Regardless of whether you’re visiting for the day, or wondering what to do in Barcelona for a weekend, exploring all the city has to offer doesn’t have to be expensive. With these top freebies, you’ll never be short of something to do without breaking the bank.
Party Like a Local at the City’s Many Festivals
Hardly a week goes by without a fiesta in Barcelona. The Catalans are renowned for their unique festival traditions, such as human tower building and correfoc fire runs, and they sure know how to throw a party.
Barcelona’s must-see festivals are all free and offer a fascinating insight into the city. Yearly festival highlights include Three Kings Day in January, Gràcia Festival in August and the biggest festival of the year – La Mercè in September.
This 6 day event sees the people of Barcelona bid farewell to summer in style with concerts, fireworks, parades and so much more. The best part? They’re all free!
Climb Above Barcelona’s Rooftops
Barcelona’s mountainous terrain provides stunning viewpoints over the city, many of which are totally free.
Bunkers del Carmel (Turó de la Rovira), a former bunker from the Spanish civil war, sits atop a hill between the central Gràcia/Eixample areas of Barcelona and the outer Carmel neighbourhood. A lot less busy than the likes of Park Güell, the bunker can be reached on foot from Alfons X metro station (but beware it is a steep climb) or, if you’ve already purchased a transport ticket, by V17 bus from Port Vell.
Park Güell is a great option if you’d also like to explore some amazing Gaudí architecture. Top tip: you can enter the paid section of Park Güell for free if you arrive after 6pm in winter or 8pm in summer.
If you’d prefer to stay in the centre of the city, take a trip to the top of the El Corte Inglés shopping centre in Plaça Catalunya, where you can watch over the city from the café.
Sing along at the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc
This colourful water fountain hosts music and light shows on Thursdays – Sundays during the warmer months of April-October (between 21:00 and 23:30) and Friday and Saturdays during the cooler months of November – March (between 19:00 and 21:00).
This feast for the eyes offers a great family-night out with an awe-inspiring display of colour, light and water along to carefully selected songs you’ll just have to sing along to!
Explore the 4.5km Stretch of Golden Sands
Perhaps one of the most obvious choices but well worth the trip, Barcelona’s beaches stretch for a massive 4.5km and offer an array of free activities.
From basking in the Spanish sunshine to mixing with the locals over a game of beach volleyball, you’ll never be short of option at the beach. You could even bring along a picnic and save money on dining out, too!
Discover Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia
The Barcelona Cathedral, located in the Gothic Quarter of the city, is the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona and offers awe-inspiring architecture inside and out.
The cathedral is free between 8:30-12:30 (13:00 on Sundays) and 17:45-19:00 every day of the week – a donation is required any other time of day.
Explore Las Ramblas and the Old Town
Perhaps one of the most well known streets in the world, Las Ramblas is a must-see during your trip to Barcelona. After all, who wouldn’t want to say they’ve experienced the hustle and bustle of the infamous Las Ramblas?
Located either side of the street, that was built upon a former river bed, you will find the old town of Barcelona crawling with buildings dating back to Roman and Medieval times. You’ll be surprised at what you come across during a spontaneous wander around its winding alleyways.
Free Museums on Sundays
Visiting Barcelona’s best tourist attractions doesn’t have to be expensive. Many of the top museums in the city offer free entry on Sundays between 15:00 and 20:00, including the MUHBA museum of history, the infamous Picasso museum and DHUB disseny hub in Plaça Glòries.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Barcelona on the first Sunday of the month, many top tourist attractions also offer free entrance including Gaudí’s Palau Güell and the modernsime masterpiece that is the Sant Pau Recinte Modernista.
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Photo credits CC: Featured Image and both Pinterest Images by Moyan Brenn. Correfoc de la Mercè by Pablo Cereseto and Julien Lagarde. Park Güell by Ian Gampon. Woman at Park Güell by Mar Kiddo. Panoràmica de Barcelona des del turó de la Rovira by Cris Geraldes. Barcelona beach by Bruno Vouzella. Las Ramblas by Moyan Brenn.