Barcelona is one of Europe’s most visited cities, and it’s easy to see why. The beaches, the sunny weather, the unique architecture of Antoni Gaudí, the nightlife – all of it makes for an enticing place for a getaway. Unfortunately, Barcelona isn’t exactly cheap. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be expensive, either. If you’re looking for cheap or free things to do while you’re in Barcelona, you’ve come to the right place.
Photo licensed under the Creative Commons, created by Wolfgang Staudt
If you’ve just landed in Barcelona and you’re looking for a way to get acclimated, a walking tour could be the perfect way to get your bearings. Several companies in Barcelona offer free walking tours. The catch? You’re supposed to leave them a tip; however, the amount of the tip is entirely up to you. Try Travel Bound Barcelona Free Walking Tours, Barcelona Free Tours, or Runner Bean Tours.
Many museums in Barcelona charge a nominal fee to enter, but some of these museums waive their entrance fees during certain times of the month. If you’re a fan of Picasso, the Museo Picasso offers free admission on the first Sunday of every month, and after 3 PM every Sunday. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya also has free admission on the first Sunday of the month. The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona has free admission on Wednesdays.
In many cities and towns in Spain, it’s customary to get a free tapa with your drink. In a pricey city like Barcelona, though, you’ll usually have to pay for your tapas most places. Fortunately, the city also has plenty of places where you can go to get complimentary tapas with your drinks on certain days. On Sundays, get a complimentary buffet with your drink purchase at Bar No Sé. On Tuesdays, check out Sesamo for free tapas tastings. For cheap tapas any day of the week, Txapela is the place to go. This cozy tavern offers a wide variety of freshly prepared tapas, all under two euros a piece.
Photo licensed under the Creative Commons, created by Jordi Cerdà
A great way to really immerse yourself into the new culture is to eat with the locals. Find out what it is they eat daily and at least sample it. With so many different foods to try in Barcelona you’d assume it would be really expensive to try them all but some foods require a lot of home-based cooking to really taste like the traditional dishes so for example, there are plenty of places you can enjoy a Catalonian meal in the area, but why not consider renting an accommodation in Barcelona and making your own dishes in your temporary kitchen! Rented accommodation can work out much more cost effective if you’re planning to stay for more than a couple of days and you save loads by cooking your own meals.
Barcelona’s Great Outdoors
Parc Guell is a fascinating, gorgeous park that Gaudí left unfinished. It’s filled with Gaudí’s signature interesting architecture, as well as beautiful fountains, statues, and a museum. While the museum on the park’s site charges a small fee to enter, the rest of the park is free. Another free, beautiful place to escape the city is Barcelona’s Botanical Gardens. The gardens offer a variety of plants, flowers, and trees for visitors to enjoy, as well as an excellent view of the city. Nearby Montjuïc Magic Fountains offer another great view of the city, as well as the beautiful fountains that change shapes against the backdrop of the Palau Nacional.
Markets and Shops
Las Ramblas is Barcelona’s most famous street. This pedestrian street is filled with street performers, locals, and visitors from around the world, with shops, hotels, nightlife, and restaurants lining its sides. You can wander past La Boqueria, an open-air market offering produce, meats, and flowers, as well as restaurants serving food and drinks. It’s free to browse the market, but food and drinks are relatively cheap. Also check out the Port Vell Antique Fair. It’s free to look, but there are plenty of cheap bargains to be found.
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