City breaks in Europe can easily make a pretty big dent in your wallet, especially in summer months, when costs can jump up three times. I spent ten days in Barcelona for €25 a day, in the middle of the summer. I had a full apartment for myself, saw all the major tourist sights (and went off the beaten track too!), and went out for food multiple times. What? Yep, fo real. I’ll share how I did this, and some tips on how you can save money in Barcelona too!
** This budget doesn’t include flights. However, if you buy on time you’re able to snatch Ryanair flights to Barcelona from as cheap as €25 return!
I’m not sure there’s any type of cost I despise more than parking costs: costs you grudgingly pay despite feeling like it’s no use to you. Ugh. I took this trip from the Netherlands (where I lived then) and had to park our car at Eindhoven Airport. Since booked late we could have saved €20! Oh well, lesson learned.
Busreturn Reus Airport- Barcelona €53
Metro 10 days (2 people) €58,80
Metro turned out to be the highest costs for us, surprisingly. Although… it shouldn’t really come as a surprise considering how addicted I am to sightseeing. Barcelona is a bit too big to be super walkable, so we ended up jumping on the tube a few times. It came down to about €6 per day. Still only about €3 per person per day. The bus from Reus airport to Barcelona city centre takes about 1.5 to 2 hours and is €26,5 per person. Not cheap, but also not crazy. Just something to factor in when you’re deciding what airport to fly into!
Isn’t a figure missing here? Nope. I saw everything I wanted to see, and didn’t spend a penny. (This was right before Park Guell started charging for entry!). I’d already been to Sagrada Familia once, and since I was on a budget I skipped a few more expensive sights in favor of free ones. Barcelona is pretty cheap y’all.
Another free one? What? Yep, I arranged a home exchange with a family in Barcelona, which meant we had no costs for our stay! We just jumped into the tube and we’d be in the centre in no time. This was perfect: we not only had our own private flat with a kitchen and bedroom, we also stayed in local area. We did groceries in the local supermarket, visited the post office around the corner, and frequented the local pubs. The FC Barcelona stadium was only five minutes away (not saying this because I care, but for your reference of our location).
When in Barcelona… you eat. Aside from sightseeing, I will take any chance I get to jump into a restaurant. To be fair, if you have no costs for accommodation it gets a little easier to splash out on food. We ate at home two or three times (we had our own kitchen!) and made sure to have breakfast and lunch at home, so we could go out to dinner most nights. Mission accomplished!
Dinner in Barcelona is pretty cheap, compared to most cities. You often end up with large portions of tapas that are super simple to share. Also make sure to do your groceries in the supermarket instead of the local corner shop, where prices are inflated. It can honestly save you 3x as much on groceries.
Nowadays I have fulltime travel insurance, but back when I did this trip, I remembered halfway we didn’t have any travel insurance. HA. Good one. So we ducked into a McDonalds with wifi and quickly bought some insurance. We ended up not needing it, but since Barcelona is known for being riddled with pickpockets, it did provide some peace of mind.
TOTAL COST: €258
The total cost was €456 for two people. That works out to be €258 per person, and divide that by ten days leaves you with €25,80 per day. Add in a cheap flight and that should still keep you under thirty a day!
I fully expected to hate Barcelona, since EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER goes there. But I quickly could see why. It’s not just a gorgeous city filled with insane architecture, it also has a very relaxed vibe, boasts with hipster concepts and is a delight for the tummy! We even ended up seeing the major at a local festival. Barcelona is the living proof that traveling on a budget doesn’t have to mean missing out on anything, and that you can have an absolutely fabulous trip on any budget.
What did you spend in Barcelona?