Embrace the captivating coastal city of Barcelona and its endless culture, remarkable architecture and breath-taking scenery. We want to help your students capture the moment when they’ve been understood in another language – and Barcelona is the perfect place to do this.
With enough to satisfy culture lovers and foodies alike, you’re never short of things to see and do. To make sure that you and your language students get the most out of this city without breaking the bank, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 free things to do in this enchanting city.
1. Barcelona Cathedral
Located in Barcelona’s charming Gothic Quarter, Barcelona Cathedral is the city’s central place of worship. With its richly decorated main façade, this beautiful building is a must-see! Just as impressive on the inside, entrance to the cathedral is free on weekdays from 08:30 – 12:30 and 17:30 – 19:30. Check the Barcelona Cathedral website for up-to-date information. Before leaving the cathedral, be sure not to miss the leafy courtyard which is filled with palm trees, a quaint pond and geese. Head up to the roof to admire spectacular views of the city.
2. Parc de la Ciutadella
Fancy a change from sightseeing? Take a break with a stroll in this beautiful city centre park, where you can enjoy the scenic surrounds and impressive architecture. The Cascada fountain near the entrance is a focal point and a definite photo opportunity. Why not hire a rowing boat and take to the boating lake with your students?
3. The Magic Fountain
Be sure to make your way to the magic fountain for an evening display, where you’ll be blown away by colourful lights, fountains and music. The show runs every Thursday to Sunday in the summer and every Friday and Saturday during the winter months.
4. La Rambla
This is one of Barcelona’s most famous streets which is both a tourist magnet and a window into Catalan culture. With cultural centres, theatres and intriguing architecture, it’s certain to intrigue your students. The tree-lined pedestrian street which is full of restaurants, shops and markets is the perfect place for a stroll.
5. Museu Picasso
Museu Picasso is a must-see for art lovers, offering free entry after 15:00 on Thursday evenings only (check the Museo Picasso website for up-to-date information). The museum covers artwork from Picasso’s pre-teenage years up until his death and shows how his works developed throughout his life. Be sure to make your way to Las Meninas which are exceptionally memorising.
Whatever time of year you visit Barcelona, there’s almost always a festival taking place. If you’re visiting in September, then don’t miss the Festes de la Mercè, which brings the city to life with concerts, dancing, fireworks, acrobatic feats and lively correfocs. Alternatively, in the summertime Festa Major de Gràcia will be here, best known for its competition of decorated streets and outdoor concerts.
7. Mercat de la Boqueria
Take a visit to this unparalleled food paradise – there’s no place like it! There are lavish and enticing displays of fruit, tapas, Spanish cheeses,hams, and everything in between. Be sure to go to Mercat de la Boqueria when hunger strikes and give yourself plenty of time to stroll from stall to stall. This is a great opportunity for students to practice their Spanish.
8. Take in the architecture
Barcelona is full of remarkable hidden architecture, and whilst many of the buildings have fees to go inside, the more impressive facades can be seen for free. Here are some stunning examples of architectural buildings you won’t want to miss: Passeig de Gràcia – the Casa Lleó Morera, the Casa Amatller and of course Gaudí’s Casa Batlló and La Sagrada Família.
9. Head to the beach
Take a break from sightseeing and make your way to the city’s golden sand beaches. Along the promenade you’ll be spoilt for choice with cafes and restaurants for when you’re feeling a little peckish. If you’re looking to get away from the crowds, then head north towards the Fòrum area.
10. Barri Gòtic
Lose yourself down the cobblestone streets of Barri Gòtic, lined with bars, quirky shops and ancient architecture, showing the true essence of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter.