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Barcelona, Park Guell, Spain

Barcelona on a budget: 11 free things to do in Barcelona

Barcelona is an amazing city, so don’t miss out just because you think it will be too expensive. In fact, travelling to Barcelona on a budget is completely doable. Here is a list of our favourite things to do in the city for free!

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1. Free Museum Days in Barcelona

There are a handful of museums that are free on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, so don't miss these! Some museums have free admission one day a month and a free weekly admission day, while others have one or the other. Here are some of my favourite museums that have free admission days:

  • Museu Picasso - Admission is free every Thursday afternoon from 6pm to 9.30pm and on the first Sunday of every month, as well as during the open days: 12 February, 18 May and 24 September. Regular admission is €12

  • Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC) - Admission is free every Saturday after 3pm and on the first Sunday of every month. Regular admission is €12.

  • Museu Nacional d'Historia de Barcelona (MUHBA) - Admission is free every Sunday from 3pm and the first Sunday of the month all day. Regular admission is €7.

  • Palau Güell - Admission is free the first Sunday of every month. Regular admission is €12.

  • Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) - Admission is free every Sunday after 3pm. Regular admission is €8.

2. Modernism walk in Barcelona

Barcelona is full of amazing architecture from all periods, but Modernist buildings are incredibly prevalent throughout the city. You can check out this website for ideas on where to begin your walk: Ruta del Modernisme. It’s a chance for you to explore the city leisurely and admire all the beautiful buildings along the way.

3. Discover Barceloneta Beach

Take a stroll along the beach or spend the day lounging about. The scenery at Barceloneta Beach is beautiful considering that it's next to such a huge city!

4. Visit Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona

This is one of our favourite places to walk around. You can grab something to eat along the way, either at Mercat de Santa Caterina or Demasié and find a bench or a nice sunny place on the grass to sit and eat.

Mercat de Santa Caterina is located off of Via Laietana. Demasié is located on Carrer de la Princesa, 28 on the way to Ciutadella.

5. Hike up to Parc del Guinardo

The best part about this park is that it's free and you get the same (if not better) view as you would at Parc Guell. Climb up to the Bunkers del Carmel with a bottle of wine and some snacks and watch the sunset along the Mediterranean.

6. Visit Barcelona's Montjuic

While there are plenty of museums to visit here for a fee (or for free on those days indicated above), there are also plenty of things to do for free! Check out the many gardens that are spread out up here, visit the unique architecture at the Olympic Stadium, take in the view of the Mediterranean from above, or visit the Montjuic Castle. There are so many things to do here without even stepping foot inside a museum.

7. Go Inside Santa Maria del Mar

This 14th century Gothic masterpiece is free to enter and is quite an unbelievable sight. The high stone ceilings and stained-glass windows are breathtaking (see picture below).

8. Escape the heat in the Barcelona Cathedral (Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia)

This is another wonderful example of Gothic architecture. The interior is as incredible as the exterior façade. During some of the yearly festivals, you will find many (free) festivities happening here, like Castells at the Festa Catalana.

9. Plan your Barcelona city trip around a festival!

Barcelona has amazing festivals: Dia de los Reyes Magos (January), Dia de Sant Jordi (February), Feria de Abril (April), Sant Joan (June), Festa Major de Gràcia (August). There are many more festivals throughout the year. Although this year, events and festivals may be cancelled or rescheduled, it's still nice to keep in mind for future travels abroad.

10. Stroll along Barcelona's famous promenade Las Ramblas

Yes, this is touristy and incredibly packed during the summer, but it's still beautiful and definitely worth seeing for those Barcelona first-timers. You can start at the entrance near Plaça Catalunya and meander down to the Colón Statue.

11. While rambling on Las Ramblas, stop in La Boqueria and take a look at all the stalls

La Boqueria is incredibly famous (meaning incredibly touristy), but if you are already strolling Les Rambles, there's no reason not to check it out. Don't miss some of the other markets that are less touristy and more authentic: Mercat de Santa Caterina (Born), Mercat de la Llibertat (Gràcia), or Mercat de L'Albaceria (Gràcia).

Check out our Barcelona city breaks

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