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“Great Free walking tour”

Runner Bean Tours Barcelona
Ranked #4 of 689 Tours in Barcelona
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: We are a Spanish-Irish couple who started this project in 2010, offering FREE TOURS in Barcelona as well as other WALKING TOURS, inspired by our passion and love for everything with Barcelona’s name on it. As we became more popular over the years, we expanded our team to other like-minded locals. We are all professional guides ready to welcome you, share our knowledge and help you discover Barcelona in a fun and friendly manner. You will only find Runner Bean Tours in Barcelona. Recommended by Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommers… Hope to see you here soon! The Runner Bean Team.
Reviewed 28 August 2010

You only tour the outside not the inside but its free (gratuity is expected). The only thing, I kinda wished I was on a tour bus and we toured the inside of some things but the tour guides were fun and knew their stuff. I enjoyed myself and came back later to tour the inside with audio guides.

1  Thank dellap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"old city"
in 1,512 reviews
"gaudi tour"
in 1,292 reviews
"runner beans"
in 678 reviews
"walking tour"
in 654 reviews
"gothic quarter"
in 652 reviews
"ann marie"
in 173 reviews
"great tour"
in 416 reviews
"free tour"
in 193 reviews
"free walking"
in 104 reviews
"placa reial"
in 83 reviews
"great introduction"
in 89 reviews
"gaudi's life"
in 53 reviews
"sagrada familia"
in 270 reviews
"highly recommend this tour"
in 89 reviews
"an excellent guide"
in 56 reviews
"gaudi buildings"
in 82 reviews
"interesting information"
in 50 reviews
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5,333 - 5,337 of 5,600 reviews

Reviewed 28 August 2010

I decided to try runnerbean tours because it is an informal walk aound the Gaudi buildings or the old city for two and a half hours. As I had only four days in a big city with a lot on offer to see, I didnt want to be tied toa longer and more costly tour. I chose the Gaudi tour and it was so great that the next day I was back for the other. The guides are young, energetic and English speaking, we walked all around the sights, the Gaudi tourguide bringing us to all the main buildings, leaving it up to us to decide later which ones to go into later if we chose and taking us on hassle free metro rides to cover so much. Highly informative and great fun, as was the other tour of the old city.Very atmospheric, with lots of inside information and stories. The tour guide here was more than happy to spend lots of time with us at the end of the tour to suggest the best places to eat and the donation system is really good where everyone pays whatever they think the tour was worth. I paid 10 euro for each tour, worth every cent. Definately the best way around Barcelona, highly recommended.

4  Thank carobdublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2010

I've spent this last week in Barcelona and, after reading the reviews of the Runner Bean Tours here on Tripadvisor I decided to give them a try.
We started with the Old City tour, guided by Gorka, and it was excellent. In a 2.5h walking tour we got an overview of catalan history and saw some of the most beautiful sights in Barcelona. We liked it so much that we went to the Gaudi tour the next day.
The Gaudi tour, guided by Debbie, is very different from the Old City one, mainly because we have to travel by metro between locations and there's less time for explanations in the 2.5h timeframe. Nevertheless it was also a great tour, especially the in Sagrada Família where we got a really good explanation about the different façades of the church.

I recommend both tours to anyone interested in learning more about Barcelona.

5  Thank ricardogo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2010

We stumbled across this walking tour quite by accident, whilst actually waiting for an alternative one that I had planned to go on. However, I was most impressed with it. We opted to go on the old city tour, and it was by far the most interesting and useful activity we did whilst in Barcelona. The guide was extremely polite, helpful and informative and had stories and explanations for so many of the streets and places, which as a tourist you would have otherwise never have noticed or understood. He even had a folder of photos and pictures to demonstrate his explanations and really couldn't have been more enthusiastic about the city and its history. He definitely enabled us to access a side of Barcelona that we would never have managed to grasp through museums and guide books alone. Overall I would definitely recommend it.

2  Thank Sjh764
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 August 2010

Runnerbean's two Barcelona tours are much better than much of what you'll find in Europe for the simple reasons that the guides are native English speakers, so you can understand them clearly. But the guides I got both regarded their work as a mere job, designed to pay the bills while they pursued their real interests at other times.

The material was also thin. I didn't really learn much about Gaudi that I didn't know from reading books before my trip. (Granted, I read more in advance than most folks, but you should still learn something new on a two hour tour.) And while I did learn a few facts here and there on the Gothic Quarter tour, the tour lacked both anything resembling an overarching theme or a bunch of memorable stories.

As for the pay-what-you-want pricing, I don't share the enthusiasm of other reviewers. Yes, it allows you to contain costs, but I think it all but guarantees bad guides. Who is going to put a massive amount of effort into a job that pays so little, even when crowds are pretty big?

2  Thank babbington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RunnerBeanTours, Manager at Runner Bean Tours Barcelona, responded to this reviewResponded 9 August 2010

We are sorry that you didn’t enjoy the tours as much as other people have. However, I would like to defend our guides here. Our policy is not to hire only native English speakers (in fact, half of our guides are native Spanish speakers) but to work only with knowledgeable guides who are enthusiastic and interested in what they do.

Regarding the material, most people who visit Barcelona don’t know as much as you do about Gaudí or the city’s heritage and we think it would be unfair to presume that and make a more specialised tour where most people would feel excluded. Maybe you should have contacted us (or any other company) for a private tailored tour to accommodate your background knowledge of the city.

As for the donation system, we feel it is exactly the opposite: because the guides depend on their performance, they have to present a good tour. If they are not interested in the job, why would they take the risk of doing the tour and putting in all of that effort?

Thank you for the comment. We do appreciate any feedback. But I also felt the necessity to defend the professionalism of our guides.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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