Enjoy these authentic travel experience in Barcelona without breaking the bank.
1. Play beach volleyball at Nova Icaria.
We’ve got close to a dozen beaches, stretching all the way from the W Hotel to Forum. Definitely check out Nova Icaria. This beach has a volleyball area where both locals and visitors play day and night. If you tire of the game, go to the irrigation for a cold glass of tint de vernal.
Photograph La Cathedral.
La Cathedral is a formidable gothic structure. Entry is free. Go in to experience the intricate mix of light and shade coming from the windows. Carrera del Bisbee, at the side of La Cathedral, is easily the most photographed street in town. The hour before sunset has the best light for photographs.
3. Dive into Picasso’s art.
The museum has a free entry every Sunday after 3 PM. Get there around 2:30 PM at the latest to beat the line. After your visit, you can wander up the street for delicious pintxos and a glass of champagne.
4. See Barcelona’s most famous buildings with a guide.
Barcelona offers many free walking tours with English-speaking guides. The tours meet in the center and take you around all the important spots. Most of them will make a brief stop at a bar, as travelers need to refuel, i.e., have a cold beer.
5. Watch the sunset from the bunkers.
The bunkers are located in the Horta / Guinardo neighborhood. They give you a 360-degree view of the city. You can walk or take the metro there. Take the green line metro from Liceu to Vallcarca and then the V17 bus. Come here in the morning, as it tends to be quieter. This is an excellent alternative to Parc Guell and is absolutely free.
6. Challenge your friends to a ping pong tournament.
There are a number of parks with free tables. Come to Parc de la Ciutadella. Once you’re done playing, go up to the statue in the center of the park, where you can relax by the fountains.
7. Go treasure hunting at Els Encants Vells flea market.
Barcelona loves its flea markets, which pop up every weekend in most neighborhoods. This is one of the quirkiest, most extensive ones, with weird junk but also great antique jewelry and scarves. Bring cash. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday between 9 AM and 8 PM.
8. Sing and dance at a botellón.
Friends and strangers gather well past midnight at a square and share drinks while singing and dancing. Although these parties aren’t as prevalent in Barcelona as they are in other Spanish cities, Plaça de la Mercè is the ultimate weekend botellón spot.
Every Friday and Saturday, there’s a big group of mostly locals playing guitar and passing around beers. You don’t have to bring any yourself, but if you do, you’ll be immediately accepted as one of our own.
9. Have a picnic at Montjuïc.
Take the cable car or better yet, walk up this beautiful hill. Come in spring or summer and you’ll see flowers blooming in pink, purple, yellow and green for designated picnic tables. There is a small mirador area where you can look out to the port and take photos. Montjuïc is very pet-friendly, so bring the pups along. If you come here on the first Sunday of the month, you can also get into the castle for free.
10. Enjoy the magic fountain show at Plaça d’Espanya.
Barcelona invites you to a magic fountain show on July and August nights at the fountain in front of the National Art Museum, with red, blue and green illumination and music from 9:30 to 10:30 PM. It looks like something straight out of a Disney fairytale and is entertaining for kids. While you’re at this square, walk over to Las Arenas. The mall’s roof offers a fantastic view of the city’s twinkling lights. Climb the stairs for free.