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Barcelona on a budget

Convenient flights, carefully selected hotels and fantastic experiences make our cheap holidays in Barcelona effortless. Barcelona is more than just a city break destination, allow its vibrant art and culture, unique Catalan flavour and stunning beaches to entice and captivate.

Barcelona is easy to explore, and walking is perhaps the best way to see its fantastic sights and absorb its extraordinary atmosphere. Save money and avoid disappointment by booking an experience before you go. The hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tour is a great way to see the city, especially if you’re on a short city break. People-watch in the Gothic Quarter over a quick tapas lunch, or hire a bike for a leisurely cycle through the gridded streets.

Five budget ideas for Barcelona

Barcelona can be expensive, but there are plenty of things you can do to make your trip both cheap and unforgettable. From sightseeing and culture to food and drink, Barcelona offers many things that will keep you both happy and on budget during your city break.

compressomostraVisite turistiche
Visite turistiche.

Visite turistiche

Barcelona offers many parks, stunning examples of architecture, huge squares and a history dating back thousands of years. So instead of paying for entrance fees, see something for free. Head to La Rambla, visit the bustling La Boqueria market and then venture into the winding streets of Barri Gòtic for a glimpse into the medieval history of Barcelona. See the best of Gaudi’s masterpieces – Casa Milà (La Pedrera), Casa Batlló and the magnificent La Sagrada Familia cathedral in Eixample. Or visit the beautiful Modernista Palau de la Musica Catalana and the sprawling Parc de la Ciutadella – whose welcoming shaded lawns offer a respite from the midday heat.

compressomostraDining on a budget
Dining on a budget.

Dining on a budget

Forget the costly breakfast at the hotel and go out for churros and chocolate, a perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee. Lots of places make them, but avoid the tourist traps on La Rambla. Take a picnic for lunch – meats, cheese and bread are super cheap – and make your way to Montjuïc Castle for one of the best views in Barcelona. Or for a hearty lunch, try a fresh seafood paella in La Barceloneta right next to the beach. You will find some of the best tapas bars in the less affluent areas, so venture out to El Born or El Raval to start your night like a local.

compressomostraShopping
Shopping.

Shopping

A trip to Barcelona wouldn’t be complete without a trip to one of its fantastic markets, with stalls piled high with exotic fruits and vegetables, meat, fish and even sweets. La Boqueria is the most famous, but Mercat de Sant Antoni in Eixample is larger with fewer tourists though both offer cheap and delicious produce. Most of the best vintage shops can be found along Carrer dels Tallers in El Raval – and stock some superb finds – but Le Swing in El Born is also very good. Barcelona is also well known for its cheap shoes, with many shops selling classic espadrilles for about €5 – great for all the walking you’ll be doing too.

compressomostraPay less for nightlife
Pay less for nightlife.

Pay less for nightlife

There are so many brilliant bars and clubs in Barcelona it is difficult to see more than a handful on a weekend break. Those in the know make their way to El Raval, a hip neighbourhood that is Barcelona’s equivalent to Shoreditch or Williamsburg, without the overpriced drinks. Places like Bar Marsella and Absenta are really cheap with an amazing, friendly crowd, serving delicious absinthe. Be aware that it not to be drunk like a shot. But for the real dive bars, head to Barri Gòtic, where you’ll find cool holes-in-the-wall – like Manchester Bar – playing alternative music serving €3 beers until late. And if you go to Bollocks (actually its name) they do great burgers too.

compressomostraTravelling for cheap
Travelling for cheap.

Travelling for cheap

The Aerobus service is the cheapest way to get into the city, it stops at either the beautiful Plaça d'Espanya or the Plaça de Catalunya at the top of La Rambla – all for €10.20 return. Once in the city, the Metro is easy to use and fairly cheap, if you get the 10-use ticket. But the best way to get around is to cycle as Barcelona has some of the best cycle lanes in the world. They traverse the city, running alongside some of the most famous monuments and through the coolest districts. You can hire a bike from many places, so look around for a good deal and watch out for tourist traps.

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