Tourist Information Guide

Barcelona On A Budget

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Barcelona is a place to be when money's tight or you've blown your entire holiday budget on paella and designer shoes. Firstly, the weather is generally good all year around. When the sun is shining it is easy to control your spending; a trip to the shops can be traded for a trip to the beach; an expensive dinner is less alluring than a picnic in the park. On this page we'll give you some insider tips on how to enjoy many Barcelona activities for free or at a bargain price.

Barcelona is a city that prides itself on making the most of its outdoor spaces. Many streets and squares such as the Ramblas and Rambla del Born, are dotted with benches; allowing people to while away the hours chatting, reading a book or people watching. And parks are plentiful in a city that is relatively small in size - they can be found in Montjuïc, Arc de Triomf and along the beach.

Many of Barcelona's most popular attractions can be seen without a single euro changing hands. Gaudí's famous Park Güell is free to enter. This is a magical and rambling space near the top of Barcelona. The famous Spanish architect filled a garden space with random mosaic statues, cavernous caves and terrace spaces to take in views of the city. It is a not-to-be-missed way to spend a sunny afternoon, skint or not.

The Sagrada Familia is one of Barcelona's most famous landmarks -a work in progress and another work of wonder by the prolific Gaudí. Unfortunately it is necessary to pay to enter the Sagrada Familia. However, many would argue that the church's charm is best viewed from the exterior, half of which was created by Gaudí and half of which has been built in his honour following his premature death. At present, whilst under construction, the building is virtually a shell. It will be over many years (current estimates around 30 years) before this distinctive building is complete.

The ideas mentioned so far are some of the more obvious ones. So we at Barcelona Tourist Guide want to share some of our insider Barcelona knowledge. We are well versed in sniffing out Barcelona's bargains like a pig in search of truffles. Here are some of our discoveries.


Things You Can Do For Free in Barcelona

Museums

Barcelona has a tradition of ensuring that its cultural offerings are available to everybody. It is in this spirit that most of the major museums have a day each month when admission is free - Open Day. This is most commonly on the first Sunday of each month, however, dates for Open Days can vary. We have chosen some of our favourite museums to list. If you are considering going to any other Barcelona museums it may be worth contacting them before you go to see whether they have an Open Day.

Museu Picasso
Free on the first Sunday of every month

Picasso Museum
Montcada, 15-23
08003 Barcelona, España.

Tel: +34 93 256 3000


How to get to Picasso Museum

metroMetro: Jaume l (Yellow Line, L4)

Hop on hop off sightseeing tourist bus stop

Nearest stop for Picasso Museum is "Catedral - Gòtic" with the Barcelona City Tour "hop on hop off" sightseeing bus


Public bus

Via Laietana / Jutjas: 120, 45, V15, V17
Pla de Palau: H14


Car parking

Car Park Car parking near Picasso Museum


Opening hours:

Month Day Time
January - December Monday 10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday - Wednesday 09:00 - 20:30
Thursday 09:00 - 21:30
Friday - Sunday 09:00 - 20:30

Set deep in the heart of the area of El Born, this is one of the world's best Picasso museums. It sets out his work in a chronological order, allowing museum visitors to follow the logical progression of his work. This is a popular museum and queues begin early on its open day, so try to get there before 10:00 to ensure that you don't miss out.

CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporánia de Barcelona)
Free on the first Wednesday of every month

CCCB
Montalegre, 5
08001 Barcelona, España.


How to get to Centre of Contemporary Culture (CCCB)

metroMetro: Catalunya (Green Line, L3) and (Red Line, L1) and Universitat (Red Line, L1) and (Purple Line, L2)


Hop on hop off sightseeing tourist bus stop

Nearest stop for CCCB is "Plaça de Catalunya" with the Barcelona City Tour "hop on hop off" sightseeing bus


Public bus

Montalegre / Valdonzella: 120
Ronda Sant Antoni / Plaça Goya: 24, 41, 55, 91, H16
Plaça Catalunya: 41, 42, 55, 59, 62, 66, 67, 68, V13, V15, Aerobús


Car parking

Car Park Car parking near CCCB


Official web site: CCCB

This Museum of Contemporary Culture holds exhibitions on an array of topics, from the World Press Photography Award winners to modern cities. It is housed within an interesting modern glass building in the centre of Raval. It also holds many film screenings, debates and lectures, which are often free.

Museu de la Xocolata (Chocolate Museum)
Free on the first Monday of every month

Museu de la Xocolata
Carrer Comerç, 36
08003 Barcelona, España.


How to get to Museu de la Xocolata

Metro Metro: Arc de Triomf (Red Line, L1)


Hop on hop off sightseeing tourist bus stop

Nearest stop for Museu de la Xocolata is "El Born - Ciutadella - Zoo" with the Barcelona City Tour "hop on hop off" sightseeing bus


Car parking

Car Park Car parking near Museu de La Xocolata


For the chocolate lover in all of us. Here is your chance to see everything from the Sagrada Familia to Disney characters made entirely out of chocolate. If you're short of cash, though, it may be advisable to steer clear of the temptations of the chocolate shop.


Galleries

Aside from the Open Days it is also worth keeping an eye on local press for exhibition openings at local galleries. Not only will you be given the opportunity to mix with the cool and cultured of Barcelona whilst making insightful musings into various sculptures or paintings, you'll also be able to drink for free. Gallery openings almost invariably offer free beer and/or wine and sometimes even snacks. Some of the smaller galleries in Bohemian areas such as Raval and Born have openings on a regular basis; they often take place on Thursday or Friday evenings.

Iguapop
Carrer Comerç, 15
08003 Barcelona, España.

metro Metro: Arc de Triomf (Red Line, L1)


Concerts

There are certain times of year when visitors are guaranteed to be spoilt for choice for music options in the city. In September Barcelona celebrates the week-long La Mercè festival. For more information please see our Guide to La Mercè. During the fiesta various free concerts are available to all on a first come first served basis. They take place throughout the city, in everywhere from the major plazas to clubs and bars. Previous acts have included Seun Kuti and Primal Scream.

During the summer months the Parc de la Ciutadella also plays host to a programme of free jazz concerts. The park has a tradition of music, with bongo players and flamenco dancers all convening in the public space to practice and jam. The jazz concerts usually take place on Wednesday and Friday evenings from 22:00. Check the Barcelona Council's website nearer the time for more information.

Parc de la Ciutadella
Passeig de Picasso, 21
08003 Barcelona, España.


How to get to Parc de la Ciutadella

MetroMetro: Jaume I (Yellow Line, L4)


Hop on hop off sightseeing tourist bus stop

Nearest stop for Parc de la Ciutadella is "El Born - Ciutadella - Zoo" with the Barcelona City Tour "hop on hop off" sightseeing bus


Public bus

Passeig Pujades / Parc de la Ciutadella: 40, 42, H14, H16
Parc de la Ciutadella / Princesa: 39, 51, H14


Car parking

Car Park Car parking near Parc de la Ciutadella


Opening hours:

Month Day Time
January - March Monday - Sunday 10:00 - 22:30
April - October Monday - Sunday 10:00 - 22:30
November - December Monday - Sunday 10:00 - 22:30

Sport

With only a ping-pong bat or a boules set to your name you can play sport for free in the city. Throughout Barcelona ping-pong tables can be found and are free to use. They are generally situated together in groups of about four tables so you will never have to wait long for a table to become available. Tables can be found in places such as the Parc de la Ciutadella, the square in Barceloneta and Calle Carme in Raval.

It is also possible to partake in a game of boules at one of the city's many boules courts. Courts can be found on Calle Paral.lel, Barceloneta beach and around the edge of Parc de la Ciutadella (where late night boules is made possible by the nearby street lights).


Low-Cost Activities

Food

Barcelona's popularity as a tourist destination means that it is often difficult to find quality food at affordable prices in the city. A local favourite is Pollo Rico in Raval. This is both a restaurant and a take away and it serves plates of food that are guaranteed to satisfy the appetite of a hungry traveller. Its speciality is spit-roast chicken, but other meats are also available served with rice and salad. It is possible to eat either at the bar or in the small upstairs room. Visitors come for the atmosphere and the local characters as much as for the food. A plate of meat and rice will cost less than €5.00.

Pollo Rico
Carrer Sant Pau, 31
08001 Barcelona, España.

Cava is one of Catalunya's most omnipresent and enjoyable offerings. Unlike Champagne, this drink is certainly not synonymous with high prices. And nowhere is this more evident than at the Xampañeria in Barceloneta. This dark and smokey bar is tucked away down a small side street but it is a hive of activity. Do not be afraid to find your inner-Spaniard to fight the crowds for a place at the bar. Whole bottles of pink cava can be purchased for €3.00 and are accompanied by an obligatory and delicious sausage sandwich.

La Xampanyeria
Carrer de Cal Gerrer, 8 Local 4
08191 Barcelona, España.

metro Metro: Barceloneta (Yellow Line, L4)


Boqueria Market

For those who have ruled out dining-out, a trip to the Boqueria food market on the Ramblas is a perfect solution. It will allow you to kill two birds with one stone - taking in one of Barcelona's top tourist attraction whilst purchasing a picnic lunch. This is one of Europe's largest and most famous food markets and is the home of many of the world's most weird and wonderful consumables.

As a popular tourist attraction, only the most savvy will succeed in getting the lowest prices for the highest quality. The top tip is to head to the back of the market. Many people are tempted to mill around the front areas, where displays of bright and tropical fruits lure drooling tourists. Stalls towards the back of the market are popular amongst locals and offer fair prices. Also remember that the products on display are not necessarily what you will find in your shopping bag. Always ensure that you check the product that you have been given before leaving the stall and do not be afraid to question the standard if you are not satisfied. The stallholder will respect your common sense.

La Boqueria Market
Rambla, 91
08001 Barcelona, España.

Tel: +34 93 318 2584


How to get to La Boqueria Market

MetroMetro: Liceu (Green Line, L3)


Hop on hop off sightseeing tourist bus stop

Nearest stop for La Boqueria Market is "Catedral - Gòtic" with the Barcelona City Tour "hop on hop off" sightseeing bus


Public bus

La Rambla / La Boqueria: 59, 91, V13


Car parking

Car Park Car parking near La Boqueria Market


Opening hours:
Monday - Saturday: 08:00 - 20:30


Cinema

For the tired traveller who wants nothing more than to kick back in front of a film, Monday night is movie night. Many of Barcelona's cinemas offer two-for-one deals on a Monday night. Be careful to avoid dubbed films and head for the original language cinemas. The Icària near Port Vell offers an impressive array of films, all screened in their original language. It is also conveniently situated next to a supermarket - a perfect pit-stop for an affordable alternative to the cinema's overpriced snacks.

Yelmo Icària
Carrer Salvador Espiriu, 61
El Centre de la Vila
Port Olimpic
08005 Barcelona, España.

metroMetro: Ciutadella Vila Olímpica (Yellow Line, L4)

Car Park Car parking near Yelmo Cines Icària close to Port Olimpic

Website: Yelmo Cines Icària


Low Cost Accommodation

If you are on a budget then consider a hostal rather than a hotel. A hostal is not a youth hostel, it's more like a small privately-owned hotel and you typically could save around 30% for your accommodation in comparison to a hotel with similar facilities. To find out more read our article on The difference between a hostal , hotel and a pension.

If you are visiting Barcelona as a group or family then apartment rentals tend to work out cheaper than hotels. It may not be something you've considered however you can read more on the following page: Barcelona Apartment Rentals

It's clear that Barcelona is a good place to be when money's tight. When the piggy bank's empty all it takes is a little imagination and Barcelona is your affordable oyster.


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