Barcelona on a Budget: How to Experience the City Without Breaking the Bank

Barcelona, one of the most vibrant cities in Europe, is a popular destination for students and travelers on a budget. With its stunning architecture, rich history, and Mediterranean climate, it's no wonder that it attracts millions of visitors every year. However, many people assume that visiting Barcelona must be expensive. But fear not, in this blog post, we'll share some tips on how to experience the city without breaking the bank, coming from a student herself who is living here for half a year! 

  1. Take Advantage of Student Discounts

If you're a student, be sure to bring your student ID card with you to Barcelona to save some money! Many museums, galleries, and other tourist attractions offer discounted rates for students. This can save you a significant amount of money, especially if you plan on visiting several places during your trip and don’t have a big budget.

  1. Use Public Transportation

Barcelona has an excellent public transportation system, including buses, trams, and metros. The TMB, Barcelona's public transportation company, offers different types of tickets that can save you money. It’s a great way to get around the city fast and kind of cheap! For example, a T-10 ticket allows you to take ten journeys on any mode of transport within the city center for a reduced price. Alternatively, the T-Jove card provides unlimited travel for 90 days, ideal if you're staying in the city for a few months when you’re studying or working here.

  1. Stay in Hostels

Barcelona has a vast array of hostels to choose from, many of which are affordable for students and travelers on a budget. Hostels offer shared rooms, which are ideal for those who don't mind sharing a space with others. Many hostels also have communal areas where you can meet other travelers and make new friends.

  1. Visit Free Attractions

Barcelona has many free attractions that are well worth a visit. For example, you can wander through the Gothic Quarter, the oldest part of the city, and explore the narrow streets and charming squares. You can also take a stroll along the beach and enjoy the Mediterranean Sea breeze. Additionally, many museums offer free admission on certain days of the week, so be sure to check ahead of time. Most museums offer free entry on a Sunday after 15:00pm. It’s a great feeling to explore the city, knowing it won’t break your budget!

  1. Eat at Local Markets

Barcelona is famous for its food, and there are plenty of excellent restaurants to choose from. However, eating out can be expensive, especially if you're on a budget. To save money, head to the local markets, such as the Mercat de la Boqueria or the Mercat de Santa Caterina, where you can find a wide range of fresh produce and local specialties at affordable prices. Also, supermarkets like the Mercadona and the Lidl are also cheap. 

Cheap restaurants in Barcelona

However, there are lots of great restaurants that are not expensive and will not affect your bank account as much as other places. Here are a few:

  1. Glück Cervecería

Famous for their beers and cheap prices! Every day is happy hour from 17:00h till 20:00h, where you will get a 43cl beer for the price of a 33cl beer! Their tapas variate from €2,50 to €5,50. They also serve whole menus such as burgers, pizzas, sandwiches all under €18,50, most of them around €12, -. Their cocktails are also all under €10, -. The bar, which is beautifully decorated and the nice choice of music, makes for a great atmosphere.

  1. Pizzeria Da Nanni

This restaurant offers quality food for not more than €13, -! Lots of pizzas to choose from, all for a very reasonable price. Besides pizzas they also offer other traditional Italian food, such as calzones or pastas. They are vegetarian friendly and have vegan options. They also have the option to take away. There are 2 restaurants, both located in the beautiful neighborhoods of El Born and the Gothic Quarter. A perfect place for a nice but cheap diner!

  1. Les Quinze Nits

Located on the beautiful Plaça Reial is restaurant Les Quinze Nits. Here you can eat your lunch or go out for diner, all for a reasonable price. Besides having a regular diner menu where you can choose whatever you want, all with average prices between €5, - and €15, -, you can also get a specialized menu for a fixed price. This tends to get a bit more expensive, with varied prices from €19,60 to €46,50. But don’t let that fool you, each course is delicious and totally worth the money!

In summary, visiting Barcelona on a budget is entirely achievable. By taking advantage of student discounts, using public transportation, staying in hostels, visiting free attractions, and eating at local markets, you can experience all that this beautiful city has to offer without breaking the bank. So, pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready to explore Barcelona in a cheap way!

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