By Ross Sanderson •
Published: 13 Sep 2023 • 19:30
Morning view of Barcelona from Parc Guell. Image: Pajor Pawel / Shutterstock.com.
During 2022, almost 10 million tourists visited Barcelona, which was an increase of 107% from 2021. Spain’s second-largest city has numerous activities and experiences for someone visiting to enjoy but a lot of them can be quite expensive. With that in mind, therefore, here are a few things you can do in Barcelona to fill your day, completely free of charge.
In the heart of the city lies an area known around the world as the Gothic Quarter, or “Barri Gotic.” The Gothic Quarter is the oldest part of the city and is filled with history, tradition and ancient Spanish culture. To take a guided walking tour around the district, which stretches from the seafront to La Rambla, is completely free. On your walk, you can expect to see some amazing architecture, including the remains of a Roman temple, the church of Santa Maria and a number of stunning cathedrals.
After touring the Gothic Quarter and getting your cultural interests stirred, you might want to visit the museum dedicated to one of the greatest painters in history. Pablo Picasso spent much of his life in Barcelona and his influence can be seen throughout the city. The museum is free to enter on Thursdays after 6 p.m. and on the first Sunday of every month. Other institutions that follow this trend include the Botanic Gardens of Barcelona and The Museum of Catalonia.
For a traditional Catalonian experience, why not visit the plaza in front of the Basilica de Mallorca, near Puerto de Palma, and watch the beautiful demonstrations of the sardanes dance. The dance has been popular in the region since the early 19th century and is traditionally performed by a large group of men and women joining in a circle to follow a series of musical steps. The choreography and flashes of vibrant colours make for a uniquely enriching spectacle.
Once you have watched the sun go down on Barcelona’s stunning skyline in Parc Guell, there is no better way to round off your day of free fun with a magic fountain show. The fountain, which was built in 1929, displays a show of light, music and water acrobatics. The show has been going on for almost 100 years now and attracts over 2.5 million tourists a year. Additionally, if you are visiting this month (September) during the La Merce Festival, you will get to see the show in all its glory, with added fireworks and flair.
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Based in Edinburgh, Ross is an NCTJ-qualified journalist. Having previously lived in Madrid, he specialises in Spanish Culture, Sport and Cuisine.
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