If the passion of your life is to see new places in this world, you simply cannot miss out on Barcelona in Spain which has always captivated me. Going to a foreign country especially in Europe is an expensive affair, more so if you are from a third world country, and as such I make it a point to do some research before I plan such a visit and find out the most economical and affordable places to stay and free tourist attractions where I do not have to pay through my nose towards entry fee. Barcelona is a fabulous city which offers many attractions to see and to do. Moreover, there are many free attractions and I am giving below 5 of them which are my favourites.
La Rambla: This is a street in central Barcelona that has many trees lining the sides. It is a pedestrian mall that stretches for 1.2 kilometres and it connects Placa de Catalunya in the centre with the Chrsitopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. It also forms the boundary between the quarters of Barri Gotic to the east and El Raval to the west. While walking down the street, you get the feel that everyone in the city has descended on it and is walking down with you, especially during the tourist season. Due to its immense popularity, the street is now full of pavement cafes and souvenir kiosks but the flip side is that it is also full of pickpockets and it is the favourite haunt of sex workers towards its southern end. The crowds on the street are there during the day and also until late in the night. The paving design appears as ripple like water. The attractions along the street include a mosaic by Joan Miro, a famous fountain, the Palace of the Virrerina, the famous Liceu Theatre and the La Boqueria Market. The road also leads to several cultural establishments.
La Boqueria: Walking around the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria (known as La Boqueria in common terms) which is a famous covered market of Barcelona, is quite an experience. It is mostly frequented by locals for buying food produce, spices, meat, fish, candy and almost everything edible. There is no admission fee but you can end up spending a lot for buying the food items. La Boqueria is situated in the Clutat Vella district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and it is one of the foremost tourist landmarks of the city. It has an entrance from La Rambla, close to the Liceu, Barcelona’s opera house and it offers a wide selection of goods.
Park Guell: It is a public park system comprising of gardens and architecture elements and it is located on Carmelo Hill in Barcelona. The park is situated in La Salut, a neighbourhood in the Gracia district of Barcelona. The design of the park was assigned to Antony Gaudi by Eusebi Guell, who wanted to urbanise the place. Gaudi designed it so that Barcelona’s aristocracy could live here. However, it did not succeed as a real estate venture as only two houses were built, a white house and a pink house where Gauti lived but it has now been converted into a museum. It was officially opened as a public park in 1926. UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site in 1984. Park Guell reflects the artistic brilliance of Gaudi which belongs to the naturalist phase. The entrance to the park is free but there is an entrance fee to enter the monumental area. The prime attraction of the park is the main terrace which is surrounded by a long bench in the form of a sea serpent. The curves of the serpent bench form a number of enclaves that provide a more social environment.
Barceloneta Beaches: Since Barcelona is on the Mediterranean, it has many city beaches although the beaches outside the city present a much better picture. On the Barcelona Beach, you can find drums being played around the weird Cuban monument, sand artists and singing dancing donut salesmen. This beach is probably the most crowded, dirtiest and full of tourists but it is also the most entertaining. It also offers great seafood eateries along the shore. The other beaches in Barcelona include the Nova Icaria Beach, Bogatell Beach, Mar Bella Beach, Ocata Beach, Caldetes Beach, St Pol de Mar Beach, Castelldefels Beach, Garraf Beach and Sitges Beach.
Barri Gotic: The Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic) is the centre of the old city and the oldest part of Barcelona. It stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana and from the Mediterranean seafront to Ronda de Sant Pere. It is a part of the Clutat Vella district. The narrow stone streets are testimonials to the fact that it is the oldest part of the city. You can still see some parts of the Roman wall around Tapineria and Sots-Tinent Navarro to the north, Avinguda de la Catedral and Plaça Nova to the west and Carrer de la Palla to the south. El Call, the medieval Jewish quarter, is located within this area too. Many buildings of the area date back to the Medieval times. Barri Gòtic retains a labyrinthine street plan, with many small streets opening out into squares. Most of the quarter is closed to regular traffic although open to service vehicles and taxis.