Getting to know Barcelona
What you can do for free in Barcelona
Barcelona has plenty things to see and do. While not a cheap place to visit, it is well worth it and there are still many places and activities to enjoy here at no cost:
- Gothic Quarter
The centre of the old city of Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter or Barri Gotic stretches from La Rambla street to Via Laietana. The location includes remains of the city’s Roman wall and several medieval landmarks.
- Park Güell
The park was designed by architect Antoni Gaudi and was intended to be a residential area at the beginning of 20th century. The park is one of Gaudi’s most colourful works. The area outside of the monumental zone is free and it includes the highest point in the park with a fantastic view over Barcelona.
- Art Nouveau buildings
Barcelona has a great concentration of Art Nouveau buildings, with influences from Gaudi, Montaner or Cadafalch. Among recommendations are Casa Mila, Casa Lleó Morera, the Casa Amatller and Gaudí’s Casa Batlló.
Free museum entries on first Sunday of the month and every Sunday after 3 pm, a visit to the Olympic park or relaxing at the beach are few other free activities available in Barcelona.
Top spots to visit
- Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia cathedral was designed by the well-known architect Antoni Gaudi. Built in a Gothic style, the cathedral is still undergoing construction works. It is a must see in Barcelona, at least from the outside if not going in. Entrance to the cathedral is available as paid – but due to large number of tourists, it is recommended to book your entry online.
- Las Ramblas
The busiest pedestrian street in Barcelona, with a concentration of souvenir shops and restaurants. It is right on the side of the Gothic Quarters, so stop by for a meal after visiting the old city parts.
- National Museum of Art of Catalunya
In line with the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, the National Museum of Art lists some great artworks from various eras. It offers a quick immersion into Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles.
Hidden spots to visit
- Flamenco Shows
Enjoy an evening with dinner, drinks and vivid Flamenco show at one of top Barcelona’s locations. Check the Tablao Cordobés on Las Ramblas for perfect Flamenco night.
- Barcelona Zoo
The Zoo in Barcelona is well worth some of your time, offering a great range of animals along a nice relaxing walk through this park.
- Picasso Museum
If you didn’t think about Picasso while in Barcelona, you should. The Picasso Museum has an extensive range of paintings from his early works to his final days.
The city of Barcelona offers some great choices when it comes to food. One needs to try out local seafood paella and a can of Cava wine. Sangria is also a popular choice with tourists. Some Catalan cuisine specialties should also be in the menu, from the simple pan con tomate (garlic grilled bread with fresh tomato and olive oil) to the more traditional butifarra con alubias (sausage and beans) or patatas bravas (fried potato with spicy sauce).
In terms of prices, tourists can find food for all budgets. The cheaper option would be fast foods or the local tapas. Otherwise, a good meal can be enjoyed with around 20 euro. Try the Tickets restaurant (Michelin starred restaurant), a “flamboyant affair playing with circus images and theatre lights”, as Lonely Planet critics would put it.
Recommended time for visiting
Barcelona has a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and cool winters. Best times to visit the city are during the spring-summer (April-June) and autumn (September-October), since temperatures are at the most enjoyable throughout the day.
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Travel enthusiast, always looking forward to the next adventure. Flying around the world, enjoying mostly sunny places, learning about new captivating cultures are some the main reasons driving me to travel.