Sightseeing in Barcelona on a Budget

Barcelona is currently one of the most visited cities in Europe, just behind London and Paris! 😲

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panoramic view of Barcelona from the botanical garden

And as a tourist here, there are surprisingly many ways to enjoy this beautiful city without breaking the bank. 😩 💸

Here are 5 mostly free ways to sightsee around the city:

1. Visit a museum on a free day 

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fresco mural on the ceiling of the art museum
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the art museum has collections of both traditional and modern pieces

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Romanesque religious painting on a wooden altarpiece at the art museum
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this photo of a Picasso piece was actually taken at the National Art Museum, since no photos are allowed inside the Picasso Museum
  • The MUHBA museum has free admission the first Sunday of the month
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this underground museum gives you a glimpse into the remains of the Roman Empire and how they lived during this period
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the highlight here being their recreated ship, especially this 16th century royal vessel which was used to defeat the Turkish Armada
  • Palau Güell has free admission the first Sunday of each month (the rooftop was closed during my visit due to rain)
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This palace was built for Eusebi Güell, the wealthy tycoon who funded most of Gaudí’s work. TL/ML: a model of the palace, including its colorful rooftop chimneys BL: admission includes a free audio guide R: ceiling of the palace
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It was said that Güell had 8 children and only 2 bedrooms in this house. The first child got her own room and the other 7 had to share! Gaudí’s unorthodox Gothic design was definitely ahead of his time!

2. Check the city’s event calendar for free entertainment 

To find free events, I search WeBarcelonaMeetup, and even Facebook. Those sites led me to discover tons of free events, like this yoga session in the park, and a jazz music festival! 🤸‍♀️ 🎵

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gettin’ our zen on! 😀
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booty shakin’ time at the jazz festival! 😛

3. Take a stroll around the eclectic urban neighborhoods 

Each neighborhood has its own mix of unique art and architecture, something that is best appreciated on foot. 👣 📷

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Casa Milà by Antoni Gaudí in Gracia neighborhood
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Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudí in Gracia neighborhood
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a photo of Casa Batlló that I edited with the Prisma app 💗
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European architecture and stained glass in the Gothic quarter
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Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar in Born
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Basilica of Our Lady of Mercy in the Gothic quarter
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fountain near the Placa del Duc de Medinaceli
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street art in Sant Antoni neighborhood
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street art in Raval neighborhood
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kiss mural in the Gothic quarter
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smiling crayfish sculpture near the waterfront
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abstract face mosaic near the waterfront

If you don’t want to walk alone, I suggest taking a free walking tour of the city! (tips appreciated) 😀

  • Runnerbean Tours has an incredibly comprehensive free walking tour to the sites constructed by Antoni Gaudí
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many of Gaudí’s famous works were privately funded by Eusebi Güell (i.e. Park Güell and Palau Güell)
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it has been said that if you drink from this fountain, you will return to Barcelona one day 😉

Side note: If you want to see photos from my other neighborhood walks, check out this post here. 😀

4. Take in some stellar scenic views 😍

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Montjuïc Castle is actually home to the National Art Museum of Catalunya
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view of Barcelona from Montjuïc
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stairs and hedges cascading down the side of Montjuïc
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the botanical garden is free to enter on Sunday afternoons

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Side note: Bunkers of Caramel also has a nice viewpoint, which you can check out in my older post here.

5. Grab yourself a drink and soak up the European vibes 

Hey, it may not be free, but it’s darn cheap, arguably less than a water, and since Spaniards love to relax and enjoy life, it’s one of the best ways to enjoy the city like a local! 🍷 ☺️

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2-3 Euros for wine at Bodega Vidrios y Cristales
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one of my new favorites, Vermouth with a slice of orange and an olive (the perfect sipper)

Now, this is just a small handful of fun and free things to do in the city, with countless more to discover. The point I’m trying to make is that Barcelona is a beautiful city, and one that can be visited on any budget! 😉 Hope you enjoyed this post!  ¡Hasta luego!  ¡Chao! 👋 🇪🇸

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Barcelona marina at nighttime
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