There are lots of free things to do in Barcelona and whether it’s your first time in the city, your fiftieth or you live where – there’s always something new and exciting to experience. Which, always seems even better when you’ve wrangled it for free.
Although lots of places like Sagrada Familia usually charge an entrance fee, the city doesn’t have to be all about spending. There are still lots of places to visit, all across the city, where you don’t have to break open your piggy bank.
Best of all, the whole city is buzzing with gorgeous architecture, amazing sunsets and a stunning history that every visitor should explore. Barcelona has something for everybody.
Also, don’t forget to check out our complete guide on visiting Barcelona, here.
Take a look at some of the very best free things to do in Barcelona, below.
1.) Watch the Sunset from Sagrat Cor
Now, Barcelona is such a lovely that gets even better at sunset. Head up to Sagrat Cor at twilight to watch the sunset glow over the city.
It really is a gorgeous spot and one of my favourite free things to do in Barcelona.
2.) Visit during La Mercè
La Mercè is possibly one of Barcelona’s most famous festival.
Best of all, it’s totally free to enjoy!
The whole vibe of the city totally changes and it’s one of the coolest things to watch, from near or afar. Hundreds of thousands of people take over the streets, which makes for a really energetic day.
3.) Get lost in the Barri Gòtic
The Barri Gòtic or, Gothic Quarter, is composed of a cats-cradle of interlocking back alleyways whose unexpected twists and turns will lead you to some of the city’s most beautiful architectural gems, palm-fringed courtyards and old wishing wells.
The best thing about the Gothic Quarter is that you’ll find some new haunt to visit or gorgeous spot around every corner.
4.) Visit a Museum on Sunday
The first Sunday of every month is a good time to get up early in Barcelona and head off to a museum – totally for free.
Amongst the many museums that the city has to offer, the Picasso Museum is the most popular as it features thousands of the artists’ works. It’s a must-see for anyone remotely interested in Picasso (or art, for that matter).
Also, handy if the weather takes a turn for the worse, most museums are totally free after 3 pm on Sundays. Then again, you might want to miss these if museums aren’t your thing.
5.) Stroll down La Rambla
Possibly one of the busiest streets in the city, it’s a good spot to stroll and see a little more of the city. It features a colourful display of street artists, flowers, plants, goldfish and food stalls churning out shed loads of juices, crispy churros and creamy ice cream.
La Rambla serves as the city’s main artery and makes a great place to while away a sunny afternoon people watching and taking in the street artists.
6.) Gorge at La Boqueria Market
La Boqueria Market is totally free to visit but I always recommend taking a few coins as you’ll almost certainly want a few tasty treats.
the heaps of stalls have a mouth-watering amount of cured meats, fresh fruits, local spreads and everything in between.
It’s actually a really tasty spot to grab a few pieces for lunch, especially if you’re heading to one of the free parks.
7.) Bask on the beach
Barcelona can get pretty hot in the summer months. So much so that a little beach time becomes a necessity rather than a choice! Head away from the city’s bustling streets to chill on the sand.
Some spots on the city’s coast are; Nova Icaria Beach or Playa de la Barceloneta.
If you’re looking for some extra-special Spanish beaches, head just a little out of the city to the more rural coastline.
Places like, Fornells (about 80 km from the city) are stunning little spots – especially if you’re wanting a few days away from city life.
Just don’t forget to put on plenty of sunblock!
8.) Explore Santa Maria Del Mar Cathedral
Santa Maria del Mar is arguably Barcelona’s most beautiful gothic cathedral and can be visited totally for free.
Located in the Ribera district, it is a stone’s throw away from the Picasso Museum and makes a lovely place to cool off while you admire the architecture.
It really one of the prettiest free things to do in Barcelona. Prepare to be totally dazzled.
9.) Wander around Plaça Reial
Many people regard Gaudi as the spirit of Barcelona and at the Plaça Reial, a beautiful square in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, you can go and see most of his commissioned works. All for free.
Whether or not you’re an architecture buff, you’ll enjoy soaking up the atmosphere for sure. It really is one of the amazing free things to do in Barcelona.
10.) Spot the Magic Montjuic Fountain
The Montjuic Fountain is a big show-off, to put it lightly! It puts on an impressive show of water, music and acrobatics while the water changes into 50 different rainbow shades for us to enjoy.
Possibly, one of the most famous free things to do in Barcelona – especially when it comes to fountains.
The times for the shows are between the 8 pm and 10 pm, depending on the time of the year. Be warned, though, the shows tend to stop for most of January until mid-February.
11.) Explore the Els Encants Vells Flea Market
Everybody knows that flea markets make the best outdoor museums, right?
It doesn’t matter what city I visit, if I spot a flea market, I’m straight there!
Thankfully, the Els Encants Vells Flea Market has something for everybody: from opulent furniture and artwork to kitschy knick-knacks. Though, you might want to take a few coins for a little keepsake.
12.) Lose your way in El Raval
El Raval to Barcelona is what Shoreditch is to London.
To some degree, at least. A previously un-loved neighbourhood, it’s been polished into a proper diamond in the rough. All whilst still retained its former edginess.
Get lost exploring the streets and cutting-edge street art.
13.) Spend a lazy afternoon at Parc de Joan Miro
The most famous of all Miro’s sculptures in the Parc de Joan Miro is “Woman and Bird”, a 22m high abstract of a (yup, you guessed it) a woman and bird.
This park sees little foot traffic and makes a great place to come and admire some of Miro’s most impressive sculptures.
You can then rest under a shady eucalyptus tree while watching some elderly locals enjoy a game of chess and a chat.
14.) Stroll around Ciutadella Park
You can enjoy Barcelona’s balmy climate in the beautiful Ciutadella Park that is dotted with sculptures, fountains and expanses of green space.
There’s even a large lake in the middle where you can rent a rowboat if you wish.
It also features a zoo and the Museum of Natural Science and is home to one of the city’s most beautiful fountains.
15.) Take in the façade of Sagrada Familia
Look, I have to be honest, going inside Sagrada Familia is definitely worth it. Even if it’s not for free but if you’re wanting to keep costs lower then there’s no shame in heading to see the gorgeous building from the outside.
Around 12 times a year, entry to the Sagrada Familia is totally free for mass.
You will still need a ticket but it’s free to enter. Just to be clear, this isn’t a ticket for sightseeing and is solely for religious folk that are wanting to attend – so if that’s you, pop across.
A must-see spot and one of the best free things to do in Barcelona – well, from the outside at least.