If visiting on a budget, you must know what to see and do in Barcelona for free. These are must sees whether you visit in spring or winter, and with kids!
While doing my own exploring in Barcelona for a year, I finally learned the map of my favorite places and how to easily get to them! So, see my list below of what to see and do in Barcelona for free including how to get there, in what order, and other tips.
1. What to see and do in Barcelona for free: Cathedral of Barcelona
Closest Metro stop: Jaume I
Pla de la Seu is the plaza in front of the Barcelona Cathedral and is often filled with markets. Although it is not free to enter the cathedral, there is so much to see around it! Behind the cathedral you find the Roman Columns below!
How to get there: Facing the front of the Cathedral of Barcelona, head down the street on its left side. Then, take your first right and you are behind the Cathedral (it is the second photo here). Next, take the first left and walk all the way down until the street ends, and turn left into the temple. The Roman Columns are in the back to the right!
This spot is very cool to see as not too many tourists know about it, so its quite peaceful and quiet in there!
How to get there: Facing the front of the Cathedral of Barcelona, head to your right. Soon to your right you see stairs and a wheelchair ramp and right inside is this fountain! It is very beautiful and typically quiet in there. Also, try to really listen to the sound of the trickling water for a peaceful moment.
4. What to see and do in Barcelona for free: Pont Gòtic
From the fountain or the plaza in front of the Cathedral, head down the street to its right. Keep walking and soon you see this monumental bridge!
Closest metro stop: Sagrada Familia
From each metro stop, you come up immediately under the Sagrada Familia. It is not free to enter, but you can spend plenty of time studying all the details and seeing it from multiple angles. My favorite shot of it is from across the pond in the park!
From the old side of Sagrada Familia, head up Avinguda de Gaudí, a diagonal street that starts at the Sagrada Familia and ends at Sant Pau. Here there are also plenty of nice bars and restaurants along the way to enjoy. Sagrada Familia area is slightly cheaper than the other touristy areas!
Once at Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau, you are almost at the top of Barcelona, so might as well go for a short hike in order to see the best view of Barcelona! From all directions, the bunkers takes a good uphill climb to get there, but taxis can also get you up to a certain point.
How to get there: Facing the front of Sant Pau, head up the road to its left. Then, turn left on Ronda del Guinardó, right at Carrer de Thous, cross through the roundabout, and continue up Carrer de Tenerife. Soon after, you find a flight of stairs leading to a trail. Follow that and certainly the crowd!
Tips: go for the sunset and bring snacks and beer or wine!
8. What to see and do in Barcelona for free: Arc de Triomf
Closest metro: Arc de Triomf
Walk down the middle of the arc and down the walkway between those beautiful palm trees. Then, once you hit the end, walk across the street to Parc Cuitadella!
Walk around, watch salsa dancing in the pavilion on Sundays, get a beer at the outdoor cafe near the fountain. For instance, it’s a great place to relax if you are tired of the hovering buildings of the old town and need sun!
Not too far from the park you can find this beautiful and FREE sight. Therefore, you can enter as long as there are no special events. Inside it is truly beautiful and one of my favorite places in the city. Secondly, it is always quiet and not flooded with tourists.
11. Neighborhood markets
The most famous is La Boqueria only because it is right next to Las Ramblas. But each neighborhood has its own open market. However, my favorite ones are the newly opened Mercat de Sant Antoni, Mercat de la Concepció, and La Boqueria.
Entrance to MACBA is only free the opening night of temporary exhibitions, but there is always a crowd of locals hanging out and socializing or skating. In addition, behind MACBA is the Contemporary Cultural Center of Barcelona (CCCB) which does have free entrance on Sundays after 3pm!
13. Go to the beach!
My favorite beaches are just north of the touristy Barceloneta. They are Platja de la Nova Icària and Platja del Bogatell. Above all, remember to bring a blanket, cash to buy beers from the kind vendors, and a bathing suit! Barcelona is the perfect city for walking around and then diving into the sea to cool off!
Also, check out my full recommendation list on Sethlui.com!
Other free things to see and do not included in the video: