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Barcelona: Park Guell and Caixa Forum to start charging for admission

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Park Güell Barcelona
The Park Güell will start charging admission in October 2013. Photo by Regina W Bryan

Remember the good old days when Spain didn’t have 27% unemployment and social and cultural services were free and easy? Yeah, well those days are gone. Welcome to the new Barcelona, where two of our favorite freebies have decided to start charging entrance fees.

The first is Caixa Forum. This is a museum run by the bank, La Caixa, and until May 2013, entrance to its rotating exhibitions was free. Say so long to an inexpensive Sunday at the museums! The funny thing about the Caixa Forum charging is that it is not a government-run entity (where most of our cuts are taking place in Spain), but a bank… or wait a minute, maybe those two are one in the same these days?

Hard to say, but in any case they will charge you €4 to get into the museum unless you’re a Caixa bank member. Most visitors to Barcelona are not Caixa bank members. Which leads us to the logical question: Is it worth 4? Eh…. Depends on what exhibition is on and your interest level, but probably not. There are other museums I’d pay to get into before Caixa Forum, like MNAC.

In addition, the beloved and crowded Park Güell is going to have an entrance fee come October 2013. Honestly, this is not that surprising. Park Güell, along with La Sagrada Familia, are two of the biggest Gaudí draws in the city. I can’t believe they haven’t been charging folks to get in there for years. Such as it is, the party is over. Unless you live in the area, you’ll have to pay €8 euros to get in.

Is it worth it? Hmmm, yeah, probably. I’d pay to go in Park Güell before paying to go in La Sagrada Familia. I’d see La Sagrada Familia from the outside and Park Güell from the inside.

You’ll be pleased to know that walking on the beach and breathing air are still free activities in Barcelona. But it may only be a matter of time!

About the author

Regina W Bryan

About the author: Regina W.Bryan is a Barcelona-based freelance writer and photographer. When not eating tapas and exploring Europe, she is tending her balcony veggie garden and practicing Catalan. For more of her thoughts on Spain, check: www.regwb.com and www.thespainscoop.com.

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