“But if there were no Barcelona, why would you get out of bed in the morning?” - Ray Hudson
Are you planning on heading to Barcelona? Would you like to make the most of the tourist attractions, stay in some nice accommodation, enjoy the food, and do a bit of shopping?
We recommend that you plan out your budget first. After all, from public transport to visiting tourist attractions, everything has a price. However, in comparison to other large European cities, Barcelona can be quite cheap.
That doesn’t mean that you don’t need to plan as it would be a shame to miss out on something because your budget won’t allow for it.
Where should you stay and what should you do when you’re there?
Here’s our guide to budgeting for a trip to Barcelona.
How Much Does a Trip to Barcelona Cost?
Your guide to Barcelona probably won’t mention how much it costs to get there and as there are a few ways to get there, here's what you should know.
Whether you’re going on a last-minute trip or have been planning it for a while, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to get there and you, fortunately, have a few options.
The most obvious way is by plane and there are flights for all budgets. You can return flights for around £75. There are low-cost airlines like Ryanair and Vueling offering flights for as little as £40. Generally, the cost of flights will depend on the airport you choose to fly from. Cardiff and London offer some of the cheapest flights but you can expect to pay more to fly from Glasgow, Liverpool, or Nottingham. Barcelona has a decent airport so there are a lot of direct flights.
You can also travel by train, but this will take you much longer as you’ll have to travel from the UK and through France. Once you’ve made it to France, the journey will take nearly 7 hours to get to Barcelona Sants station. A one-way ticket from London can cost you around £200 and will take you almost an entire day once you change trains. Again, where you start your journey will affect the cost. You’ll need to add on the train to London, for example.
You can travel to Barcelona by bus. A bus journey from London can take between 26 and 38 hours and can cost around £50 one-way. Again, from outside of London, it’ll take even longer and cost even more.
In short, it’s much better to travel to Barcelona by plane as the journey is shorter and often cheaper than any other mode of transport and Barcelona’s airport is in El Prat de Llobregat just 12km from the city. You can expect to pay around €25 for a taxi to the city centre but there are cheaper transfers available.
Ready to discover Barcelona?
How Much Does Accommodation in Barcelona Cost?
Finding accommodation in Barcelona isn’t that difficult. The city is full of hotels and accommodation for all budgets so whether you’re heading away for a romantic weekend or visiting Barcelona with the family, there’s accommodation for everyone.
Here’s our advice for finding good accommodation. From the Passeig de Gracia to the Gothic quarter, the perfect trip to Barcelona starts with finding somewhere to stay.
Are you going to Barcelona soon?
Here are the best areas for finding accommodation:
- Barcelona City Centre (Plaça Catalunya and the Ramblas)
- The historic quarters (El Born, El Gotico, and El Raval)
In these areas, there are also plenty of things to see and do so you'll be spoilt for choice.
If you’re young, you can opt for youth hostels as there are tonnes of them around the city and they cost around €30 a night. They’re usually simple and far from luxurious, but you’ll have an opportunity to meet other travellers and visit Barcelona with them.
There are also plenty of flats in Barcelona. Depending on the area you decide to stay in, they can cost around €120 a night. This type of accommodation gives you more freedom in terms of where you stay in the city and also often comes with a kitchen or cooking facilities.
Aparthotels are useful for families that would like a bit more freedom than hotels can offer them. They’ll normally include a kitchenette and a parking space. Of course, this comes at a price. For around €150 a night, they’re good options for families or groups of friends.
Would you prefer a hotel?
It can sometimes be worthwhile checking whether the airline offers deals with hotels included as this can make things much simpler and, in some cases, cheaper.
You don’t have to stay in a large hotel chain, either, especially if you’re looking to travel on a budget. If you opt for 1, 2, or 3-star hotels, you can find some very affordable places for around €80 a night.
4 and 5-star hotels will cost more. There are a lot of nice hotels with roof-top terraces that offer spectacular views over the city.
In summary, here’s the average cost of accommodation in Barcelona:
- Youth hostels: €30.
- Bnbs/Guest Houses: €35.
- Campsites: €60.
- Holiday flats: €120.
- Aparthotels: €150.
- 1-Star Hotel: €70.
- 2-Star Hotel: €80.
- 3-Star Hotel: €85.
- 4-Star Hotel: €120.
- 5-Star Hotel: €230.
How Much Does It Cost to Eat in Barcelona?
The best thing about travelling; the food! Paella, tapas, etc. Food in Barcelona is generally cheaper than in other major European cities.
Looking to try some local specialities, have a drink, or take in a flamenco show?
The city is known for its food and you can enjoy it in some lovely places. You can easily get a nice meal for two people for around €50. For those on a budget, you can get fast food or the dish of the day for around €10. Even if it isn’t haute-cuisine, you can still find some nice stuff on a budget.
Looking to sample the bars in Barcelona?
A pint of beer only costs around €3, which can make a big difference if you plan on having a few of them (in moderation, of course!).
For those looking to stay in a holiday flat, you can get local produce from one of Barcelona’s fine markets and cook food yourself. On average, you can get food for around the following prices:
- 500g of bread: €1.29.
- 12 eggs: €2.13.
- 1kg of tomatoes: €1.71.
- 1kg of chicken: €6.26.
- Local cheese: €9.94.
- A bottle of wine: €5.
- A large bottle of water: €1.38.
This should give you a better idea of how much to set aside for food and drink during your trip. A good compromise is to alternate between eating out and preparing food.
You could even consider a picnic as the weather is often so nice in Barcelona that there’s no reason you can’t eat in some of the city’s lovely parks.
Transport and Activities in Barcelona
Barcelona is rather large so you can’t always walk to your destination. In some instances, you’ll need to take public transport.
Fortunately, Barcelona has an expansive metro network that can take you to your destination. If you’re not a fan of the metro, you can always take the local buses to the important tourist destinations. For destinations outside of the city, you can always take the train.
The average bus or metro trip only costs a little over €2.
There are also tourist buses that include the guide to the city. They do loops of the city and will take you past the houses designed by Antoni Gaudi, Montjuïc, and the Columbus Monument. The tickets cost around €30 for one day or €40 for a two-day ticket.
It’s a good idea to invest in a City Pass or Barcelona Card if you plan on visiting a few tourist attractions. Generally, they’ll give you discounts, queue jumps, and various other benefits. They include popular attractions and destinations such as:
- National Museum of Art
- The Olympic Park
- Barcelona Zoo
- The Picasso Museum
- The Camp Nou
- The Sagrada Familia
- Joan Miró Foundation
- And many more!
If you’re a fan of Catalan Modernism, these tickets or cards also come with free audio guides in a lot of the museums and tourist attractions.
You can buy them at the Barcelona Tourist Offices and also online on partner websites before you go. The Barcelona City Pass is available for €80.
The Barcelona Card costs around €45. While cheaper, you don’t get access to as many monuments and attractions. This pass is a good idea for those visiting Barcelona for the first time or those who aren’t interested in the Gaudi buildings.
Now you should be able to start budgeting for your trip to Barcelona.