Free summer activities in Barcelona


The area near the Montjuic Castle is a Freegan-approved spot for a picnic. Photo: precipices.
The area near the Montjuic Castle is a Freegan-approved spot for a picnic. Photo: precipices.

My friend Kris is a “freegan.” What’s that? You’ve never heard of a freegan before? It’s like vegan but instead of a strict diet, they are very strict in their belief that they should find and get things for free.

This lifestyle can be taken to extreme levels, like dumpster diving and eating expired foods. Don’t worry, though, this blog post is not about finding day-old bagels in Barcelona.

Instead, I am focusing here on free things to do and see in Barcelona this summer. Freegans rejoice, you’ll spend nothing more than the bus fare to partake in the following.

Beach in Barcelona

Barcelona’s beaches are beautiful, interesting and totally free!

Go to the beach

Oh yes! Barcelona has many a beach, and from May to October you can tan your toes on them gratis.

Now, this is not to say that there will not be many temptations at the beach which a weaker freegan might fall for. You’ll be offered “cerveza, beer,” massage (don’t do it), cookies, bags of chips, sun chairs, sun umbrellas and cold cocktails in beach bars.

Just bring your own water and lunch and tell the hawkers a polite, “no gracias.”

Ready to jump in? Read my other posts on where to hit the beach in Barcelona, beaches worth a quick trip outside Barcelona, and the city’s best beach-side bars.

Play “spot the pickpocket” on La Rambla

This is a fun game I like to play with my husband. He, being a local, is better at it than I am, but over the years I’ve been able to recognize groups of thieves without much effort. Jokes aside (it’s not really a joke, watch your belongings here), La Rambla and most of the center offer excellent people watching. Sit on a bench and observe the circus going on around you. You can find hours of entertainment.

Parc de la Ciutadella Barcelona

Hanging in Park Ciutadella in Barcelona is a perfectly pleasant way to spend a day!

Have a picnic in Park Ciutadella

This is Barcelona’s Central Park, and while it is not nearly as big as New York’s version, it certainly has its own charm.

Wander around and admire the flower beds, jugglers, fountains and pond. Although there are many tourists in Park Ciutadella, it is also popular with locals. Find a shady spot under a palm tree and have your lunch. Note that this is also where you’ll find Barcelona’s zoo, which is overpriced and small.

Spend the day on Montjuïc, Barcelona’s nearest mountain

There are several pleasant parks on Montjuïc, and you can spend quite a bit of time getting lost in them.  The one called Jardins de Mossèn Costa i Llobera is especially nice. Like Park Ciutadella, the area near the Montjuïc Castle is a sweet spot for a picnic.

Sant Joan celebration Barcelona

The Sant Joan celebration really is a great time to be a Freegan. Photo: Dzilam.

Celebrate Sant Joan

Basically a summer solstice party, Sant Joan takes place on the night of the June 23, and the following day is a holiday. Bonfires line the shores of Barcelona and revelers get wild setting off fireworks. Find a party and join in the fun.

Need a place to stay?

We have tons of great hotels to recommend in Barcelona, and while they might not be free, they’re definitely Cheapo. Check out our complete list of recommended hotels in Barcelona.


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: and

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