There are so many fun things to do and see in Barcelona, but if you are on a tight budget it can be difficult to figure out what you can see or experience. Luckily, this city is incredible and offers many sites and experiences for free. The city is full of beautiful art, culture, and architecture. Plus an added bonus is that there are many beaches in and surrounding the city. We have created a list of free things to do and see in Barcelona that will give you a taste of this great place.
Located in central Barcelona, this street is popular for both tourists and locals. It is lined with trees and stretches for 1.2 kilometres. Be sure to lookout for some attractions such as live performances, human statue art, artists who will draw your portrait, the Christopher Columbus monument, and el Museu de l’ Erotica. There also dozens of restaurants and shops if you decide you want to spend some money
Visit the Mercat de la Boqueria
This is the most famous market in Spain. You can find it along La Rambla and it is a must see. There is so much beautiful delicious food that calls out to you, tempting you buy some, as you walk through the different aisles. You can find almost anything there from meat to cheese to even a few tapas bars. To avoid a large crowd, it is recommended to get there early in the morning. If you love food and want to visit more markets take a look at an article on the Best Markets in Barcelona!
Visit Joan Miró’s Public Art
Throughout the city Miró sculptures can be found for free viewing. Joan Miró is one of Barcelona’s favorite homegrown artists and Fundació Joan Miró is worth checking out if you are willing to spend a little money. His park is home to an epic 22 meter tall Woman and Bird sculpture that rises dramatically from a sparkling pool. You can also find a mosaic of his in the central part of pedestrian walkway of La Rambla and even right outside the airport on the wall of Terminal 2. If you are interested in learning more about Miró and his art check out the official Joan Miró Museum!
Walk along the Passeig de Gracia
If you haven’t heard of Gaudi yet, you will soon start to realize that Barcelona and Gaudi go hand in hand. On the Passeig de Gracia you can see the breathtaking buildings Casa Battlló and La Pedrera/ Casa Mila. The buildings have unique stunning facades and you can even see his famous chimneys on top of the building. There is an entrance fee to go inside these buildings, but you can admire the exterior for free. Learn more about Gaudi and all the other masterpieces he designed all over Spain
Visit Barcelona’s Other Cathedral: Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia
We can all agree that you must see La Sagrada Familia, but this Cathedral is honestly worth visiting within the old city limits. It was built in the 13th century and is great example of Gothic style architecture in Europe. You can even visit Santa Eulalia’s sarcophagus on the underground floor. Outside there is even a cloister with a beautiful fountain and large plants, as well as various statues. It is open every day of the week and if you visit during the morning between 8am and 12:45pm you can enter for free, otherwise it is €7 per person.
Tour the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic)
The most famous barri in Spain is the Gothic Quarter. It is one of the oldest districts in Barcelona. Every street and corner is full of history and you’ll be sure to find secluded medieval alleys, cute little squares, and charming streets and patios that are open to the public. Also the doors and garages throughout the neighborhood are covered in street art that is waiting to be discovered by you. There are some other neighborhoods that are definitely worth a look so check them out here.
Take a look at the Roman Remains at El Born Cultural Centre
Here you can find some recently discovered remains and building foundations from the Roman period of the city. This cultural center was created to encourage and promote local and national events. It is within what was once the oldest market hall in the city. You are able to the see the two thousand year old evidence of beneath you of houses, classic roads, and stops. The MUHBA organisation offers several other free museums around the city that are totally worth checking out as well!
Go to the Carmel Bunkers for the View
The most incredible panoramic view of the city is at the Bunkers of Carmel on the Turó de la Rovira. The area is relatively remote, which makes it slightly challenging to visit, but it is not very touristy. You have the opportunity to see 360 degree views for free. Nonetheless, you should also check out the bunker that were used as anti-aircraft batteries and were built during the Spanish Civil War. Try to pick a clear sunny day so you can truly enjoy the best views of Barcelona. There are also other places to catch a glimpse of city here if you are interested.
Watch the Magic Fountain Show at Montjuïc
The first performance of Barcelona’s famous Magic Fountain dates back to 1929. Today it is still a popular spectacle at Montjuïc. The sensational fountain show features a collection of waterfalls and small water features on the Avinguda Maria Cristina. You can expect to see light, colors, music and lots of water flowing all over the place. Depending on the season, the show times change, but you can check more information on the fountain show here.
Visit the Many Free Museums
If you are a little tired of the exciting nightlife or it is a rainy day, try exploring the cultural side of the city. You can keep dry and entertained all day long in the wide array of museums. Many museums in Barcelona offer free entry on certain days of the week. We compiled a list of the all the museums in Barcelona that have free entry. Check it out here.
Go to the Beach
Escape the busy city life and visit one of the many sandy shores surrounding Barcelona. The closest beach to the city is Barcelonata Beach and is one of busiest, but largest beaches with bars and café along the waterfront. If you take the yellow line metro to Cuitadella Vila Olimpica you can visit Icària Beach, which is a little quieter and peaceful. Lastly, check out Mar Bella Beach if you want to relax on an unofficial nudist beach, which is a 20 minute walk from Poblenou yellow line metro stop. Take a look at some other beaches near Barcelona that are worth checking out!