to write about. I also believe that my audience has disappeared dramatically because no one is planning trips nor can travel since the pandemic. Without the material and audience, it has been tough, to say the least.

  1. How do you think travel might change after the pandemic?

I think travel after Covid-19 will change dramatically. I think for many people they will be afraid to travel overseas again and will limit their travel to within their own country. For others, they will be super cautious about travelling and will probably take more precautions. I believe things like Covid vaccine certificates, wearing masks and using hand sanitiser, will be mandatory for air travel. It will be a changed world for sure. 

  1. What are your plans for future travels, where is top of your list to visit?

At present I’m only travelling domestically within Australia. I have trips planned to North Queensland and Tasmania this year. Recently I have paid a deposit on a cruise in June 2022 to Hawaii and Alaska, but I’m unsure whether this will eventuate at present. It will depend on whether the Australian government lift the international travel restrictions that are in place at present.

  1. Do you think people during this time have lost interest in travel stories?

Yes, I do for international travel, but I believe that people are still interested in travel within their own countries. Most of the Australian content on my blog is attracting a good audience. I’ve recently been writing for a publication called The Big Lap Bible about travelling in Australia. 

  1. What is your opinion on the new travel measures that they are currently implementing in your country?

I totally agree with the international travel bans that are in force in my country. However, I would like to see them slowly open up some of our nearest neighbouring countries within the Pacific and South East Asia sectors. We already can travel to our nearest neighbour, New Zealand which is a step in the right direction. I was totally in disagreeance with the domestic travel bans when they were in force. It made it very difficult for families and business people to go about their lives as per normal and impacted on businesses heavily. 

  1. If you haven’t visited Barcelona before, would you like Barcelona Tours to show you and why?

I haven’t been to Barcelona, but had a trip booked to Spain and Portugal in 2020. That obviously didn’t proceed, but Barcelona and Spain are high on my bucket list. I would like to see the La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and watch Flamenco dancers. Then sip on sangria, feast on paella, and stroll through the streets of La Rambla.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Kathy. We would love to see you in Barcelona soon! 

When Kathy is able to visit us, we could certainly help her fulfil that bucket list. We would suggest she starts with our Gaudi Tour , follows that with a hearty paella lunch by the beach, and rounds off the day with a stunning flamenco show with some tapas and sangria at Poble Espanyol.  

The sun has pushed away the winter chill, and as we move towards summer our minds turn to the sea and all  the fabulous Barcelona Boat trips we can take!

Lots of Barcelona’s tourists walk down La Rambla, wander around the Sagrada Familia and stroll through the city’s countless markets.

But too few of them explore Barcelona by boat. With its massive coastline, Barcelona is one of the world’s best beach cities.

If you’re interested in sailing around and along Barcelona’s colossal coastline, consider boat hire in Barcelona, or one of our Barcelona boat trips. We arrange Barcelona boat trips, Barcelona boat hire, Barcelona yacht charters, Barcelona catamaran charters and more.

Our boat-based experiences are popular with an endless number of Barcelona’s tourists, including families, groups of friends, couples, staff teams and everyone in between.

We offer lots of different boats, lots of different experiences, and even distant day trips.

What types of boats can I ride on Barcelona boat trips?

We offer several types of boats, for both short jaunts and long journeys:

Catamarans

With our personalised Barcelona charter catamaran tours, you sail around Barcelona’s coast, enjoying incredible cityscape views and Mediterranean dips (and we don’t mean hummus).

Addable extra perks include catering, BBQ, a bar, snorkelling, wine tasting, live music, and much more. We offer both large and small catamarans for teams and groups of different sizes.

barcelona boat trips catamaran costa brava

Sailboats

Some of our sailboats are small, charming and humble, perfect for small groups. These diminutive boats can be rented by the hour, and come with snacks, drinks and some of the best possible views and vistas of Barcelona. Eat, swim, luxuriate, laugh and enjoy the excellent sunset views.

Feeling inspired? Check out the different options for sailboats right here

For massive groups with cash to splash, we also offer bigger boats with bigger reputations. The biggest name in our fleet is the Southern Cross, one of the most famous boats in Spain. Dating back to 1962 and popular with wedding parties and corporate groups, this thing once belonged to Frank Sinatra.

Luxury yachts

Our small luxury yachts are really more like speedboats, allowing you to zoom along Barcelona’s coastline. Again, they come equipped with food, drinks and a guarantee of being one of the best experiences that Barcelona has to offer.

Where do the boats travel to?

That’s up to you. If you just want to sail around Barcelona’s coast for an hour or two, you can. But if you want to take a day trip somewhere further afield, some of the most popular options include:

Costa Brava

Running a lengthy line all the way from Barcelona to the Spanish-French border, the so-called ‘rugged coast’ lives up to its name, with cliffs, caves, coves, shores, sands and a whole load of sun.

Barcelona boats costa brava coastline

Castelldefels

For something a little closer to Barcelona, this long, golden, dune-packed beach sits around 20km south of Barcelona’s centre.

Sitges

Just 35km south of Barcelona, Sitges is brimming with charm, but it’s also packed with contradictions. It’s upbeat, busy, and full of good nightlife, but it’s also homely, historic, and ridiculously loveable.

If you want to enjoy a Barcelona boat trip, Barcelona boat hire, or any of our other sea-based adventures, get in touch: Contact Us

Alternatively, you can find more information on the many different boat hire options, both private and shared, right here

Looking for team building activities in Barcelona? 

Here are some things you won’t want to do: sit in a windowless conference room. That overused activity where you fall back and pretend not to catch each other. Cringe-inducing team meditation. An in-office buffet.

If you want to avoid all those banal bore fests, Barcelona is a great choice for team building, team building activities and corporate events – and for plenty of reasons.

Why Barcelona for Team Building?

First, you get all the obvious good stuff! Including city-center beaches, constant sunshine, great weather, tasty food, Spanish smiles, countless restaurants, buzzing bars, excellent architecture, mega-famous sites, and one of the world’s best city breaks.

Secondly, and on top of the good stuff, we’ve built an incredible package of Barcelona-based corporate events and team building activities. Some of our most popular take place on the sea, in, on and around Barcelona’s shimmering shorelines.

Our most popular team building activities on the sea include: 

Escape Boat

We work with the best Escape Room company in Barcelona to offer you on-boat Escape Room experiences that are fun, unique and genuinely exciting. You get 60 minutes on the deck of a boat to show why you’re not all absolutely useless. And, even if you don’t solve the problems, at least you’ll enjoy sailing along Barcelona’s beautiful coastline.

Sailing Regatta

For those of you who aren’t well-versed in maritime lingo, a regatta is basically just another way of saying a race. For this sailing regatta experience, you and your team are split into groups and given the help of an experienced captain. All team members are active participants in the race, which is preceded by eating, training and learning about in-race maneuvers.  A fast-paced and fun activity, which really gets people working together to win the race! 

Team activity boat regatta barcelona

On-Catamaran Wine Tasting

For a gentler boat-based experience, we give you a catamaran, a trained sommelier, and a load of wine. You then enjoy it all in a tasty, relaxing, indulgent package of sun, sea, and slurping.

With space for more than 100 people, you get great wine, unbeatable panoramas, and a relaxing jaunt along Barcelona’s incredible coast.

If the sun is shining, which it probably will be, take your swimsuits to make a refreshing swim stop during the trip.

Check out the catamaran hire options for more information

Team Building Activities for Land Lovers

If you don’t want to explore Barcelona by sea, we offer landlubber-friendly team building activities and corporate events too. Our on-land options include tapas cooking, Barcelona Wipeout (our ridiculous version of Total Wipeout), flamenco nights, treasure hunts, salsa classes, graffiti projects, tours of the city and much more.

No matter whether you’d prefer a sea-based experience or an on-land event, we only craft bespoke, flexible experiences specifically tailored to what you and your team actually want to do. Want to make an event shorter? Longer? Gentler? More intense? Want to start at your hotel? Whatever you want from your Barcelona team building experience, that’s what we’ll give you.

A team building event shouldn’t feel like work – it should feel like fun.  And with us, it will.

For genuine, authentic, non-forced fun with your team, come and enjoy some team building activities and corporate events in Barcelona. For corporate events and team building activities, Barcelona is one of the best cities on the planet.

Get in touch with the Barcelona Tours team to chat about the options!

Barcelona’s top tourist attractions are diverse and wide-reaching. There really is something for everyone! If you are looking for a cultural experience, then there are countless museums, galleries, and examples of wonderful architecture to enjoy. Take a look at our blog on the top Gaudi sights for ideas of some amazing modernist treasures to visit.

If you are looking for something a little less artistic, then this is the blog for you. This time we will look at Barcelona’s top tourist attractions that show a different side of the city. A side that focuses on sport, wildlife, and general entertainment.

FC Barcelona Camp Nou

The mighty FC Barcelona is renowned worldwide for the team’s amazing achievements in football. The club has a rich history, and a roll call of players, past and present, which sounds like a who’s who of football. FC Barcelona has won many trophies which are kept at the stadium in the Camp Nou Museum. This leads us on nicely to point out that you can book a tour of Camp Nou Stadium and Museum, this is definitely one of Barcelona’s top tourist attractions so it can get very busy, we recommend booking tickets beforehand. During the tour, you’ll have the chance to feel like a real insider, with a visit to the changing rooms, press room, and you can even touch the grass on FC Barcelona’s sacred football pitch!

For a really special experience check out the small group tour with a sports journalist! 

Barcelona Aquarium

The aquarium is a great family day out and conveniently located in Port Vell. From here you can also easily access two other important tourist attractions in Barcelona, La Barceloneta, and Las Ramblas. Both are within walking distance of the aquarium. The main attraction at the aquarium is the unique Oceanarium. This is a transparent tunnel, over 80 meters long, which allows you to take a ‘walk underwater’. It feels like walking along the sea bed while creatures of the Mediterranean, including sharks, swim around you. The aquarium has a lot more to offer, with different themed areas from sea horses to tropical coral.

We recommend that you allow a couple of hours for your visit. To avoid long queues during peak season, we suggest booking tickets in advance.  You can find these on our Tickets and Attractions page. 

Barcelona Zoo

The zoo is a great day out for both families and animal lovers alike. The zoo houses around 300 species of animals, plus rich flora and parkland that has about 320 botanical species. It sits within the city park (Parque de la Ciutadella), we recommend spending some time in the park before or after your visit. The zoo is committed to conservation programs and its mission; ‘to actively intervene in the conservation, scientific research, and dissemination of wild fauna and its natural habitats.’

There is much to see at Barcelona zoo, from the ‘land of dragons’ to the ‘aviarium’, plus all the other exotic animals we normally only see on wildlife documentaries.

The facilities on site are good with picnic tables and restaurants. So you can take your time and enjoy the day at leisure.

The Olympics! Stadium and Olympic Museum

The 1992 Olympics were a pivotal event for Barcelona city. The games propelled Barcelona onto the world stage. In preparation for this, the city underwent a major transformation which left a positive legacy on the now world-famous Spanish tourist destination.

The hill of Montjuic was the main hub for the games, more specifically the area known as the Olympic Ring. The ring is home to the Olympic Stadium, Palau Sant Jordi (sports hall), and the Olympic Esplanade. There is also the very impressive telecommunications tower (built for transmission of the games) and is said to represent an athlete holding the Olympic Flame. Montjuic is also home to the Olympic pools and diving pools.

The diving pools also have another claim to fame, they were the location for one of Kylie Minogue’s videos! For the music nerds out there (we fall into that bracket) take a look at these other famous videos that were filmed in Barcelona 

We recommend a full tour of this area and for the real sports enthusiasts, there is the Olympic Museum. The museum will take you on a journey through the history of sport.  There are also interactive challenges to enjoy, plus the opportunity to learn about the 1992 Olympics and view some great pieces of sporting memorabilia.

When planning what to do in Barcelona we recommend checking out all transport options.  We love city breaks; they are a fun and vibrant way to travel. Sometimes we only visit a city for a few days and want to cram in a much as possible. Weighing up how to get around is key!

Barcelona Tours has some great tips we’d love to share with you.

Public transport

The public transport in Barcelona is very good. There is a reliable metro system, that is quick, modern, clean, and pretty good value for money. You can reach most of Barcelona’s top tourist attractions by metro, so it is our number one option for getting around the city.

You can also use your metro ticket on TMB (Transport Metropolitan Barcelona) buses and trams. Plus if you take the metro and the bus or tram within the same journey this only counts as ‘one trip’ and you are only charged for that. So if you got a 10 journey ticket, called a T-Casual, they would only charge you one trip!

All of the Gaudi attractions, including the Sagradas Familia, Casa Batllo, and Casa Mila, are just meters away from the nearest metro station.

The metro runs very regularly, every couple of minutes on most lines, and it is open until late; midnight during the week, 2 am on a Friday, and all night on Saturdays.

Buses are also very regular, and stop at pretty much all the top tourist attractions in Barcelona. When the regular buses stop running for the day, they are replaced by a night bus service.

Special Offers

If you plan on taking full advantage of public transport, we recommend that you consider one of the transport cards aimed at tourists visiting the city. There a two main options. The first is Hola BCN Transport Saver; this card is designed for concentrated use of transport within a fixed time scale. So you get unlimited trips on the metro, bus, or tram with various options starting from 48 hours.

If museums and galleries are high on your list of what to do in Barcelona then maybe the Barcelona Card is a better option. As well as free travel on public transport the card also includes access to over 25 museums and attractions. Options to book both these tickets can be found here.

On foot

Barcelona is a great city to explore on foot. If you have time and want to take in all the sights around you, there are areas of the city that are perfect for a leisurely stroll. The Gothic Quarter, known as the Barrio Gotico is perfect for a wander around. Each winding street leads to a different gem. You will find on your travels medieval churches, curiosity shops, and even Roman ruins.

The Ramblas is also an area to discover on foot. To experience ‘Las Ramblas’ in all its glory we suggest you start at the port and walk up the Ramblas until you reach Plaza Catalunya. From here, walk up Passeig de Gracia to reach some of the spectacular modernist buildings.

Group and Private Transport

Private transport can also easily be arranged. Maybe you would like a smooth transfer from the airport to your hotel, or a private driver to take you around the city. Get in touch to talk about the options.

If you are organising a group event or travel to Barcelona, then moving larger numbers of people around the city can get complicated.

Take the stress away from the logistics of your trip, by getting Barcelona Tours to do this for you. There are various options to choose from, take a look at our transfers for groups here.

Barcelona has so much to offer tourists, so where should you start? Where are the best places to visit in Barcelona? We suggest that no visit would be complete without checking out the modernist treasures left to the city by Anthony Gaudi. His work is so iconic that not only has it shaped the skyline of the city, but his vanguard modernist flair influenced much of the architecture in Barcelona.

The diversity of his work and the stories that surround it have a lot of curb appeal. Even those who are normally more interested in the beach than culture, still want to know a little about the Sagrada Familia.

So we will start our Best Places to Visit Barcelona, Top 5 Gaudi Attractions with the mighty church that dominates the skyline of Barcelona.

Sagrada Familia

The most famous of Barcelona’s tourist attractions is the Sagrada Familia. Also known as the ‘unfinished church’, the story around the construction of the church is as fascinating as the building itself. The church was the brainchild of the famous architect Anthony Gaudi. It was his last project before he died, and where he applied everything he had learned from previous projects, plus all of his distinctive artistic flair.

The first stone of the Sagrada Familia was laid in 1883! The planned completion date of the church is 2026, which would mark 100 years since the untimely death of Gaudi. After his death, faithful collaborators carried on working from the plans and visions he left to keep the project alive.

The sheer size of the Basilica is something that attracts Barcelona tourists to visit the space. A unique feature is its dominating height dominating which gives an impressive feel of vastness. Inside the columns reach up to 45m before they reach the vaults. There is an ambitious plan for the central tower to reach 172.5 meters, which will make the Barcelona Church the tallest religious building in Europe.

It is also the intricately detailed symbolism on the facades of the Sagrada Familia that makes for such an interesting visit. The 3 facades depict The Nativity, The Passion, and The Glory.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site is the most visited tourist attraction in Spain and very worthy of the top spot on our Best Places to Visit in Barcelona. It is important to book your visit in advance.

Park Guell

The number 2 spot on our best Gaudi places to visit in Barcelona is Park Guell. This is a wonderful natural space in the north of the city, and another of Gaudi’s works which is a Unesco World Heritage site. The park was commissioned by Eusebi Guell, one of Gaudi’s best clients.

Gaudi was influenced by nature and curves, and he applied this to the design of the park. There are wonderful examples of his trencadis technique, which is a distinct style of mosaic work. The park is also home to one of Barcelona’s most iconic images, the Gaudi Dragon. A souvenir photo is a must here!

The park’s location allows you to enjoy one of the best views of the city. You can see across the whole of Barcelona, all the way down to the mediterranean sea.

Take a leisurely stroll around the park and enjoy it all in your own time. It is a popular Barcelona Tourist attraction and you do need tickets to access Park Guell.

To visit both Park Guell and Sagrada Familia with transport included, we have the perfect tour for you here.

Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo is undeniably one of Gaudi’s artistic masterpieces. The house sits on the famous boulevard ‘Passeig de Gracia’. It is one of a row of four buildings, by renowned modernist architects, known as the ‘Row of Discord’. Within this row, it is the eye-catching Gaudi building that really turns heads. Some locals refer to it as the ‘house of bones’ due to the skeletal feel of the balconies and supporting beams in the window frames. Casa Batllo has many of Gaudi’s distinct ‘trademarks’ such as his tribute to nature with a lack of straight lines and his use of broken tile mosaics (called Trencadis) that fills the facade of the building.

Some of the beauty of the building can be enjoyed from the exterior, but we do recommend visiting the inside. The terrace allows you to see the roof which is said to resemble the back of a dragon. The loft is also worth a visit to see the 60 catenary arches which are said to represent the ribcage of an animal.

Given the unique nature of Casa Batllo, the long queues are understandable, so we do suggest getting your ticket before!

Casa Mila

Casa Mila is also known as La Pedrera and is one of two Gaudi buildings on Passeig de Gracia. The other we just talked about! The building was commissioned in 1905 by Pere Mila and his wife Roser Segimón. The design was radical for its day and was subjected to much mocking locally.

Again Gaudi was true to the influences of nature, with the building designed as a continuous curve. A key feature of the house is the roof with its multitude of skylights, exits for stairs, chimneys, and fans. These are all highly functional architectural elements that also have merit as stand-alone sculptures. There are splashes of Gaudi’s trademark mosaic style, but much less than in other works of his. Some of the brickwork is covered in lime to achieve contrast alongside the stark twisted steel balconies.

This magnificent building is also one to add to your list of tourist attractions to visit.

The Dragon Gate of Guell Pavilions

The Guell Pavilions and gardens are one of Gaudi’s lesser-known, but no less impressive, pieces of work. It also happens to be one of our favorites, hence its place on this list of best places to visit in Barcelona. This was Gaudi’s first commission by his later patron Eusebi Guell and the first to feature his now trademark trencadis technique.

The aim of the project was for Gaudi to redesign the entrance lodges and garden to the estate owned by Eusebi Guell. Born out of this project was the awe-inspiring dragon gate. The wrought iron is twisted into a mythological serpent-like dragon, complete with a glass eye. The sculpture seems to come to life and roar at you! The gate was inspired by Greek mythology, based on a creature called Ladon, who guarded the Garden of Hesperides.

You could easily miss this gem as it is a little off the normal tourist path in Barcelona, but well worth a visit and is one of the stops on the comprehensive tourist bus routes.

Tickets to all of the above Barcelona tourist attractions are available on our ticket page here.

How to organize a successful Virtual Event

In 2020 Virtual Events have taken center stage in the events industry. The rapid advances in technology, platform capabilities and the possibilities for events keeps expanding by the day.
These are exciting times, and we think resisting this change and waiting for ‘normality’ to return is futile. We are still along way from beating the worldwide pandemic, and with the multitude of advantages the online format offers, Virtual Events are here to stay.

The majority of event organisers have been on a very sharp learning curve when it comes the whole virtual events sector. Lots of people may be embarking upon their first virtual event format and feeling overwhelmed by where to start.

We are fascinated by this shift in our industry and we have been on a Virtual Event knowledge binge, so you don’t have too.

Where to start?

Start right at the very beginning! Ask your self:

  • Why are you holding this event?
  • What are your event objectives?
  • Who is your audience?

These may seem like obvious questions, but it is vital to have a clear vision so you can then create your virtual event content accordingly. Also, this is important to help you choose the right Virtual Event platform for your meeting or conference.

Virtual Events Tip Number 1 – The Human Experience

How can we make our Virtual Event feel ‘human’? One way is to ‘recreate’ content and structures that feels familiar to our audience. When organizing an online exhibition, you can try to ensure there are all the familiar elements that attendees expect to see. This would include a reception space, virtual event booths, sponsors, plus opportunities for networking and connection with other attendees.

For a conference, your attendees would expect to see keynote speakers, smaller breakout sessions, Q&A sessions and maybe a happy hour for networking. This gives the attendees a sense of familiarity that helps them feel more confident about the format.

Virtual Events Tip Number 2 – Choosing a Virtual Event Platform

Once you have clarity around what your event objectives are, it is time to select your event platform.

Choosing your virtual event platform is a whole other blog post but the key factor to keep in mind is ensuring your chosen platform can meet your objectives. Can your platform support the number of attendees? What support is available? Is there a 24-hour live support hub during the event? Will there be a dry run? Can you create the number of breakout rooms you were hoping for? Is the platform interactive and can support polls and Q & As?

If sponsorship is vital to your event, what are the opportunities the Virtual Events platform can offer?

Understand clearly what the technical requirements are to optimize the use of your chosen platform. You want a product which is technically secure and reliable.

We recommend choosing an event platform that allows for an integrated experience along with interaction and participation.

There are so many amazing products available – watch this space for more blog posts around this.

Virtual Events Tip Number 3 – How to Engage your Attendees

Content is at the core of our events and key to its success. We want to capture the attention of our audience with relevant and engaging content. This should include interesting speakers and exciting presentations. When moving an event online the quality of your content is even more important to engage your virtual attendees.

During a Virtual Event the duration of sessions should be considered carefully. Given participants are interacting via a screen this lowers the time that they will be engaged. The trend is that sessions are shorter than for a live event.

There are ways that you can interact and engage with your audience. We recommend rethinking the format to allow for surprising and interactive elements. Think about live polling, a live Q & A session and having an interactive chat facility. You could event include a fun team activity to entertain guests.  See our blog here for ideas!

Virtual Events Tip Number 4 – Don’t forget networking

One of the huge benefits of events is to bring people together, make new connections and network with familiar faces and contacts.

How can we do this on a Virtual Event Platform? We can make space for networking opportunities. You could set up a ‘networking room’ with a specific topic up for discussion that people can join. Or maybe allocate guests a random contact to chat with. By activating a chat facility during sessions, this allows people to message the whole audience or select to message someone privately.

Virtual Events Tip Number 5 – Use metrics / analytics wisely

There are huge advantages to the analytics available from your Virtual Event. You can check attendance, engagement and more. We should also look beyond this to evaluate the success of a Virtual Event. Log new business which arrives from the event, also assess the value of building a community around your brand or organization and the level of engagement of each session.

Your conclusions help you to shape upcoming events or conferences and to measure the ROI from the event.

Conclusion

Virtual Events offer many advantages to the Events Industry.  Careful planning, good marketing and great content can see you reacher wider audiences than before!

The consensus is that when live events do return, we will see a surge in hybrid options, which is a combination of both a virtual and presential events. Again, keep an eye on our blog for our top tips for Hybrid Events.

To talk about the options for your virtual event, get in touch!