Where to start when visiting Barcelona? My family’s favorite way to get to know a city is by taking a bike tour. That is exactly what we did.
The one main issue with bike tours is that not every company works with young kids, under 16, who need smaller bikes and bike seats to attach to the parent’s bike. They simply aren’t widely available.
And with sooo many different bike operators in BCN, I didn’t even know where to start. Google search is without a doubt my favorite go-to and after putting in ‘Family friendly bike tours in Spain’ I was directed to Baja Bikes, via several different Google searches.
Baja Bikes actually is a European company that deals with the best, most reliable bike outlets for rentals and tours, so they do the filtering out for you. Plus, working with Amanda, I was able to explain all that we wanted, the ages of my kids and the importance of their safety, and she did the rest.
The place she set up for us was Budget Bikes. They are located in the heart of the Gothic sector of Barcelona, and the best place to start your tour for multiple reasons:
1. This is the oldest part of Barcelona – full of history
2. It is close to everything else in the city
3. Easy to get around and also a good place to stop the tour and head out on your own exploration from here
Barcelona City Tour on Bikes
Riding around Barcelona is no easy feat, and my oldest, 11 years old, did amazing. Even though, our guide worked hard at keeping us on pedestrian streets and areas where no cars drove, we did have to pass some busy sections first.
Quick Glance at Where We Went
Fun Historical Facts We Learned about Barcelona
- The city was founded by the Romans who set up a colony called Barcino at the end of the 1st century BC.
- The colony was bounded by a defensive wall, the remains of which can still be seen.
- For over 200 years, Barcelona was under Muslim rule.
- After the Christian reconquest, it became a county of the Carolingian Empire. It was one of the main residences of the court of the Crown of Aragon.
- During the medieval period Barcelona became the economic and political center of the Western Mediterranean.
- You can still see buildings from that golden age (13th to 15th centuries) in the city’s Gothic Quarter.
- From the 15th to 18th centuries Barcelona entered a period of decline.
- In 1714 the city fell to the Bourbon troops and Catalonia’s and Catalans’ rights and privileges were suppressed.
- A period of cultural recovery began in the mid-19th century with the arrival of the textile industry. This period is known as the Renaixença.
- The 20th century saw tons of structures being built with Barcelona’s most distinctive Catalan art-nouveau, or modernista style.
- The Catalan Antoni Gaudí, one of the most eminent architects, designed buildings such as the Casa Milà (known as La Pedrera, the Catalan for stone quarry), the Casa Batlló and the Sagrada Família church, which have become world-famous landmarks.
- Its people suffered greatly when they got their rights were severely restricted during the Civil War in 1936 and the subsequent dictatorship.
- With the reinstatement of democracy in 1978, Barcelona society regained its economic strength and the Catalan language was restored.
- The city’s hosting of the 1992 Olympic Games gave fresh impetus to Barcelona’s potential.
Another fun way to get to know the city is by going on Barcelona hop on hop off city bus tours.