Barcelona is one of the beautiful cities I’ve been to. The city is full of life and it speaks of different culture in each neighbourhood I passed by. I stayed in the city around 4 days before Christmas and have 2 full days to see the city. I loved and enjoyed every moment of my time in the city, mostly because I saved a few hundred euros when I was in the city. (Excluding the flight cost, of course.)
There are numerous things you can do for free (or cheaper, at least) in Barcelona. When I went there, I did not prepare any itinerary at all and mostly relied on recommendations from my friends. Also, I wasn’t planning on paying any entrance fees to places that have a long waiting line, with too many tourist and to save me from being broke.
I have a made a list of places that I went to where I enjoyed the beauty of Spain by going cheap. 😉
Basilica de La Sagrada Familia
This goes to the top of my list as this was the only place I knew about Barcelona before I even arrived in the city. It’s one of the grandest churches in Barcelona and it’s still under condition! It’s one of the famous works of Antoni Gaudi. The Basilica was constructed in 1882 and features a gothic style of architecture.
Once we got La Sagrada Familia out of the way, we went to Parc Güell. Parc Güell is another work of Antoni Gaudi’s. It features exquisite ceramic works on its buildings and . Although the park is quite far from the city centre, they do offer one of the amazing panoramic view of the city but only accessible with an entrance fee. However, I heard from a few friends that you can access the park after hours. I’m not so sure how true it is but maybe its worth a try. 😉
After our time in the Park, we decide to walk all the way back to the city center. After a few minutes, we eventually found our way in Casa Mila, a.k.a La Pedrera. This is another work of Antoni Gaudi for the Mila Family. There’s an entrance fee that gives you access to the rooftop where you can find more ceramic works. We only took photos and admired the splendid work of architecture.
For another few blocks, we found another work of Antoni Gaudi called the Casa Battlò. I truly admired this specific building because of its intricate ceramic details and with windows giving out a sense of a dreamy façade. Again, you can get access to its museum for an entrance fee but I stayed outside and admired Gaudi’s work.
Just right next to Casa Battlò, I couldn’t help but notice the Casa Amattler which is completely different from the architectural design of Casa Battlò. This building is a work by Josep Puig i Cadafalch in 1898 for Antoni Amateur, an owner of a chocolate factory. It features a neo-gothic architectural design and have a detailed façade.
I even took a photo to show how different the two buildings are.
Plaça de Catalunya
Few more blocks, we found ourselves at the centre of the city, specifically in Plaça Catalunya. This is one of the biggest squares in the city, and was the centre of festivities at the time of my visit. They had nightly shows which featured magic shows, dance contest and a whole lot of other things. During the day, it’s mostly packed by tourist and pigeons.
One of the exit points of Plaça de Catalunya is a whole street called La Rambla which will take you all the way to the Barceloneta Beach. It’s a long stretch of pedestrian way in the middle of the road. It’s one of the busiest street of Barcelona where a lot of souvenir shops and restaurants. We even found a few street artists which I think were cool.
Mercado de la Boqueria
From La Rambla, we took a detour and went to one of the busiest Market in the city called Mercado de La Boqueria. This market has everything! They have different restaurants which offer different cuisines. We also found a few snack bars, exotic spices shop, fish and meat market. We bought a few snacks for to-go and went to the beach.
At the end of the La Rambla and a few blocks away, we found ourselves chilling by the beach. We had our snacks and just enjoyed the view. There were people who played volleyball and taking a dip. I did get envious by the surfers, the waves were perfect at that time and I kept wishing that I could surf. Sadly, I wasn’t prepared. Haha.
The Barcelona Cathedral is found at the Barri-Gòtic neighbourhood and its one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in Barcelona. Although the Cathedral can be accessed from La Rambla, I went to the Cathedral on the day of my flight back home. The inside is as grand as the façade of the Cathedral. It was truly amazing to witness that kind of architectural work.
Next to the Barri-Gòtic neighbourhood is the El Born neighbourhood where you can Picasso Museum. Before we went in line to get our passes, we didn’t know how much the entrance fee would be. When we got to the reception, we asked if there are any discounts for students and luckily enough, it’s free for students! We were happy and excited to get to the museum. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take any photos inside but I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys art.
Finding the right and cheap accommodation is crucial as a traveller. I’m glad I found the right hostel who offers free breakfast and sometimes offer cheap dinner for the guests, which certainly saved me in looking for places to eat. Also, the hostel has a kitchen that the guests can use.
REMINDER: Free breakfast doesn’t mean that it’s a luxurious breakfast. They mostly offer bread, cereals and fruits paired with hot coffee, milk or fruit juice.
I’m sure I missed a lot of things but I absolutely had a great time during my Christmas Vacation and hopefully this could help you when you plan your itinerary for your Barcelona trip.