Free Things to Do in Barcelona!

Posted: 21 September 2022

Free Things to Do in Barcelona!

If you’re planning a school trip to Barcelona but want to keep costs down, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are lots of free things to do in the city that still offer students the opportunity to soak up the culture.

Here are just a few of our favourite free things to do in Barcelona:

This iconic street goes from the busy square of Plaça de Catalunya to the Christopher Columbus monument at Port Vell and is a must visit on a school trip to Barcelona.

As you walk along La Rambla, you’ll pass a number of sites of interest, including La Boqueria market, the Font de Canaletes (a popular meeting place), the Palau de la Virreina and the Gran Teatre del Liceu.

On one of the side streets to the east of La Rambla, you’ll find the lovely Plaça Reial, and one one of the side streets to the west you’ll find the Palau Güell.

At the southern end of La Rambla, you’ll find Port Vell, which was redeveloped ahead of the 1992 Olympics. Here, you’ll find spectacular yachts, the Maremàgnum shopping mall and Europe’s largest aquarium.

And at the other end of La Rambla you’ll find Plaça de Catalunya, the very heart of Barcelona.

Just off La Rambla is La Boqueria market. There’s been a market on this site since at least the 13th century and it’s still one of the best places in the city to explore the local cuisine.

It’s completely free to wander around the market, taking in all the incredible produce on sale here. And if you are happy to spend a bit of money, there are loads of great bars selling some very typical snacks.

If you do want to visit La Boqueria, we would advise doing so in the mornings, when most of the stalls will be open and locals come to do their shopping.

One of our favourite areas of Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter, or Barri Gòtic, is the city’s historic centre. Here, streets are narrower and labyrinthine, with some fantastic examples of Gothic and neo-Gothic architecture.

Here is where you’ll find the city’s spectacular cathedral, built from the 13th to 15th centuries. The cathedral is dedicated to Barcelona’s co-patron saint, Eulalia, and in the lovely cloister, you’ll find 13 white geese – the number represents her age when she was martyred. Please note that if you do want to visit the cathedral itself, a small charge is payable.

And if you’re interested in the Spanish Civil War, head to the Plaça de Sant Felip Neri, where evidence of Franco’s siege on Barcelona is still evident in the pockmarked walls of the church.

The Gothic Quarter is also home to some of the oldest restaurants in the city and boasts some great shopping too.

Between the Gothic Quarter and the Vila Olimpica is the lovely Parc de la Ciutadella.

In a busy city like Barcelona, this is a tranquil oasis where locals can come to catch their breath and escape the urban landscape for a moment. And for your group, this offers the perfect opportunity to relax for a moment and take in everything you’ve experienced so far in Barcelona.

In the Parc de la Ciutadella, you’ll find the city’s zoo and the Palau del Parlament de Catalunya. There’s also a beautiful fountain designed by Josep Fontsère, with a little help from a young, unknown architect called Antoni Gaudí.

There are also a number of Modernist buildings around the edge of the park, including the imposing Castle of the Three Dragons, the huge glass pavilion known as the Hivernacle and the tropical greenhouse known as the Umbracle.

One of the most spectacular sights in Barcelona is also completely free! Guaranteed to provide a lasting memory of your time in the city, this lovely fountain is in Montjuïc, on the avenue that runs between the magnificent Palau Nacional and the Plaça d’Espanya.

Created for the 1929 International Expo, the Magic Fountain is actually a complex of fountains, cascades and pools.

The Magic Fountain is famous for its incredible sound and light shows and is best seen after dark.

Ready to start planning your school trip to Barcelona?

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