Sunset Barcelona, Spain

Top 5 Tips to Discover Barcelona on a Budget

Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in Europe. With a longstanding history, amazing architecture, beautiful beaches and magical mountain trails, this Mediterranean hotspot has something for everyone. However, if you’re heading to Barcelona on a budget, it may seem impossible to explore all of the Catalan capital without breaking the bank. But rest assured, there are plenty of ways to experience the best of Barcelona if you’re feeling a pinch in your pocket.

Vagabondish is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Read our disclosure.

Firstly, by renting a holiday apartment in Barcelona, you can save a ton of money as daily and weekly rentals are often cheaper than hotels, especially many that can be found in the Barceloneta Beach area. Renting an apartment also offers visitors to Barcelona the chance to save an extra penny by preparing meals at home.

When it comes to sightseeing, there are plenty of things to see and do in Barcelona, without leaving a dent in your wallet…you just need to know where to look!

Sunset Barcelona, Spain
Sunset Barcelona, Spain © Moyan Brenn

#1: Amazing Architecture

The Catalan capital is also known as Gaudí’s city, and for good reason; Barcelona is packed to the brim with astonishing works by this famous Catalan architect. From the unfinished Sagrada Familia to the mesmerizing Casa Batlló, millions flock to Barcelona annually to catch a glimpse of these unique creations up-close. Entrance to these buildings will cost you a pretty penny, but various companies offer discounted Gaudí and Joan Miró tours. All you have to do is a quick online search before arriving and be sure to book in advance.

If spending your cash on entrance fees is not what you had in mind, then the Ruta de Modernisme is ideal. Simply keep your eyes peeled for paving stones marked with a red symbol 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 Museum Entry

Whether it’s a rainy day or you are just looking for another cultural experience, be sure to visit one of the many museums in Barcelona offering 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. Other notable museums offering free entry include the Palau Robert, Fundació Joan Brossa and the Santa Monica Center.

#3: Walking Tours

Be sure to try one of the many free walking tours in Barcelona, especially in the winding streets of the Gothic Quarter. Barcelona Free Tours offers guided walking tours in many languages, and they usually last for about 2 hours. With no more than 20 people per tour group, led by an experienced guide, this is a great way to explore Barcelona without the extra cost.

#4: Barcelona Beaches

Some of the biggest attractions in this Mediterranean hotspot are undoubtedly the beautiful beaches of Barcelona. Completely free of charge, they are a ”˜must-see’ on everyone’s visit to the city, especially during the warmer months from April to October. Ideal for sun seekers, sports enthusiasts or even those just looking to take a dip in the cool Mediterranean waters, the beaches of Barcelona have it all.

Be sure to pop into one of the many chiringuitos (typical beach bars on the sand) to dig into some of the best paella in the city, and unwind with a glass of Sangria and the turquoise Med as your backdrop. We recommend taking advantage of the summer cocktail promotions at Princesa 23 on the bustling Barceloneta Beach.

#5: Free Tapas & Nightlife

One of the oldest customs in Spain is to serve free tapas with an order of beer or a glass of Cava, 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 Cervecería de Dues at C/ Torrent de l’Olla, 89.

Looking to make the most of Barcelona’s buzzing nightlife? 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 further discounts, check out the “Barcelona Card”: a discount card offering reduced prices and entry to many famous attractions in Barcelona, as well as free unlimited trips on the public transportation system.

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

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let's Make Sure You're Human ... * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Subscribe to Our 'Under the Radar' Newsletter
If you love travel, you're gonna love this!