Seeing Barcelona Through a Different Lens

Last updated on:
Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission. Read the full disclosure policy here.

When I visit a new city for the first time, I'm gonna be honest: I'm a total tourist.

I hit up all the famous spots, sporting my (sometimes) ugly walking sandals with a camera hanging around my neck. NO SHAME.

There are certain places that are must-sees for a reason, and I'm not going to skip them when visiting a city for the first time just because others have taken photos of them before me. (And, in fact, I often visit places over and over again — I was in London for the fifth time this week, and took photos of Big Ben and St. Paul's for the fifth time. Don't judge.)

Casa Batllo in Barcelona
For example, I couldn't skip Gaudi's works in Barcelona!

BUT, there are certainly times when the crowds get to me and I want to do something a little different. You know, to keep things interesting.

So when in Spain earlier this year, I decided to sign up for a photography tour of Barcelona.

Barcelona's El Born neighborhood

I've done cool tours of cities before — everything from food tours to Game of Thrones tours — but never a photography tour before. (Which is actually kind of weird, considering how much I love taking photos.)

I had no clue what to expect from FotoRuta, which offers photography tours in Barcelona, London, Buenos Aires, and Santiago. I didn't even know where the tour would take place until after I booked it.

This could have turned out horribly — but it didn't. The tour ended up being way better than I expected.

Barcelona's El Born neighborhood

Street art in El Born, Barcelona

I went on one of FotoRuta's Streetscape tours, which is cool in that you don't know the neighborhood you'll be exploring until after you book the tour. Our tour focused on the El Born neighborhood, which is similar to Barcelona's well-known Barri Gotic in that it's got lots of narrow alleys and some cool architecture, but it has FAR less tourists milling about.

Barcelona's El Born neighborhood

Street in Barcelona's El Born neighborhood

We started out with a drink and some tips on making the most out of our tour before hitting the streets. Our guide, Alejandro, did a great intro to creative photography — we talked about composition, lighting, and finer aspects of photography like ISO and aperture. Our tour group was just me and another girl, me shooting with my mirrorless camera and her shooting with an iPhone.

Once we were out on the streets, Alejandro did a great job of giving us personalized tips based not only on what we were shooting with, but also based on what sorts of things caught our eye (I discovered that I have a thing for lines and repeating patterns!).

El Born Cultural Center

El Born Cultural Center

We meandered around El Born, him suggesting streets and shots based on what he thought we would find interesting. I took a ton of photos — photos so different from the “typical” touristy shots you usually see from Barcelona.

Barcelona's El Born neighborhood

Barcelona's El Born neighborhood

Street in Barcelona's El Born neighborhood

After a couple hours of shooting, we headed to another bar for a drink and to look at some of our shots. We each chose about 5-7 of our favorite photos, uploaded them to Alejandro's laptop, and spent some time talking about/critiquing each one. This was really fun — and it was so interesting to see how someone else had interpreted the same places I'd just seen.

Barcelona's El Born neighborhood

Barcelona's El Born neighborhood

If you find yourself with some extra time in Barcelona and want to up your photography game in the city, I highly recommend a tour with FotoRuta. They also do iPhoneography tours, and even a photo scavenger hunt that will send you all around the city.


  • What: FotoRuta Streetscape Tour
  • When: Monday-Thursday and the first Saturday of the month
  • How much: 80 Euro per person
  • How long: Our tour lasted about 4 hours
  • Who is it for? Everyone from beginners to experienced photographers

Is this a type of tour YOU would consider in Barcelona?



*Note: I was offered a free spot on this tour by FotoRuta (set up by the folks at GoWithOh), however all opinions remain my own!

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

Join the ADB Community!
Sign up here to get exclusive travel tips, deals, and other inspiring goodies delivered to your inbox.

38 Comments on “Seeing Barcelona Through a Different Lens

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Thank you so much to tell the truth about this great city, my city. There are a lot of amazing and sometimes unknown places in Catalonia. Mount Montserrat, Mount Pedraforca, Costa Brava, Costa Daurada, Little towns like Besalú, Banyoles, Ripoll, Puigcerdà, Montblanc, Little citys like Girona or Tarragona… You need much time to see all these places and much more!

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos! I’m missing Spain right now and these definitely gave me a great sense of nostalgia for this city I love so much. Barcelona was the first place I lived abroad and will always be very dear to my heart! You captured it’s essence perfectly.

      That’s such a nice compliment, Jennifer – thank you!

    Seeing your pictures I feel like we missed a lot during our time in Barcelona. We missed a lot of these amazing places but recognize a good few too. Such a gorgeous city

      Maybe a reason to go back someday! 🙂

    Your photos are amazing. I have been to Barcelona last summer for one day but I have to be honest: it was great but I had no feeling of having to go back there. But now looking at your pictures that changed. Maybe you need a bit more time and know how to get away from all the people.
    Thank you for making me give Barcelona a second chance!! ~ Greetings from (Janet) & Lenja

      Barcelona has so many different neighborhoods – and most of my favorite bits were away from the popular spots! (I’m also obsessed with Gaudi architecture, so that was a highlight for me, too.) I would definitely give it a second chance!

    Wow I love this!
    I will definitely be doing this whenever I make it back to Barcelona.
    I also just want to say I keep reading your blog because I love the quality and composition of your photos. Keep up the great work!

      It’s definitely worth an afternoon in Barcelona! I’m really glad I did it.

      And thanks so much for the compliment on my photos! I’m always trying to improve, and I’m glad it’s showing!

As Seen On

As Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen On