How To Do Barcelona On A Budget: 2 Days For Less Than 150 Euros.
How much money should you take to Barcelona for a two-day trip, I type into Google. For research purposes. The results were quite surprising, as I scanned through many visitors talk about how they felt the city was expensive or the small fortune they had spent. That’s why I’m here to walk you through how I would do Barcelona on a budget, without that feeling of sacrificing enjoyment. This travel diary should hopefully give you some real gems to include in your next trip, from the perspective of a travel blogger who has lived in the city. During this experiment, I didn’t visit the interior of many well-known landmarks like ‘La Sagrada Familia’ or ‘Park Güell’, so top up your card with more funds if it’s your first time in the city. However, I’ve dropped useful tips to help maximise your budgeting skills in the city so my post on how to do Barcelona on a budget is suitable for everyone.
Seeing as my readers are located all across the globe, I’ve not included the cost of flights in this breakdown. For someone living in Europe, prices will be considerably more affordable than for someone based further away. Although, I’ve got a blog post on how to find cheap flights which I’ll link for you. Once you’ve scored that deal to Barcelona, rest assured you’ll be able to follow this guide on having a good time in BCN for less than 150 euros.
A Reasonably-Priced Hotel In Central Barcelona:
Budget travel is often associated with hostels. However, I wanted to try my luck with hotels. In my eyes, the price of a hotel can be justified if the location is bang in the middle of the city. Leonardo Hotel Barcelona Gran Via is one of the best hotels for location and convenience, in my opinion. I say this because you’re within walking distance to ‘Plaza Espanya’ and a 2-minute stroll to the nearest metro station. At the time of writing, I paid 85 euros for 1 night’s stay at Leonardo Hotel Gran Via. Of course, you could probably find hotels that offer a better rate, but these tend to be pretty depressing to stay in and further from the city. Besides, I’m so confident in my suggestions for budget travel around Barcelona that using half the budget for the hotel is not concerning at this point. Total: 85 Euros.
Transport Around Barcelona:
When you land at Barcelona El Prat airport, you’ve got a few options to get into the city. The cheapest option is actually a local bus, which will set you back a mere 2.20 euros, however I decided to go with the metro on my way into the city for just over 5 euros. It cuts down the travel time of the bus by 35 minutes. This is not to be confused with the blue ‘Aerobus’, which takes 25 minutes and costs 6 euros. Total: 5 Euros.
The first thing I did when I arrived at ‘Plaza Espanya’ station was head straight to the bus/metro ticket machine. One of the best ways to see Barcelona on a budget is by purchasing the ‘T-Casual’ 10 journey pass card. Annoyingly, whilst you can’t share the ticket with your travelling buddy, you can use this pass on your way back to the airport if you have remaining uses. Just look out for ‘Bus 46 A’. Little tips like these make all the difference, as you’ve potentially saved 5-10 euros on the return journey alone. Total: 11.90 Euros.
Budget-Friendly Sushi + Ramen Lunch In Barcelona:
By the time I had checked into the hotel, I was in major need of food. One of my favourite spots for purse-friendly comforts is ‘Ziqi’. Frequent readers of my blog will know how much I absolutely adore this unique ramen spot. However, you will too, once you find out you can get a 3-course meal, dessert and drink for 11 euros. The quality-quantity ratio is unbeatable. Oh, and the anime interior is very cool too. Total: 11 Euros.
Things To Do In Barcelona When You’re On A Budget:
Now for some sightseeing. From Ziqi, I walked to ‘Las Arenas’ to admire the city from high up. The rooftops of this ex-bullring-turned-leisure-complex are a real treat because you’ve got a brilliant view of ‘Montjuïc castle’. One thing to watch out for though -when visiting Las Arenas, you’ll see an elevator charging you a few euros to take the scenic route to the rooftop. Skip this, as it’s a waste of money. Instead, use the elevator within the shopping mall to get to the top. You’ll get the same final result. I promise. Total: Zero.
After snapping a few pictures of Montjuïc, I made my way to the same metro station I used earlier to visit ‘Ciutadella Park’. This location is a great option for exploring on a budget, as the park is home to beautiful views, live performances, and an a handful of paddle boats to manoeuvre around a small lake. You’ve also got ‘Arc de Triomf’ less than a minute away, where you’ll witness even more street performances. Total: Zero.
To continue with the theme of good vibes, one area of Barcelona that you won’t want to miss is ‘El Born’. It’s a short walk from the above, and welcomes various forms of street art, cultural exhibitions and Instagrammable photo opportunities. Total: Zero.
Now, if you come to Barcelona you might as well check out the beach right? Barceloneta is far from amazing, given constant overcrowding and littering, however there is no denying this spot is where you can witness an epic sunset. Something about the water glistening as the sun goes down makes your evening feel magical. Total: Zero.
Budget-Friendly Burgers In Barcelona:
For an evening meal, I was craving burgers. From my years of experience living in Barcelona, there’s one obvious choice that comes to mind in situations like these. It has to be Goiko’s. You see, this upcoming chain restaurant tastes so good it doesn’t even feel like a chain. Locals adore it here, and rightly so. You’re guaranteed a satisfied stomach, as you’ll willingly swallow up every crumb left on your plate. I went with the chipotle burger on a gluten-free roll, which comes with salad or fries, and a soft drink. Total: 14.60 Euros.
I was stuffed but stopped by Mercadona supermarket to pick up a bottle of water and popcorn, should I feel like binging on Spanish reality tv into the early hours of the night. I also picked up fresh orange juice, the ones you can fill yourself from the orange press machines, and a handful of pastries for tomorrow’s breakfast. Total: 5.40 Euros.
An Affordable Afternoon In The City:
The following morning, I was keen to visit ‘Camp Nou’ before things got crowded. I checked out of Leonardo Hotel and grabbed the metro to ‘Les Corts’. You’re a ten-minute walk to the notorious FC Barcelona stadium, which is also home to the biggest merchandise store you’ll find. After witnessing the queue to the FC Barcelona museum, I was in the mood to wander around a non-sports-related offering. This is where I spontaneously headed to the CosmoCaixa science museum. The interactive machines and indoor rainforest entertain me to the fullest, despite not being a sci-fi fan. You easily need close to two hours to appreciate the contents of the building though, so consider whether you have time before embarking on the trek! Oh, and it’s worth knowing that you can get free entrance to CosmoCaixa Barcelona if you happen to visit on the first Monday of each month. If not, you’re looking at a still-affordable rate of 6 euros per adult. Total: 6 Euros.
With my boarding pass soon-to-be automatically showing on my phone’s lock screen, I knew my time in Barcelona was coming to an end. However, I had time, and leftover money, to grab lunch. I made my way back to ‘La Terraza Miro’, as it was close to where I’d board my bus back to the airport. It’s a small café serving up healthy foods in a cosy setting. I decided to indulge in tapas containing gluten, lol, as it would be my last meal in Barcelona until I next visited. For patatas bravas, traditionally Catalan bread + tomato, and a croquette I spent just over 10 euros. I still had water to chug down before the airport so didn’t need a drink. Total: 10.30 Euros.
If you’ve got more time, another option for cheap eats in Barcelona is ‘Pai Mei’. Located in Les Glóries Mall, this humble noodle spot allows you to customise your bowl with any topping you could possibly want. Typically, the noodles average 7-9 euros. Considering how genuinely massive the portion size is, and how flavoursome the actual noodles are, you’ve got yourself a fab deal.
As I clocked in my remaining bus journey to the airport, I was in a position to reflect on my experiment. Overall, I was happy with how much I could cram into 2 days, and felt the total, 149.20 Euros, was well-spent. I don’t think I was overly conscious of budgeting during my trip, but felt a little limited during my final lunch. An additional 10-20 euros would have solved this problem, and could have gained me a few souvenirs. If I were to repeat this investigation again, I’d maybe try an Air BnB room for lower total costs, but I had no regrets. After all, I achieved exactly what I set out to do – showing how a quick trip to Barcelona doesn’t have to break the bank.
Very creative way of visiting Barcelona on a budget! Honestly, this is what I’d done on my last trip to the city six years ago, as a young, broke traveler…nowadays, I would choose to splurge a bit more for a hotel and a nice meal, but of course, also enjoy the free sights and activities in town!
Thank you! I agree, I feel accommodation can really make or break a trip so I don’t mind spending more for it, and saving in other areas like transport !
Thank you! ☺️