Enjoy the top offerings of Paris and Barcelona — from historic sites to culinary delights — on this 8-day trip. You'll start your trip in the City of Lights for a visit to the artistic Montmartre neighborhood and a wine & cheese tasting in a medieval cellar. Continue to Spain to see impressive Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture and feast on traditional Catalonian fare.

Highlights

  • Tour Barcelona's Gaudí-designed architectural highlights, like La Sagrada Familia
  • Enjoy a scenic cruise down the Seine River
  • Visit top destinations in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower & Louvre
  • Taste culinary delights, like fresh baguettes in Paris and seafood in Barcelona
  • Let the past come to life as you explore Barcelona's colorful history

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Paris & Cruise on the Seine Paris
Day 2 Classic Walking Tour of Paris & Eiffel Tower Paris
Day 3 Guided Tour of Montmartre & Wine & Cheese Tasting  Paris
Day 4 Fly to Barcelona & Food Tour  Barcelona
Day 5 Tour of Barcelona & Afternoon Sailing  Barcelona
Day 6 Day Trip to Montserrat & Wine Tour Barcelona
Day 7 Free Day to Explore Barcelona Barcelona
Day 8 Depart Barcelona  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Paris & Cruise on the Seine

Welcome to Paris!
Welcome to Paris!

Welcome to Paris, the City of Lights! This elegant capital boasts centuries of history, art, fashion and, of course, romance. Upon arrival, you'll be picked up from the airport and transferred to your hotel by private car. 

Paris is alive with activity day and night. It's the perfect city to indulge in a little shopping, with department stores like Lafayette and Printemps housing some of the best local designers around, and small boutique shops filled with unique high-quality wares. 

Colorful streets and historic monuments invite visitors to stroll downtown, while narrow streets and cozy coffee shops create a romantic atmosphere. For art lovers, spending time at Paris' smaller museums is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as the city has one of the most impressive art collections in the world. Alternatively, lazing around in the parks or at a sidewalk cafe on a sunny day is equally blissful. 

Settle in and explore the streets near your accommodation. Enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif along the Rives de Seine while you enjoy the sunset. Take in the city views of the Pont Neuf, the tip of Île de la Cité, and the Pont des Arts as you watch the people and boats going by. 

As the sun goes down you will board a riverboat cruise along the River Seine, which drops you off in front of the Eiffel Tower. 

Day 2: Classic Walking Tour of Paris & Eiffel Tower

Hit the streets in Le Marais with a local guide
Hit the streets in Le Marais with a local guide

After breakfast at your hotel, get ready to explore the city with a private local guide. This full-day tour gives you plenty of time to experience the highlights starting with the Royal Palace, the Sainte Chapelle, and Notre Dame—all within the Île de la Cité. From here, you'll wander through the streets of the trendy Le Marais district and explore symbolic places such as the Place des Vosges

After a lunch break, it's time to explore Le Louvre (the largest museum in Europe), with skip-the-line access, where you'll have time to get up close to Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa. After this cultural visit, relax with some fresh air in the Tuileries Gardens, and then continue to the Champs Elysees and the majestic Arc de Triomphe

Finally, you'll visit the architectural wonder that is the Eiffel Tower on your own. 

Day 3: Guided Tour of Montmartre & Wine & Cheese Tasting in a Medieval Cellar

Basilica of the Sacre Coeur
Basilica of the Sacre Coeur

After breakfast, follow your guide to where the artists once lived: Montmartre. Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh, Degas, and more called this neighborhood home in the early 20th century. It's one of the true must-see neighborhoods of Paris, offering a romantic glimpse into an era when raucous cabarets, bohemian soirées, and unbridled creativity were the norm. Stroll the streets that give the area its now-village atmosphere and sip wine at a cafe to take it all in.

In the afternoon, opt for a wine and cheese tasting in a medieval cellar. You'll meet your culinary guide, then go shopping for cheese together at an award-winning cheesemonger. Here you can taste and purchase a variety of cheeses from different regions of France. From here, follow your nose to one of the many bakeries in Le Marais for a baguette to accompany the meal. Continue to the cozy cellar for a wine tasting and to enjoy your wine and cheese. 

Day 4: Fly to Barcelona & Food Tour 

La Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona
La Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona

In the morning, make your way to Paris airport to catch a flight to Barcelona. Welcome to Spain!

Upon arrival at Barcelona's El Prat Airport, take a transfer into the city where you can check into your hotel and unwind. You'll then have the afternoon and evening to explore the cuisine of Barcelona with the help of an expert guide.

The adventure kicks off at an old bodega-turned tapas bar, where things have hardly changed since the 1930s. With a glass of the city’s favorite aperitif—sweet vermouth—in hand, you’ll enjoy a tasting of locally cured meats, cheeses, olives, and other Spanish delicacies. 

Your foodie excursion continues with a stroll through Barcelona’s stunning Gothic Quarter, during which your guide will point out sights of interest on the narrow medieval streets as they lead the way to the next eatery. This second tapas bar is a staple of Barcelona and a true local haunt. Although it only has a few dishes on the menu, they’re all spectacular.

Afterward, head to another historic neighborhood where your guide will continue to reveal insight into the area's architecture, history, and culture. Eventually, you'll arrive at the third and final tapas bar. Pull up a seat, because it's time to indulge once more in traditional Catalan dishes paired with the region's globally renowned wine. Delicious must-try tapas include patatas bravas (fried potatoes with aioli), calamari, gambas (prawns), cured ham, croquettes, mussels, chorizo, and much more. 

And it wouldn't be dinner in Barcelona without something sweet to cap the meal. Be sure to save room for a traditional Spanish dessert, like crema Catalona. This sweet custard is made with oranges and cinnamon and is Spain's answer to the classic creme brûlée.

Day 5: Tour of Barcelona & Afternoon Sailing

Traditional street in Barcelona's Poble Espanyol
Traditional street in Barcelona's Poble Espanyol

Your day tour of Barcelona begins with a driver whisking you off to Montjüic, the famous hill overlooking Barcelona's harbor and which offers panoramic views of the city. Then, after a stop at the Catalunya National Art Museum (MNAC), you'll visit Plaça Espanya, one of the most important plazas in the city. It's home to landmarks like the Arenas de Barcelona, a former bullring, and the famous Magic Fountain of Montjüic, whose evening display of light and water is one of the best free shows in town. 

Then you'll drive to the famous boulevard Passeig de Grácia. It's home to upscale boutiques as well as two buildings by the legendary Spanish architect and master of Catalan Modernism, Antoni Gaudí. The first is the Casa Mila apartment building, which earned the nickname "La Pedrera" because its facade resembles a stone quarry. Casa Batlló is another modernist masterpiece of a residential building. Locals have christened it Casa dels Ossos, or "House of Bones" due to the skeletal nature of its design. 

Next up is a stop at the Hospital de Sant Pau, which was built between 1901 and 1930, and renovated in 2015. Well off the tourist trail, this Art Nouveau building was designed by another Catalan master, Lluís Domènech i Montaner. The hospital has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is another great symbol of Catalan Modernist architecture in Barcelona.

Finally, you will arrive at the iconic Sagrada Família, the most visually impressive church in Barcelona. This Gothic/Art Nouveau basilica is another brainchild of Gaudí, and although construction began in 1882, it technically remains unfinished to this day. However, that didn't stop Sagrada Familia from earning UNESCO World Heritage status. It's a popular tourist draw but you'll be able to breeze right past the line as your tickets will have been arranged beforehand. 

After Sagrada Familia you'll head to the oldest part of Barcelona, the Barrio Gótico (Gothic Quarter), which as late as the mid-19th century was still surrounded by medieval stone walls. You'll enjoy a brief stroll through the narrow winding streets before arriving at one of Barcelona's oldest indoor municipal markets: Mercat de Santa Caterina. Inside you'll find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to butchers, fishmongers, cured meats, cheeses, flowers, tapas bars, and more. 

From the market, the tour becomes a time warp as you pass some of the most historic landmarks in the city. These date from the Roman era through to the early Middle Ages, a time when Catalan counts controlled the Mediterranean and Barcelona was the capital of an empire. Noteworthy sights include the Roman Temple of Augustus, the Royal Palace, the Jewish Quarter, and the Barcelona Cathedral.

At last, you'll arrive in the trendy district of El Born, which is located near the waterfront and is home to the famed Picasso Museum. Your guide will point out a variety of restaurants and tapas bars perfect for a quick meal before arriving at the final destination of the tour: the 14th-century Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar, a magnificent example of Catalan-Gothic architecture. 

Later in the afternoon, you will embark aboard a chartered sailboat for a two-hour excursion along the Mediterranean coast. You'll enjoy views of the open water and the city skyline before returning to dry land for the evening.

Day 6: Day Trip to Montserrat & Wine Tour

The monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat
The monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat

Today, you'll enjoy a full-day tour of Barcelona's countryside and wine country. 

After meeting your driver/guide at the hotel, you'll travel 28 miles (45 km) outside of Barcelona to the Montserrat Mountains. Your destination is Catalonia's holiest site, the 16th-century Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat. Sitting on a mountain at an altitude of 4,055 feet (1,266 meters), the views from here are spectacular. You can reach the monastery on a 1.5-hour hike from the town of Monistrol de Montserrat or simply take a five-minute cable car.

Upon arrival, your guide will lead you on a highlights tour of the monastery. These include the basilica, where above the altar hangs an impressive statue of the Virgin of Montserrat, the patron saint of Barcelona. You'll also visit the best vantage points around the monastery to snap photos of the incredible vistas.   

After the guided tour, you can explore on your own. Maybe take the funicular to nearby Santa Cova. Also known as the "Holy Grotto," this is a religious shrine located in a mountain cave and is an important pilgrimage site. Or you could visit the Museum of Montserrat — an impressive museum that features archeological items from throughout the monastery's long history and paintings by masters like Caravaggio, Dalí, and Picasso.

Afterward, you'll hop in the car and transfer about 30 minutes from Montserrat to Oller del Mas, a 10th-century castle that's also a venerable winery. Oller del Mas is located outside the city of Manresa in Pla de Bages, a small grape-growing region in Catalonia that enjoys a Designation of Origin (DO) status due to the fine wines it produces. Located at the foot of Montserrat, from the castle you'll be able to look back at incredible views of the mountains. 

Before visiting the winery, though, you'll stop at the Oller del Mas country club for a traditional, multi-course Catalan lunch with wine pairings. Later in the afternoon, you'll walk over to the vineyards where and enjoy a tour led by an expert oenologist. Not only will you see the vines, but you'll visit the production plant and old cellar, which is located inside the castle. Then it will be time for a tasting of three different wines produced by Oller de Mas and paired with delicious cheeses. 

Afterward, you'll transfer back to Barcelona.

Day 7: Free Day to Explore Barcelona

Barceloneta Beach
Barceloneta Beach

Today is a free day to explore Barcelona any way you'd like! This enchanting, creative, and much-loved city offers plenty of options from cultural sightseeing to gastronomy tours. If you haven't experienced them yet, you'll likely want to check out notable attractions such as Park Guëll, Casa Milà, Casa Batllò, the Picasso Museum, Las Ramblas, La Boqueria market, Camp Nou football stadium, the Gothic Quarter, and Tibidabo amusement park.

If you're looking for a nature break, head to Barceloneta Beach situated against the deep blue Mediterranean sea where sun-drenched beaches create a pretty setting for a lazy day on the sand. There are also jogging and biking paths that work up a sweat, or you can take a leisurely stroll followed by a refreshing dip. Vendors on the beach offer kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and a range of sunset cruises options. Alternatively, head to Barcelona's surrounding mountains for a range of hiking and biking trails with spectacular views.

Day 8: Depart Barcelona

Sunset in Barcelona
Sunset in Barcelona

It's time to say farewell to Barcelona. Depending on the time of your flight reservation, enjoy one last walk through the city. At the designated time, you'll transfer to the airport or train station for your departure.