Barcelona is an expensive city we know that, overpriced museums, chic restaurants and amazing hotels but all adds up to the daily travel budget. Barcelona low cost is my local guide to show you what possibilities there are in the city for low budget. I will give you some
local tips to enjoy Barcelona for free and also some paid with a low budget. If you have little to spend you can still enjoy the city to the fullest.
Transport in Barcelona
Barcelona is a great city but it is not as big as London or Rome, so walking is a great choice, make sure you visit the city choosing the neighbourhood you want to tackle that day and walk around the place, you will not only save on transportation but also discover places you didn't know that existed. This way you get closer to the local stores and the true vibe of the neighborhood, walking you can observe so many things.
Another option is to take the underground and bus, the best choice if you are going to use the underground all day, is to buy multi-day travel cards that are valid for unlimited journeys. There are tickets available from 2 day to 5 days and are unipersonal. If instead you want to walk but use it in some occasions I would recommend you the T-10, as there are 10 trips but you can use it for different people.
Accommodation in Barcelona
My recommendation that I tried in a mid-range budget is Hotel Market, a three star hotel with stylish rooms from 60 euros a night for a double room, for 30 euros per person it is a great value for money.
If you look for a hostel type of accommodation, I didn't try it myself but a lot of people recommend Generator hostels and equity point hostel, I stayed with equity point in Marrakesh, and it was great value for money. In general both hostels prices are: a bed in a shared room dorm starts from 10/12 euros, and a private double one for 30 euros per person approximately.
There are plenty of sharing economy services on accommodation and transport you just need to know them and choose the one that fits your needs best.
Services such as coach surfing will get you accommodation for free in local houses and you will experience more how people live in the city. You can also rent an apartment in Airbnb for example, that will allow you to cook at home. If you don't know the service yet, register now and get 23 euros discount in your first reservation with my airbnb discount code.
Cheap eats in Barcelona
Cheap eats in Barcelona are possible, I will explain you some of my secrets to go around and spent little but eat well, it is always important the balance on what you are paying and what you get for that.
Chenji, an authentic chinese restaurantand not the typical ones you see around, this is where the Chinese that live in Barcelona go for lunch. A dish and a drink can cost as little as 4-6 euros.
Grup Andilana is a good option, this is a medium range, you can find dishes from 4 to 6 euros each, depends on what you eat. A drink + dish it can cost you 10/15 euros per person. They have different restaurants in Barcelona and Catalonia: Miu Miu a japanese restaurant, La Rita traditional catalan cuisine, Baltazar etc... They also have restaurants and hotels in Palamós, a beautiful beach town near Barcelona.
Another good option is to go to la Boqueria market, they have cheap eats available to take away in the different stalls from fruit juices to fish dishes, paella and others.
Tacos tacos is another good option if you are around Poble ssec, their tacos start from as little as 1, 75 euros, my recommendation is chinga de pollo, they also have mexican tapas such as nachos with guacamole, a great one, try it out!
And now the local tip, there is a takeaway chain called Nostrum, they have traditional catalan food to take away, dishes start at 1 euro. You have a lot of advantages and discounts if you have their fidelity card, even if you are here for a few days is worthwhile if you want to buy there a couple of times. You can find pasta dishes, salads, meat, fish, desserts etc...
"Menu del dia" is the best choice to eat out on weekdays, every restaurant has a daily menu for lunch from Monday to Friday from 8 euros to 15 euros in low-midrange restaurants that include: starter, main dish, dessert and normally a drink and bread. If you are eating out watch out for the daily "menu del dia", it will save you some pennies and you will eat local food.
If you are staying in an apartment or in a hostel you will have access to a kitchen, why not cook spanish recipes? Apart from being a lot cheaper than go to the restaurant downstairs, you will be able to experience the products and work with them to make traditional recipes. My favorite food blog for catalan food is Catalan cuisine for foreginers, I am sure you can find there something of your liking.
Free activities in Barcelona
Check out my full list of free things to do in Barcelona, there is plenty to do from free entrance to museums, to music concerts for the price of a beer. I am sure you didn't know half of it, or maybe you know more than me! If so, let me know so I can add more free things to the list.
My local tip is to check weekly Forfree.cat, the web is available in English as well and on a weekly basis they present the free proposals to do that week in Barcelona. They also have a section of activities for less than 5 euros.
Depending when are you visiting Barcelona, I recommend you things to do in summer in Barcelona as well, great ideas for the sunny months to come! If you are coming in Spring/Summer, Catalonia is full of festivals that you can attend to, music, dance, magic and many more disciplines to choose from.
Flea markets are a good place to see the city's atmosphere, find here the best flea markets in Barcelona and a special mention to Els Encants, my favorite above all and the most authentic. Before it was trendy to have many flea markets in town, Els Encants was already there and very popular among local citizens.
Walking routes in Barcelona are for free as anywhere else in the world you just need to get your walking shoes out, a map and be eager to discover different places in the city, check them out:
- Montjuic: the best views of the city
- Poble Sec: do something different, visit a civil war refuge and walk around Poble Sec. Plenty of bars and perfect for vermouth at the weekend.
- Gràcia : hipster barrio for artisans, clothes, and food
- Gaudí Buildings route, do it on your own!: you can't miss Gaudí if you are in Barcelona
- Sant Antoni, the trendy neighborhood: local designers, furniture and great tapas district
- Raval: a cultural barrio near the city center with plenty of activities to do: theatres, shops