Although we are not talking about the cheapest city in Spain, Barcelona also has a lot to offer for those like me watching their euros. If you can afford a metro card, then you have everything you need to explore the city. Read on to discover 5 fantastic things to do in Barcelona for free.
I have to confess something embarrassing. Even though I have been to Barcelona quite a lot of times, I have not yet visited Sagrada Familia. I am sorry, Gaudí! But you are expensive!
Luckily, though not the cheapest city in Spain, Barcelona also has a heap on offer for those on a budget. Read on to discover 5 amazing things to do in Barcelona for free.
01 | Enjoy the Best Views of Barcelona in Bunkers del Carmel – Turó de la Rovira
Sitting 262 meters above sea level, Turó de la Rovira (aka Bunkers del Carmel) offers the best views of Barcelona for free. This heritage space contains the remains of an anti-aircraft battery built in 1937 that helped to defend Barcelona from air attacks during the Spanish Civil War thanks to its 360º panoramic view.
In the post-war era, the abandoned military structures were used to build Els Canons, a neighborhood of shanty dwellings that lasted until 1990. In March 2011, following a restoration and heritage project, Turó de la Rovira was officially reopened. Until then, the city space remained relatively degraded, isolated and unknown.
At the time of writing, admission is free and the bunkers are open to visit anytime. However, rumors have it that soon there will be a fee to access the views.
How to get to the Bunkers of Carmel: From Plaça de Catalunya, you can take metro line 3 (to Trinitat Nova) and get off at Lesseps station. Then walk 50 meters to Gran de Gracia bus stop and catch the bus V17. Get off at the last stop: Gran Vista – Turó de la Rovira. I recommend visiting the bunkers on a weekday. Weekends can be really busy and this is a place to be enjoyed in silence.
02 | Do a free walking tour
If like me, you like to learn the history of the place you are visiting, you’ll love the free walking tour offered by Sandemans New Europe.
Founded in 2004 in Berlin, this company offers free walking tours in 18 cities across Europe, the Middle East and the US.
The tour in Barcelona lasts about 3 hours and is packed with very interesting information about the city and its history. While it is a “free” tour, be prepared to tip your guide at the end. The guides work on a tips-only basis and they receive no other compensation from the company.
Meeting point: every day at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM in Plaça de l’Àngel (at Jaume I Metro Exit).
Another great option for a free walking tour is looking for examples of Catalan Modernism in Barcelona. Modernist buildings are everywhere in the city and are majestic free sights!
03 | Be a kid again in Horta’s Labyrinth Park
Horta’s Labyrinth Park is the oldest park in Barcelona. Since it’s located outside of the tourist radius in the district of Horta, it’s something of an undiscovered treasure. Admissions are free on Sundays and Wednesdays.
Apart from the Labyrinth, in the park, you will find waterfalls, fountains, canals, lakes, French gardens, statues, and pavilions. All in all, this is a perfect place to go with your kids!
As a fun fact, some scenes from the movie Perfume – The Story of a Murderer were filmed here.
04 | Visit a museum
Sunday is the best day to visit free museums in Barcelona. MNAC (Catalonia National Art Museum), MUHBA (Barcelona Museum of History), Music Museum, Museum Frederic Marès, Botanic Garden, Blau Museum and CosmoCaixa offer free entrance on the first Sunday of each month. All of the above (except MNAC), CCCB (Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona) and Barcelona Maritime Museum are also free every Sunday after 3 pm.
05 | Take a refreshing dip in Barceloneta beach
Barcelona city has some great beaches perfect for resting aching feet after so much sightseeing. Barceloneta is the most popular and, although crowded, it has wonderful views and a lovely promenade.
I hope this post inspired you and showed you that visiting Barcelona does not have to be expensive. To help you plan your stay, take a look at Marianna’s post on where to stay in Barcelona or Nadine’s post on the best day trips from Barcelona. So many things to do in this fantastic city!