Besides the free staff, we highly recommend to get a scooter in Barcelona. It is the cheapest and fastest way to get around the city in no time. You can check out the cool guys at Via Vespa (www.via-vespa.com) for renting a vespa – you know, like in the movies.
Here is our list of 59 free things to do in Barcelona to enjoy the Catalan capital on a shoe string budget, no wait…for free!
Let’s start with a picnic…who buys the bocadillos and who brings the blanket?
1. Relax at Parc de la ciutadella
Parc de la Ciutadella is situated next to the old town El Born district. It is the green area of the inner city. Many locals spend their free time in Park de la Ciutadella, and there are numerous events during the year.
Just get some food and head over to Parc.
There is also a small lake and you can rent a small boat here.
2. Parks in Montjuic
Climb up the cities mountain of Montjuic and enjoy the views over the city. Just walk around all the green area which was built for the worlds famous Olympic Games back in 1992.
Montjuic has several different parks to enjoy a picnic, children playgrounds and last but not the least the castle on the top.
Anyway, you can enjoy a wonderful view as well as the Montjuic as a whole.
3. Beach time, baby!
Going to Barcelona and not going to the beach?
No way, José!
Even though Barcelona’s beaches are not the most amazing in the country, for a cities beach they are super awesome indeed. Pack a towel and sun cream, leave your valuables at your Hostel in Barcelona and hit the beach!
As a recommendation head over to the less crowded beaches in the north of Barcelona.
All beaches in Barcelona:
San Sebastià Beach
Mar Bella Beach
Nova Mar Bella Beach
4. La Mercè Festival
A festival to say goodbye to the summer? La Mercè Festival is the main festival in Barcelona taking place at the end of September.
The celebration goes on for around a week.
Across the city you will find endless free activities, concerts, exhibitions and more. If you have the chance, it is really not a bad idea to plan your visit to Barcelona for La Mercè.
5. Neighborhood festivals
But no worries, there are even more festivals in Barcelona! And these festivals are top free things to do in Barcelona!
The whole summer is loaded with different neighborhood festivals. Especially the “Festes de Gràcia” is well-known by now. Every street in the district of Gràcia is decorated.
The neighbors of the street choose a theme for their owns street and take care of the decoration by themselves. It is a competition between the different streets, and the best one even gets awarded.
But that is not all!
During “Festes de Gracia” in Barcelona there are endless free concerts and activities in the Gràcia district. Cool plus for the lover of upcycled design: Plus you can get so many ideas about recycling and decoration.
Oh, and there is a festival for every district in Barcelona, not only in Gracia!
6. Stroll along the “local Rambla”
Isn’t there only the Rambla? NOOOOO!!!!
Rambla simply means boulevard.
For most locals in Barcelona, they do not usually walk along Las Ramblas because it is very crowded.
They do prefer La Rambla del Poble Nou. La Rambla del Poble Nou it is full of bars where you can seat and eat some tapas or enjoy a beer for less price than in the famous “Rambla de Barcelona”.
7. Get amazed by local artists at Las Ramblas
Fair enough: Las Ramblas is very famous.
We also included it in the Must Do’s in Barcelona.
Las Ramblas de Barcelona is famous because there are lots of artists doing some shows along it: music, dancing and art are all around! Just walk down to La Rambla and enjoy their shows.
Extra Tip: Please make sure you are not so enchanted that you forget your personal belongings, as there are many pickpockets in this area.
8. Find a Magic Enchanted Forest near Las Ramblas
Near Las Rambas de Barcelona there is an awesome enchanted bar which is called El Bosc de les Fades (Fairy Forest), get in and enjoy its decoration. It is as if you were in a mystery Forest!
Does it even feel like the hobbits home in Lord of the Rings? Find out by your own.
9. Free museum night
Once a year, some Museums across Barcelona are for free during the night. The event is named “nit dels museus” (Night of the Museums).
This is great opportunity to visit some museums and do not pay fee entrance.
The Blogger Barcelona Navigator wrote up a big, detailed guide on free museums in Barcelona. Just have a look on the link to see if you could take advantage of this free museum night during your stay!
10. Maritime Museum of Barcelona for free
Located in the Barcelona Royal shipyard, the Maritime Musem is dedicated to shipbuilding between the thirteenth century and eighteenth century.
Are you curious about Shipbuilding History?
This museum has free entrance every Sunday after 15.00 (3pm).
11. Picasso Museum for free
Yes, you knew it as well, right?! Picasso was born in Málaga, but the most famous Picasso Museum is in Barcelona. After all, this is where he lived.
The museum is for free every 1st Sunday of the month.
14. CCCB Barcelona
CCCB stands for “Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona”.
Arts, Science, Humanities, Technology… CCCB Barcelona, the Contemporary Cultural center of Barcelona offers lot of exhibitions and activities. If you would like to have a look at it, CCCB Barcelona is opened for free every Sunday from 15.00.
15. Music Museum
Passionate about Music and Music History?
With more than 500 instruments and lot of Music history, you can enjoy the Music museum every Sunday after 15.00 absolutely for free!
16. Movie scene – Woody Allen for instance
We are sure you are aware that many movies have been filmed in Barcelona.
Located in the Gothic quarter, you can go to the restaurant where they filmed the movie “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”, called “Els Quatre Gats”.
Think about it: you can use the same toilet as Scarlett Johansson did!
Here is the official trailer of Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Located in El Forum, it has a Whale skeleton inside! And yes, you know it already: it is free every Sunday from 15.00
22. Pedralbes Monastery
Pedralbes Monastery is a Gothic Monastery in the city outbound. The monastery is located in the more “posh” district of Pedralbes. Many players from FC Barcelona live in this area.
The Monastery opens its doors free every 1st Sunday of the month.
23. Free access to Barcelona City Hall
If you are nosy how the city hall from Barcelona looks like, you can enter for free every Sunday from 10:00 to 13:30.
You can find Barcelona City Hall in the city center of Barcelona, in Plaza Sant Jaume.
Maybe you will pass it without even noticing?
24. Look at the bargaining game at Encants Flea Market
“Els Encants” is a local market where you can buy clothes, electronics,…
There are also some bars too to have a coffee or snack. The funniest way to spend your time there is watching how people are bargaining. Furthermore, the building is pretty cool, look at the ceiling made out of mirrors!
In the first level you will find many second hand stalls.
Old statues, frames, CDs, and basically everything. A fun thing to do in Barcelona!
25. Video clip scene
Did you know Shakira recorded his main hit “Loca” in a fountain in Gothic quarter? You just have to go to “Pla de Palau” square to recognize the fountain where she had a bath.
Remember: bathing in fountains is not permitted in Barcelona.
So, if you do feel like reproducing Shakira’s video clip you might have to pay a penalty!
26. Seek out street art
Barcelona has plenty of Graffiti along the city, and even in some traffic signals.
You can find some amazing works around el Raval, Poblenou… Open well your eyes!
27. Visit “Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulàlia”
The Barcelona Cathedral is one of the Gothic symbols in Barcelona City.
Plaza del Sol is a main square in Gràcia where lot of locals, Erasmus students and friends like to meet up.
Just buy some food and drinks in the bars and shops around and enjoy your time there.
35. Put a book on the map
Barcelona has plenty of locations mentioned in a book. Let’s t find this spot you have read about it! For instance “The Shadow of the Wind” takes place in Barcelona and mentions several squares in the city.
The book The Prisoner of Heaven takes place in Montjuic back in the time when the fortress on the top of the hill was used as a prison.
Even though you have to pay for the main area of Park Güell, there is an area which is still free, and worth to visit. You won’t have the picture with the famous colored Salamander but you can get impressive city views from there.
The entrance has an upside:
The main area of Park Güell is now only accessible with a ticket and there are less people entering.
This gives you now enough space and freedom to take photos and enjoy Gaudi’s masterpiece.
Sagrada Familia is a symbol of Barcelona Modernism, and it is amazing to see it also from the outside! Many tourists are “complaining” about Sagrada Familia still being a construction site. But guess what, negative Nancy: Imagine you could see the Pyramids being built live in front of your eyes?!
Even if you don’t want to spend the money for entering the building, which we consider as a Must Do in Barcelona, you should at least stop by to have a look from the outside.
Printed guides are always helpful to read on the plane or train.
I like how they cover the basic history background and the basic introduction to the city. This can be the currency, political situation and other things like main events.
Summary: 59 Free Things to do in Barcelona
As you can see, there are plenty of free things to do in Barcelona.
Having fun and enjoying your time in the Catalan capital, does not have to expensive. A beer on Rambla, and a Paella next to the Rambla, however, can be a budget-killer! We will keep this list updated, as always!
So, pack a blanket and towel and hit the beach, visit the free museums, enjoy the best views over Barna – this is like the locals do it!
Safe Travels and enjoy Barcelona,
We share there our best tips on how to get around, best Paella in Barcelona, and more unique things we love to do as locals!
Enjoy Barcelona for free!
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