Ahh, Barcelona—the hip mecca for backpackers and college dropouts alike. Even so, as one of Europe’s best venues, it can be difficult to dig into the scene without digging into your pockets. Luckily, we’ve come up with a few tips and tricks to take some pressure off your wallet without losing all those romantic, Spanish vibes.
When you land in a major metropolitan area, a good first step is to figure out how to get around. Cabins? With the foot? Barcelona has a fairly extensive metro system to take advantage of. Of course it will beat the standard cab fare, but you can take it a step further. head to the website and check their discount rates; try the Hola BCN card for multi-day, travel-friendly rates (the cheapest is just over $4 for 2 days of transit).
Español: Tapas en un establismo de Barcelona (Spain) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Where to eat in Barcelona
People travel with their stomachs. “Where should we go for dinner?” “Is there a good place for coffee around here?” When in Barcelona, do as the Barcelonans do. And that means tapas.
For tapas-inspired sandwiches, swing by El Filete Ruso and its seriously scrumptious selection of burgers and Spanish-style concoctions. To satisfy that sweet tooth, head to Artisan. This quirky café is highly rated TripAdvisor and offers sweet crepes (like lemon sugar) and almond-honey chocolates, among a ton of other things.
What to see in Barcelona
A good way to hit the ground running when trying to absorb the culture of a new city is to check out its museums and galleries. In addition, they are usually quite affordable or even donation based. It really is a win-win. The Center of Culture Contemporania de Barceolona Our list tops only about $7 for admission. CCCB curates mod culture with rotating photo exhibitions, tastemaker presentations and music/installation art.
English: Neogothic style bridge by architect Joan Rubió on Carrer del Bisbe (Bishop Street) in Barcelona, connecting the Palau de la Generalitat (Seat of the Catalan Government) with the Casa dels Canonges (residence of the President). Català: Neogothic bridge between the Palau de la Generalitat and the Casa dels Canonges, Barcelona (Catalunya). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Of course, if you really want to save some cash, the high $0 will cost you wander through these colorful streets it looks pretty good on your travel budget log. The famous Gothic Quarter stands proudly in the center of the city with architecture that reflects both the Roman Settlement and the moderista, Art Nouveau Movement. And with almost a dozen World Heritage sites all over the city, traipsing around will be very productive.
Where to stay in Barcelona
All this means quite a long day. So, where will you hang your hat and rest for the afternoon jaunt? While there is no universal trick to getting super cheap hotels (despite what online travel agencies say), Europe is famous for its surprisingly comfortable hostels. The hostels to avoid are usually easy to find (like those that promote addicted to meth seminars). Hasperia Sport it sits somewhere between a hostel and a hotel with options of private rooms and an Internet center to track your next day’s itinerary. In a city like this, it would be more than enough as a basic (but charming) sleeping quarters.
We’ve covered just a fraction of what you can do on a budget in Barcelona. Be sure to check out the local tourism website for source recommendations. But remember: sticking to a travel budget is easiest when you actually make a budget. So choose your price limits and daily allowances and stick to them. Happy travels!
Savannah Marie is a travel enthusiast and writer for her blog, Mixios. When she’s not writing or traveling the world, she’s walking her favorite yellow lab, Remington, baking something delicious, or reading a classic novel.