Travelling can be costly. So finding things to do for free at our destinations always makes me happy. I tested some of the free things to do in Barcelona and would like to share them with you.
Barcelona for free – tips for excursions
Keeping eyes and ears open in Barcelona will help the interested traveller to discover a multitude of lovely places to go to that are completely for free. Let me share seven ideas for free excursions in Barcelona, that I personally liked a lot.
1. Parc de la Ciutadella
Right in the centre of the city is this wonderful public park that is completely free. The Parc de la Ciutadella is very inviting on a hot summer day for walks, picnics in the shade or for marvelling at the Font de la Cascada.
2. Magic Fountain
A magic fountain! I heard a lot about the Magic Fountain before we came to Barcelona and I had my doubts if a visit would really be worth it. To start with, we walked past the fountain during daytime and consulted the signs around it to find out when the real spectacle would be going down. The days are different each month and also the times vary, so it is best to gather some info beforehand!
We went to the Magic Fountain on a Friday evening. The metro train was already quite busy and then we were sucked into a maelstrom of people who were headed towards the fountain. We decided not to go too close to the fountain and rather watched from a little further away. From where we were, we weren’t able to hear the music, but we were able to see the colourfully illuminated fountains in their full height.
It was worth it! We liked it a lot.
3. Olympic area and Olympic Stadium
The Olympic venues of 1992 are on the local mountain Montjuïc in Barcelona. The huge, imposing square in front of the Olympic Stadium is well worth a visit. Even the inside of the Olympic Stadium can be visited for free. We followed the traces of Olympic Barcelona in 1992 and discovered even more interesting spots.
What a beach! Barcelona has a truly remarkable sandy beach.
At first, we only came here for a walk along the promenade – a very long walk, because once one moves further away from the city centre, one reaches the beaches were the locals are.
We enjoyed the warm weather in May together with some other visitors and had a lie down in the sand. We weren’t brave enough to go into the only 15 degrees warm water, though. There were only some brave kids in the water and enjoyed the waves.
5. Guided Runner Beans Tours
City tours can be found in every bigger city. We joined a free guided tour through the Gothic district in Barcelona with Runner Beans Tours. The tours are held in English. Guests can sign up beforehand so that the hosts know roughly how many participants to expect and how many guides to send. But also guests joining spontaneously are welcome! We walked through the Gothic district with a group of around 20 people. For about 2.5 hours the guide walked us through Gothic Barcelona and shared many interesting facts and stories about the different stops on the tour. There was plenty of time to take pictures and it was always possible to ask questions.
The meeting point for the tour is at Plaça Reial and from there it zigzags through the city, past many famous locations such as the Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi, Catedral de Barcelona, Plaça Sant Felip Neri and The Roman City.
We liked it a lot, especially since it gave us a really good understanding of the city.
I introduce this tour in the Barcelona for free article because the tour is indeed completely free of charge. In the end, it is up to the participants to give their guide a donation or tip. The guide will certainly be pleased about that, but nobody will comment on not giving anything.
6. Vantage point at the Castell de Montjuïc
The 173 meters high local mountain Montjuïc awaits visitors with the opportunity to enjoy a grandiose view of the city. Almost at the highest point is the Castell. Visiting the Castell is unfortunately not free. But turning left from the entrance to the Castell leads to a path that runs a little lower than the Castell. Admittedly, this is 20 meters below the actual vantage point, but the view of the bay is still enjoyable.
A second wonderful vantage point is near the middle station of the cable cars that go up the mountain. From here, a view of the bay and the city can be enjoyed.
7. View from the top of the Arenas mall
The Arenas mall was created behind the protected façade of an old bullfighting arena. High up from the roof of the complex awaits a formidable view of the city.
To make sure the experience is free, pass the glass elevator (even though ticket prices are cheap) and move inside the arena. This is where visitors find a modern steel construction with escalators all the way up to the roof.
We went up in the evening and had a wonderful view of the illuminated Barcelona.