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Tour Guide and Preferably a Gay Man in Barcelona in 2009!


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I know that it is rather early, but in September of this year I hope to be on a tour of the Amalfi Coast as well as other parts of Southern Italy. After the tour I want to go to Barcelona, Spain for at least four days and enjoy the area as fully as possible within my limited time.


Currently I have a reputable (certificated) professional tour guide in Buenos Aires, a handsome and qualified 26 or 27 year old man who I would highly recommend to others when they visit "The Paris of the South." Now I am in need of a guide of a similar status who's in Barcelona.


I would prefer a guy who's qualified and knowledgeable and gay or gay-friendly. I have begun to peruse the very limited listings at Craig'sList and have found an ad from a young woman who (out of desperation later on this year) I might have to contact. But, as to date, if any member knows of a guide who would meet my needs, please post the information here!


I'll be awaiting, fellows! :-)

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Not everyone is so keen on Marcelo in Buenos Aires. I believe there is a unhappy thread about him on this MC Board. I hired him about a year ago. He is a nice dude, however a bit gossipy about his clients. He has visited here in the US where I live, and so we talked quite a bit (he has helped a family in Oregon buy BA Real Estate). He confided in me that he really disrespects his clients who ask him to contact escorts for them (translates & sets up dates). Apparently he does this when asked, but secretly hates this request...seems odd for a Gay tour guide, and slightly unprofessional to share this.


I have also read some other criticisms about his services on other travel (non gay) Message Boards. He knows many nice places to go out for dinner, Loves to go to shows, concerts, opera etc and he will go with you happily, but people should be aware that you are paying his way. I had no problem doing so, however this is something that (apparently) catches some folks by surprise. He also is a social escort, and nothing else...so do not expect him to play for pay.

(he also complained to me about those clients who do not seem to understand this).


If you understand that you will be paying for his way and you do not expect him to escort (other than social) I think that he is worthwhile for a first timer to Buenos Aires for your first day or so. Buenos Aires is a pretty easy and safe place to visit, and so most people can get along nicely without a guide after a day or so. Be mindful of your wallets and cameras, like any large city, pick pickets and petty thieves are not unheard of.


Anyway, I will cede this thread... back to Barcelona Guides.

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I endorse all your observations on Marcelo, which I find nuanced and in my experience correct.


I'm the guy who advised him to alter his job-description from "escort' originally. I met him during my first visit to Buenos Aires but did not hire him. I hired Roberto instead and found him an excellent, discerning guide.


I met Marcelo for a drink on subsequent visits, but only on my 5th visit did I hire him for his usual fee. On that trip, I was accompanied by my much younger boyfriend who speaks no Spanish. Marcelo and my bf are similar ages and so I felt he'd be good company when we went to dinner and then clubbing.


I reminded Marcelo that I know the city well, and so I asked him to show us bars and restaurants that were good, patronised by locals and "off the beaten track". He promised to do so, and I was therefore surprised that he chose a place for dinner that is in every tourist guide and half-full with Americans (no offence meant).


We had a decent dinner and being knowledgeable, I chose the wine. When I received the check, I scanned it quickly to ensure it was correct. Marcelo remonstrated with me that it was impolite to examine checks in Argentina, and tried to take it out of my hands, saying "No, that's rude; here we just pay"


(Bear in mind that I've travelled internationally for business and pleasure all my working life and now that I'm early-retired, I travel extensively for long periods of time. I eat dinner in restaurants approximately 5x week throughout the year)


On scanning, I saw that I had been overcharged for the wine. We'd consumed 2 bottles of a very good wine but the price on the check was US$140 more than on the wine-list. I pointed this out directly to the waiter (as I speak Spanish); he was surprised and did NOT apologise. The check was altered with seeming ill-grace, I paid and we left.


I could not escape the thought, then and now, that perhaps Marcelo had a "kick-back" deal with the restaurant and hoped to benefit from the over-charge.

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As to Barcelona, a city I visit often - generally 4-6x year for some years now....


I'm not aware of any gay guides working there. Even if you speak no Spanish, it's very easy to get around and to enjoy all the city offers.


There are many good travel guides published in English, and if you wish to email me with specific questions on your interests, I'll be happy to answer.


If you do want "company", you might find that a local, English-speaking escort will guide you around for a much-reduced hourly fee in the daytime.


Good sites for finding escorts include gaydar, arrowmen, erados, gayromeo etc

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