Barcelona on a Budget

Just like most of Europe’s big city’s Barcelona can be an expensive place to visit, yet if you know some insider tips you can have a great time without spending a fortune. For the basis of this article we are going to talk about a weekend in the Catalan capital but it could easily be turned into a week long holiday.

barcelona by night 2

Getting to Barcelona

Today more than ever before it is cheap to fly around Europe on low-cost airlines such as Ryanair, and Easy Jet. The downside is they only allow you a very small carry on allowance, and are very strict when it comes to enforcing this rule so be very careful what you pack. Sometimes it pays to also check with the major carriers like British Airways as they often have certain routes on sale, while letting you take a suitcase at no extra charge.

Where to stay

Forget about hotels or hostels rent a studio or one bedroom apartment for your stay from as little as 16€ per night. Many of them can accommodate up to six people, which makes it really cheap if you are traveling with friends. The best website we found for short term rentals is they have a huge selection of places all around the city and it does not matter where you stay just make sure there is a Metro stop nearby. 

Getting around

The best way to get around the city is by the Metro, and the cheapest way to do that is to buy a  T-10 ticket that will cost you 7.85€. The beauty of this ticket is that it is good for any journey on the Metro, bus or local trains. It is valid for ten one way journeys and can be used by one or more people.

La Rambla, Barcelona

Where to eat

In Spain the main meal of the day (comida) is eaten at 2pm, and if you want to eat like a Spaniard look for a restaurant away from the touristy areas like the Ramblas and Barrio Gótico that is busy, and has a sign outside that says menu del dia, which is a three course meal with a beer or glass of wine for around 10€. For breakfast (desayuno) the same thing applies you will see an advertised price on a board outside which included a coffee and a tostada for a couple of Euro’s. For any other meals do your own shopping in the local Mercadona supermarket where you can buy some excellent  Jamón Serrano and  Manchego cheese along with olives, and a bottle of red wine for 5€ look for Mercadona’s own brand  “HACENDADO” as everything under this name is excellent.

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What to see

In Barcelona it is of course a must to walk along the Ramblas where you can watch some fantastic street artists, and also stroll around the Barrio Gottica and the Eixample district for the architecture, including Gaudi’s unfinished La Sagrada Familia.

Take a short bus ride out to the Parc Guell to look at the fairy-tale houses and the gardens full of mosaics. Many of the City’s museums are free on a Sunday including the Museu Picasso which has free entry after 3pm. If it is nice and sunny why not spend the day at the beach, or if you want to go to the beach where everyone in Barcelona seems to prefer take the train to the seaside town and stay in a luxury apartment in Sitges.

 Parc Guell 10

About the author

Matt James is a travel enthusiast, sharing his thoughts and findings regarding world culture along the way. You can find more information regarding Spanish travel at