Barcelona for free

A quick guide for the foreign visitor to the Catalan capital where the only thing you spend is…energy. Going to the CCCB art centre, walking across the Boqueria Market, or discover Barcelona's Cathedral are some of the suggested activities.

Julia Reinecke

January 31, 2012 10:31 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- So, you think Barcelona is a big city where everything is expensive? Of course there are many great things to do in Barcelona that do cost a lot of money, but there’s also a huge amount to do that doesn’t cost a cent. This information is not usually included in tourism guides so here at CNA we’ve decided to take our visitors on a long weekend in Barcelona on the lowest possible budget...

If you’re lucky enough to start your weekend on a Wednesday evening, you could begin by visiting the Contemporary Art Centre of Barcelona (CCCB) near the Rambles which is free on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re feeling hungry afterwards you could pop into the Boqueria Market on Las Ramblas where the prices for top quality vegetables, fruits and drinks drop by half as early evening approaches. If you plan to go out you could join the Facebook group ‘Barcelona nightlife’ where you can access free tickets to top-end night clubs parties from Wednesday to Sunday, some of which offer free dinner buffets and the odd free drink.

To shake off the effects of the night before, you could start the day slowly by visiting the Güell Park, designed by Antoni Gaudí. There you can take a stroll and where you can check your e-mails given that there is plenty of free WiFi access at the cafes and restaurants. Another option could be to stroll round the Ciutadella Park which offers two WiFi spots. Later on, you can visit the Maritime museum right by the port which is free from 3 p.m. onwards except on holidays. A follow up trip to the Gothic Quarter is a must and could include a trip to the Cathedral which you can always enter for free.

Friday could begin with a free Yoga class from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. This can be found on Sicilia street very close to the Gran Via de les Cortes Catalanes. This place is called Shunia Yoga and focuses on breathing and singing. Not being for away from Glories, the most modern part of the city, you can visit the Encants Nous market that offers anything and everything.  Opening days are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and as always the early bird catches the worm. This could be followed by a walk up to the Sant Pau hospital which includes world heritage quality architecture. What you should unquestionably take in while you are in the area is the Sagrada Familia church. It’s expensive to enter but you can still enjoy the Basilica from the outside. A fun idea is to take pictures from the little pond next to the Sagrada Familia when it is dark as you can capture the illuminated Basílica from 9 to 11 p.m.

On Saturdays you should visit the vintage market in Raval behind the Boqueria Market and from there you could visit the Plaça Espanya where you can visit a unique shopping mall made from a converted bull fight arena. You can go on the roof by taking the elevator or by taking the escalators from inside the mall. Once inside take the escalators all the way to the top where you find yourself looking over the city of Barcelona. Afterwards you can visit the Magic Fountains in the square at Montjuic from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday to Sunday from the 1st October to the 30th April. During the summer the fountain operates from 30th April to 30th September from 9pm to 11:30 p.m. and you can enjoy a music and light show every half hour.

On the last day of your stay you should make sure to visit the Picasso museum which is free on the first Sunday of the month, as well as every Sunday from 3 p.m. onwards. You can find it in Carrer Montcada, close to the Carrer de la Princesa in the Born Quarter. Another free entrance on first Sundays of the month that is worth a visit is the National Art Museum of Catalonia. From there you could go inside the Olympic stadium and the Castle overlooking the Port.

Given that all is for free you could mix schedules and carry out your low cost visit to Barcelona however you like. Your legs will soon tell you that the only thing the trip really cost was energy!