Barcelona is the capital of culture for southern Spain, with Picasso’s gallery a popular attraction and Gaudi’s architecture visible in many of the historic streets. The Catalan city is a must visit, especially in the summer months, but don’t spend a fortune save some money with these free attractions which are dotted around the city. I visited on a budget and found some fantastic experiences which don’t cost a cent.
Mercat De La Boqueria
Entering the market you’ll find a maze of aisles, no two the same. The colourful explosions of fresh fruit, vegetables and smoothies that line the stalls in La Boqueria make it one of the brightest open air markets I’ve ever been to. The vibrant colour combined with the sound of the Catalonians bartering with one and other creates a truly unique atmosphere.
This dedicated museum in the heart of Barcelona is a must for any Picasso fan. The popular Spanish artist is one of the most recognisable figures in 20th century art, his work was categorised into several periods spanning from 1901 till 1919. There is usually a fee to enter the gallery, however every Sunday from 3pm and all day on the first Sunday of every month, entry is free.
The Magic Fountain of Montjuic is my favourite place in Barcelona. During the day it has spectacular views out over the city skyline and foothills of the natural parks in the distance, you’d be wrong if you thought this is as good as it gets. Come back at night and you’ll witness it come to life with lights, music and choreographed fountains. Split over several levels leading up to the Catalonia National Museum you can get front row seat or watch down over the performance. Each display lasts around half an hour, but no two are the same.
Pac De La Ciutadella
Take a break from the busy city streets and relax in the Ciutadella Park. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of this city centre escape with many green open spaces, magnificent statues, sculptures and the Parliament building of Catalonia. There are also other things to do in the park, although these attractions aren’t free but you can choose to experience them if you want to spend more time here. What about trying your hand at rowing on one of the large lakes, or visiting the zoo which is home to around 7,000 animals.
The most popular street in Barcelona, La Rambla is bustling with performers, tapas bars and boutique shops. Sit and enjoy a refreshing drink in one of the small cafes or explore by walking down it taking in the atmosphere and culture. The tree-lined street is home to some hidden gems you usually wouldn’t look for. Historic buildings such as the Palace of the Virreina and the famous Liceu Theatre where you can watch opera and ballet performances are located on La Rambla.