Commonly referred to as ‘The Liceu’, the Gran Teatre del Liceu is a charming confluence of 19th and 21st-century architecture. This theatre has stood the test of time, surviving some of Spain’s most tumultuous eras and emerging as the jewel of Catalan culture. It stands amidst the hustle and bustle of La Rambla in downtown Barcelona, and if you consider yourself a true art cognoscenti, there's no leaving Barcelona without visiting this underated jewel. Read on to know more about the Gran Teatre del Liceu and all about the guided tour that gives you a behind the scene glimpse of this iconic theatre.
Gran Teatre del Liceu History
The Gran Teatre del Liceu is a remarkable symbol of the collective effort of culture and art aficionados. In 1837, a group of private citizens put forth a plan of creating a world-class opera house that suited the emerging status of Barcelona as a cultural city. And thus on 4th April 1847, the Renaissance-style Gran Teatre del Liceu made its grand opening to the Catalanian city.
However, the theatre was set for a tumultuous future with two fires, one in 1861 and another in 1994. Both times, the Catalan society stood for its cultural icon and ensured the theatre was rebuilt. The building was constructed in its original image with modern equipment to take Liceu into the 21st Century and the new Liceu opened on 7th October 1999.
Today, the Saló de Miralls, also known as the Hall of Mirrors, is one of the oldest surviving parts of the Liceu. It contains paintings of well-known musicians and dancers. Taking a guided tour of the Gran Teatre del Liceu takes you through these otherwise enclosed areas, making it an iconic haunt.
Why You Must Take a Gran Teatre del Liceu Tour?
Sneak Peek into rich Catalan history
The Gran Teatre del Liceu is a gemstone is the Catan history of art and architecture. It sparked a cultural wave in Spain and led to the production of several notable Operas and Classical Concerts.
Resplendent interiors that will have you in absolute awe
The exterior of the Gran Teatre del Liceu can be misleading but step inside and you will be engulfed by its opulence. The typical Renaissance-style interiors of the 19th century are lavishly decorated with marble and ornate light fixtures. It is also one of the largest horseshoe auditoriums in the world and has brilliant acoustics.
A chance to witness architecture that stood the test of time
The story of Gran Teatre del Liceu is no less remarkable than the Operas that take place within it! Having survived two fires, it has only emerged stronger and is a leading beacon in the world of modern Opera.
Show or no show, you get to go in.
There is a chance that there are no shows during your period of visit to the Gran Teatre del Liceu or a show does not fit your schedule. In such a case, you can still take a tour of the theatre and explore its grand interiors.
Save up on expensive theatre tickets
Even the cheapest Opera tickets at the Gran Teatre del Liceu cost upwards of €35. However, that does not mean you need to forego a visit to the theatre! For as less as €9 you can take a tour of the impressive theatre.
Gran Teatre del Liceu Tour Deconstructed
The 45 minute Gran Teatre del Liceu tour beings at the Theatre Vestibule. The main entrance of the theatre, it is built in opulent Renaissance style and has red carpets leading into the auditorium. The tour then heads to the auditorium or the main hall of the theatre. The large horseshoe shaped hall is spread across five floors and you will be engulfed by a sense of theatrical magnificence.
The Gran Teatre del Liceu tour then heads towards the Hall of Mirrors or the Saló dels Miralls. This is one of the most spectacular venues in the Liceu and is adorned with allegorical paintings on the ceiling that refer to art and music. The last stop on the tour is a visit to the Foyer, which is located right below the stalls of the auditorium. It is a contemporary performance space and is used for conducting small-scale events.
Gran Teatre del Liceu Seating Plan
This one's for the lot of you looking to catch a show at the Grand Theatre Barcelona. These quick seating plan tips will help you grab the best seats in the house.
The Gran Teatre del Liceu seating plan is spread across 2,292 seats in the Main Auditorium. The hall is in a horseshoe shape and has the stalls level plus five floors. The hall is separated into nine sections which can be accessed by eight entry ways.
The stage boxes are on both sides of the proscenium stage and run up to the fourth floor. Looking from the stage, the seating sections are assigned A – H in clockwise, and each of the floors has a maximum of four rows.
The amphitheatre areas of ‘Llotja Amfiteatre 13, 14, and 15’ are the best viewing points in the entire theatre. They are also the costliest tickets. The next best option is the central stall seats of B, C, D, and E, as well as the Amphitheatre C & D which are directly below the Llotja Amphitheatre areas. All these areas have 100% visibility of the stage.
Best value for money
The Second and Third Floors of the B, C, D, E, F, G and H sections have about 85% visibility of the stage and are about 50% cheaper than the costliest tickets, making it good for value.
The Second floor of H section, Fourth floor of D & F, and Fifth floor of D section have about 50%-70% of visibility of the stage and are one of the cheapest tickets in the theatre. They will not compromise your viewing experience unlike the cheapest tickets yet come at affordable prices.
Gran Teatre del Liceu Events For The Year
The Gran Teatre Liceu events span a range of Opera, Concerts, Dance and Recitals. Here is our pick of the top 12 events from the 2019-2020 season -
- Tosca – Giacomo Puccini - 9th June – 28th June 2019
- Luisa Miller – Giuseppe Verdi - 14th July – 27th July 2019
- The Ring Without Words - 25th July 2019
- Zaguán & Alento – 31st July – 3rd August 2019
- Les Grands Ballets Canadiens De Montréal - 14th September – 19th September 2019
- Turandot – Giacomo Puccini- 7th October – 25th October 2019
- Doña Francisquita- 10th November – 17th November 2019
- Cavalleria Rusticana / Pagliacci – 5th December – 22nd December 2019
- Aida - Giuseppe Verdi – 13th January – 31st January 2020
- La Clemenza Di Tito Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – 19th February – 27th February 2020
- “Resurrection” By Mahler Symphony No. 2 – 1st March 2020
- Lohengrin - Richard Wagner – 19th March – 31st March 2020
- Giselle By Akram Khan- English National Ballet – 22nd April – 25th April 2020
Location & Directions To Gran Teatre del Liceu
The address of the Gran Teatre Liceu is La Rambla, 51-59, 08002 Barcelona
- By Bus – The nearest bus station is La- Rambla La Boqueira, about 140m away from the entrance of Gran Teatre Liceu. Bus numbers V13 & V59 service it.
- By Car – The GPS coordinates are - 41.374831834 2.17083265. There is no parking on the premises, the nearest parking is at Plaça de la Gardunya, which is about 350m away from the theatre.
- By Train- The nearest Metro station is Liceu on Line 3. The station is about 100m away from the theatre.
- By Bike – The nearest Electric Bike station is 55 – La Rambla/80 where you can park your bike.
Gran Teatre del Liceu Opening Hours
The shows in the Gran Teatre Liceu are generally held in the evening hours, but in case there is a daytime show the guided tour hours are changed accordingly.
The Gran Teatre Liceu tour takes place –
Monday to Friday – 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday – 9:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:30 PM
Insider Tips For Your Gran Teatre del Liceu Visit
- Most of the shows in the Liceu are held 7 PM onwards but there might be earlier shows in the evening. It is suggested that you book the earliest show at 2 PM on weekdays and 9:30 AM on weekends to ensure the tour takes place.
- The Liceu has a cloakroom where you will need to deposit your luggage and heavy bags prior to the tour. Make sure you visit at least 15 minutes prior to the tour to check in your luggage.
- The Gran Teatre del Liceu does not have a formal dress policy however it is an Opera House and you can expect people turning up in their dressy best. Even if you are visiting just for a tour of the Opera House, wearing semi-formal or dressy clothes would be a good idea.
- You are welcome to take photographs of the Liceu theatre everywhere including the Main Auditorium and Hall of Mirrors. Although, there may be rehearsals going on stage or in the Foyer and you should avoid taking their photographs.
- If you wish to explore the Gran Teatre del Liceu in a more exciting way then choose to enter an Escape Room! The 60-minute Enigma Puccini Escape Room is based on the story of Puccini’s Turandot. You can learn about the history of Liceu and uncover secrets of the theatre.
Gran Teatre del Liceu Tour Reviews
We scheduled a tour while checking out the sights on La Rambla and had time to run across the street for lunch before our tour. Our guide spoke several languages and smoothly switched from English to the other couples language. She was very informative and gave us an excellent tour full of interesting history. The opera house was founded in 1847 for the high class society. It was rebuilt in 1999 after a fire in 1994. It is one of the most well known opera houses. The inside is lovely and the auditorium has 5 tiers, seats 2,292 with no royal box. The 4th and 5th tiers are the cheapest seats, the main floor seats are made of iron and red velvet and there are luxurious boxes called Banyeres. Worth taking the time for a guided tour.
Kleime, Tripadvisor 2019
Joined the English speaking guided tour for the opera house and private club. The opera auditorium is lovely but the lobby and salons before it are even better. The arts and crafts style of the private club contrasts with the Grecian style of lobby area. Lots to see. Photos welcome. No shop or cafe. Our tour guide was great. Her English and knowledge of Spanish history and art history was excellent. There were only three of us. We sat down in the auditorium and ended up talking about politics and history for ages. She was in no hurry to move us along. Highly recommend. Location on La Rambla also really convenient for metro and shops.
Missy280, Tripadvisor 2019
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