All you need to know about the arts, culture, local fare and activities in Catalonia’s capital city. This is your guide to Barcelona.
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January 03, 2018 | Things to Do in Barcelona
Looking to save some during your visit? There’s plenty of free activities to enjoy in the city if you take the time to research. Luckily, we’ve done the dirty work for you, so you can plan ahead of time for an expense-free, fun-filled day.
Why pay to browse historic works of art when you can mosey in for free on a Sunday afternoon? One of our favorite and most well-known, Museu Picasso, is free on Thursday afternoons from 6:00pm–9:30pm and the first Sunday of each month from 9:00am–7:00pm. Music-lovers can enjoy Museu de la Música free of charge on Sundays starting at 3:00pm, and the first Sunday of every month all day from 10:00am–8:00pm. This rehoused museum resides in the Auditori Concert Hall and houses over 1,600 instruments spanning from the ancient world to modern day. For a more unique experience, head to Museu Frederic Marès. This private 19th-century collection once belonged to kleptomaniac and magpie Frederic Marès, whom spent all of his money made as a sculptor and art teacher on everything from hair brushes and opera glasses to gargoyles. Admission is free on Sundays from 3pm, along with the first Sunday of every month during normal hours from 11:00am–8:00pm. History buffs will enjoy Museu d'Història de Catalunya, which exhibits artifacts from the Lower Paleolithic era to Jordi Pujol’s Presidency as Generalitat in 1980. Each of its two floors are full of text, film, and animated reproductions. Enjoy free admission on the first Sunday of each month.
Covering more than 140,000 metres, Jardí Botànic is one of the largest parks in all of Barcelona. In addition to a breathtaking view of Llobregat Delta, the freight port, Olympic sports venues, and Montjuïc, the botanical garden is also home to a vast selection of flora native to Southern Australian, Chile, California, and South Africa. Architect Carlos Ferrater and his interdisciplinary laid out the foundation in 1999, with an aim to conserve and encourage rare species to prosper. You can make your way through the gardens for free on Tree Day on January 29th, a day dedicated to museums and plants on May 18th, Biological Diversity Day on May 22nd, and Environment Day on June 5th.
The colossal neo-Gothic La Catedral, constructed between the 13th and 15th centuries, is free of charge to visit in the mornings and late afternoons, but also impressive enough to gaze upon for free from the outside. La Catedral is best-known for its cloister constructed in 1448 where nine white geese roam freely, a pseudo basilica, and nine vast chapels joined by an ambulatory. Its intricate architecture and perched gargoyles can be seen in plain view from its exterior.
Enjoy modern art al fresco with impressive works by urban street artists. Begin in El Raval and Poblenou to view graffiti flanking warehouse walls and storefronts full of life and color, then to Frank Gehry’s famous fish sculpture outside the Olympic Complex. Finish you trip with Roy Lichtenstein’s stately Barcelona Head at Port Vell and our favorite outdoor feline by Fernando Botero’s on the Rambla del Raval. If the weather permits, we prefer visiting each piece using one of the hotel’s complimentary bicycles.
Bruum-Ruum, an installation near Torre Agbar translates voice intensity and noise into an impressive array of lights! That’s right—the show coordinates with the sounds of your voice. This installation features 500 LEDs sheets embedded in the ground on an area of 3,300 m2. The lights react to ambient noise through tubular sensors, but only those emitted from human voices, drowning out nearby noise of cars and chaos. This hidden gem is open seven days a week from 6:30pm–11:00pm in the winter and 9:30pm–11:00pm in the summer.