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A woman is in barcelona, spain facing a monument. She has white blonde hair and a tattoo of a star on her arm.

The Ins & Outs of Barcelona - A Travel Guide

Planning a trip to Spain? Barcelona is a city you cannot miss!

With a vibrant nightlife and food scene, along with a ton of history, this city has everything to offer almost anyone. It even has a beautiful beach - thanks to gigantic amounts of imported sand from Egypt - spanning 4.5 kilometers. You can bike it, walk it, drink or eat near it, or sun-bathe on it.

But what else should you know before visiting this hard-to-beat European city?

1. Budget Your Trip Accordingly

Before any trip or worldly adventure, I’m all about that budget - and you should be too. Financial panic abroad isn’t something you want to deal with. It has the ability to send you off on an emotional rollercoaster, not to mention ruin your trip.

Generally, you’ll probably spend about $50-$100 per day. Although, you can do it much cheaper. For example, if you wanted to make food at your hostel or at your affordable Airbnb each day, you’ll probably cut a lot of that cost down.

The thing is that Barcelona isn’t exactly a cheap European city to visit. It’s not really a place people go for a ‘budget-savvy’ or an ‘affordable’ trip. If you’re into that kind of thing, hit up Prague or Krakow - these cities are much more budget-friendly.

Yet, for planning, don’t underestimate your budget. Plan for the worst (like maybe $100 per day) and if you underspend, that’s better than overspending.

2. Plan for a Long Weekend or a Week

Ideally, you could spend a week in Barcelona and still not see everything. You can probably jam in most tourist activities within 2-4 days. Yet, if you really want to experience a new city, plan for at least 5 days. You’ll get to take it all in and fully immerse yourself into the diverse culture in Barcelona.

3. Visit From May to October

Late spring brings great weather in the south of Spain. And you can even plan a beach day during this time. The summer tends to get very hot. But if you like the heat, late June to August are absolutely your months to go. If you like slightly milder weather, aim for late spring or early fall.

4. What Should You Do?

Ah - now we’re getting to the good stuff!

Tours

First and foremost, hit up a free walking tour. This only takes a quick Google search of ‘Barcelona Free Walking Tour’ to find one near you or find one that excites you.

Although, note that if you’ve never taken a free walking tour, bring cash. You’ll want to tip your tour guide at the end. I mean, c’mon, nothing in life is truly ‘free.’

Architecture & Art

There are tours that go through the history of the city, the architecture, the food, drinks, and more. Do a basic history tour or architecture tour (or both) within your first couple of days. It can help you understand this city’s rich past, as well as help you appreciate it that much more.

If you like museums, there’s a ton to choose from on a rainy day. Picasso museum anyone? There’s also history and art museums. So if you’re the educational type, you’ll have your fair share of stuff to check out or do.

Don’t forget to check out the cathedral. I know, I know - another cathedral? But this is not just any cathedral - oh no. It’s a masterpiece, one that has yet to be finished.

Designed by the famous architect, Antoni Gaudi (there are Gaudi tours where you can learn all about him), 1882 marked the beginning of building the famous Sagrada Familia. It’s been over 100 years and it’s still not done. It’s not hard to see why when you get up and close to the detailed and mesmerizing structure.

Make sure you buy tickets ahead of time to go inside. Each ticket has a time you can go in at and you can plan your day accordingly.

Markets & Majesty

Also plan to take many strolls down La Ramblas, Barcelona’s pedestrian-only street, and cruise through the gothic quarter (maybe even stopping for a sangria or two?).

There’s also the indoor market, La Boqueria, and incredible city views from Park Guell. There is literally so much to do in this bumping city.

The Food and Nightlife

Alright - so this one needs its own section. One word: Tapas.

Tapas for lunch and for dinner. Throw a sangria in there and you’re living the life in one of the greatest cities around.

And if you’re wanting some seriously authentic tapas, check out El Xampanyet. It’s near the Picasso museum and is oh-so-good. If you don’t know Spanish, you’ll definitely need to use Google Translate for the menu. However, we have always made a point when we don’t understand the menu to ask the server what they recommend. If you don’t have any allergies or dietary restrictions, go for it. It usually isn’t disappointing, especially with tapas!

Another main dish in Barcelona that you’ll want to try is Paella. Paella is a seafood dish and is super yummy! Try it on a nice dinner out. And make sure you check the ratings on places for this. You can get some not-so-great seafood in big cities.

While you’re at it, try the cava! Cava is a sparkling wine and is Barcelona’s official drink. Have it before a night out on the town or with dinner - your choice.

Now, Barcelona has one heck of a nightlife. There are so many bars and restaurants to choose from. The best thing you can do? Ask your hotel reception or Airbnb host about where it is good to go. They always know best and can give you some insight into local spots.

Have a Bon Dia in Barcelona!

Why not learn a few Spanish phrases before you go? ‘Bon Dia’ means good morning but is also loosely used throughout the day.

Download a language app or recording for the plane ride, or even check out these cool and empowering songs to get you in the mood for your new adventure.

Most importantly, have fun! Your time in Barcelona will be an unforgettable one. Barcelona is a huge city with all kinds of crooks and crannies to explore. Be wary though - like most places in Europe, keep a hand firmly on your purse or bag. Pickpockets are common. Besides that, use your travel sense to guide you. Stay safe and enjoy!

Heading to Morocco soon? Get your Morocco Travel Guide here!

Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

"Believing in yourself is really half the battle," says Krista. Anything is possible and you really can achieve anything you set your mind to, is her motto. Physiotherapist, Piano player, skydiver, yogi, adventure traveler and energetic force of positivity, Krista is herself a (delightful) force to be reckoned with! As... Read More

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