A popular city in Spain known for stunning architecture and delicious cuisine, Barcelona is a semi-affordable city in Europe that can be visited with a budget of $80 to $160 a day.
My four-day trip to Barcelona, Spain cost a total of $721 USD. In this post, I share:
- 💰 Expected travel costs
- 💡 Budgeting tips
- 💵 How much cash to bring
- ✈️ My trip’s costs by category
- Is Barcelona Expensive?
- How Much Is a Trip?
- About My Trip
- Total Trip Cost: $721
- Do You Need Cash in Barcelona?
- Barcelona Trip Planner
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Is Barcelona Expensive To Travel To?
Barcelona is an expensive city to visit in Spain, but it’s considered semi-affordable compared to other cities in Europe.
Comparing Spain’s top destinations, Barcelona is, on average, more expensive than Seville, Valencia, and the capital city of Madrid. For a mid-range budget traveler, you can expect to spend approximately:
- $160 per day in Barcelona
- $135 per day in Madrid
- $130 per day in Seville
- $120 per day in Valencia
Compared to other European cities like London, Paris, Venice, and Edinburg, Barcelona is cheaper. Spain is also generally more affordable than countries like the UK and Italy.
💰 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:
💰 Trip Daily Budget for Popular Destinations
Here’s how my Barcelona trip cost compares to the costs of other popular destinations I’ve visited:
|🇨🇷 Costa Rica||$233|
|🇵🇷 Puerto Rico||$182|
How Much Is a Trip to Barcelona?
Here’s how much money you can expect to spend in Barcelona on a daily basis and during a four-day trip, depending on your travel style.
🎒 Barcelona Trip Cost for a Budget Traveler
A budget traveler can expect to spend approximately $80 per day or $320 for four days of travel in Barcelona, not including flights.
To travel on a budget in Barcelona, here are some things you can do:
- Accommodation: Stay at a hostel for $30 a night in Barcelona. You can also find private rooms to rent on Airbnb for as low as $50 a night in the city center, which is what I did.
- Food: 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. This can save you more than $15 on food per day.
- Transportation: The best way to get around is by taking Barcelona’s extensive metro transportation, which is not only convenient but also affordable. A single ticket can cost less than $3, but if you get the Hola Barcelona Card, you can get unlimited public transport rides for two to five days.
- Attractions: Many of Barcelona’s top attractions will have an entrance fee, so take advantage of free activities instead (e.g., tip-based or free walking tours).
- Season: The best time to visit Barcelona to save money is during the shoulder seasons, from February to May and from October to November. Accommodations and tours are more likely to offer discounted rates during those times.
💰 Barcelona Trip Cost for a Mid-Range Budget Traveler
A mid-range budget traveler, such as myself, can expect to spend approximately $160 per day or $640 for a four-day trip in Barcelona, excluding flights.
I break down my Barcelona travel expenses by category below.
About My Barcelona Trip
To give context to the expenses below, here’s what you need to know about my trip to Barcelona:
🗓️ Four days. 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.
☀️ High season. 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.
✌️ Solo traveling. Unlike most of my other trips, I traveled to Barcelona by myself, so I wasn’t able to split accommodation, transportation, or food costs with anyone.
💰 Mid-range budget. I don’t aim to travel on a budget, but I’m thoughtful about how and where I spend. I consider myself a mid-range budget traveler and these expenses reflect that.
⏰ Last minute. 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 are higher than normal.
💵 US dollars. 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 = €0.92 at the time of writing.
Barcelona Trip’s Total Cost: $721
My four-day trip to Barcelona cost a total of $721, including flights.
My trip’s highlights are featured in this four-day Barcelona itinerary.
💰 Cost Breakdown for Barcelona
Here’s a quick overview of my Barcelona travel expenses by category:
|Category||Cost||% of Total Cost||Cost Per Day|
|⭐ Entertainment & Shopping||$85||12%||$21|
💵 Daily Budget in Barcelona: $155
My Barcelona trip cost $155 per day, excluding flights.
A mid-range budget traveler can expect to spend $160 per day in Barcelona. This is generally someone who is staying at less than $100 per night hotels, eating at $ to $$ restaurants, taking Barcelona’s metro, and paying for experiences even if they’re pricey, but not booking private tours.
✈️ Flight Costs to Barcelona: $100
My last-minute flight from Rome to Barcelona’s Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) was $100.
Flights between the EU nations are relatively inexpensive, as they’re usually less than $100 for one-way flights.
You can expect to pay $500 for a flight from the east coast of the United States to Spain. The most expensive months to fly to Barcelona from the United States are June and July and the cheapest month is February, according to Kayak.
🏠 Accommodation Cost in Barcelona: $215
My average cost of accommodation in Barcelona was $54 per night.
Here are some of my accommodation details that impacted the price of my accommodation:
- I booked an Airbnb private room that shared a bathroom with four other visitors, including the hosts. For that reason, my accommodation cost is relatively low.
- I traveled during peak season and booked at the last minute (one week in advance), so it was difficult to find any mid-range accommodations for less than $100.
- I stayed in the popular and happening Gothic Quarter area, which is a good location but also made the price higher. I would have paid less had I been willing to stay in a less central area.
The cost of accommodation in Barcelona varies between the low and high seasons, but on average, you can expect to pay approximately $70 per night for a mid-range hotel room and $100 per night during peak season.
🍛 Food Cost in Barcelona: $261
My average cost of food in Barcelona was $65 per day.
You can expect to spend about $50 per day on meals if you’re not eating on a tight budget or at high-end restaurants in Barcelona. Compared to cities in the United States, Barcelona has a lot of 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 cheapest meals I had in Barcelona:
|Fruit tart & coffee breakfast||The Vegan Corner||$8|
|Tapas (2 plates)||Agüelo013||$13|
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 had in Barcelona:
|Seafood main dish & dessert||Capet||$65|
|Tapas (3 plates)||La Barceloneta||$63|
|Tapas (4 plates)||Vinitus||$33|
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 guided food tour.
🚇 Transportation Cost in Barcelona: $60
My average cost of transportation in Barcelona was $15 per day.
Here are all the transportation methods I took in Barcelona and how much I paid for each:
|Round-trip metro & cable car tickets to Montserrat||$35|
|One-way airport bus ride||$7|
Barcelona has an extensive metro system that you should take advantage of. A single ride costs €2.40 (~$2.60) and a T-Casual Card, which covers ten rides, costs €11.35 (~$12.25).
Riding the metro is significantly cheaper than calling an Uber or taxi. For example, a metro ride to the Barcelona Airport costs $5 while an Uber ride costs ~$30.
🏰 Entertainment Cost in Barcelona: $85
My average cost for attractions and tours in Barcelona was $21 per day.
Here are all the activities I paid for in Barcelona and how much each cost:
|La Sagrada Familia entrance fee||$28|
|Gothic Quarter walking tour||$15|
|Casa Batlló entrance ticket||$31|
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. You should expect long lines, but you can also pay for a guided tour to skip the line.
Cost-Saving Tips for Barcelona’s Top Attractions
Most of Barcelona’s major attractions will not have free admission, but there are a few ways to save some money when visiting them.
- Park Güell, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Barcelona’s most popular attractions, has timed entry tickets and it costs €10 to enter. However, a ticket is only required for the popular zones with monuments in them. You can enter the park for free and see parts of the monuments from the outside.
- Picasso Museum, which hosts some of Pablo Picasso’s most famous works, costs €12 to enter, but has special times when it’s free of charge.
- La Pedrera-Casa Milà and Camp Nou, like a few other tourist attractions, cost a few euros less if you buy the tickets online instead of in person. Tickets bought at the door are usually €3 more.
You can reduce travel costs during your trip by taking advantage of Barcelona’s free activities, including walking tours, visiting the Barceloneta beach, and visiting the Barcelona Cathedral during its free hours.
Do You Need Cash in Barcelona?
Like many touristy European cities, Barcelona has a good credit card infrastructure, but you’ll need cash for small purchases, so bring a small amount of cash.
Here are some tips on using cash and credit cards in Barcelona:
💶 1. Withdraw cash in euros.
Spain’s currency is the euro and USD is not widely accepted in Spain.
Avoid Euronet ATMs when withdrawing cash in Barcelona. Throughout Europe, Euronet ATMs consistently have high fees and use terrible exchange rates, so unless you’re in desperate need of cash, I would avoid them.
🏧 2. Bring at least $15 worth of cash per day to Barcelona.
During my 4-day trip in Barcelona, I spent roughly $45 in cash (or $11 per day). I otherwise used my credit card whenever possible.
Here’s how I used my cash:
|🍉 Local markets (e.g., Mercado de La Boqueria in La Rambla)||$25|
|☕️ Small cafes||$10|
|🏰 Tour guide tips||$10|
💵 3. Tipping is not expected in Barcelona.
You should only tip for great service in Barcelona and even then, it’s not obligatory.
- Tipping tour guides is not mandatory. For a large tour group size, you can add a $5 tip if you like.
- Many restaurants take credit cards and you can add a 10% to 15% tip to the bill by asking the waiter/waitress.
See other Barcelona essential travel tips 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 as well as an itinerary, packing list, and map with key places pinned.
The trip planner is built on Notion, which is what I use for all my travel planning (I genuinely love this tool). If you don’t have Notion, creating an account is free.
If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below.
🧋 This site is run entirely by me, Lukiih. I spend hours researching each destination to ensure its accuracy. If you find my tips helpful, say thanks by buying me bubble tea!