Inexpensive Barcelona
October 27, 2018 10:35 AM   Subscribe

What free and inexpensive things can I do in Barcelona Oct 27-nov 1? (The museum of natural sciences will be free tomorrow from 3pm, so I’m doing that). I like food, walking, art, live music, swing and blues dancing. Also how does public transit work?

I’ll be staying near the museum of natural science the first two nights. For reasons I have about 150€ for 4 days.

I know this is doable but it’s causing me a lot of anxiety.

Additionally, I’ll land in 3 hours. I have a 10 euro note. Please explain to me like I’m 5 how to get the A1(bus?) and the H16(also a bus??) Ineed to change dollars to euros outside the airport.
posted by bilabial to Travel & Transportation around Barcelona, Spain (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The A1 bus is very prominent in the airport bus station area, and there were lots of staff on hand to help you get tickets. I landed in the day time, and was part of a group, so I can't remember the specifics I'm afraid. But I do know we followed signs in the airport to the buses and the A1 stop was very easy to find. We were landing in the day time, not in the evening, but I think there should still be staff around. There were also machines where you could buy tickets. If you're heading back to the airport that way, get a return, and don't loose the return section.

We didn't use public transport much at all when I was there, but I was staying just of La Rambla so more things were in walking distance. There are travel cards you can buy, but work out how often you'll use public transport, we found it was cheaper to buy the cartes of 10 tickets, as we only used the buses/tube once or twice a day. I would think you can by the cartes at the airport, but I'm not sure where.

A free thing I did was go to Parc Guelle, but didn't pay to go into the restricted area. The amazing bench was being renovated in September, so most of it was a building site. There's a lot of park to see that's free, the views over the city are amazing, and you can see some of the Gaudi designs from the street and other bits of the park. I had a good time walking there on a Sunday morning through the city, past various Gaudi buildings that I also didn't pay to go in.

The El Born Cultural Centre, is a Victorian Covered Market which was excavated to reveal the medieval - 18th century streets underneath. It's a massive open excavation, with lots of information boards, and I think open to the public for free in the day time.

I think many of the museums have free days, but you'll have to do some research to find out when.

This is totally doable. If you're in self-catering, plan your meals for the days you're there, and buy your food for the four days from a big supermarket (you may have to tweak your plans when you're in the shop, as what's cheap where you are from might not be cheap in Spain). Then, whatever money you have left over can be for travel and fun (assuming you've already paid for the accommodation). If you're not self-catered, work out what meals you can make yourself in your room. Some bread, fresh fruit, a hunk of hard cheese, jam/honey and olives will keep at room temperature for several days, which can be lunch/breakfast. Get a water bottle, and drink mainly tap water in the day time, save money for some beers in the evening. You'll be fine!
posted by Helga-woo at 11:19 AM on October 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Seconding Parc Guelle, the free part was already very nice to see, and the view of the city is excellent from there. I took a bus to get there but walked back to the city center (mostly downhill as I remember) and is was a nace way to get a feel for the city.
posted by PaulZ at 11:27 AM on October 27, 2018

Changing money shouldn't be a problem - if you have a debit card that works on most/all American ATMs, I'd expect it to work on local ATMs as well. There should be some at the airport.
posted by trig at 2:34 PM on October 27, 2018

Response by poster: I don’t have access to any plastic money. I literally have cash that adds up I about 140 euros. So I need to change that cash into euros.

I made it to the hotel and things are going really well. They weren’t happy about my not having a card for incidentals but here I am, I just won’t be ordering room service (which, duh).

There’s a Picasso exhibit (Picasso discovers Paris), lots of parks, and a coin op laundry, I figured out the buses, and I have an Olympic sized bathtub tonight and tomorrow night. Then I go to Gracia for three nights.

Thanks so much!
posted by bilabial at 3:20 PM on October 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

Lots of museums are free after 3pm today, not sure if you're aware of that and the natural sciences is your favourite?
Also, this weekend is the "open doors" for lots of interesting buildings that are normally not open to the public - entrance is free, and because of the rain, at least yesterday, there weren't many people queueing.
This is the week to be eating chestnuts, sweet potatoes and panellets, so look out for those in the street.
If the weather improves, walking up to Tibidabo or the bunkers at Carmel can be fun, there are nice views.
Thursday is a holiday, so shops will mostly be closed, but places to eat will be open, and it won't affect transport to the airport.
And I'm happy to answer any specific questions you might have.
posted by gregjones at 11:07 PM on October 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Reiterating that Park Güell is free to walk around in, but the main terrace with the most iconic mosaics and view of Barcelona (that a lot of people Instagram themselves sitting in) costs about 8€ to enter. I thought it was worth it to go to the park without paying for that, but some people do not.

You may be leaving earlier on the 1st, but the wonderful Picasso Museum is free Thursdays after 6:00 pm.
posted by little onion at 10:24 AM on October 28, 2018

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