BeLeavability: Brightside Tours Barcelona

Our Rating

8 Hospitable

8 Authentic

8 Memorable

8 Immersive

Would you BeLeave?

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HOSPITABLE // Company service is well thought out: hotel pick-up and drop-off in Barcelona (included), throughout information and suggestions e-mailed beforehand, perfect English proficiency. Helmets have built-in speakers and a microphone, which makes communication on the road hassle free. The tours are flexible. Although there are several pre-planned tours to chose from online, ultimately the guide will run through the possibilities upon arrival, and shape the tour according to your wishes. The map you’ll get to keep afterwards. Maybe most importantly, the company have guides with amazing people skills which creates a very hospitable forte; being able to read people is indeed a treasured added value -especially when spending a lot of time together in two (or three) while trying to shape the most giving individualized tour in a city that has so much to offer. Brightside founder (and man behind the handlebars of the day) João Passos da Silva is no exception when it comes to hospitality.

“My tour guide made me feel inspired, comfortable and safe; he was humorous, informative, positively curious and compassionately attentive thoughout the ride. João has a special gift when it comes to reading people. This makes him able to change directions accordingly -whether it’s creating a different atmosphere, visiting another type of place or attraction, changing up the discussion or simply shifting gear! This intuitive interaction gave me a hauntingly curious and playfully interesting experience, out of the ordinary. He was happy to take the lead, but I could quite literally roll with it as desired.”

 He was happy to take the lead, but I could quite literally roll with it as desired

AUTHENTIC // There is a nice balance between literature and reality; online and IRL. What you see is what you get -and then some! The sidecar motorcycle itself is exactly as pictured online; yet it’s always difficult to truly imagine what it’s like to ride one beforehand and where one could or would want to go. Although the ride is thrilling and the transportation is fabulous, we believe an additional added value of this company (in terms of the “authentic” side of BeLeavability) arrives from their unique ability to explore experiences and places beyond tourist attractions, or give tours at other times of the day (e.g. during special events or the like). No matter if you’re into well-known monuments or quirky districts, unlike many other means of tour operating transportation, Brightside Tours can actually roll freely and explore beyond the larger road systems. We can’t think of a much more authentic way to experience Barcelona than with the sidecar motorcycle.

“Although astonishing history and architecture would suggest otherwise, it was not seeing the actual monuments that moved me the most; it was when I felt at eye-level and truly connected to the experience itself, and not least the authentic life and cultural buzz of Barcelona. Where? -the smaller quirky roads in some of the older districts I hadn’t truly seen before; this was my happy place. I still imagine the wind grapping my long hair and turning it into the soft waving architectural formations of Casa Milà “La Pedrera” with my eyes beaming like the mirror image of the colorful stained glass ceiling in Palau de la Musica Catalana. And I think he noticed.. cause he bravely attuned the ride accordingly without me having to explain or express myself. Needless to say, this kind of tour and sphere fits well within the true architecture of my heart.”

I still imagine the wind grapping my long hair and turning it into the soft waving architectural formations of Casa Milà “La Pedrera” with my eyes beaming like the mirror image of the colorful stained glass ceiling in Palau de la Musica Catalana. And I think he noticed..

MEMORABLE // The tour is private (and can be tailored, even if going in a group). The feeling of riding through the narrow streets of Barcelona with a local who knows everything from the country’s history, political and social influences to culture and insider tips to special little gems is pretty unique. Full flexibly and custom rides with easy access to quirky places makes it a very memorable way to experience the city. The Ural motorcycle is significant in itself. All together a romantically vintage and excitingly fun experience.

“João made me feel like I was ‘part of the experience’; not just “the next tourist on the list” or some numb object on a tour without a voice. I think he picks up when to be informative, when a more light humorous social sphere is needed and when to allow intimately intelligent discussions. It means there’s the possibility to let go and enjoy the ride. I did. My hair is a complete mess, and I LOVE it!”

My hair is a complete mess, and I LOVE it!

IMMERSIVE // It can be difficult for a visitor to picture beforehand what one would want to see -therefore difficult to plan or express clearly. The tour guide handled it brilliantly though. It might have been beneficial to have photos on the actual map, or maybe an online interactive map with suggestions raging from what it looks like in certain areas -to Brightside Tour’s own secret foodie tour selections; just to spike curiosity a bit and give the visitor another possibility to let one’s imagination flow. But let’s face it: Ural olive green sidecar motorcycle, the captivating city of Barcelona, good company and completely messy hair! It’s easy to get carried away with Brightside Tours and absorb everything this experience has to offer. We highly recommend and #BeLeave in Brightside Tours.

A FEW POINTERS //Each sidecar can hold two people. One in the sidecar and the other joao_farve1behind the guide. In Spain, you must be at least 12 to ride on a motorcycle, but kids as young as eight can join the tour if accompanied by a parent. The ‘Must Do’-tour of 3 hours is a good starting point when visiting Barcelona. However, there’s plenty to see in the captivating city beyond the tourist trails and if you have seen the well-known highlights of the city already, the company actually have a few pointers of where to go if you’d rather experience some of the quirky gems and best kept secrets just waiting to be explored. Be prepared for lots of stares and greetings in a very welcoming way by passing tourists and locals. Wedding proposals are popular and would certainly make a spectacular ride for those in need of vintage romance. Brightside Tours also offers a tour to a local winery, plus local gastronomically tours, which might be interesting to look into when in Barcelona.

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