My friends and I were in Barcelona at the end of our fall break trip, after visiting Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris. The weekend we visited was Halloween and when Catalonia tried to declare its independence, so the city was CRAZY. This dramatic turn of events was rather terrifying, but also monumental since my friends and I were experiencing history in the making! Below is my categorized travel guide for visiting Barcelona on a budget!
Disclaimer: This blog post was originally uploaded in spring 2018 and has been updated as of spring 2021 for relevancy.
The classic Barca photo-op. Be sure to buy your tickets in advance to visit this park so you can skip the lines and beat the heat. The park is located on Carmel Hill in Barcelona and offers jaw-dropping views of the ocean and city below. This park is one of Gaudí’s major works and although his use of glass is exquisite, the park is quite small. You only need about an hour here.
This unfinished Roman Catholic church is another one of Gaudí’s masterpieces. Beginning in 1882, the cathedral is set to be completed in the year 2026. The unique exterior of this cathedral resembles a giant drip-sandcastle and has 18 towers. Sagrada Familia has the world’s most beautiful stained glass! Vibrant colors from the natural light shine onto the walls and columns. Buy your tickets in advance to visit this UNESCO World Heritage site. The tickets cost a small fee, but this is a must-do activity for Barcelona on a budget!
La Boqueria Market
Located right off of La Rambla, La Boqueria is a large and open public market that serves a wide variety of food. For a cheap and delicious lunch my friends and I wandered around the various booths. I ate chocolate-covered strawberries, fresh fruit, a taco, and thai noodles. This place really has it all.
Barcelona beach is the perfect place to hangout and catch some rays. The beach is surprisingly clean for being located right in the city, although there are a lot of gypsies selling drinks and offering massages…both of which I recommend declining. Barcelona beach is characterized by the uniquely shaped W hotel and the many outdoor restaurants that sit on the sand. The beach is completely free to visit, making it the perfect activity to do when visiting Barcelona on a budget!
Brunch & Cake
You can’t leave Barcelona without eating a meal here. This restaurant is so trendy and has some of the best food I’ve ever tasted. The menu is very unique and the food is beautifully displayed. This restaurant is extremely busy, but the food is worth the wait!
Arc de Triumf & Parc de la Ciutadella
This Spanish arch is the entrance to Parc de la Ciutadella and a replica of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The park has a beautiful fountain, a pond that you can row boats in, a zoo, and is a popular hangout spot among locals. This park would be perfect for a picnic!
This tree-lined pedestrian mall is located in the city center. The walkway is lined with shops, souvenir stands, restaurants, and stretches about a mile long. Be watchful for pickpockets since this is a popular tourist destination!
Barcelona is such a fun city with world-renowned nightlife. The major clubs are located right on the beach and are adjacent to one another, making it easy to hop around. Although the lines are long, I recommend going to Opium!
Pro-tip: The club scene doesn’t get started until after midnight and most of them have a dress code, especially for men. Before hitting the clubs, I recommend going to Espit Chupitos. Chupitos is a chain and has several locations around Barcelona. The bar is famous for its wide variety of unique shots (over 200!!) all priced at 2 euro each. My favorite was Boy Scout because it tasted like a s’more and came with a marshmallow which I roasted on a fire on the bar!
While I was in Barcelona, I able to see the majority of the city, but I definitely wish I could’ve spent more time here! I hope this Barcelona travel guide helps you plan the perfect trip, especially if you’re studying abroad in Europe!
PS. Check out this guide if you need ideas about where to stay in Barcelona!
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