Ciao a tutti!
I realise I have pretty much abandoned this blog over the summer, but my summer months have been filled with some exciting travel adventures – more on this to follow. However, I think the very essence of my blog is how to travel well, but on a budget. I don’t think travel should be for the privileged and the few, as a masters student I balance my lifestyle and my purse, whilst it’s not easy I’m beyond happy with my autumnal adventures (more on this too).
I’ve always set myself rather stringent budgets when travelling abroad. I think it’s very easy to get caught up in the notion that you’re on holiday, but money doesn’t certainly grow on trees and certainly does disappear when thrust carelessly onto the plastic. So, I thought I’d pick out my top 5 freebies for Barcelona.
Barcelona is a renowned as one of Europe’s most expensive tourist hot spots. The large majority of Gaudi’s works cost around 20 euros entry upwards, pricey, but cultural musts. On our three day, ram packed trip to Barcelona we allowed ourselves to visit one ‘pricey,’ attractions per day, whilst the rest were freebies….so without further ado, here are my favourite freebies in Barcelona.
- Picasso Museum
Many European cities offer free entry into attractions on the first Sunday of the month and Barcelona is no exception. The Picasso museum in Barcelona is normally priced around the 7 euros mark. This price certainly doesn’t break the bank, but will help towards a cheeky tapas treat! The museum contains a plethora of Picasso’s earlier works and some of his rough sketches – with a few surprises towards the end. Every sunday, the Picasso Museum offers free entry to tourists after 3 pm, but be sure to get there sharp, as there is a limited number of tickets available per hour. So arrive promptly and be prepared to queue if you want to delve into the past of Pablo Picasso!
2. Park Guell
Park Guell is another one of Guadi’s finest works. Gaudi is famous for his love of nature and combining this passion into his artwork. Park Guell was originally designed to be enjoyed by the people of Barcelona, and to this day still is. It’s important to note that Park Guell has two parts, an inner and outer park. The outer park is completely free for public access. This is the larger more extensive part of the park and has many hidden gems and smaller UNESCO attractions around every corner. Bring some snacks, as picnic benches are dotted around so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery.
However, it’s the inner part of the park that is of interest to most tourists. This part contains Gaudi’s statues and sculptures adorned with shards of mosaic ensuring their colours pop against the background of vegetation. But, this is the part of the park that costs, but is free at certain times of the day. The park is free to the public before 8am and after ____ so if you’re an early riser then by all means save yourself 8 euros and treat yourself to a pataas bravas for lunch – we certainly did.
Now, it wouldn’t be a trip to the Mediterranean without a dip into Barcelona’s crystal clear waters. Head to La Barceloneta, which is an edgy urban area juxtaposed with sumptuous seafood restaurants. Stroll along the sandy beach and find a perfect spot – preferably near a cocktail bar if that’s your thing. Ignore the street sellers if you’re not interested, but remember you can always haggle them down (my top tip: try before you buy with the mojitos). La Barceloneta is teeming with restaurants, but my personal favourite is Maka Maka – perfect for Vegans and Vegetarians too!
4. La Cathedral
Again, Barcelona’s history filled Cathedral is another attraction that is free at certain times of the day (normally before 8am, but check on the attractions website). The cathedral began its life in the 13th century and now 6 centuries later it’s complete and is the epitome of cultural and history in Barcelona. It goes beyond the funky architecture of Barcelona and is a quite simply a stunning amalgamation of history and art.
5. Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar
This is arguably Barcelona’s most Gothic structure, so if that sort of architecture is your thing then this a must. The entire sanctuary is light and open, wrought with stone and even rivals some of Barcelona’s top attractions such as, La Cathedral and the Sagrada Familia. Enjoy every aspect of the Basilica and its historical structure. Be sure to avoid the Basilica at lunch times – when its closed and if your visit is spiritual head there at 7.30pm for mass. This was one of my favourite freebie attractions in Barcelona. There was a strong contrast between the Basilica and some of Gaudi’s famed attractions, this is a breath of fresh air and gives Barcelona another cultural depth.
I hope this short, but snappy list was helpful! Let me know if you have any other freebie favourites in Barcelona – I plan on returning very soon!
ciao for now,