This time in our #ExperienceOfTheWeek series we talked to Christian, the co-founder of The Barcelona Feeling. We guess there’s no need to tell you where Christian and Michael’s tours are based, do we? Let’s get to know them a bit more.
Q1: Hi Christian, how are you doing?
Hi! I am doing well again. I have just recovered from Corona – luckily I had rather mild symptoms. However, these times are crazy here in Barcelona but also in the rest of the world. The city is depending on tourism but since March tourism has gone down to 13% of normal levels. This is a major disaster for many people. I really hope that by spring 2021 tourists will come back. I can’t wait to get back to work and show my Barcelona to guests from all over the world.
Q2: Tell us more about the story of The Barcelona Feeling. Where did the idea come from?
About three years ago, Michael, my husband, and I decided to quit our careers. I used to work in multinational companies in software sales and Michael had to manage a team of 12 people in an American chemicals company. We both felt that our lives were just there for our employers. So in September 2017, we started a sabbatical to rethink what we wanted to do. During that time we got inspired by a friend here in Barcelona who made a move from a big car manufacturer to founding his own company in tourism as a tour guide.
Especially as we are both Germans he pointed out a gap in the market, that there was a certain demand in German-speaking tour guides. And as we always showed friends and family around in this beautiful city when they visited and enjoyed topics like history and architecture – especially Gaudí and Modernism – suddenly all pieces fell together. It was the moment when “The Barcelona Feeling” was born!
Q3: Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations in Europe and I bet there are dozens of things to show to fellow travelers. How big is your team? Are you all locals?
Michael and I work both full-time and in case we cannot handle the workload we have a network of fellow tour guides that can help out. We have been living here in Barcelona for over 9 years and love sharing our passion for this great city with other travelers from all over the world.
Q4: Your selection of experiences is literally endless – you offer everything from history walks to food & wine tours to city strolls. What are the most popular activities among travelers who come to you?
Our historic walking tour “Explore hidden streets with a friend” was the first experience that we offered and has ever been one of our top sellers. We discover the old town of Barcelona with you while using many little back alleys and explaining important historic moments. The focus is on off the beaten track – get away from the mass tourism and we have done this quite successfully!
In addition, our architectural experience “Gaudí & Barcelona Legends” has received tremendously positive feedback on our storytelling and explaining Modernism architecture. I recently received the review saying: “It was an unforgettable experience that you believed Gaudí and Güell were in him.”
I personally love our wine tour a lot: “Intimate Champagne and Chocolate Getaway”. We spend a day in the wine region and learn all about Cava, the local Champaign, and chocolate. It is basically eating and drinking all day! This culinary experience has received non-stop 5-star reviews.
Q5: Recently, you also launched your online Zoom experience where stay-at-home travelers can enjoy the virtual tour with you. How did this work out?
I am really delighted with our online experience. In times of restricted traveling, this is a great way for us to continue sharing our passion for Barcelona with people from all over the world. We are close to 50 reviews now, having only started in August. The feedback from participants is overwhelming and it shows that these special times need creative ideas to help people stay positive and even prepare for the time when traveling will be possible again.
“Zoom around panoramic Barcelona” is a virtual day that we spend with you in this beautiful city. We share some of our most personal spots, give you some insider recommendations, and of course visit some highlights of the city! We will use photographs, that Michael took over time. Photography is one of his great passions and he is very talented.
We also use Google Streetview and Google Earth to make it all more exciting and interactive. This online experience even opened up a market for us that we did not have in mind before: we have been booked by many companies for virtual events, team building activities, and corporate activities. The moment I had to present in front of 70 people that were all over Europe was really exciting!
Q6: Today many people travel and plan their itineraries on their own. Why would you recommend booking one of your experiences to our travelers?
Very often we receive great feedback from our guests with keywords like very personable, intimate setting, very knowledgeable, passionate, and great storytelling. Our groups are very small – either they are private tours or experiences with a maximum of 6 participants. This way a great dynamic and interaction can be guaranteed.
During our tours, we always get away from the mass tourism and connect all with local insights while showing you hidden gems that people are not aware of when visiting. The greatest compliment that we receive is when you are walking the streets of Barcelona with us and you feel like being shown around by a friend. Then we have succeeded in our mission!
Q7: Last but not least, what is your favorite spot around Barcelona that you’d take your friends to see or experience? Tips from a true local are always worth it 🙂
I love an architectural gem that is just 10 minutes away from the famous Sagrada Familia: the hospital of Sant Pau, a modernist hospital in a breathtaking design. Today it is a museum that you can visit. Though it is so closely located to the most visited spot in Barcelona, not so many people know about this marvelous building!
And for having a drink I love to take my friends to a hidden beer garden on top of the Montjuïc Hill. It is set under pine trees with an overwhelming view over the Mediterranean Sea. Wanna know where exactly this is? Then join our tour “Discover the Olympic Mountain”.
Book some of the most popular experiences by The Barcelona Feeling here: