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When it comes to our list of travel essentials, iPods and MP3 players are right up there with good city maps and sun block. And, if we hit a bump in the road or happen to meet with a European transit strike, there’s no better way to while away the hours than with a few portable travel guides.
Read on, dear Cheapos, for five free podcasts we love for Barcelona, Spain:
For those with unique taste
If you’re more into meandering side streets than queuing up at the Sagrada Familia, check out Notes from Spain‘s frequently uploaded casts. Audio guides offer an “anti-tourist” take on exploring Barcelona, from back street tours of the barri gotic to a bike route through the Basque region.
For well-rounded travelers
We like Tourcaster for its wide array of podcasts—from tours of art museums to jaunts through national parks—highlighting destinations around the world. Although some audio guides get super-specific (Madrid’s Royal Palace, anyone?), the Barcelona City Guide provides a comprehensive introduction to the city’s top attractions, like Gaudi’s Parc Guell or the best places to eat tapas. And, unlike other Tourcaster podcasts, it’s free!
For the language buffs
Don’t know your por qué from your por favor? Radio Alicante International FM, a radio station broadcasting from Spain, doles out language lessons in a free podcast on learning Spanish. Download the courses from iTunes and listen, repeat, listen, repeat.
For architecture aficionados
For a Cheapo architecture fix, we like LoDingo’s comprehensive building tour. The two-hour podcast winds its way through Barcelona’s best examples of “el Modernisme Catal,” the style made famous by the Catalonian architect Antonio Gaudi.
For some in-flight entertainment
Okay, so the Barcelona Vidcast HD podcast is in Spanish, but since it’s a video, the sights and sounds of the city speak for themselves. It’s available on iTunes (search “Barcelona Vidcast HD” to find it), is perfect for the plane ride over or for distracting yourself during a classic Spanish conundrum, the rail strike.