Can you keep it cheap in Barcelona? Why yes, you can, and thanks for asking. We can tell you about free events, cheap attractions and the Barcelona Card. What would you do without us?
Barcelona Budget Tips
Tourist Office Information
We always recommend stopping by the tourist office as soon as you get to town. They are always packed with flyers for free and discounted events as well as free maps and guides to the city. Tourist booths are located at major tourist points throughout the city.
The main tourist office, the "Informatico Turistica Placa Catalunya" is easily located at Plaça Catalunya, 17S, below Plaça Catalunya. It’s open from 8:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. daily, as the booth is located in the Plaça Portal de la Pau inside the Columbus Monument.
Informacio Turistica Placa Sant Jaume, located at Plaça Sant Jaume 1, off Calle Ciutat, offers fewer services and personnel than the main office and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays. In Terminal B of the Aeroport El Prat de Llobregat, a small tourist office offers goodies for tourists from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily.
For more information, visit the official site of the Barcelona Tourist Board.
Here are admission prices for some of the most popular museums:
Museu Picasso: €10 (adults); €6 (reduced); free on the first Sunday of every month
La Sagrada Familia: €12.50 (adults); €10.50 (reduced). Guided tours are an additional €4, and the lift is €2.50
Catedral de Barcelona: free; €2.50 for roof access
MACBA (Modern art museum): €7.50 (adults); €6 (reduced); free (seniors and under 14)
Museum of Chocolate: €4.30
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya: €8.50; free (seniors, children under 16); admission is free on the first Sunday of every month
Many museums offer admission free to children. Some museums set the free admission bar at the age of 6 while others set the limit at 10. Most also offer a student discount. And if you plan on visiting several musuems, you may want to pick up an Articket BCN for €22 that gives you entrance to seven of the major art centers in Barcelona, most of which we mentioned above.
The Barcelona Card
Cheapos have a friend in the Barcelona Card, a wonderful way to tour the city at a discount. The Barcelona Card offers free unlimited public transportation and all sorts of discounts at museums, nightclubs, entertainment facilities, shops, and tourist restaurants.
You can pick one up at the tourist offices at the airport, at Sants train station and in the Plaça Catalunya at the "Oficina de Informacio de Turisme de Barcelona." A two-day card for adults runs €27.50, a three-day card runs €33.50, a four-day card runs €38 and a five-day card runs €40.50. For children, the two-day Barcelona Card costs €23.50, the three-day card costs €28.50, the four-day card costs €31 and the five-day card costs €35.
Save 10% by purchasing your card online at the Barcelona Tourism web site.
Many museums in Barcelona are open to the public for free.
Most city museums are free on the first Sunday of each month. Some museums allow European Union citizens free admission at specific times on certain days.
Never underestimate the entertainment factor of just walking around Barcelona. A leisurely stroll through the Parc Guell, La Rambla, or Parc Cuitadella can easily be more memorable than a forced tour through a museum. The sights and sounds of the Catalan capital are enticing.
In the summer, Barcelona's beach is another perfect spot to people watch and catch some rays while you're at it.
Visitors over the age of 60 qualify for reduced admission to theaters, museums and other attractions as well as discounted fares on public transportation. Members of the AARP get discounts on hotels, airfares and car rentals. They can be reached in the United States by telephone at 1-888-687-2277 and online at the AARP website. Be sure to ask about a discount if you do not see one listed, as many discounts simply are not advertised.
The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is the most widely accepted form of student ID and provides discounts on sights, museums, accommodations, food and transportation. Applicants must be working toward a degree at a secondary or post-secondary school and must be at least 12 years of age. The card costs $22 and is valid until the end of the year issued. All cardholders have access to a 24-hour emergency helpline. In the US call 1-800-223-7986 or visit ISIC online.
For non-students 25 years and younger, the International Youth Travel Card, IYTC, also offers many of the same benefits as the ISIC. The card costs US$22 and is valid for one year.
Other ResourcesFor more tips on keeping your trip to Barcelona affordable, check out the sites listed on our helpful links page (including the city's official tourism website). You can also find more tips for planning your Barcelona vacation on TripAdvisor and on Rick Steves' Graffiti Wall.
Related posts from our blog
- Barcelona on a Serious Budget: One day on less than €20
- Barcelona: Where to find cheap concert tickets
- Barcelona with Kids: 6 family-friendly activities
- Barcelona: Secondhand shopping secrets
- Barcelona Card Revisited: Is it still worth it?
Updated and edited: May 2011
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