Barcelona, Iberia, Spain

Barcelona for free: 10 best spots to see, no ticket needed

January 15, 2019
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Travelling on a low budget? Don’t get discouraged! Barcelona has many beautiful attractions that you can visit free of charge. If money is holding you back from visiting this wonderful city, get ready for the trip. We have explored and come up with a list of 10 amazing spots to see and to get a taste of Barcelona, no ticket needed.

So get ready for your getaway and let’s see how you can best explore the city:

1. Boqueria Market

This market is located right in the heart of Barcelona and it boasts a colorful selection of (tropical) fruit all year round. It’s a top photography spot! Fresh fruit and juice in all the different colors, freshly-caught fish and oysters, chilly peppers and spices, as well as restaurants that offer a variety of dishes: from local tapas rich in fish and sea-fruit, to vegetarian and vegan dishes (falafel, burritos etc.).

Fresh Fruit all year round at Boqueria Market Barcelona
Fresh Fruit all year round at Boqueria Market

This is also the perfect place to grab a bite to eat and a drink, if you are on a low budget. Here is a list of prices to give you an idea of how expensive food is:

  • Fresh juice 1-1.5 euros
  • Fresh fruit in plastic cup 1.5-2.5 euros
  • Chicken, cheese or spinach pie 3 euros
  • Meat or vegetarian burrito 4 euros
  • Calamari 5 euros
  • Vegan falafel 5 euros

Address: La Rambla, 89, 91, 08002 Barcelona, Spain ; closest metro stop : Liceu (L3).

2. The Gothic quarter

Take a walk through the picturesque Gothic quarter, where you can find hidden gems on the narrow streets of Barcelona. This neighborhood is known for its creative, artsy shops and ateliers, and it’s the home of Barcelona Cathedral.

Vintage market near Barcelona Cathedral, Gothic Quarter
Vintage market near Barcelona Cathedral

More than a shopping trip, this quarter offers you a true taste of Barcelona, its tiny balconies, and street art all around.

Barceloca - Art Gallery in the Gothic Quarter
Barceloca – Art Gallery in the Gothic Quarter

What we particularly enjoyed here was a thrift shop we found: the Flamingos Vintage Kilo, on Carrer de Ferlandina. Check it out if you are into thrift shopping and funky clothing.

Metro stops close by: Liceu (L3), Jaume I (L4) , Drassanes (L3).

3. The Picasso Museum

That’s right! You can visit the Picasso Museum for free!

Free of charge times are every Thursday afternoon, between 6 pm and 9.30 pm; the first Sunday of each month between 9 am and 7 pm; and on Open Doors days : February 12, May 18 and September 24.

Take this into consideration as well when you plan your trip.

Address: Carrer Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona, Spain; closest metro stop: Jaume I (L4).

4. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya / MNAC

This museum can also be visited for free and it is my favorite one! You can visit the museum free of charge every Saturday from 3 pm; the first Sunday of each month, and on May 18 and September 11.

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya / MNAC

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya / MNAC

It houses beautiful medieval and modern art collections, as well as the famous Picasso painting: Woman in Hat and Fur Collar.

Address: Parc de Montjuic, 08038 Barcelona, Spain; closest metro stop: Espanya (L3 & L1).

5. The Magic Fountain of Montjuic

The Magic Fountain is located downhill from the MNAC and it offers a spectacular show of lights, music and water acrobatics. This show is a must-see!

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya / MNAC  and the Magic Fountain of MontJuic

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya / MNAC and the Magic Fountain of MontJuic

You can find below information about the light shows, for the different times of the year 2019:

“The operating hours of the fountain varies depending on the year, with five shows a night every Thursday to Sunday inclusive from May to September, taking place at 9pm, 9:30pm, 10pm, 10:30pm and 11pm. From October to March the fountain operates just on Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm, 7:30pm, 8pm and 8:30pm. Each show lasts 15 minutes.”

Find Out More here.

You should come a few minutes early and get a spot as close to the fountain as possible. The place is usually quite packed in the warm season.

Address: Placa de Carles Buigas, 1, 08038, Barcelona, Spain; closest metro stop: Espanya (L3 & L1).

6. Barcelona’s Beautiful Beaches

Barcelona boasts some beautiful, sandy beaches, where you can relax and enjoy the sun all year round. It’s my favorite free activity to do here, lay in the sun and listen to the waves. Or maybe you want to join beach volleyball?

Barceloneta Beach Barcelona, in January
Barceloneta Beach Barcelona, in January

The most popular beach is Barceloneta, however this one is very touristy and usually quite crowded. Tourists, people selling beverages or offering massages.

If you are looking for something a little bit quieter, then keep walking North along the cost line. Who said you can’t explore Barcelona for free? The sea is calling for you!

Closest metro stop: Barceloneta (L4).

Visiting Barcelona this winter? Is it warm enough for a swim? Check out our Barcelona in winter guide.

7. Arc de Triomf & Parc de la Ciutadella

Barcelona is quite the green city. It has many parks and green spaces, and Parc de la Ciutadella is an amazing one, beaming of joy and life.

Arc de Triomf Barcelona
Arc de Triomf

People get together here to dance, have a picnic and feed the parrots and pigeons. If you enjoy photography, this is an amazing place to capture people enjoying themselves.

Continue walking toward Arc de Triomf to be pleasantly surprised by street performers and artists. You can see in the photos we took here what a warm and fun place this is.

Address: Passeig de Lluís Companys, 08003 Barcelona, Spain; closest metro stop: Arc de Triomf (L1).

8. The Botanical Garden

Jardí Botànic de Barcelona is located quite close to the Montjuïc Castle. The entrance is free on the first Sunday of the month, as well as every other Sunday from 3 pm onward.

You can walk up-hill from Placa Espanya to the Botanical Garden, or take a bus that goes to Montjuic Castle (e.g. Line 150 from Placa Espanya) and get off at the closest bus stop.

The Botanical Garden is a calm, peaceful place, where you can relax and see the city from above.

P.S. If you are in the area, it is worth going up to Montjuïc Castle. Even if you don’t choose to visit the castle, there is an amazing view from up there over Barcelona and the sea.

View form Montjuic Mountain
View form Montjuïc Mountain

Address: Carrer Doctor i Font Quer, s/n, 08038 Barcelona, Spain. Tip: take line 150 from Placa Espanya to get here.

9. Barcelona History Museum – Placa del Rei

Barcelona History Museum can be visited for free every Sunday between 3 pm and 8 pm. On the first Sunday of the month, the entrance is free all day long.

The museum is easily reachable, being located right in the heart of the Gothic Quarter.

Address: Plaça del Rei, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain; closest metro stop: Jaume I (L4).

10. Barcelona from above – Park Güell

You may have heard about Antoni Gaudi, the famous architect whose designs make Barcelona an even more famous attraction. If you haven’t, you must check out our piece on Sagrada Familia to get just an idea of the genius that he is!

That said, he is the one who designed Park Güell. And the good news is, a large part of the park can be visited for free.

Palm trees, performers, awesome photography spots and a great view of Barcelona from above. You can’t miss this! The photos below are taken in the free zone of the park:

However, if you decide to purchase the ticket, here’s what you’re gonna see. Make sure to buy it online, before your visit! It’s cheaper and you avoid queuing for hours.

Address: 08024 Barcelona, Spain; closest metro stop: Vallcarca (L3).

10+. Follow the Gaudi Trail – Amazing Architecture you can see for free!

You must check out these amazing buildings, if you are in Barcelona! Their stunning architecture can be admired for free. Even if you don’t get to see the inside, the exterior is a must-see!

Save money on transportation and walk to all of these attractions. Plan your route beforehand and start exploring Barcelona for free!

Interested to see more of Gaudi’s masterpiece, Sagrada Familia? We have a blog post exploring it in all of its wonder. You will love our photos!

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