If like me, you are always on the lookout for fun new activities to do in Barcelona without breaking the bank, you are definitely in the right place! Since I moved to Barcelona in May 2018 from London (check out this post if you want to know more on this) I haven’t stopped exploring the city along with my amazing new friends and colleagues. However, me being me, I’ve made it my mission to find the best spots at the lowest price – because that’s just how I roll. This got me discovering some amazing gems in what is becoming my favourite city in Europe.
Even though I’ve only been in Barcelona for a few months, there’s one thing that has become clear to me - this city has got so much to offer, and I can’t wait to discover more. Here are the top 5 activities I would recommend doing in Barcelona during the Summer without spending a whole lot of money.
MONTJUÏC - CINEMA A LA FRESCA
From the end of June to the start of August, Sala Montjuic organises an outdoor film festival and screens different movies (all in English with Spanish subtitles) nearly every night. I’ve always been a fan of outdoor cinemas, but this one was even more special because of the amazing views of Barcelona from the top of the mountain – a must see in my humble opinion. Plus, before the actual movie, there’s a band playing for about an hour or so, which sets up the mood and creates the perfect atmosphere. We also got free Ben & Jerry’s ice creams which - of course - made it even better.
Price: I bought my ticket online and I spent 6.50 euros (tickets are a bit more expensive if you buy them on the day) and because it was so cheap - at least compared to London’s ridiculously overpriced cinema tickets - I even hired out a lounge chair for about 2.50 euros to make sure I wouldn’t get pins and needles half way through the movie and it was worth every cent!
Tips: The movies usually start pretty late – around 9ish – and depending on the movie it can end around midnight or later. So, if you are not staying in the city center or near by and need to catch a train or metro to go home, I would recommend going over the weekend when transports run all night to avoid having to catch a night bus or cab.
Day trip IN Sitges or Castelldefels
One of the amazing things about Barcelona is that you can hop on a metro and get to the beach super easily. However, this also means that the beaches in the city center like la Barceloneta and Bogatell can get super crowded during the Summer. Sometimes, moving a bit further out from Barcelona to places like Sitges, Gava or Castelldefels means that you can get away from the busy city center, whilst still enjoying a lovely day at the beach without too much hassle. Stitches especially is one of my favourite spots as there is a lot to do in the town, if you don't want to spend the whole day at the beach. All these beaches are easily accessible by train usually from Barcelona Sants station and tickets are affordable.
Tips: If you want to keep the cost down, I would recommend bringing food and drinks with you as the “chiringuidos” can be a bit overpriced.
This is one of the things that surprised me the most. Excuse my ignorance if you knew about it already, but before I moved to Barcelona I had never heard of the Fiesta Mayor. In a nutshell, this is a street summer party happening in several “barrios” like Gracia or Sants. La Fiesta Mayor de Gracia is one of the most popular parties among them all, after going there I am surprised. During those days, each neighborhoods organises a party with live music, they also decorate the streets and there are a lot of pop ups where you can buy food and drinks. It’s just such a lovely event where both tourists and locals come together to celebrate the neighborhood I guess. There’s a real sense of community and I was amazed buy the amount of time and efforts some places at put in to decorate their streets. I think people really take pride in taking part in this event and you can feel it once you are there. It’s truly unmissable!
Tips: Evenings and weekends can be super busy, so harm yourself with patience when walking around the streets and make sure you are not in a rush when going there as it’s definitely worth spending a few hours strolling around.
I am not a massive drinker, but I do love a gin tonic and good views, so discovering new rooftops was right up my street. The best one I have been to so far, is located near Placa Catalunya in a hotel and called H10 Cubik. The views were amazing but the cherry on top was the swimming pool on the terrace, right next to the bar. As I entered, I expected the prices to be super high given the location and the service, but it was actually quite affordable. I ended up getting a glass of Cava (a typical sparkling champagne type of drink) for around 5 euros or less which is a very good price for what you get. Again, I would definitely recommend going along with friends.
Tips: I didn’t get to go in the pool, but if you are looking to go for a swim do give them a call before you head down to make sure you can take full advantage of the pool. It would be a shame not to.
Hiking in Costa Brava
Costa Brava is one of the best spots by far in Barcelona if you are into hiking. I went there by car, but I know there are trains from Barcelona Sants station to Costa Brava that can get you there– from what I heard tickets are relatively cheap too. My favourite spots in Costa Brava are Cadeques and Roses. There you will find some amazing hiking trails like Cami de Ronda – which is about a 20k+ walk – and will see some of the best mountains and beach views .
Tips: On this one, I think it’s worth forking out a bit more to spend the night in Roses or Cadaques because personally I didn’t think a day was quite enough to explore the city and enjoy the fantastic landscapes.
Do you have any suggestions for places I should visit next in Barcelona?