As one of Europe's most popular and picturesque cities, it can be easy to assume that a visit to Barcelona will be costly. Well, chicos - it’s simply not true! With lots of stuff that won’t cost you a single dime, you really can plan a very affordable getaway. Here are our favourite free things to do in Barcelona.
1. Hit up the beach
Barcelona has the unique advantage of having the best of both worlds when it comes to city and beach vibes. Barceloneta, smack bang in the centre is the busiest beach, but if you want something with a quieter vibe head out to San Sebastian or Nova Mar Bella. There’s even a popular nudist beach, if that floats your boat.
2. Chill out in Placa del Sol
In the gorgeous neighbourhood of Gracia is one of Barcelona’s best-kept secrets, a cool little square that is a popular hangout spot for local students. You can take a picnic or grab a takeaway bottle of wine from the Bodega's on the square and just hang out with your mates. It’s like a big free outdoor bar and has an awesome atmosphere.
3. Witness the magic fountain of Montjuic
Every evening throughout the summer the magic unfolds at the foot of Mount Montjuic with a spectacular display of colour and music. It gets very busy, especially during the summer months so head down early to grab a prime viewing spot and be sure to check the times because they do vary depending on the season.
4. Get up high at the Carmel bunkers
On top of Turó de la Rovira in the neighbourhood of El Carmel is the absolute best view you are going to find in the whole of the city. Trust us, it’s a cracker. This anti-aircraft warfare base leftover from the Spanish Civil War affords 360-degree views of the whole of Barcelona and has to be seen to be believed.
5. Check out the free museums
Sundays in Barcelona mean one thing and one thing only for culture vultures - free museum day. On the first Sunday of the month and every Sunday from 3pm, you can enter many of the city’s museums for zilch. The best ones include Barcelona History Museum and Palau Güell. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya is also a fab alternative and free on Saturdays after 3pm.
6. Ramble down La Rambla
Literally translated as boulevard, you can’t visit Barcelona without wandering down one of the most famous streets in Europe. And perhaps the best part, La Rambla is completely free. Be sure to stop in at Mercat de la Boqueria and don’t be afraid to wander off into some of the side streets. That’s where all the best tapas bars are.
7. Admire Gaudi’s architecture
Famed worldwide for its stunning architecture, you could spend a pretty penny exploring Barcelona's beautiful buildings. But the thing is, most of them are just as stunning from the outside with a view that comes for free. Don’t miss Casa Batlló and Casa Milà on Passeig de Gràcia and, of course, the Sagrada Familia.
8. Hang out in Parc de la Ciutadella
There are lots of free parks in Barcelona but Parc de la Ciutadella is one of the prettiest in our opinion. It has a huge impressive gold fountain and is also home to Catalonia’s House of Parliament and Barcelona City Zoo. Plus there’s the nearby majestic Arc de Triomf looming over the wide promenade of Passeig de Lluís Companys.
9. Discover some street art
In the slightly grittier neighbourhoods of El Ravel and Poble Nou, you’ll find a thriving street art scene. Check out the Three Chimneys Urban Park, the large mural on the corner of the Carrer de Sant Pau and Carrer de la Riereta, La Carbonería and Carrer de la Selva de Mar. The backstreets of the Gothic Quarter are also a great place if you love your urban art.
10. Hike up Tibidabo
The free way to the top of Mount Tibidabo isn’t the easiest but you definitely won’t be disappointed when you get to the top. At the peak, there are picture perfect panoramic views over the city, a whimsical theme park dating back to 1889 and the alluring neo-gothic-style Temple de Sagrat Cor that is visible from much of Barcelona city.
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