DEAN NELSON (he/him) CRDE, LLD
Gay Barcelona + Sitges
Updated: Oct 18, 2022
Barcelona heats up the European LGBTQ scene with a vibrant gay culture, incredible nightclubs, circuit parties, restaurants and cafes.
Day 1 - Arrival to Barcelona
Welcome to Barcelona, Spain! Your personal driver will be waiting for you outside of arrivals with your name on a sign. You will be whisked away from Barcelona Airport to the original Axel Barcelona Hetero-friendly Hotel in the heart of the city's gay village.
Check-In: Axel Barcelona
This is the premium gay hotel in Barcelona, part of the extremely popular European chain of gay Axel hotels. This “hetero-friendly” option is, of course, located in the Gay-Eixample, just around the corner from various gay hotspots including ATAME, Gingin Gay Bar, Punto BCN, La Chapelle, and Priscilla Cafe. However, it is also a gay destination in itself, with rooftop Sky Bar especially being a popular party spot for gay locals and visitors alike.
Axel Hotels always pride themselves in their impeccable taste and design. Axel Barcelona reflects this with elegant rooms that put comfort as their central focus. The suites are particularly attractive, with extra-large beds, iPod station, and a private furnished terrace and solarium. The hotel also knows exactly what its core demographic wants in terms of facilities: the gym is large and extremely well-equipped, and the adjacent Wellness club is the ideal way to wind down after a workout (or a particularly heavy night of partying).
One of the best things about staying at an Axel Hotel is the friendly and knowledgeable staff. They are the best people to ask about all things gay happening in the city, and are perfectly positioned to help you make your most of gay Barcelona.
Day 2 - Discover Gaudí through a Rainbow lens
9AM Rise and shine... we are off to one of Barcelona's most notable landmarks. Your 3-hour private walking tour of Gaudí architecture lead by your gay tour guide. You will experience one of the most extraordinary cities in the world, This morning your private tour will take you to La Pedrera and Batlló houses, creations of the brilliant Antoni Gaudí. From outside the buildings your guide will share interesting stories and facts of these unique homes through an LGBTQ lens.
Next you will sashay your way down the street until reaching Gaudí’s masterpiece, the majestic La Sagrada Familia, a temple that has been under construction for over 140 years and is sure to leave you without words. Construction of this unique building began in March 1882 and is expected to be completed by 2030. Learn more about the history this incredible church discovering the secrets of the Sagrada Familia. With your skip-the-line ticket enter Barcelona's iconic landmark. At the end of the tour, your guide will bid you adiós so you can enter the magnificent church and explore on your own at your own pace. On this tour you'll discover one of the most widely admired buildings in the world and Gaudí's masterpiece. Take a look to the plans and models will reveal how Gaudí conceived his vision of 18 towers which, with some variations on the original design, are closer to completion every day as a result of the money raised from ticket sales and donations.
The rest of the day explore this beautiful coastal city on your own with an unlimited Hop-On Hop-Off tour of the city.
Day 3 - Gayxample's Secrets
Today you will continue to explore all what Barcelona has to offer. Enjoy the morning at your leisure. Enjoy Day 2 of 2 of your Hop on Hop off bus tour ticket.
3PM - Learn more of the history of Barcelona from Roman times to the medieval period through a special Gothic Quarter walking tour, which has a charm all of its own with its narrow, cobbled streets, wrought-iron street lamps and buildings that comprise hidden corners you can lose yourself in. Start in Plaça Sant Jaume, the seat of the local government during the Middle Ages and at the present time. Then continue to Barcelona Cathedral, built in different artistic styles, next to the important ruins of the Roman walls. Observe the Plaça del Rei, a unique site and the historic centre of power during the reign of the Catalan counts and monarchs. Afterwards continue to Eixample district, also known as gay neighbourhood ‘Gayxample’. Discover numerous gay shops, bars, discos and restaurants. Eixample continues to be a thriving gaybourhood with more LGBTQ people relocated and enjoy all what this district has to offer. At the conclusion of the tour you will enjoy a Sangria tasting (also alcohol free drink available) while taking in all the exciting sights and sounds of the area.
Day 4 - Explore the medieval Catalonian Villages in Northeastern Spain
9AM - Full day tour to explore outside of Barcelona and head for the medieval city of Girona and the scenic Costa Brava. Journey through the Catalonian villages of northeastern Spain as you tour through Pals and Calella de Palafrugell, and taking in the breathtaking Mediterranean Sea.
Start your day with a walking tour of the Old Town of Girona, one of the most emblematic city of Catalonia. Founded by Romans in 77 B.C., Girona will surprise you in its fusion between past and present times. Marvel at the colourful façades of the houses on the shores of the Onyar River, walk through the Old Town of Girona to visit the Call, one of the most well preserved Jewish neighbourhoods in Europe. Continue your walking tour of Girona into the Old City Walls, dating back to roman times. You can’t miss the chance to enjoy the great panoramic views of the city. Have a look to the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world, dating back to the XI century. Pass by the Museum of Archaeology and the Arab Baths, a Romanesque construction of the 12th century inspired by Roman baths.
Once you assured your visit back to Girona, we can now head to our next destination: the medieval village of Pals, a magical place, a home to experiences and traditional legends that will surprise you. A walk along these cobbled streets and alleys takes you straight back to the middle ages: there are stone arches, Moorish arches, Romanesque and Gothic doorways and windows.
Enjoy a walking tour of this ancient fishing village formed by several coves. Calella de Palafrugell is one of the few places on the Costa Brava which still preserves the charm of the villages of the area before the arrival of mass tourism, with narrow streets, steep tiled roofs and some traditional two-floor fishermen’s dwellings. Choose among the several restaurants of the village, take the chance to eat typical and traditional Catalan food (lunch on your own).
Day 5 - Sitges
Morning at your leisure. Your driver will arrive to the hotel at 12 noon to take you to the beautiful beach town of Sitges.
Check-in: Calipolis Hotel Sitges
A classic seaside hotel with relaxing, modern design, Hotel Calipolis Sitges also benefits from a location directly facing the Sitges gay beach. Rooms are decorated in warm tones of white and grey, with Smart TVs and comfy furnishings. You can choose from a mountain or sea view, and the suites are especially large and luxurious. The Penthouse Suite, with its large terrace and hydromassage bathtub, is perfect for a more special stay. There are two restaurants and two bars, including a pool bar and a sea-facing terrace bar. The breakfast is great, with authentic foods from all over Spain. An outdoor pool and a small gym round off the facilities. Calipolis is one of the most booked luxury gay hotels in Sitges.
Enjoy the rest of the day and evening to settle in and explore the area on your own.
Day 6 - Experience Sitges
Enjoy the sites and sounds of Sitges private walking tour with a visit to the Cau Ferrat museum. Later you will head out to the countryside to visit a boutique winery with a private wine tasting.
Day 7 + 8 - Sitges Beach
Explore Sitges beach life on your own
Day 9 - Return home
Private transfer from Hotel Calipolis to BCN - Barcelona International Airport.
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departuresXdean - an independent agent with Personal Travel Mgmt. (BC Reg. 2806) proud members of the IGLTA and the Ensemble Travel Group.