6. Barcelona: Guided Gaudi Tour to Sagrada, Casas, & Park Guell
This perfectly planned walking tour of Gaudí's most iconic buildings gets you inside each site without the crowds and gives you the flexibility to get up early or sleep in on their vacation. The morning tour gives you first entrance to Casa Battló where you'll get to explore each room ahead of the crowds. While the afternoon tour takes you inside the first house Gaudí designed, Casa Vicens, which laid the foundation for his success. Either way, you’ll enjoy the same crowd-free experience and visit Park Güell and La Sagrada Familia with a knowledgeable guide. The morning tour starts at Casa Battló where you’ll enter before the crowds and go straight to the most famous rooms. In the peace and quiet of the first entry slot of the day, your guide will show you the tiny details that make this house so fascinating; from breathing ‘gills’ to the clever play of light in the building’s tiles. Then it’s on to Casa Milà, where you’ll learn how this austere building came by the nickname “Stone Quarry.” Afterward, stop by the first major work Gaudí ever designed—Casa Vicens. From there, it’s off to Park Güell. Part fanciful explosion of color, part thoughtful study of organic forms, it is a perfect reflection of the natural world. Since this became a ticketed site a few years ago, entrance lines have become extremely long – so it’s a good thing you have skip-the-line access. Finally, hop on a private minibus for a short transfer to Gaudí’s most iconic work: the one and only Sagrada Família. You’ll spend a full hour exploring the church itself, then, unlike most tours, you will go down into the museum to see some of the architect's drawings, models, and calculations, plus a clear view of his tomb. If you opt for the afternoon tour, you'll begin the walking tour with stops outside the impressive Casa Battló and Casa Mila. From there, you'll ride the metro to Casa Vicens and enter the colorful first house Gaudí designed. Most tourists miss this, but you'll find out how Casa Vicens put Gaudí on the map. From there, you'll walk to Parc Güell and breeze past all the tourists with skip-the-line tickets. After your guided tour, board a private minibus to the last stop of the day: La Sagrada Familia. Enter after the daytime crowds have left and the golden hour light streams through the stained glass windows. As the tour draws to a close, get recommendations from your guide on where to eat the best tapas or stay a little longer to continue exploring.