Free Things to Do in Barcelona
The first place we reached on the outskirts of Barcelona was the Tibidabo mountain with the famous Tibidabo Amusement Park on top of it. Opened in 1905, it’s one of the oldest theme parks in the world still operating today, but even on a foggy and rainy morning, the best amusement we found there was the panoramic view overlooking Barcelona at 500m above sea level.
The only other free ‘attraction’ here is the enthralling Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor.
After taking in all the views, our second stop was Parc del Laberint d'Horta. Little did we know, ALL of our stuff was being nicked from our car while we were there so the rest of the day was spent in the police station, arranging a new rental car and visiting the local Primark for some essentials. Read how not to let that happen to you (& what to do if it does) here.
We wouldn’t be entirely honest if we said it didn’t taint our experience but putting the bitterness aside, the Labyrinth Park of Horta has a truly extraordinary atmosphere and, feeling enchanted by the place, we spent a good hour wandering around it.
Designed in late 18th century, it’s Barcelona's oldest garden comprising neoclassical and romantic styles. On Wednesdays and Sundays the entrance is free.
As for the rest of the day, we were pretty much drowning our grief at La Barceloneta beach with as much Estrella tins we could shake what was left of our cash at that night. Good place to be no matter what mood you’re in, with lots of locals and tourists hanging around even well after dark, watching the stars, hearing the waves roar and getting your feet wet.
Probably the most famous street cutting through the city centre, Las Ramblas is buzzing with locals and tourists.
Don’t give Mercado de la Boqueria a miss, it’s one of Europe’s biggest markets and has all kinds of veggies, spices, wines and delicacies you might fancy.
An interesting little discovery was Palau Mornau. It houses a Marihuana & Hemp museum, with a modest free exhibition (the museum itself is 7.50 euros) in Barrio Gótico (Gothic Quarter) of the city.
Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is another free treat. The magic comprises of colour, light, music and water fountain acrobatics sequences. It’s a pretty cool thing to witness even though you will most likely have to beat hordes of tourists to get a good spot but it’s worth it. Check the timings here .
Lastly, you can’t visit Barcelona and miss some of Catalonia’s most famous modernist architect's Gaudi’s masterpieces. They all have paid entry, however if you can’t afford to spend 10+ odd euros for each and can only choose one, go for Sagrada de Familia. It’s Barcelona’s most popular tourist attraction so we suggest booking a few weeks in advance as during busier periods tickets might sell out for certain time slots. Basic tickets are 17 euros if booked online.
Other Gaudi’s buildings to admire from outside – just strolling down Passeig de Gràcia, you’ll find Casa Batlló, also known as ‘the house of bones’ due to the shape of its exterior,Casa Milà or La Pedrera and a bit further away, Palau Güell.