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Fun free things to do in Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the most beautiful European metropoles you need to visit. Gaudi style architecture is unparalleled, segments of history you find on every step, and proximity of both the sea and the mountains is precious.

But, our lovely Barcelona is also known to be pricey when it comes to accommodation and sightseeing activities. You must be looking for fun, free things to do in Barcelona.

We got you covered. It has been so much fun researching the unique ways to experience Barcelona for FREE.  Yes, you heard that right.  FREE.  

Take copious notes, print the page, or jot a few of your favorites down.  We tried to think of as many opportunities to take advantage of what Barcelona has to offer in a way that is easy on the wallet.  Sometimes the most enjoyable experiences do not cost a thing. 

Free visit museums in Barcelona

Since we love museums, we will start with Free Sundays. This means every Sunday in general, free visit in Barcelona museums.

  1. Botanical Gardens of Barcelona
  2. City History Museum
  3. Frederic Mares Museum
  4. Music Museum
  5. Natural History Museum
  6. El Born Cultural and Memorial Centre (El Born CCM)
  7. Maritime Museum
  8. CCCB – Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona
  9. HUB – Design Museum
  10. Ethnological and Cultures of the World Museum

Additionally, there are some museums which are only FREE, on the FIRST SUNDAY of the month.  Some examples are: 

  1. Picasso Museum
  2. Palau Guell (by Gaudi)
  3. Monastery of Santa Maria de Pedralbes
  4. Pavilion Mies Van Der Rohe
  5. National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC)
  6. Catalonia History Museum

And still more, but this selection does not adhere to any specific schedule.  Check the links for FREE days, if these options are of special interest

  1. Santa Monica Arts Center
  2. Photography Archive
  3. La Virreina Palace
  4. MACBA – Contemporary Art Museum

Free walking tours in Barcelona

Not really a museum type? You are more into walking tours and sightseeing. Barcelona has a lot for you too.

There are some local companies and individuals offering free walking tours in downtown Barcelona. Our recommendation goes for Runner Bean and their two free daily tours.

Both tours start at Plaça Reial at 11 am and 4.30 pm (in summer) and 11 am (in winter) and last for approximately 2.5 hours. The number of participants is limited so reservation is a good idea. Or at least you should arrive 20 minutes early to secure a space on the tour of your choice.

How about a Picnic in Barcelona?

Just like other big cities, Barcelona has an ideal picnic area. If you are more into greenery than beach scenery – opt for Ciutadella Park. Especially on weekends, it fills up with people, families, joggers, especially on sunny days. Occasionally, the park serves as the perfect festival venue, when it is decorated and equipped with food trucks and activities galore.

There are a few interesting attractions to explore including the remains of both the fortress and the Universal Exhibition. Don’t miss out on the Monumental waterfall with Venus at birth, scary griffin, and golden chariots. There is also an outdoor cafe – a perfect place for refreshment.

Nearby you can visit the Castle of the 3 Dragons. It was built for the World Fair’s restaurant, and it was home to the Natural History Museum, which was moved a few years ago.

The Umbracle is an interesting iron structure within the park. It is open from 10 am to 3 pm on weekdays. 

Visit Gothic churches in Barcelona

There are four impressive Gothic basilicas in Barcelona. If you want to feel the religious spirit of the town – a must-visit. Each one is special in their own way, so we suggest visiting all if you have time. Recently, they set an entrance fee (called donation), but there are certain times when you can visit them for free. Here is a list with free visit slots for each.

Cathedral of Saint Eulalia & the Holy Cross

FREE OPENING TIMES: Monday to Saturday: 8.30 am to 12.30 pm / Sundays: 8.30 am to 1:45 pm. Other times: €7

Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar

FREE OPENING TIMES: Monday to Saturday: 9 am to 1 pm & 5 pm to 8:30 pm / Sundays: 10 am to 2 pm & 5 pm to 8 pm. Other times: €5

Basilica of Santa Maria del Pi

FREE OPENING TIMES: Monday to Sunday: 9.30 am to 10 am & 6 pm to 8.30 pm. Other times: €4

Basilica of Sant Just I Pastor

FREE OPENING TIMES: Monday to Saturday: 11 am to 2 pm & 5 pm to 8 pm / Sundays: 10 am to 1 pm. Other times: closed

Local Food market in Barcelona

Are you one of those foodies, who get to know new destinations through their food and cuisine? If yes, do not miss out local food market. Sant Andreu, Poble Nou, or Gràcia, and many other neighborhoods have their own local food markets, where locals do their daily shopping of fresh groceries. 

We share a useful piece of local advice with you. Markets aren’t open on Sundays and Saturday afternoons. Fish stands are closed on Monday, so skip that day too.

If you are staying in an apartment, it is an ideal opportunity to buy fresh ingredients and try out some local cuisine recipes. Even if you stay at the hotel, buy some food (ham or cheese) to bring with you as a souvenir. This way you will support a local family and experience a true taste of local food.

Magic Fountain show

Don’t miss out. This outdoor light and music show at night is just marvelous. It has been there for almost a century now since it was built for the International Exhibition in 1929.

These are the times when the Magic Fountain will operate:

  • March 1st to March 31st: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (8 pm to 9 pm)
  • April 1st to May 31st: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (9 pm to 10 pm)
  • June 1st to September 30th: Wednesday to Sunday (9.30 pm to 10.30 pm) 
  • October 1st to October 31st: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (9 pm to 10 pm)
  • November 1st to January 6th: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (8 pm to 9 pm)

January and February are reserved for regular maintenance.

Visit hilltop viewpoints in Barcelona

Finding a place to enjoy the view is never a problem, with Collserola Hill. But there are some other viewing points worth visiting.

For example, we suggest visiting Montjüic Castle

One of the iconic spots of Barcelona is a great place to take a look at the city and the port. It offers fantastic views of the whole area and a pleasant walk around the perimeter of the castle. After a walk around Montjüic Castle, check out Mirador del Migdia, a viewpoint on the other side. The perfect ending of the evening would be a drink in the La Caseta urban cafe. If you are visiting in the summer, you will probably get a chance to enjoy even a free concert in the garden.

Aren’t you excited to visit Barcelona? You will fall in love, we guarantee.

If you need any assistance with booking accommodation or travel arrangements, let us know via mail.