Barcelona on a Budget: 6 Best Things to Do

Last Updated on March 2, 2023


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Barcelona is the place to be this summer.

With the beautiful weather, relaxed atmosphere and tonnes of things to do, it makes for a great destination to spend your summer holiday.

Barcelona is home to an embarrassment of riches when it comes to activities, eateries and accommodation. But it’s also very easy to enjoy Barcelona on a budget.

Barcelona on a budget: 6 of the best things to do, wide view of two ornate stone buildings with colourful checkerboard patterned rooftops and towers with view across Barcelona city behind looking towards the sea under a bank of bright grey clouds

From parks and beaches to tours, landmarks and more, I’ve got a few handy tips for Barcelona budget travel that will make your next summer vacation one to remember.

There are so many reasons to visit this beautiful and lively city. Not to mention, it is cheap and easy to get to from the UK and pretty much anywhere else in the world.

Plus, it’s easy to find amazing apartments close to the beach.

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. I recommend either SafetyWing or World Nomads.

Best Things to Do in Barcelona on a Budget

1. Park Guell

One of my favourite places in Barcelona is Park Guell, designed by the famous Gaudi.

A couple of years back when I visited it was free but nowadays they have introduced a fee (€7/€8 online/door) if you want to see the mosaics and the unique houses.

But other than that, the park is free for you to enter.

You can get here by catching the metro (the green line) to Vallcarca station then catch the escalators up.

Take advantage of these Barcelona travel tips, person travelling up a series of long escalators leading uphill with green shrubs running alongside

No, I’m not even kidding; taking the escalators to this place is one of my insider Barcelona tips. They’re possibly the best invention ever!

So, if you’re going to spend money on just one attraction in Barcelona, I would say come here – the architecture is pretty amazing!

You also get a great view of the city from the Park.

📸 PRO TIP: My go-to camera for all my travels is the Sony A7iii – I highly recommend it!

Find your favourite things to do with a small budget in Barcelona, street view of highly ornate and patterned terraced building with mini balconies and rainbow coloured walls

2. “Free” Walking Tour with Runner Bean

A Runner Bean tour is a must for anyone looking for things to do with a small budget in Barcelona. They depart from Plaza Reial every day (you can find the times here).

I highly suggest the Gaudi walking tour where you walk around the city for 2.5 hours to see some of his best work.

How the free walking tours work is you tip the guide at the end on what you think the tour was worth.

So, technically they are not free but if you don’t have a lot of money it will be cheaper doing one of these rather than a guided tour which you may pay double for.

It’s a great way to meet people and I feel walking around the city helps me get my bearings too. Plus, walking tours don’t massively impact the average cost of a trip to Barcelona.

Make use of these tips for Barcelona budget travel, view of front towers and entrance of the ornate Gaudi Cathedral in Barcelona at night

3. The Ciutabella Park

If you’re more of a park person than a beach person then one of my Barcelona travel tips is to visit Ciutadella Park.

Here you will find the locals relaxing and maybe see some gymnastics happening. There’s also a beautiful lake and fountain.

I suggest doing the same as above and grabbing some ciders, a picnic and relaxing here for a few hours! It’s located right next to the Arc de Triomf.

🚗 Travelling Europe by car? For the best prices on car hire in Europe, opt for Europcar.

4. The Carmel Bunkers

If you want literally the best spot looking over Barcelona then make your way to the top of the Turo de la Rovira hill to see the Carmel Bunkers.

These bunkers originally contained the anti-aircraft battery that helped to defend the city from air attacks during the Civil War.

But more importantly, this is also where you can find one of the most beautiful sunset spots in the city.

What makes it perfect for travellers visiting Barcelona on a budget is that it’s open 24 hours a day and is free to enter.

Take advantage of these budget Barcelona tips, sandy beach with people sunbathing and sitting on towels in front of road lines with tall palm trees under a blue sky with clouds

5. Grab a Picnic and Head to the Beach

Grab your towel, it’s time to hit the beach and enjoy the sunshine while doing some good old-fashioned people watching. Grab a few ciders too if you really want to relax.

You will see a lot of people who spend the day just sunbathing, hula hooping and generally enjoying the day.

How else do you think they get that sun-kissed tan?

If the sun’s out then chances are the beach will be packed with people, so if you would like a little more privacy then go to Nova Icaria beach where it’s a little quieter.

💡 PACKING TIP: Make sure you bring a good snorkel, water shoes and a fast-drying towel for all of the beach-going you’re about to do!

6. Visit La Boqueria

La Boqueria is located right in the middle of the famous street ‘La Rambla’. This is known as Europe’s biggest food market!

They sell a range of fresh fruit and vegetables to pastries and my favourite – sangria in a cup. You can find plenty of amazing Barcelona cheap eats here.

Every trip to Barcelona on a budget should make a stop at La Boqueria! It’s also the perfect place to grab your picnic if you’re heading to the beach or Ciutadella Park!

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ Is Barcelona a cheap place to visit?

Barcelona is the capital city of Spain, so while it can be more expensive than other parts of the country, it’s still cheaper than most other Western European cities and it’s very easy to do Barcelona on a budget.

✅ Is 3 days enough for Barcelona?

3 days is a good average amount of time to spend in Barcelona on a budget. If you fall in love with the place, you can spend a full week there with something different to do every day.

What are your favourite things to do in the city of sun, sangria and beautiful people?

If you have any more suggestions about how to do Barcelona on a budget please leave them down below; I would love to hear them!


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The Comments

  • sault79
    May 10, 2016

    Hi Anita,

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    GPSmyCity.com

  • sault79
    May 18, 2016

    Hi Anita,

    I just want to ask if you would be interested in turning some of your blog posts into mobile apps and sell them on iTunes App Store and Google Play. This will open up a new revenue stream for you as a blogger. Please note that does not involve any out-of-pocket cost on your part, since we work on a revenue share basis.

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  • Lipgloss and a Backpack
    June 19, 2016

    I love Pavilon Mies van der Rohe! It’s small, but I can easily spend an hour or two just sitting and thinking there (especially if nobody else is around).

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Lipgloss and a Backpack
      June 21, 2016

      Ah perfect! Thanks for the recommendation 🙂

  • apartment in Born Barcelona
    August 22, 2016

    The landscapes in Barcelona are beautiful!! Love the pictures of this post.

  • Chaitali Patel
    May 11, 2017

    Great list! Been to Barcelona and done some of the things you mentioned but not all.

  • George St Petersburg Russia
    May 31, 2017

    Wow! Barcelona is my love! I spent there wonderful days. Thank You!