We arrived in Barcelona knowing we wanted to do some exploring and we found the perfect way to get around – Barcelona eBikes. Being a big city and tourist destination, Barcelona has your standard city bus tours. However, being able to ride around on a bicycle (electric powered) was a different kind of experience and one we really enjoyed.
Barcelona eBikes offers multiple tours, including wine cellars, La Sagrada Familia, and a Gaudí experience. We went for the Gaudí eBike tour and were not disappointed.
We met our guide Carla in front of the Barcelona Cathedral where we all did a little practicing with the eBikes. It is basically like riding an ordinary bicycle, but when the electric booster kicks in, it is a bit surprising. So, practicing for a few minutes was useful in our opinion, especially since we would be riding on city streets at times.
Once we got the hang of the eBikes, we biked through the Gothic Quarter and made it to the El Born neighborhood. This is now an expensive and trendy artsy area, but it used to be the place where starving artists lived, which meant it was cheap. However, the neighborhood still holds true to its past with local art shops and artists producing work right in front of you.
We stopped in front of the El Born CC, which is now a museum displaying fantastic ruins of La Ribera. The building used to be a market in the late 19th and early 20th century, but when construction began to refresh the site (thanks to Gaudí and others) historic ruins were found and it was decided to make it a museum.
After leaving El Born, we headed to Ciutadella Park where we found a piece of Gaudí architecture located within a beautiful fountain. The park is located on former military grounds, but the city decided to change the layout and began construction of the park prior to the 1888 World’s Fair.
Barcelona wanted to show the world its history and also display its wonderful artists. So Gaudí and his contemporaries were brought in to give the world a taste of Catalonia culture. This meant beautiful works of art and well thought out green space.
At the entry point to the park, you can find the Arc de Triomf. This was also built in advance of the 1888 fair and was a sign of goodwill and peace to all who walked under the gate. While these arcs are generally built as a sign of winning a war (or triumphing), this arc was built to show how Barcelona triumphed in other ways.
After leaving the Arc, we began our fun ride to La Sagrada Familia.
La Sagrada Familia is Gaudí’s most famous work and is still under construction today. Construction started in 1882!
This basilica, which was consecrated by the pope in 2010, is an absolute beautiful work of art. It was Gaudí’s final project and one he poured his heart and soul into until his death in 1926. His goal was to create a building for God, but one that could be viewed and enjoyed from the outside as well as inside.
The outer construction is intricate and explains the life of Jesus, from his early life up to his crucifixion, death, and resurrection. Gaudí envisioned future generations losing faith and wanted to allow people to see the story of Jesus from the outside of the building. His hope was to inspire those who had lost faith to be intrigued by the outside and want to come inside.
Another of Gaudí’s famous works is the Casa Milà. You can see nature represented in the form of waves and seaweed.
This was constructed from 1906-1912 and was built for the prominent Milà familiy, who wanted a home on the main street to show off their wealth. While the family lived on the first floor, they rented out the remaining rooms. The house has been turned into a museum, however, there is still one tenant remaining who the city is allowing to live out her life, she is in her 90s.
Just down the street from Casa Milà is another one of Gaudí’s classic works, the Casa Batlló.
Casa Batlló was constructed from 1907-1914 for another prominent family who wanted to be seen on the main city street. The family invested in art and were proud of beautiful architecture, so they knew Gaudí had to design their home. The building takes the shape of a dragon and you can almost read the story of St. George and the dragon from the face of the building and roof.
Even the city sidewalks are beautiful and inspired by Gaudí. The above design is patterned after the floors located inside the Casa Milà. Gaudí is everywhere!
Gaudí was inspired throughout his life by two major factors: God and nature. Throughout our tour we could see these intertwined in every piece of architecture we rode past. Some are very obvious, like the Sagrada Familia, while others are more subtle. And for that reason, it was great to have Carla to explain the significance and answer our questions.
Our tour lasted around 2.5 hours and we really loved our time on the road eBiking around Barcelona. We would highly recommend this type of tour regardless of what city you are visiting, assuming it is offered. If you happen to visit Barcelona and are interested in getting a different perspective of the city, give Barcelona eBikes a shout and hop on a tour. You’ll be happy you did.
Looking for more ideas on what to do and see when in Barcelona? Check out our Five Can’t Miss Activities!
Our tour was made possible by Barcelona eBikes. All opinions are our own.