Low Cost Guide to Barcelona

Barcelona, the lively and intriguing Catalan capital, is one of Europe’s most popular cities and an absolute favourite among locals and tourists! As we have already shared with you the 30 things you must experience when in Barcelona, now we want to share with you a few tips and tricks that will help you enjoy this beautiful Mediterranean city and discover all it has to offer without returning home flat broke. Here are our suggestions for a low cost trip to Barcelona!

Low cost Barcelona

Flights to Barcelona

There are many low cost airlines offering cheap flights to Barcelona, and their number has increased in recent years. Vueling, easyjet, Germanwings, Pegasus Airlines and Wizz Air all operate flights to El Prat, the city’s main airport. Ryanair also offers many flights to Girona, situated at about 100 km north of Barcelona.

Transport from the airport to Barcelona

If you fly into Barcelona Airport El Prat: the airport is only 10 km away from Barcelona city center and the chepaest way to reach the city centre is by RENFE (take the train until Passeig de Gracia or Sants Estaciò; cost: €2.35 single journey) or take bus N46 until Plaça Espanya (cost: €2.35 single journey). If you arrive at night, you can take bus N17 until Plaça Catalunya.

Barcelona airport  El Prat

If you fly into Girona Airport: you can take a bus run by the company Barcelona Bus that will take you to Estación del Nord, which is relatively close to the city centre, near the Arc de Triumph (cost approx. €12 single journey). There is a bus leaving the airport every 15 minutes, and the journey takes about 1:10 h.

Getting around Barcelona

You can get just about anywhere by using the public transportation in Barcelona.  If you plan to move around often, be it on the subway or the bus, it’s cheaper to purchase an integrated ticket.  Here are 3 options:

  • T-día: € 7,25 , unlimited travel in zone 1 for 24 hours. Valid for only 1 person.
  • T-10: € 9.80, 10 trips in zone 1. If you’re travelling with other people and are just going to be in town for a few days, you can all use the same T-10.
  • T 50/30: € 39.20, 50 trips to be used in 30 consecutive days. This option is convenient if you’re staying for a longer period and need to use public transportation frequently. Valid for only 1 person.

Barcelona Attractions

Source: David Berkowitz via flickr

Source: David Berkowitz via flickr

The city has much to offer, but what we recommend is that you take your time wandering the streets of Barcelona, discovering squares, markets and neighbourhoods, speaking to locals, exploring hidden corners,shops and cafés… the possibilities are endless!

If you’re passionate about art, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Barcelona has many cultural centers, museums and forums, and perhaps the most impressive of all are the masterpieces of Gaudí and the surrealist works of Miró, Dalí and Picasso.

If you wish to uncover all the artistic treasures that the city has to offer, we recommend you purchase a Barcelona Card; with this pass you will have access to public transportation, free admission to 13 museums and discounts to over 80 attractions. Here are the prices:

  • 2 days Card:  € 35.15
  • 3 days Card:  € 44.65
  • 4 days Card : € 53.20
  • 5 days Card:  € 58.90

Where to stay?


The city is full of interesting and colourful neighbourhoods, each with its own charm and its own distinctive features – you can discover the alternative side of Gracia and the trendy personality of Born, walk on the sandy beach of Barceloneta, uncover the enchanting Barri Gotic and venture into the mysterious and cosmopolitan district of Raval. You can sit down in a fashionable cafe in elegant Eixample or relax in some of the city’s less touristic and hectic areas such as Poble Sec, Sants and Poble Nou.

If you’re looking for cheap hotels in Barcelona, we suggest you check options in the areas of Poble Sec, Sants, Raval and Gracia. This way you will experience the most authentic side of the city, without venturing too far from the city center or spending a fortune.

The best free experiences in Barcelona

  • Take a long walk down Paseo Maritimo, from Barceloneta to the Forum, stopping from time to time to admire the beach, to have a drink or to watch artists playing music in the streets. 
  • Have a picnic on the hill of Montjuïc and admire the city from a far
  • Wander through the streets and bars of Raval, and be charmed by the district’s charm
  • Check out some of  Gaudí’s amazing and surprising works (e.g. Parc Guell, Casa Batllo, Sagrada Familia, etc.)
  • Discover the squares and narrow streets of the Barri Gotic neighbourhood
  • At night, you can visit vibrant districts such as Gracia or Poble Sec, where there’s plenty to do and see without getting overrun by tourists.


Want to read more about travelling around Europe on a budget? Check out our Low Cost Holidays Guide