Barcelona is one of the most popular city break destinations in Europe, and for good reason, stunning, world famous architecture and attractions, amazing food, vibrant culture and nightlife that you simply can’t pull yourself away from, all of these things and many more make Barcelona a very attractive destination. The problem is the general high cost of spending time in the city puts anything more than a weekend break out of many people’s reach, especially those who are travelling long term or trying to stick to a strict backpacker budget. The good news is there are a few ways to enjoy Barcelona not just on the cheap, but for absolutely free! And you can stick to that tight budget plan if you know what to look for and how to do things for free.
5. Spend the day at the beach.
I know Barcelona is famous as a city destination and rightly so, but many people don’t realise that it has some pretty good beaches too, with Barceloneta beach and Icaria beach being two of the more popular choices. Okay, so they aren’t going to match up to any picture perfect paradise getaways in the Caribbean or South East Asia say, but Barcelona’s beaches have all you need for sun worshipping lazy days, and provided you don’t go mad at the ice cream stands you can enjoy a day at the beach for free amongst the familiarity of a traditional promenade.
4. Explore the inside of the Cathedral.
Barcelona is quite simply jam packed with monumental and iconic architecture, stunning sights and historical monuments, but perhaps one of the city’s most impressive – and most famous – is the Cathedral. The architecture outside is worth your time alone, but it is also free to enter in the morning and the late afternoon and is seriously worth spending just a few hours of your time exploring the simply stunning artistry of the building.
3. Free entertainment.
Las Ramblas is technically just another street in Barcelona, superficially just another thoroughfare, but in reality it is one of Barcelona’s most popular unofficial tourist attractions. Every day the street comes alive with a huge variety of musicians, artisans and street performers, which makes it a perfect place to simply people watch and be entertained for free.
2. Take in some art.
Barcelona has some great opportunities for art lovers to indulge in some aesthetic pleasure, but many places can find you dipping into your travel funds if you are not careful. There are ways to see some great art for free however, the Musea Nacional D’art de Catalunya and the famous Picasso museum are both free on the first Sunday of every month.
1. Take the Ruta del Modernismo.
To get a real feel for Barcelona you really do have to appreciate the stunning architecture that seeps through every pore of this vibrant city. The city’s history goes far beyond its famous links with Gaudi though, and there are countless examples of palatial mansions, temples, churches, hospitals and even simple houses and shops built by Gaudi’s contemporaries that show off the city’s famous modernist flair. To show off this legacy, the government of Barcelona has set up the Ruta del Modernismo, a guided tour, to help you appreciate it. The guided tour itself does have a fee if you want to go the whole hog and hire a guide, but there is nothing stopping you from walking along the same route yourself with a good book to give you the information! Just head to any tourist information centre when you are there for a map and details.
I hope you are enjoying this ‘free things to do in …’ series and find it useful, if you have any specific requests then please let me know in the comments section below. If I have been there then I’ll add it to the list!