Free Walking Tours Barcelona. Runner Bean Tours

Barcelona before the Spanish Civil War

An historical walking tour through El Raval neighbourhood and a unique opportunity to understand a crucial period of Barcelona's history.

A city of contrast

Barcelona pre-Spanish Civil War (1835-1936)

The tour

A fascinating historical voyage through the local streets of El Raval into the life of Barcelona before the Spanish Civil War. An influential period that helps explain what happened to Spain in later years. Not to be missed by anyone who wants to have a deeper understanding of this dynamic city.

A city of contrast | Barcelona pre-Spanish Civil War (1835-1936)
A city of contrast | Barcelona pre-Spanish Civil War (1835-1936)
  • Utopic urban planning ("Eixample") & harsh reality
  • Industrialisation & beginning of unease
  • Conditions of working class Barcelona
  • Bombing of Liceu Theatre & birth of ‘anarchism’
  • The new bourgeois & rebirth of Catalan culture and identity
  • Changes in El Raval (Barrio Xino / Chinatown)
  • Beginning of organised worker’s movements
  • Burning of convents and monasteries (1909 Tragic Week of Barcelona)
  • General strikes and worker’s conditions (anarcho-syndicalism)

From the idealistic urban planning of the 19th century to the beginning of the organised worker's movement of early 20th century, this is a journey through a city in turmoil where the rich bourgeois and the unprivileged workers shared a Barcelona that was never the same before or after.

The tour wanders through the street of El Raval, the old Barrio Xino, to show the times of great wealth and great poverty. A period that merged together the stunning Catalan Art Nouveau mansions and the slums of the working class.

"This tour was essential in getting to know the city's past".

If you would like to continue exploring Barcelona's recent history we would recommend you joining our friend Nick Lloyd or Catherine on the Spanish Civil War Tour.

1909 Tragic Week Photograph: © Institut Amatller d'Art Hispànic. Arxiu Mas

Read reviews for A City of Contrast Walking Tour on Trip Advisor

March 1st to November 30th:
Every Friday at 10 AM

(*) Tours not running 24th, 25th, 26th of December and 1st of January.

Meeting Point
    Plaça de la Universitat (under the clock tower of the university building)
  • Universitat (L1 & L2)
  • See map

3 hours approx. (not rushed, but leisurely paced).
Ends at: Plaça de les Drassanes (near the Columbus Monument)

To consider

Pre-booking is essential for this tour.

Numbers are limited to 15 people per tour so it is recommended to book early.

This tour is only available in English.


Scheduled tour (price per person)


Private tour (price per group)

Cancellation policy:
If you cancel a tour 72 hours before the scheduled time you will be refunded your full payment. Payments are not refundable for tours cancelled less than 72 hours before the start of the tour.
In the case of heavy rain the tour will run as usual so please bring suitable rain gear.
Book now!

Tour available only on dates marked in green

This website uses cookies to provide you with the best possible browsing experience. By continuing to use this site, you consent to the use of cookies. View our cookie policy
Esta web utiliza cookies para ofrecerte una mejor experiencia y servicio. Al navegar en nuestro sitio, aceptas el uso de ellas. Ver nuestra política de cookies.