Independent Barcelona: People, Arts and Architecture

Explore Barcelona with plenty of time on your own. Learn about famed works by Picasso, traditional Catalan folklore dance and the surreal works of Gaudi.
Rating (5)
Program No. 7149RJ
9 days
Starts at
Flights start at

At a Glance

Metropolis on the Mediterranean. Capital of Catalonia, a history-soaked region with its own culture, language and cuisine. Sports-mad city that hosted the 1992 Olympics and is home to the legendary FC Barcelona soccer team. Three-dimensional canvas for the brilliant modernist architect Antoni Gaudi. Experience these and the many other identities of dynamic Barcelona on this program that combines expert-led field trips and abundant time to walk, eat and explore on your own.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to three miles per day; some uneven terrain, cobble stones and stairs without railings. Extensive use of public transport Activity level is based on included program elements.
Independent City Discoveries
Independent City Discoveries
Learn with a Group Leader and enjoy educational programming while also getting independent time to explore on your own. Most Independent City Discoveries include lectures, self-guided excursions and passes for public transit and museums.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • A city excursion includes Gaudi’s famously unfinished Sagrada Familia church and more of the architect’s imaginative creations.
  • Go behind the scenes to watch a dress rehearsal of the Esbart Sant Marti, an award-winning Catalan folkloric dance group.
  • Discover some of Picasso’s rarely seen masterpieces on an expert-led visit to the beautiful Museu Picasso.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Cristina (Tina) Jimenez Montanez
Tina Jimenez Montanez was born and raised in South London but currently lives in Barcelona, her favorite Spanish city. Originally a Spanish and French language teacher, she became an educational leader to combine her love of travel and teaching, and to share her in-depth knowledge of culture, history and contemporary affairs with visitors from around the world. Passionate about meeting new people and discovering new things, Tina brings enthusiasm and a touch of humor to each and every Road Scholar program that she leads.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Cristina (Tina) Jimenez Montanez
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Homage to Catalonia
by George Orwell
Orwell's portrait of the Barcelona uprising and the spirit of a city at war is a classic, an observant and heartfelt report from the streets.
Eyewitness Guide Barcelona & Catalonia
by Eyewitness Guides
Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this superbly illustrated guide features color photography, dozens of local maps and detailed information on the region's attractions.
Antonio Gaudi, Master Architect
by Juan Bassegoda Nonell
This pocket-sized collection of Gaudi's work captures the evolution, imagination and exuberance of one of the most influential architects of the 20th century.
The Shadow of the Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Set in the brooding atmosphere of post-WW II Barcelona, this gripping story-within-a-story has it all: murder, doomed love and a mysterious book which draws the young hero, Daniel Sempere, into the city’s dangerous underworld.
by Robert Hughes
A Longitude favorite, this big, thoroughly enjoyable cultural history of the city touches on architecture, art, religion and literature from Roman outpost to today.
Ghosts of Spain
by Giles Tremlett
Tremlett captures the Spanish character, history and modern politics in this masterful portrait, interweaving the story of his love for the country (where he has lived for 20 years) with interviews, anecdotes and observation.
Food and Wines of Spain
by Penelope Casas
This classic collection of 400 recipes, interwoven with cultural commentary and culinary history, is a pleasure to read, but prepare to become hungry.
Barcelona Map
by Borch Maps
A detailed city map, laminated and folded for easy reference.
Gaudi, A Biography
by Gijs van Hensbergen
A vivid account of the famous architect and his work, which forever changed the landscapes of Barcelona and Catalonia.
Gaudi of Barcelona
by Melba Levick (Photographer), Lluis Permanyer (Editor)
Featuring nearly 150 large-format (11in x 9in) reproductions, Permanyer and Levick provide an overview of Gaudi's innovative architectural style. The artist's undulating roofs, towers like tentacles and lavishly decorated chimneys are presented in full color.

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