Barcelona is regularly rated as one of the most artistic of Europe’s cities. Much of this phenomenal legacy is free to explore and a big attraction for a weekend in Spain.
Barcelona is a fairy-tale city that’s brimming with architecture and art that rivals (or arguably exceeds) that of most other European cities.
The really good news is that you don’t need a vast budget to discover the best of the artistic backdrop here, as there is plenty you can enjoy for free over a weekend in Spain.
In passing, yes, Gaudi is the city’s most famous artist and architect but there’s so much more, too!
Seeing Barcelona’s Artistic legacy for free
The incredible La Sagrada Familia is like nothing else. Descriptions and photos cannot do it justice but you don’t need to even find the entrance fee because so much can be obtained from admiring the architecture from the outside.
On your way there, if you stroll along the ‘Modernism Route’, you’ll pass the Casa Mila and the Casa Amatller, which are both fantasy houses that look more like they were designed as a theatre set!
Barcelona is also famous for Joan Miro and the ‘Fundacio’ set up to display his work. There is a modest entrance charge to get into the Fundacio but note also that Miro’s work is widely visible throughout the city and much of that is available to admire entirely free of charge. These cost savings can make a weekend in Spain break to Barcelona just that bit more affordable.
Don’t forget also the Parc de Joan Miro with its wonderful sculptures and look out for his amazing mosaics on Las Ramblas.
On Sundays, most of the museums here are free – worth keeping in mind if you’re on a budget!
Places to see also include:
• El Ravel, one of the most famous streets for art and street art
• The Roy Lichtenstein sculpture
• Frank Gehry’s ‘Peix’ on the seafront.
Getting to Barcelona
Most people taking a weekend in Spain break arrive by air. A flight from London airports to Barcelona takes only two hours. You may opt to take the train or drive to Barcelona, but this can be a long and tiresome journey – albeit a scenic one!
In terms of transfers, Barcelona airport is a short and easy ride into the city, only about 25 minutes. The public transport system in the city centre is excellent. Airport buses run at regular intervals into the city, with total journey time running about 40 minutes.
Where to Stay
Hostal Grau – A good budget hotel well positioned for Las Ramblas. An eco-friendly and family-run establishment, the rooms are simple but stylish and all come with private bathrooms. The restaurant is charmingly eccentric and serves excellent local dishes.
The Catalonia Catedral – This hotel offers good mid-priced accommodation in the city.
The modern building has a terrace, garden and a rooftop swimming pool. The rooms are beautifully decorated and provide the latest amenities. A big plus point is that the hotel has a stylish bar and a brassiere with great views of the Palacio Pignatelli Gallery.
Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona GL – For those who don’t mind spending a little extra, the Majestic Hotel is a fantastic choice. This luxury hotel offers steam baths, a sauna and related treatments. Then there’s the fitness centre, rooftop swimming pool, terrace and wonderful views, all of which help to set this stunning hotel apart. All in all, a wonderful hotel in a fantastic location for a weekend in Spain holiday – if your budget so permits!