๐Ÿ’ฐ My 2024 Barcelona Trip Cost: A Budget Breakdown

A flat building with elaborate and eccentric decorations and balconies.

Barcelona, a popular city in Spain known for its stunning architecture and cuisine, can be visited with a budget of $90 to $200 a day.

My four-day trip to Barcelona, Spain, cost a total of $851. In this post, I share:

  • ๐Ÿ’ฐ Expected travel costs
  • ๐Ÿ’ก Budgeting tips
  • ๐Ÿ’ต How much cash to bring
  • โœˆ๏ธ My trip’s costs by category

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Is Barcelona Expensive To Travel To?

Barcelona is an expensive city to visit in Spain, but it’s semi-affordable compared to other European cities.

Comparing Spain’s top destinations, Barcelona is generally more expensive than Seville, Valencia, and the capital city of Madrid. A mid-range budget traveler’s daily budget in Spain can look like this:

  • Barcelona โ€“ $160 per day
  • Madrid โ€“ $135 per day
  • Seville โ€“ $130 per day
  • Valencia โ€“ $120 per day

Barcelona is cheaper than some other popular European cities like London, Paris, Venice, and Edinburg.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Trip Daily Budget for Countries in Europe

For comparison, I visited these countries in Europe within a year of visiting Barcelona, and here’s how much I spent per day at each one:

CountryDaily Budget
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iceland$306
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain$155
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy$131
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal$116
Daily Travel Budget for Countries in Europe

See all my daily budget for each destination I’ve visited.

How Much Is a Trip to Barcelona?

This section covers estimated trip costs depending on your travel style. I share my actual travel expenses further below.

๐ŸŽ’ Budget Traveler โ€“ Barcelona Trip Cost

A budget traveler can expect to spend approximately $90 per day or $360 for four days of travel in Barcelona, not including flights.

Here’s what a budget traveler’s cost breakdown can look like:

CategoryCost per Day
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$40
๐Ÿฆ Food$30
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$10
๐Ÿฐ Entertainment$20
Total$90
Barcelona Daily Budget for a Budget Traveler

Traveling Barcelona on a Budget

To travel to Barcelona on a budget, here are some things youโ€™ll need to do:

  • ๐Ÿ  Accommodation โ€“ For the cheapest option, stay at a dorm-style hostel in Barcelona for $40 a night. You can also find private rooms in hostel-style Airbnb for as low as $50 a night in the city center, which is what I did.
  • ๐Ÿš‡ Transportation โ€“ The best way to get around is to take Barcelona’s extensive metro system, which is convenient and affordable.

A single ticket costs less than $3. Getting the Hola Barcelona Card gives you unlimited public transport rides for two to five days.

  • ๐Ÿฆ Food โ€“ Eat and get groceries at Barcelona’s markets (e.g., Mercado de La Boqueria in the famous Las Ramblas), where you can get cheap eats for $10 or less and fresh-cut fruits for $2 or less. Compared to dining out, you can save more than $15 on food daily.
  • ๐Ÿฐ Entertainment โ€“ Many of Barcelona’s top attractions will have an entrance fee, so take advantage of free or low-cost activities like tip-based walking tours.
  • โ˜€๏ธ Travel Season โ€“ The best time to visit Barcelona to save money is during the shoulder seasons, from February to May and October to November. Accommodations and tours are more likely to offer discounted rates during those times.
A lot of people hanging around a unique building and stairs.
Park Guell attraction in Barcelona. (Photo by my friend, Tazmun Nahar.)

๐Ÿ’ฐ Mid-Range Budget Traveler โ€“ Barcelona Trip Cost

A mid-range budget traveler like myself can expect to spend approximately $200 per day or $800 for a four-day trip in Barcelona, excluding flights. I break down my trip expenses by travel category below.

About My Barcelona Trip

To give context to the expenses below, here’s what you need to know about my trip:

  • ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ Four days โ€“ I spent four days in Barcelona, which gave me enough time to see some of the top attractions, do a day hike in Montserrat, and have some downtime.
  • โ˜€๏ธ High season โ€“ I visited Barcelona in May, which is considered the start of the high season.

Barcelona’s peak season runs from May to September, and its low season is typically during the winter months, from November to February.

  • โœŒ๏ธ Solo traveling โ€“ Unlike most of my other trips, I traveled to Barcelona by myself, so I wasn’t able to split housing or transportation costs with anyone.
  • ๐Ÿ’ฐ Mid-range budget โ€“ I consider myself a mid-range budget traveler, and these expenses reflect that. I donโ€™t aim to travel on a budget, but Iโ€™m thoughtful about how and where I spend.
  • ๐Ÿ€ Self-funded โ€“ My trips are self-funded, so I paid for everything listed below. None of my excursions or experiences are sponsored.
  • โฐ Last minute โ€“ I booked my trip at the last minute (i.e., about a week in advance) while traveling in Europe, so my accommodation and flight expenses were higher than normal.
  • ๐Ÿ’ต US dollars โ€“ All costs listed in this post are per person and in US dollars, converted from Barcelona’s local currency, the euro.

The exchange rate was $1 USD = โ‚ฌ0.92 at the time of writing.

The blog author standing on a mountain with sky blue views in the horizon.
Hiking solo in Montserrat near Barcelona.

Barcelona Trip’s Total Cost: $851

My four-day trip to Barcelona cost a total of $851, including flights.

See the highlights of my trip in this Barcelona itinerary.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Cost Breakdown for Barcelona

Here’s a quick overview of my expenses by travel category:

CategoryCost% of TotalDaily Budget
โœˆ๏ธ Flights$23027%
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$21525%$54
๐Ÿ› Food$26131%$65
๐Ÿš— Transportation$607%$15
โญ Entertainment$8510%$21
Total$851100%$155
Barcelona Trip’s Cost Breakdown

๐Ÿ—“๏ธ Daily Budget in Barcelona: $155

My Barcelona trip cost $155 per day, excluding my flights from Italy and to Portugal.

Daily Budget
Excluding flights$155
Including flights$213
Barcelona Trip’s Cost Per Day

A mid-range budget traveler can expect to spend $200 per day in Barcelona. This is generally someone staying at accommodations costing about $100 per night, eating at $ to $$ restaurants, taking Barcelona’s metro, and paying for several Gaudรญ attractions.

โœˆ๏ธ Flight Costs to Barcelona: $230

I usually take round-trip flights from the United States, but I flew into Barcelona from Italy and out to Portugal for this trip. Here are my flight costs:

FlightCost
Rome, Italy โ†’ Barcelona, Spain$100
Barcelona, Spain โ†’ Lisbon, Portugal$130
Barcelona Trip’s Flight Costs

Flights between the EU nations are relatively inexpensive, as they’re usually less than $100 for one-way flights.

A round-trip flight between the US and Barcelona that costs under $300 is considered cheap; international flights typically cost over $350.

๐Ÿ  Accommodation Cost in Barcelona: $215

My average cost of accommodation in Barcelona was $54 per day.

My housing cost is on the lower end because I stayed in a hostel-style Airbnb where I had a private room but shared a bathroom with four others.

However, it’s not the cheapest accommodation cost because I traveled during peak season and stayed in the popular Gothic Quarter, a central area in Barcelona.

The cost of accommodation in Barcelona varies between the low and high seasons. On average, a mid-range hotel room costs around $80 per night. During peak season, it increases to about $140 per night.

A European alleyway street with balconies decorated with plants.
Gothic Quarter in Barcelona.

๐Ÿ› Food Cost in Barcelona: $261

My average cost of food in Barcelona was $65 per day.

A mid-range budget traveler can expect to spend about $50 per day on food in Barcelona.

Compared to cities in the United States, Barcelona has many Michelin-star restaurants that are much more affordable. You can get a meal for under $50 in Barcelona that would have cost over $100 in the United States.

Cheapest Meals in Barcelona

Here are the most affordable meals I ate during my trip:

MealLocationCost
Fruit tart and coffeeThe Vegan Corner$8
Two dishes of tapasAgรผelo013$13
RamenUmaimon Ramen$15
Cheapest Meals in Barcelona
A waiter holding a large pan with rice and lobster in it.
Seafood paella in Barcelona. (Photo by my friend, Tazmun Nahar.)

Many local restaurants in Barcelona offer a “menu del dia,” which is a fixed-price menu. Asking for the “menu of the day” can reduce your food budget without having to sacrifice eating at mid-range restaurants.

Most Expensive Meals in Barcelona

Here are the most expensive meals I ate during my trip:

MealLocationCost
Seafood main dishCapet$65
Three tapas dishesLa Barceloneta$63
Four tapas dishesVinitus$33
Most Expensive Meals in Barcelona
A plate of octopus and potato covered in red paprika.
Enjoying a pulpo a la gallega tapas.

One of Barcelona’s most popular things to eat is tapas, which are small-plate specialties. The price for one tapas ranges from $2 to $7 depending on the restaurant and ingredients. You can sample a wide variety of tapas with an excellent food tour.

๐Ÿš‡ Transportation Cost in Barcelona: $60

My average cost of transportation in Barcelona was $15 per day.

Here are the transportation methods I took and how much I paid for each:

TransportationTotal Cost
Round-trip metro and cable car tickets to Montserrat$35
Public transportation$18
One-way airport bus ride$7
Barcelona Trip’s Transportation Costs

Barcelona has an extensive metro system that you should take advantage of. A single ride costs โ‚ฌ2.55 (roughly $2.80), and a T-Casual Card, which covers ten rides, costs โ‚ฌ12.15 (roughly $13.20).

Two paper tickets with train information.
Metro tickets for Barcelona. (Photo by my friend, Tazmun Nahar.)

Riding the metro is significantly cheaper than calling an Uber or taxi. For example, a metro ride to Barcelona’s airport costs $5, while an Uber ride costs around $30.

๐Ÿฐ Entertainment Cost in Barcelona: $85

My average cost of entertainment in Barcelona was $21 per day.

A typical mid-range traveler in Barcelona can expect to spend about $30 a day on entertainment.

Here are all the activities and attractions I paid for and how much each cost:

ActivityCost
La Sagrada Familia entrance fee$28
Gothic Quarter walking tour$15
Casa Batllรณ entrance ticket$31
Shopping$11
Barcelona Trip’s Entertainment Costs
A woman standing inside a temple with a decorated bright and colorful ceiling.
Interior of La Sagrada Familia.

La Sagrada Familia is Barcelona’s #1 attraction, so if you visit during the high season (May to September), it’s a good idea to book tickets more than a week in advance. Expect long lines or you can pay for a guided tour to skip the line.

Budgeting Tips for Top Attractions in Barcelona

Most of Barcelona’s major attractions do not have free admission, but there are a few ways to save some money when visiting them:

  • Park Gรผell โ€“ A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Barcelona’s most popular attractions, Park Gรผell has timed entry tickets that cost โ‚ฌ10. However, a ticket is only required for the popular zones with monuments. You can enter the park for free and see parts of the monuments from the outside.
  • Picasso Museum โ€“ The Picasso Museum hosts some of Pablo Picasso’s most famous works and costs โ‚ฌ12 to enter. However, it has special times when it’s free of charge.
  • La Pedrera-Casa Milร  and Camp Nou โ€“ Like a few other tourist attractions, these attractions cost a few euros less if you buy tickets online instead of in person. Tickets purchased at the door are usually โ‚ฌ3 more.

You can reduce travel costs during your trip by taking advantage of Barcelona’s free activities, including walking tours, the Barceloneta beach, and the Barcelona Cathedral during its free hours.

Do You Need Cash in Barcelona?

Like many European cities, Barcelona has a great credit card infrastructure. However, a few places still rely on cash transactions, so make sure to bring some cash.

Below are tips on bringing and using cash in Barcelona.

๐Ÿ’ถ 1. Withdraw cash in euros.

Spain’s local currency is the euro (โ‚ฌ), and the US dollar is not widely accepted.

Avoid Euronet ATMs when withdrawing cash in Barcelona. Throughout Europe, Euronet ATMs consistently have high fees and use terrible exchange rates, so unless youโ€™re in desperate need of cash, I would avoid them.

๐Ÿง 2. Carry about $15 worth of cash per day in Barcelona.

On a typical day, a mid-range budget traveler in Barcelona will need at least $15 in cash to cover food, transportation, and attractions. A daily cash expense breakdown can look like this:

  • $10 at a local market
  • $5 at a cafe
  • $5 to tip

On my Barcelona trip, I spent a total of roughly $45 (about $11 per day) in cash. Here’s a breakdown of how I used my cash:

CategoryTotal Cash
๐Ÿ‰ Local markets (e.g., Mercado de La Boqueria in La Rambla)$25
โ˜•๏ธ Small cafes$10
๐Ÿฐ Tour guide tips$10
Amount of Cash by Category for Barcelona Trip
An open-air market where a vendor is selling watermelon and other fruits.
La Boqueria Market is cash-inly.

I keep my cash in my crossbody bag, but if you want extra protection against pickpocketing, carry it in a hidden money belt instead.

๐Ÿ’ต 3. Tipping is customary in Barcelona.

Tipping is often appreciated in Barcelona, but itโ€™s completely optional. Tips are generally only done for exceptional service.

  • Tour โ€“ Tipping tour guides is not mandatory. However, if you have a large tour group, you can add a $5 tip.
  • Dining out โ€“ You can add a 10% to 15% tip to the bill for great service.

See other essential travel tips for Barcelona before visiting.

Barcelona Trip Planner

To make your travel planning easier, download the trip planner below and use it as a starting point. The planner has country-specific travel information, an itinerary, a packing list, and a map with key places pinned.

The trip planner is built on Notion, which I use for all my travel planning (I genuinely love this tool). If you don’t have Notion, creating an account is free.

Three Notion template screenshots are shown: travel information, itinerary, and map + packing list templates.
Preview of Barcelona trip planner.

Thoughts? Questions? Leave a comment below.

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4 Comments

  1. Kash

    Great tips, thank you. This post will make our trip so much more enjoyable.

    1. Lukiih

      Hey Kash, glad it was helpful!

  2. Sixto Escobar

    I want to vist in September 2024

    1. Lukiih

      September is a good time to visit Barcelona. The weather is still warm, but not as hot in the summer. Enjoy!

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