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By Regina W. Bryan in Barcelona—
Cheapos rejoice! There are plenty of ways to Tweet, Dig, Tumble and surf in Barcelona for free. While many hotels and hostels in Barcelona have free Internet access (or should, anyway), here are a few options for when you want to get out of your dimly lit hotel room.
1. Biblioteques or Remember the Library?
All Barcelona libraries have Internet available for members. That’s the thing, you have to be a member, but this is easy enough to do! You can open a free membership at a Barcelona library with your passport. This is a great option if you’re planning to stay in the city for a longer period of time.
I should also mention that Barcelona libraries are awesome. There are many of them throughout town, at least one in every neighborhood. While their English selection of books varies, they always have some offering as well as CDs and DVDs in in many languages.
Libraries are also where to go to read the daily paper for free and browse magazines. You don’t need a membership card to just go and sit in the library and read.
2. City WiFi Point
Throughout Barcelona there are “WiFi points,” indicated with a illuminated blue sign resembling that of the Metro, but with a ‘W’ on it. This is where free Internet access can be found. Anyone can use it, you just have to agree to their terms and you’re on your way to surfing the net and updating your Facebook status.
I’ve never used this service, but I’ve seen other people sitting around plazas using it, laptops on their knees. That’s the catch for me; do I really want to sit in a Barcelona park with my Mac Book Pro? No, I don’t. Barcelona is known for pickpockets and Spain is in “crisis.” While I don’t want to believe that anyone would rob me of my laptop, it is a possibility.
(On that same thought, don’t be the guy with your laptop out on the Metro. There’s no WiFi on the Metro and you’ll be calling attention to yourself. I mention this because I often see it.)
If you are going to use the city’s WiFi points, do it in the daylight hours with other people around. It is sort of nice to have Internet access in, for example, Ciutadella Park on a sunny afternoon. The service lends itself more to iPad and small communication devices than to laptops.
More: Barcelona WIFI Website
3. Cafe amb Internet, “si us plau“
Or, “Coffee with Internet, please.” On cold and rainy fall and winter days, head to a cafe and have a cupa Joe with your Twitter. I hate to say it, but Starbucks a good choice for finding a connection, extra frap.
For something more local try Bar Qué at the beach (c/Baluard 56) which has a bohemian vibe and the same Bob Marley tape playing non-stop (kidding… sort of). They’ve got WiFi, coffees and a full bar. Lively at night.
Bar Santa Marta, right on the beach is another good bet. An Italian cafe, they serve fantastic, albeit expensive, coffee (Grau i Torras 59).
In the Born, or Gothic Quarter, connect at Cafe Born, one my preferred cafes (Pl. Comercial 10).
If you’re in the Eixample, then try new bar and art space Mitte for a beer and Google search or La Bastarda BAR (Balmes 122).
Also in our Guide: Planning a trip to Barcelona? Our editors have hunted down, inspected and reviewed the best budget hotels in Barcelona, all centrally located and clean. Check out our reviews, and trust us… we’ve been there!