Free things to do in Barcelona, Spain

I am a big fan of free things (free as in freedom). Not just in terms of the free software but also in other things in life for example freedom to choose your religious belief over unproven scientific theories. I like travelling and I like going for guided tours. When it comes to free guided tours then nothing beats Sandeman’s New Europe free walking tour. I have done three of them in Prague, Edinburgh and Barcelona. These tours are guided by volunteers who are marketed by Sandeman and do not charge anything upfront but are happy to accept a tip after the tour ends. This is what motivates them to do better and better. All the guides I have met so far in those tours were amazing people with very interesting backgrounds. The first one was a trained psychologist, the second was a graphics designer and the third a school teacher who becomes a tour guide during school holidays.  So if you are going to Barcelona and whether you are on a tight budget or have plenty to spend do take the Sandeman’s free walking tour. It’s just amazing and will give you a gist of many exciting places and stories behind Barcelona and Catalan. When I was in Barcelona on the 6th of September, 2014 the tour started at the Jaume I Metro Exit at the square Plaça de l’Àngel in front of Hotel Suizo. It was a three-hour walking tour which covered the following places.

  •     Barcelona Cathedral
  •     The Gothic Quarter
  •     King Martin’s Watchtower
  •     The Generalitat
  •     The Council of One Hundred
  •     El Born District
  •     Santa María del Mar
  •     Roman Necropolis
  •     Catalan National Identity
  •     The Olympic Legacy
  •     Port Vell Historic Harbor
  •     Santa María del Pi
  •     Fossar de les Moreres
  •     Catalan Legends & Heroes
  •     Picasso in Barcelona
  •     Spanish Civil War
  •     Roman Ruins
  •     La Llotja
  •     Plaça Nova

With lots of stories behind all these places (I took this list from the Sandeman website I don’t remember whether I visited all the places in the list but yeah they were many for me to grasp in a day). Here is the video I shot of our energetic guide Poppy Cullen. Poppy was a school teacher and a tour guide during school holidays. She was not only very energetic in telling us different stories about Barcelona and Catalan but she was also very knowledgeable and with full of facts. She was raised in Victoria, Australia and lived in UK before coming to Spain.

Me with Poppy

Me with Poppy

The other free things which I did in Barcelona apart from the free walking tour was to visit the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, Barcelona beaches and the Park Güell. Magic fountain of Montjuic happens every Friday and Saturday nights (different timings in summer and winter) and lasts for about 2 hours. Park Güell is a public park system composed of gardens and architectonic elements located on Carmelo Hill, in Barcelona. Its bit of a hike to reach Park Güell but its all worth. It also has one of the buildings built by the famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. Talking of Gaudi if you can spend a bit of money then I would recommend you to see at least one of his buildings and I can bet that you will not regret. I visited La Sagrada Família, it’s a basilica still under construction and I can say that I have never seen any other building like that. It is totally another level of architectural design and thinking. But before visiting any of Gaudi’s buildings do buy the tickets online in advance, otherwise you may end up standing in the queue for hours and by the time you will get your ticket you may have missed the time slot closer to the time you have the tickets. I also visited a farmers market which was really close to my hostel at Rambla it’s called La Boqueria it deserves a trip even if you are not interested in buying any food. The ambience is very colourful and if you are a photographer then you will find many colourful subjects to take some nice shots.

So that is it, I could only see this much during my two-day stay in Barcelona and I really enjoyed it. I am sure there are many more places you can go for free and internet is our best friend to find them 🙂 .

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