Top 10 Free Things To Do In Barcelona

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Barcelona like any other major city can be expensive, so we’ve put together a list of things that you can enjoy for free. It’s such a gorgeous, vibrant city to wander around there’s no need to spend a fortune just soak up the atmosphere of this beautiful place.

Wandering Around Barcelona

Free Entry To Museums And Art Galleries

Barcelona has hundreds of wonderful museums and art galleries but most of them charge a fee. However, if you plan wisely, you can devise an itinerary to visit all the places on your wish list and not pay a penny. Many museums and galleries are free on the first Sunday of every month and often have other times during the week when they don’t charge an entrance fee. For example, The Picasso Museum is free on Thursdays from 5pm to 7pm (beware booking is still essential) and The Contemporary Art Museum is free every Saturday from 4pm to 8pm. It’s best to visit the museum or gallery’s own website to check times before you go.

Placita de la Seu Barcelona

Stroll Down Las Ramblas First Thing In The Morning

Las Ramblas is the most famous street in Barcelona and gets extremely busy all year round, but it’s one of those quintessential places you simply have visit when in Barcelona. The street is about a kilometre long and runs from Plaça de Catalunya to the old port. This wide, tree lined avenue is flanked by beautiful historic buildings and is full of flower stalls, street artists and pavement cafes. If you visit early then it has more of a local vibe and is slightly less crowded.

Las Ramblas, Barcelona

Passeig Marítim

Passeig Marítim is the 4km long promenade that runs alongside Barcelona’s gorgeous, golden sandy beach. Barceloneta beach is the closest to the city and the most popular, but if you fancy something quieter then head north towards the Forum area. It’s the perfect place to head to and rest your tired feet after exploring the busy city. Simply grab a drink from a nearby shop and sit on a bench to enjoy the view and my favourite pass time, people watching.

Passeig Maritime, Barcelona Beach

Get Lost In The Gothic Quarter

From the beach you can head back through the Gothic Quarter’s gorgeous, historic winding streets. Barri Gotic is the oldest neighbourhood in Barcelona and round every corner you find quirky independent shops, quiet little plaças, cute little bars and pavement cafes. Wandering through the cobbled streets, finding hidden gems and getting a little bit lost is one of the best ways to see any city.

Barri Gotic, Barcelona

Visit A Food Market

La Boqueria is the most famous food market and is just off Las Ramblas, so attracts thousands of visitors daily. It has over 300 stands offering fresh fish, meat, fruit and vegetables both locally produced and some more exotic fare. It also has many take away stalls offering everything from traditional Spanish tapas dishes to sushi.

However, if you want something a bit more authentic and less touristy, head to Santa Caterina or

. These markets still offer amazing food and drinks and are full of atmosphere, with less tourists and more locals.

Market in Barcelona

Gaze At Gaudi Architecture

Visiting Sagrada Familia might be top of your list to visit while in Barcelona, this stunning cathedral is the most iconic building in the city. It has now been under construction for over 140 years and is expected to be finished in 2030 at the earliest. However, this is just one of many Gaudi buildings that you can visit. Casa Batlló, Casa Milà and Palau Güell are just a few of the other examples of his modernistic architecture.

If you plan a route you can see many of his most famous buildings in one day, on foot and using public transport. The other option is to book yourself on a free walking tour of Barcelona where all you need to pay is a 3€ booking fee and your transport costs.

Casa Batlló Gaudi Barcelona

Explore Parc Güell

Parc Güell is possibly my favourite Gaudi creation, as it combines beautiful art work and colours with gorgeous views out over Barcelona. It is set on the hill side in the area of Gracia, north of Sagrada Familia so you will need to take the bus or the metro to get there. Like the museums, there are times when entry to the monumental zone of Parc Güell is free. The first Sunday in every month from 1st November to 30th March you can gain access for free and from 1st April to 31st October every Sunday between 5pm and 8pm.

Parc Güell Barcelona

Visit During One Of Barcelona’s Many Festivals

The Spanish love a festival so finding a time when they are celebrating is easy. While we visited recently it was Santa Eulàlia Festival which happens at the beginning of February and though not as huge as the city’s many summer celebrations, this festival still provides a chance to see lots of the local traditions – such as sardana dances, correfoc fire runs and castellers (human towers), and plenty of parades featuring giants, devils, dragons and other assorted beasts.

There is practically a festival every week including carnival parades, fireworks, film and music festivals. The choice is yours!

Santa Eulàlia Festival, Barcelona

The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc

This spectacle of light and music started way back in 1929 during the Great Universal Exhibition and was refurbished more recently in 1992. The Magic Fountain is an amazing display of colour, light, motion, music and water acrobatics and it definitely lives up to its name. Make sure you check the website as display times do change and are suspended during droughts.

Why not visit the Castell of Montjuic while you are there? It’s free on Sundays after 3pm and all day every first Sunday of the month.

The Light show at the fountain at Montjuic

Slide Into Shopping

A little bit of fun to finish with. The famous department store Sephora has a branch located just off Plaça de Catalunya, in the centre of Barcelona, and has recently installed an innovative way to get into its store. You can now ‘slide into beauty’ down an enclosed spiral slide. So if you’re looking for a bit of a thrill after a day of serious sightseeing its the perfect stop off before you hit those tapas bars.

Sliding into Sephora Barcelona

Cheapest and Nicest Accommodation

Fabrizzios Terrace Hostel – Hostel with huge terrace including sun loungers, tables and fountain

click here to book

Fabrizzio’s Petit – Shared and private rooms some with gorgeous balconies

click here to book

Onefam Ramblas – Hostel in great location close to Barcelona Port

click here to book

Onix Liceo – Hotel in central location, beautifully designed with sun terrace and roof top pool

click here to book

Yoga Weeks – If you fancy 2 sessions of rooftop yoga daily included in your stay

click here to find out more

Laura Mills bio pic
Written by Laura Mills

Laura loves travelling across the UK and abroad. She has two children and a husband who are often her travel companions. Beach holidays, cosy cottages, treehouse adventures and brunching are just a few of her favourite ways to spend her travel time.