Visiting Barcelona on a budget is both easy and fun, as there are plenty of things to do for free in this wonderful city. Here are 15 of our favourites.
1 Sun, Sand and City
During the summer months chilling out on one of Barcelona’s beaches, going for a swim and soaking up the Mediterranean sunshine is no doubt one of the best free things to do in Barcelona!
2 Delve into the Past
The winding streets and ancient buildings of the historical Gothic Quarter are perfect for losing yourself and provide hours of fascination for wanderers. There are even free guided walking tours offered in Barcelona.The Travel Bar organise excellent tours which depart every day at 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00 from Carrer Boqueria 27.
3 A Foodie’s Paradise
A visiting to the Boqueria Market on La Rambla is a must, and of course there is no cost – unless you get tempted into buying some of the delicious products on offer!
4 Free Museum Entry
Barcelona has many internationally renowned museums and art galleries, and several offer free entry on the first Sunday of each month. These include the MUHBA Barcelona History Museum, Catalonia History Museum, MNAC Catalonia National Art Museum and the Picasso Museum. Others are free every Sunday afternoon from 3pm, including the Centre for Contemporary Culture (CCCB), Botanical Gardens, and also the Picasso Museum. For details of all free museums click here.
5 Dramatic Architecture
Barcelona Cathedral is one of the most important buildings in the city and entry in the mornings and early evenings is free. Head to the cloister to catch a glimpse of the 13 white geese, or simply admire the amazing Catalan-Gothic architecture.
6 History at its Best
Another religious building which is definitely worth visiting is basilica of Santa María del Mar, located in the Old Town neighbourhood of the Born. Best known for its role in Ildefonso Falcones’ novel The Cathedral of the Sea, a stroll around this amazing structure is absolutely free.
7 Go Green
Another of our favorite free things to do in Barcelona is to wander around the wonderful Parc de la Ciutadella, the largest green space in the city. Pack a picnic for a family day out, and look out for the famous waterfall and giant mammoth statue.
8 Gaudí, Gaudí, Gaudí
While entry to the Catalan architect’s works may cost you a pretty penny, a selfie in front of the Casa Batlló, La Pedrera or Sagrada Familia is of course free. If you visit Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece, you can also relax in the adjoining park and admire the views – for free!
9 Sneak around the Back
Many people don’t know that the upper half of Park Güell is actually free. Take bus 24 or 92 in the direction of El Carmel and get off at the back entrance to enjoy some amazing, panoramic views of the city, without the price tag. Talented musicians play in the caverns and spaces.
10 Dances and Splashes
Just below Montjuïc you’ll find one of Barcelona’s most special attractions, the Magic Fountain in Plaça Espanya. This spectacular light, music and water show is both beautiful and artistic, and absolutely free.
11 Bohemian Style
Heading further away from the sea, a trip to the quirky neighbourhood of Gràcia is recommended for those looking to see Barcelona a bit more off the beaten track. Known for its café culture, picturesque squares and bohemian vibe, this neighbourhood of Barcelona is the perfect place to get a real local feel for the city.
12 Shh! Its a Secret
Continuing up on the same route with bus 24 you’ll arrive at one of Barcelona’s best kept secrets, the Turo de la Rovira, also known as the Carmel Bunkers above Parc Guinardó. Offering perhaps the best 360º views of Barcelona, this site was an anti-aircraft defense base during the Spanish Civil War. Tourists tend not to make the effort to reach this spot, so you can enjoy this beautiful location away from the snap happy crowds.z
13 Round and Round
Opposite Plaça Espanya you’ll find Las Arenas shopping centre. This used to be a bull rings and has retained its original architecture whilst adapting to the more modern entertainment offerings of shopping, cinema and restaurants. Take the glass elevator to the rooftop where you can enjoy fantastic 360º views of the city and Montjuïc.
14 Time for a Nibble
Tapas is of course one of the staples of Spanish cuisine. Enjoy these tasty Iberian treats without stretching those pennies – keep an eye out for the bars in Barcelona that offer a free tapa with every drink purchased!
15 Party like the Locals
Barcelona is famous for its fiestas, and the city organises many maginificent public festivals throughout the year. These include the Cabalgada de Reyes, parade of the Three Kings on the 6th January to and Sant Jordi’s Day, celebrating the Patron Saint of Catalunya with roses and books on April 23rd. One the biggest festivals to attend La Mercè, Barcelona’s biggest party which strethces for a couple of days around the 24th September. There are hundreds of free activities, such as epic firework displays, breathtaking human towers, innovative light shows and much more.