15 Free Things to Do in Barcelona – Culture, Food and Music

February 26, 2020

Barcelona, a wildly bizarre city that’s rich in history, filled with topsy turvy architecture and romantic streetside restaurants. The sea-side city attracts visitors from around the world, all who come to explore the Barcelonian treasures and discover the eclectic culture.

Barcelona has been one of the most visited cities in the world. With all the free and unique things you can get up to. It just shows that you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy the bustling neighbourhood.

Indulge yourself in knowledge, learning about the famous architect, Antoni Gaudi, dip in the Mediterranean sea or wander along La Rambla shopping street. All without spending a cent. And who doesn’t love free stuff? From historical monuments to cultural dancing shows, we’ve listed the absolute top places to visit in Barcelona for free.

Things to do in Barcelona for free

There’s a pretty high chance that a large part of your budget will go towards sipping on Spanish beer, eating mouth-watering paella and drinking the local sangria. So it doesn’t hurt saving a buck by visiting these incredible places, that can all be visited for free.

1.   Join a free walking tour of the city

It’s one of the best things you can do when you’re new to a city. On your first few days of travelling, get to know the streets, culture and hear interesting facts and city secrets, all told by the local guides.

Decide if you’re keen to do a tour of the popular city spots, or opt for a tour of the architecture. You can even take an uncensored tour through the hidden gems of Barca.

Tip: Although it’s a free tour, tipping in Spain is appreciated. And tipping your guide is only fair!

2.   Venture to museums for free

It’s a city known for its wide array of famous museums, so they’ve appealed to the people’s needs and designated time slots where the museums are free to visit.

  • Museum of Barcelona history: Free entrance on Sundays from 3 pm – 8 pm
  • Caixa Museum: Always free
  • Barcelona Chocolate Museum: First Sunday of every month is free entrance after 3 pm
  • Maritime Museum of Barcelona: Free entrance on Sundas from 3 pm – 8 pm
  • National Art Museum: Free entrance on Sundays from 3 pm

3.   Wander around the food markets

Barcelona is famous for its seafood tapas and red wine sangria. But it’s also home to some of the best food markets in Spain. Food is an integral part of the Spanish culture, and you’ll find fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and fish throughout the city’s markets.

The markets are free to roam around, and you don’t need to spend any money to enjoy the variety of food. Simply smell the fresh spices, try out some tasters and witness how the local foods are all prepared. A guide to Spanish food comes in handy for visits to the markets.

4.   Soak up the sun at one of the many beaches

It’s no secret that Barcelona has some incredible beaches. And besides your transport cost (or even better, a cycle), a trip to the beach won’t end up costing you anything.

From beaches perfect for those who simply want to relax, to shores fitted with incredible beach bars, here’s a list of some of the favourite Barcelonaian beaches.

  • Barceloneta Beach
  • Nova Icaria Beach
  • Ocata Beach
  • Sant Sebastia
  • Mar Bella Beach

5.   Picnic at Parc de la Ciutadella

Although Barcelona’s city life is fantastic, an escape to this Spanish park during the hot summer days can be refreshing.

Consider visiting Mercado de La Boqueria and picking up some fresh fruits and cold meats for your picnic in the park. You can spend the entire day here, walking around the lush gardens and exploring the buildings around the Ciutadella fountain.

6.   Free park concerts in the summer

Each summer Musica als Parcs (music in the park) takes place in the parks throughout Barcelona. You can enjoy sitting in the parks with a packed picnic and wine while you listen to classical jazz and Spanish folk music with friends and family.

Follow their Facebook page to stay up to date with their performances and follow their journey.

7.   Free movie nights with Cinema Lliure

A free movie on one of Barcelona’s beaches, could it get any better? Cinema Lliure hosts completely free movies that are open to the public. You just need to get there early in order to secure a spot. Pack some snacks and sit under the stars, enjoying a fresh ocean breeze.

What to see in Barcelona for free

Whether you’ve made a bucket-list or conjured up some must-sees in your head, every traveller has some places that are at the top of their travelling list. And if you’re in Barcelona, these are some of the things you have to see.

8.   Marvel at La Sagrada Familia

The entrance inside the actual building will come at a fee, but La Sagrada Familia is awe-inspiring even from the outside.

More than 135 years old, this one of a kind temple was constructed by the famous architect Gaudi. It’s now become one of the top sights in Barcelona to visit.

9.   Check out the street art

Barcelona is home to some of the world’s most famous artists, like Picasso and Dali. But today. But it’s not only the famous artists that visitors come and see in the city. Walk along the quaint cobblestone streets and you’ll find street art in odd nooks and crannies.

The gothic quarter is one of the most historic neighbourhoods, and it’s also the place where street art really took off. Street art pops up on walls, doorways and urban surfaces continuously.

10.   The Park Guell park

In order to visit the houses in Park Guell, you have to purchase a ticket. But the surrounding gardens are just as beautiful with a few of the famous houses poking out of the greenery. Take a leisurely stroll in the park that overlooks part of the Barcelona CityScape.

During winter, on the first Sunday of the month, there will be a limited number of free entrance tickets available. And in summer, Sundays from 5 pm – 8 pm it is free.

11.   Sardana dancing at Barcelona Cathedral

The Catalan culture is a big part of what makes Barcelona, Barcelona. The Sardana dancing is a symbol of the Catalan unity and the pride that they have for their hometown. Read up about the Spanish Folklore and all their myths and ancient legends for a deeper understanding of the Barcelonaian culture.

The dancers join hands and move together in circles to the beat of the Spanish orchestra. Slowly the circle becomes bigger and bigger as more people join in the celebration.

On Saturday evening watch the dancers outside the Barcelona Cathedral, or check them out on Sunday evenings at Plaza Jaume.

12.   Walk along La Rambla Street

A street that’s situated in the centre of the city, La Rambla is the perfect starting point for exploring the rest of Barca. A charming blend of both the local and tourist culture, it’s dotted with street cafes, shopping stores, quirky art, and street performers.

Walking along the street gives you a real feel of what the city is about, with Catalonia flags hanging proudly from the balconies, and sweet and delicate gypsy-jazz music drifting through the narrow streets.

What to do in Barcelona at night for free

When the evening starts creeping in, the city streets come alive with street performers, live music and frolicking people. You can take in a completely different sense of the city by exploring all the things to do in Barcelona at night.

13.   Explore Barcelona’s vibrant music scene

With a city this eccentric, you can only imagine what the nightlife will be like. Although nightclubs are usually the place tourists head to, the local music scene is also raved about.

There are many places to catch a music gig, and bars will often allow free entrance. Whether it’s trendy indie, rock ‘n roll or smooth jazz that you’re into, Barcelona is a cultural hub for music lovers.

14.   Visit the Picasso museum for free on Thursday nights

Housing the largest collection of Picasso’s works, the museum is one of the top tourist attractions in town. Follow the artist’s journey as you get a chance to see his first artworks and hear the stories of how his work progressed.

Tickets for the first Sunday of every month are free, too!

15.   The BruumRuum Night LED Light Show

500 LED lights have the power to translate noise and your own voice intensity into light waves. The idea of the installation was to create a dialogue between the local citizens and public places. Shapes and colours bounce off the grounds as it highlights the bustling cities sound movements.

To sum up, places to visit in Barcelona for free

Visit Barcelona without having to pay over the top tourist fees. Take your pick from outdoor parks, traditional concerts, and Spanish markets. Spend your days soaking up the sun, being entertained by street performers and admiring all the quirks that Barcelona holds.

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