Barcelona on a Budget: 5 Tips for Sightseeing without Breaking the Bank

May 11, 2013 No Comments »

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

This post was written by Apartment Barcelona an online rental agency with over 700 apartments in and around Barcelona for short and long-term stays. 

Everyone knows Barcelona is one of the best cities to visit in Europe. With its historic, winding streets, amazing architecture, endless sandy beaches and picturesque mountains, this Mediterranean city certainly has something for everyone. But for those traveling to Barcelona on a budget, the prospect of seeing all the sights without leaving a dent in your wallet can seem a little daunting.
So how do you get the best Barcelona experience without breaking the bank? Well, the first step is to rent a holiday apartment in Barcelona. Not only are apartments in the city (especially in the Barceloneta Beach area) generally cheaper than hotels, but they also give you the chance to save money by preparing meals at home for the days when you don’t want to dine out.
As for seeing the sights, there’s plenty to see and do in Barcelona without spending a fortune – you just have to know where to look!

1. Awesome Architecture

Barcelona, also known as Gaudí’s city, is packed to the brim with astonishing works by this famous Catalan architect. Millions of tourists come to Barcelona every year to catch a glimpse of his breathtaking works, from the unfinished Sagrada Familia to the colourful Casa Batlló. Entering these buildings will cost you a pretty penny, but there are various companies that offer Gaudí and Joan Miró tours at discounted prices. All it takes is a quick online search before you arrive and be sure to book in advance.
If spending your holiday cash on entry fees is not what you had in mind, then opt for the Ruta de Modernisme. Simply watch out for the paving stones marked with a red symbol like this and you’ll go by some of the most famous architectural structures in Barcelona. For the full route and guidebook, check out the Ruta de Modernisme website.

2. Free Entry to Museums

For those looking for a real cultural experience, be sure to visit the many museums in Barcelona, plenty of which offer free entry on selected days of the week. The Catalonia National Museum of Art (MNAC) has free entry on Saturdays from 3pm and the Picasso Museum offers free entry on the first Sunday of the month, while the CCCB (Centre of Contemporary Culture in Barcelona) has free entry on the first Wednesday of the month and is also free of charge to those under 16 years old. Some other notable museums offering free entry include the Palau Robert, Fundació Joan Brossa and the Santa Monica Center.

3. Walking Tours

Be sure to explore the winding alleyways of the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona on one of the many free walking tours in Barcelona. Barcelona Free Tours, for example, offers guided walking tours in many languages, usually lasting for about 2 hours. With no more than 20 people per tour group and an experienced guide, it’s a great way to see the sights without feeling a pinch in your pocket.

4. Barcelona Beaches

Beaches are an easy and cheap getaway from Barcelona

Beaches are an easy and cheap getaway from Barcelona

The beaches of Barcelona are some of the top attractions in this Mediterranean hotspot. Completely free of charge, they are definitely ‘must-sees’ on your visit to Barcelona, especially if you’re visiting from April to October. Whether you are a sun-seeker, sports enthusiast or just want to cool down in the Mediterranean waters, the Barcelona beaches will have something for you. From volleyball nets to “chiringuitos” (typical beach bars on the sand), and some of the best paella in the city, you are sure to find the perfect spot to kick back here. We recommend taking advantage of the summer cocktail promos at Princesa 23 bar on the Barceloneta Beach.

5. Free Tapas & Nightlife



Serving free tapas with an order of beer or a glass of Cava is one of the oldest customs in Spain, and while free tapas in Barcelona are not as common as they are in the south of Spain, there are still a few tapas bars that hold true to this age-old tradition such as Ambiente del Sur at C/ Viladomat, 85 and Bar Mingus at C/ Ataülf, 6.
For those looking to experience the buzzing nightlife of Barcelona, be sure to check out clubs like Shôko and Catwalk , which offer free entry on certain nights simply by signing up to their Facebook pages.
For even more opportunities for those on a budget in Barcelona, take a look at the “Barcelona Card”: a discount card offering reduced prices and entry to various attractions in Barcelona, as well as free unlimited trips on the public transport system.

Finally, when booking your accommodation, be sure to check out Apartment, as this company also offers discounts on many of the top attractions in the city exclusively to clients.


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