Become immersed in the essence of Barcelona, a Catalan jewel with stunning artistic and architectural wonders. Settle into the centrally located Renaissance Barcelona Hotel, savor traditional cuisine, and enjoy the lively ambiance of the cosmopolitan coastal city. 

Starting at: $3,840 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Vista from Gaudi's Parc Guell in Barcelona  Gaudi's masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia  Interior of Antoni Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia  La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona  Gaudi's Casa Battlo, facade detail  Gaudi's Casa Mila  Rooftop of Gaudi's Casa Mila apartment house  Seafood paella, a Spanish specialty  Spanish tapas  Traditional <i>tapas</i> bar in Spain. Credit: Peter Horree/Alamy  The Gothic Quarter, Barcelona  Modernisme exterior of the Palau de la Musica, designed by Lluis Domenich i Montaner  The monastery in Monserrat  The Dali Museum in Figueres

Barcelona

A One-Week Stay in Spain

9 days from $3,840

Become immersed in the essence of Barcelona, a Catalan jewel with stunning artistic and architectural wonders. Settle into the centrally located Renaissance Barcelona Hotel, savor traditional cuisine, and enjoy the lively ambiance of the cosmopolitan coastal city. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

We loved being in one city for a week, getting a real feel for it, being able to see a number of its sights, and having the opportunity to walk around in the evenings. We also liked that not all meals were included so we could have local cuisine at some of the local restaurants. 

- Ronald P.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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SPECIAL OFFER

Save $250 per person on 2020 departures when you book by September 27, 2019!

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. Visit the Tour Details tab and click on "Special Air Rates/Services" drop down. 

Overview

Become immersed in the essence of Barcelona, a Catalan jewel with stunning artistic and architectural wonders. Settle into the centrally located Renaissance Barcelona Hotel, savor traditional cuisine, and enjoy the lively ambiance of the cosmopolitan coastal city. 

Highlights Include

  • History, Art, and Culture: Stroll through one of the most complete Gothic Quarters in Europe; tour Palau de la Música Catalana, a Moderniste concert hall and World Heritage site; and visit the El Born district, site of medieval jousting and trade guilds.
  • Antoni Gaudí: Come to understand this architect’s unique vision of Modernisme during a day of visits to Casa Batlló, La Sagrada Familia, and Parc Güell (together designated a World Heritage site).
  • Early Picasso: Visit sites connected to Picasso’s early life and tour the Picasso Museum, a showcase for his formative artwork.
  • Beyond Barcelona: Travel to medieval Girona, then continue to Figueres and the museum devoted to surrealist artist Salvador Dalí. Journey to the Benedictine monastery at Montserrat and sample famous sparkling cava in the Penedès wine region.

We loved being in one city for a week, getting a real feel for it, being able to see a number of its sights, and having the opportunity to walk around in the evenings. We also liked that not all meals were included so we could have local cuisine at some of the local restaurants. 

- Ronald P.

2019 Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart the U.S. for Barcelona, Spain

Smithsonian Journeys travelers depart the U.S. on an overnight flight to Barcelona, Spain.

Day 2 — Barcelona

After arrival in Barcelona, transfer to the upscale, centrally located Barcelona Renaissance Hotel. Upon arrival at the hotel, you’ll receive a welcome kit complete with maps and general information about the city and the region of Catalonia.

There’s time to unpack and relax before joining fellow travelers for a welcome reception at the hotel followed by dinner at a selected restaurant. (R,D)

Day 3 — Barcelona

A full American-style buffet breakfast will be served at the hotel each morning. Join the Smithsonian Journeys Expert for an informative presentation.

Excursion: Visit the Palau de la Música Catalana, a modernist fascinating concert hall designed by art nouveau architect Lluís Doménich i Montaner and designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Built between 1905 and 1908, the hall features a dazzling, stained-glass ceiling and lovely sculptures of muses that encircle the stage.

Local Flavor: Roll up your sleeves and learn how to make Catalan cuisine, during an interactive cooking class with a popular local chef. Later, get together with fellow travelers for lively conversation. (B,L)

Day 4 — Barcelona

Educational Focus: After breakfast, a local speaker will offer a talk about Antoni Gaudi, the 19th-century architect whose work is one of the defining elements of Barcelona’s character. Engage with Gaudi’s Art Nouveau movement, and his architectural style characterized by whimsical ornamentation. 

Excursion: Visit Seven Gaudí buildings in and around Barcelona, recognized together as a World Heritage site, attest to his modernist architectural contributions. Visit Parque Güell, a captivating public park with colorful, undulating mosaic benches, shady trees, and Mediterranean views. Originally planned as a residential estate, the grounds include the fanciful porter’s lodge buildings at the entrance; a mosaic-lined grand staircase; and an impressive hypostyle hall intended as an open-air market area. Then head to La Sagrada Família, and appreciate his bold use of light, color, and form to create a sense of spirituality and grandeur. Finally, contemplate surreal Casa Batlló, an intriguing example of his art nouveau style, along Barcelona’s elegant boulevard, Passeig de Gràcia. Enjoy a lunch of local specialties. (B,L)

Day 5 — Girona / Figueres

Excursion: Explore the town of Girona, an important city in northern Catalonia. Remarkable old city walls surround this example of a medieval Spanish town. The narrow streets and alleyways provide glimpses into a bygone era. The Jewish Quarter known as the “Call” is a maze of alleyways, streets, and plazas that still maintain their medieval Jewish heritage. Lunch will be served in a popular local restaurant.

Continue to Figueres, known for its relationship with the renowned surrealist artist Salvador Dalí. The Dalí Theater Museum, the largest surrealistic object in the world and occupies the former Municipal Theater, destroyed at the end of the Spanish Civil War. Dalí imagined his museum rising, as a phoenix, from the ruins of the old theater. This fascinating museum was created to amaze! (B,L)

Day 6 — Barcelona

Excursion: Arriving in Barcelona at 14 to attend art school, Pablo Picasso drew creative inspiration from the city and embraced its progressive attitudes about art. Visit the Picasso Museum to see one of the largest collections of his early works. Follow in his footsteps as you explore the neighborhood where he and other artists congregated. Tour El Born, Barcelona’s medieval jousting grounds, and see Santa Maria del Mar, a 14th-century church built in the Gothic style of Catalonia.

Excursion: Walk through the Barri Gòtic, the heart of medieval Barcelona. Visit Plaça St. Jaume, where civic leaders have run the city since Roman times, and admire the Plaçadel Rei, the historic powerhouse of medieval Catalonia. See the Gothic cathedral and the walls that defined the perimeter of Roman Barcino.

Enjoy some free time, then attend an informative presentation by the Smithsonian Journeys Expert. Get together in the Smithsonian Journeys Traveler’s Corner for a lively exchange of ideas. Sit down to dinner with fellow travelers at a popular local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 7 —Montserrat / Penedès

Excursion: Visit the 9th-century Benedictine monastery of Montserrat, built along a sandstone mountain and surrounded by towering pillar formations. Explore the monastery grounds and basilica, and see the statue of the Virgin of Montserrat, the patroness of Catalonia

Local Flavor: Continue to the Penedès Wine Region that is renowned for producing Cava, a delightful sparkling wine. The wineries also produce young, fruity white wines and full-bodied reds. Enjoy lunch and sampling the local wines. (B,L)

Day 8 – Barcelona

Educational Focus: Begin the day with a program by a local speaker on Contemporary Catalonia. Many Catalonians think of their region as a separate nation from Spain. Learn about their continued efforts for greater independence.

Independence Exploration: Spend your final day exploring on your own. In seaside Barceloneta, take a leisurely stroll along the lively waterfront, or hop aboard the port cable car for a pleasant ride up the Montjuic hillside. Shop in the boutiques along La Rambla, or discover the work of local craftspeople in La Ribera.

Tonight, gather with your Smithsonian Journeys friends and fellow travelers to reflect on your Spanish adventure during a farewell reception and dinner served at a local restaurant. (B,R,D)

Day 9 — Depart for the U.S.

After breakfast, transfer to the Barcelona–El Prat Airport for your return flight to your gateway city. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

2020 Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 – Depart the U.S. for Barcelona, Spain

Depart the U.S. on your transatlantic flight to Barcelona, Spain.

After your arrival at Barcelona’s- El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport transfer to the upscale, centrally located Barcelona Renaissance Hotel. Upon arrival you’ll receive a Welcome Package with maps and general information about the city and the region of Catalonia. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be on hand to assist with restaurant recommendations and independent touring arrangements.There’s time to unpack and relax before joining fellow travelers for a welcome reception at the hotel followed by dinner at a local restaurant. (1R,1D)

Day 3 — Barcelona

A full American-style buffet breakfast will be served at the hotel each morning during your stay.

Today depart for a visit to the Palau de la Música Catalana, a modernist concert hall designed by art nouveau architect Lluís Doménich i Montaner and designated a World Heritage site. Built between 1905 and 1908, the hall features a dazzling, stained-glass ceiling and lovely sculptures of muses that encircle the stage.

Then, roll up your sleeves and learn how to make Catalan cuisine, during an interactive cooking class with a popular local chef. Later, get together with fellow participants in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for lively conversation. (B,L)

Day 4 — Barcelona

After breakfast, a local speaker will offer a presentation  on Antoni Gaudi, Modernism and the Architecture of Gaudi. Marvel at Gaudí’s remarkable structures in and around Barcelona, recognized in the aggregate as a World Heritage site and testament to his modernist architectural achievement. Visit Parque Güell, a captivating public park with colorful, undulating mosaic benches, shady trees, and Mediterranean views. Originally planned as a residential estate, the grounds include the fanciful porter’s lodge buildings at the entrance; a mosaic-lined grand staircase; and an impressive hypostyle hall intended as an open-air market area. Then head to La Sagrada Família Cathedral and appreciate his bold use of light, color, and form to create a sense of spirituality and grandeur. Finally, contemplate surreal Casa Batlló, an intriguing example of his Art Nouveau style, along Barcelona’s elegant boulevard, Passeig de Gràcia. Enjoy a luncheon at a local restaurant. (B,L)

Day 5 — Girona / Figueres

Explore the town of Girona, an important city in northern Catalonia. Remarkable old city walls surround this example of a medieval Spanish town and narrow streets and alleyways provide glimpses into a bygone era. The Jewish Quarter known as the “Call” is a maze of alleyways, streets, and plazas that still maintain their medieval Jewish heritage. Lunch will be served in a popular local restaurant.

Continue to Figueres, known for its relationship with the renowned surrealist artist Salvador Dalí. The Dalí Theater Museum, the largest surrealistic object in the world, occupies the former Municipal Theater, destroyed at the end of the Spanish Civil War. Dalí imagined his museum rising, as a phoenix, from the ruins of the old theater. Return to Barcelona and the hotel late in the afternoon. (B,L)

Day 6 — Barcelona

Arriving in Barcelona at 14 years old to attend art school, Pablo Picasso drew creative inspiration from the city and embraced its progressive attitudes about art. Visit the Picasso Museum to see one of the largest collections of his early works. Follow in his footsteps as you explore the neighborhood where he and other artists congregated. After a leisurely lunch, continue exploring on a walk through the Barri Gòtic, the heart of medieval Barcelona. Visit Plaça St. Jaume, where civic leaders have run the city administration since Roman times, and admire the Plaça del Rei, the historic seat of power of medieval Catalonia. See the Gothic cathedral and the walls that defined the perimeter of Roman Barcino.

Early this evening gather in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for a lively exchange of ideas and experiences. Afterwards depart for dinner with fellow travelers at a popular local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 7 —Montserrat / Penedès

Depart for the 9th-century Benedictine monastery of Montserrat, built on a mountaintop and surrounded by rugged multi-peaked mountain range. Explore the monastery grounds and basilica, and see the statue of the Virgin of Montserrat, the patroness of Catalonia. Some say Montserrat was the location of the Holy Grail in medieval legend.

Continue to the Penedès Wine Region, renowned for producing Cava, a delightful sparkling wine. The wineries also produce young, fruity white wines and full-bodied reds. Enjoy lunch and sampling the local wines. (B,L)

Day 8 – Barcelona

Begin the day with a presentation by a local expert on Contemporary Catalonia. Many Catalonians think of their region as a separate nation from Spain. Learn about their continued efforts for greater independence.

Personalize your day with a choice of one of the following excursions led by local residents who will share their in-depth knowledge of the area of the city or subject covered on the walk.

Choice #1: Barcelona and the Civil War
Return to the Gothic Quarter for a deeper dive into the time period from the outbreak of the Civil War until the beginning of repression and dictatorship in 1939. Visit the scenes of the events and places that still bear the visible scars of the conflict, such as the road to exile and the Placa de Sant Felip Neri.

Choice #2: Catalan Modernism & Gaudi
While Gaudí is the most lauded architect in Barcelona for the local Art Nouveau movement, for good reason, there are many others who contributed. On a walking tour along the Passeig de Gracia, explore more of Gaudi’s masterpieces such as Casa Mila, and pass other interesting buildings such as Casas Cabot (Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas) and Casa Amatller (Josep Puig I Cadafalch). 

Choice #3: Gracia Village
Enjoy a stroll through one of Barcelona’s hidden gems. Take a short ride on the metro and meander through the charming neighborhood of Gracia. Walk past quiet, tree-lined streets and plazas, houses, artists galleries, bunkers, local artisanal shops, and Gaudí’s first house, Casa Vicens.

Minimum tour participation applies to each program.

Tonight, gather with fellow travelers to reflect on your Barcelona experience during a farewell reception and dinner served at a popular restaurant. (B,R,D)

Day 9 — Depart for the U.S.

After breakfast, transfer to the Barcelona–El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport for your return flight to the U.S.. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)