Barcelona, one of the world's most popular and liveliest cities deserves a separate post on how to enjoy it on the cheap. Check out how to save money visiting the rest of Spain's main cities in this post. If you want a city full of culture, night life, and beach time, this city is it.
Here are some things you can try for saving money in Barcelona :
Hostels are again, a great way to save money. I stayed at the Casa Gracia near Diagonal Metro station and other than the uber-modern interior design, the other great thing about it was the full-on free full breakfast. Coffee, fruit, juices, ham and cheese, bread, cereal, you name it you got it. It cost about 20 USD a night for a mixed dorm bed. It wasn't in the central part of town but a quick 15 to 20 min walk (or a two stop metro ride) got you to Plaza Catalunya, which is the central hub of activity of Barcelona.
This hostel had a free walking tour arranged by the Walking with Architects group (a bunch of architect students doing this on the side). The guides give good recommendations for “must-see's” and must-eats.n Also, their passion for architecture (for a Gaudi architecture rich city) is nice to see!
Staying away from Las Rambla, you should be fine. Otherwise, expect to pay 18 to 22 euros per person for a bunch of tapas and some drinks. La Rambla can be counted on to have restaurants open late in the night though, especially on Sunday evenings when a lot of things close early. Also, you don't need to tip in Spain! 🙂
Barcelona is easily accessible around town by foot (think 15 to 20 minute walks and sometimes more) but get a 10 ticket pass from the Metro station. The 10 ticket pass costs less than 10 euros and gives you 10 rides. Otherwise, paying for them separately costs 2 euros each. The “T-10” is a better deal than buying a 1-3 day tourist metro ticket. The bus to the airport costs about 6 euros. Skip the 22 euro taxi! The T-10 works on the city buses and the metro.
See and Do
La Sagrada Familia– Showing your student ID with photo identification saves you a few euros off the admission price. Unless you want to pay another few euros to wait 1 hr to go up the elevator to see views of Barcelona, you don't need to add this to your admission.
Tossa de Mar- A 22 euro bus ride gets you to Tossa de Mar, which is part of the rugged Costa Brava coastline. You can go to the Arc de Triomphe metro station and the bus station is across the street. There are roman ruins, shops to meander throw, and a beautiful sandy beach with turquoise water to enjoy. They even have a glass bottom boat should you want to venture out to explore the ocean. There are a lot of tourists but it can be nice to get out of the city for a bit. If you're going to enjoy the seafood, expect to pay 10 to 15 euros for a menu of the day including appetizer, main entree, drink, and dessert.
Museo de Picasso– On Sunday evenings from 3-8pm this museum is free and houses some of Picasso's earlier works, including some stuff from his Blue Period. You save 11 euros! Go at around 6pm because that's when the line isn't too bad. Expect to wait about 30 to 45 minutes if you go at this time.
Parc Guell– More Gaudi, this beautiful garden landscaped park is currently free, but they are thinking of charging an admission price for this in the coming months. So enjoy it while you can!
La Rambla– One of the major tourist streets. Watch your bag. Free to stroll of course but it's kinda overrated.
Montjuic– The views are beautiful from here and best of all the views are free!
As you can see, Barcelona can easily be done in a few days but if you really want to enjoy the city you should definitely stay for more because there's a lot for everyone to see and do. Since the Canadian dollar is doing quite well, it might be a good time to visit Europe. Remember to use a credit card that doesn't charge you conversion fees!
Readers, do you have other tips on how to see Barcelona on a Budget?