Travelling can be pricey, especially if you're looking to experience all the attractions and activities in a new city. Fortunately, there's an array of free things to do in Barcelona, from exploring the natural environment to visiting world-class museums. Here are the top 8 free things to do in Barcelona to make the most of your trip on a budget.
Many of Barcelona's museums have admission fees, but you can plan to attend one of the free-entry days. For many museums, the free-entry day is the first Sunday of the month, but you can check the schedule to see when you can attend the ones you want to see most. Some of Barcelona's top museums are the Museu Picasso, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of the History of Barcelona, the Maritime Museum and the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya.
Much of Barcelona's appeal comes from its architecture and landmarks. Many of these places charge a small admission fee to explore in the interior, but you can look and photograph the exterior for free. Some top landmarks include La Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi's masterpiece basilica, Casa Milà, an arts venue, and Casa Batlló, a stunning modernist building. You could also visit Plaça de Catalunya, a vibrant central square with an array of spectacular sculptures that are free to see.
The Gothic Quarter is the centre of the old city and includes some of the oldest architecture in the city, such as the remains of the Roman wall and other medieval landmarks. Most of the quarter is closed to regular traffic, so it's ideal for a pedestrian tour. You can visit Sant lu's Square to listen to performances from street musicians, or search for murals done by one of the local artists. There are plenty of hidden architectural gems as well, such as the Bishop's Bridge. The bridge was part of a massive undertaking by an architect who was rejected, so he incorporated a skull and dagger into the design.
Barcelona is known for its golden-sand beaches and calm, beautiful waters. The beaches are free and offer great opportunities for swimming and water sports in warm weather, though you can still walk along the sand and enjoy the views on a cooler day. Some of the most popular beaches are Barceloneta Beach, Nova Icaria Beach, Bogatell Beach and Mar Bella Beach.
Montjuïc is a prominent hill overlooking the Barcelona harbour that was once an important defence structure in the city. Now, it's a popular landmark with an array of free things to see and do. You can visit the castle at the top of the hill to take in breathtaking views of the harbour, or explore the interior and learn about the history. Entrance to the castle requires a ticket, but it's free every Sunday afternoon and the first Sunday of the month for the whole day. You could also see the Grec Theatre Gardens, the Laribal Gardens and the famed Magic Fountain, which has a spectacular water show.
Ciutadella Park is a sprawling urban park with plenty of green spaces and activity. You'll see street artists, musicians, performers and families with kids enjoying the atmosphere of the park. The park also features a fountain that's similar to the Trevi Fountain in Rome, as well as a stone sculpture of an inconsolable woman in the centre of the pond. If you want to have a picnic, there are plenty of places you can go to spread out a blanket and enjoy a casual meal in the sunshine.
The Parc Del Laberint D'Horta is partially a park and partially a maze. It's open on Wednesdays and Sundays and free to enter. You could explore the pristine hedge maze or wander through the neoclassical and romantic gardens to see blooms, fountains, springs and pools. Throughout the park, there are terraces and pavilions with statues of Greek gods or folk tales that you can see.
There's very little traffic on the side streets and plazas of Barcelona, so it's perfect for a safe and fun walking tour. With its mild weather, many residents prefer walking around, so you'll find many seating areas if you want to take a break or just enjoy the scenery for a minute. The city has free walking tours as well, which can take you through specific areas to learn about local history, haunted history, art and much more. Be sure to bring a camera to take advantage of the sights on your tour.
With so many free things to do, Barcelona is one of the most budget-friendly destinations for an affordable holiday. If you want to save even more on your trip, visit Expedia to check out deals on Barcelona holidays and make the most of the experience.