How Much Should I Budget for a Day in Barcelona?

Barcelona is the most expensive city in Spain. For budget travelers, you may be cringing right now. But, breathe a sigh of relief. If you've traveled to London or Paris, Barcelona is cheap in comparison.

Your major costs, such as airfare and lodging are fixed costs that you plan for before departing home. But, how much should you expect to spend to have a fabulous Barcelona holiday without breaking the bank?

To help plan your trip, we've created an itinerary with prices for a fun-filled day in Barcelona with up-to-date prices for 2013.

Barcelona Daily Budget 2013

  Average Low
6€ 3€
25€ - taxi rides or tourist bus day pass 5.90€ T-Dia - unlimited day pass for metro or 1.40€ per ride.
Sagrada Familia Church
13€ 13€
15€ 5€
La Pedrera - Casa Mila
16.50€ 16.50€
Manzana de la Discordia
free free
15€ 7€
Passeig de Gracia Walk
free free
Las Ramblas Stroll
free free
Barceloneta Beach Stroll
free free
Misc. (bottled water, snacks)
10€ 5€
50€ 15€
126€ 52€

To convert these amounts using today's exchange rate, go here.

How did we come up with these numbers? Read below for the details.

Breakfast Budget for Barcelona

Unless you receive a free breakfast at your hotel, skip it (trust us, it's overpriced) and head to a local cafe. Order the breakfast special or "desayunos," consisting of coffee with milk (cafe con leche or cafe amb llet), a baguette or roll (pan) and a small glass of orange juice (zuma de naranja) for 3€. Another local favorite is toasted bread (pan tomatoe) rubbed with tomatoes and olive oil for 2€.

If you have a sweet tooth, order spanish doughnuts (churros) to dip into hot chocolate (xocolata) for 4€.

Note that Barcelonians eat a very, light breakfast, then around 10-11am eat a second breakfast consisting of a sandwich (entrepa) or a potato omelet (truita de patates).

Budget Tip: If you are on a tight budget, skip the cafe and pick up croissants or pastries are your local bakery for .80€.

Visit the Sagrada Familia Cathedral

Location: Metro: L2 and L5. Exit at the Plaça de la Sagrada Família.

The Sagrada Familia or "Holy Family" Cathedral was described by Antoni Gaudi as a "Bible made of stone" which would tell the histories of the Christian faith. He worked on the church for over 40 years and exclusively for the last 14 years of his life.

Gaudi died in 1926, but through private donations and volunteer work from stone masons and other craftsman, the work on the Cathedral is ongoing today. The planned date for the cathedral's completion is 2040.

The 13€ ticket price directly funds the cathedral's construction. When proceeds are up, more work on the Cathedral is completed.

Walk through the enormous interior of the church and gasp at the arches and columns holding up the large dome. Make sure to visit the museum in the basement to see Gaudi's original Cathedral models, and to watch the sculpturers continue Gaudi's work by carving and casting figures from stone.

Cost: 13€. Time: 2 1/2 hours.

Take a Snack Break

Have a mid-day snack in the cafes and restaurants around the Sagrada Familia cathedral. If you are homesick, you'll find KFC or Starbucks. For a budget meal, try ordering a sandwich or crepe from one of the food trucks parked beside the Cathedral.

Cost: 5 - 15€

Visit La Pedrera / Casa Mila

Metro: Sagrada Familia station - L5 towards Cornelia Centre. Get off at Diagonal. 11 minutes.

Walk from Sagrada Familia: Distance approx. 1 mile. 19 minute walk. Carrer de Mallorca southwest. Right on Avinguida Diagonal. Left onto Carrer de Provenca. Right onto Passeig de Gracia.

Antoni Gaudi designed the Casa Mila or La Pedrera (meaning stone quarry) as a "dream house" for a wealth industrialist's wife. This wavy, sea of stone building with no right angles was considered scandalous when it was completed in 1912. Barcelonians described it as a cave of vermin or the wreck from an earthquake. Mrs. Mila was horrified of her new home and said that it looked like a home to "snakes and wild animals." Unfortunately, Gaudi's modernist vision was before its time.

Wander through the Casa Mila, taking in the view over Barcelona from the rooftop terraces. Then, visit the Gaudi exhibit in the attic to learn more about Gaudi's unique architectural vision. Before departing, peek into the turn-of-the-century apartments with custom furniture designed by Gaudi.

Price: 16.50€. Expensive, but the best place to see first-hand both Gaudi's genius at designing large structures and his attention to the small details (doorknobs, flooring, window fasteners, ventilation placement, and custom furnishings) that make a house into a "home."

Time: 1-2 Hours

Walk the Block of Discord or "Manzana de La Discordia"

Directions: Walk three blocks (5 minutes) southwest on Passeig de Gracia, turning right on Career d' Aragon. Cross Passeig de Gracia to see the Manzana de la Discordia.

The Block of Discord or Manzana de La Discordia is a play on the word "manzana" meaning either apple or block. It stems from the Greek myth, "The Judgement of Paris" where Paris must award the Golden Apple of Discord to the goddess he finds the most desirable. He picks Aphrodite who promises that if he chooses her, he can marry most beautiful mortal in the world as his wife, which is Helen of Troy. And so began the Trojan War.

Each building on this block was renovated by a famous modernist architect working side-by-side between 1900 - 1907. The dragon-like building with colorful scales, Casa Batlio, was designed by Gaudi. Casa Amatiler, with chocolate colored squares, was designed by Puig i Cadafach for a chocolate baron. And, the Casa Lleo Morera, on the corner, depicts fairy-tale scenes with rounded corners and minarets.

Surveying the buildings on this block, which modernist masterpiece would you award the apple?

Cost: Free.

Eat Lunch and Walk Down Passeig de Gracia to Placa de Catalunya

Directions: Walk southeast on Passeig de Gracia to Placa de Catalunya. Around 1/2 mile. 8 minutes.

The elegant Passeig de Gracia is the most expensive street in Barcelona and the second most expensive in Spain. Take a short stroll down this shaded street stopping at a cafe for a late lunch. Then, window shop at the exclusive, designer boutiques that line the Passeig de Gracia.

Cost: Lunch from 7€ to 15€.

Explore Placa de Catalunya

Placa de Catalunya is where the modernist part of the city, the Eixample, meets the roman ruins and gothic streets of ancient Barcelona. Placa de Catalunya is the central meeting and rallying point for Barcelonians. As a tourist, this is where you'll find the Tourist Information Center for maps, tours, souvenirs, and advice on what to see and do on your vacation.

Check out El Corte Ingles, Barcelona's top department store. You'll find everything from gourmet foods to Barcelona souvenirs to clothing, electronics and cosmetics. As a tourist, you'll receive a 10% discount on your purchases (show your ID at the Tourist Information Desk) on the first floor.

For a stunning view over the plaza, take the escalator to the cafeteria on the top floor. If you haven't ate lunch, grab a cheap meal. Otherwise, have a coffee or a glass of wine, enjoy the view, and rest your feet.

The plaza is ringed by a variety of large stores. Try Zara or Sfera for Spanish fashions at reasonable prices. FNAC is a large chain specializing in books, videos, games and electronics.

Cost: 5€ for a glass of wine or coffee.

Ramble Down Las Ramblas

Directions: Street diagonal from El Corte Ingles that leads down to the Mediterranean sea. It's easy to find - just follow the crowds.

Las Rambas was described by the poet Federico Garcia Lorca as "the only street in the world which I wish would never end." This mile-long, tree-lined, pedestrian mall offers a feast for the senses. You'll see street performers, shopping stalls for souvenirs and crafts, artists, flower shops, bird shops and an abundance of sidewalk cafes to people-watch. You'll also pass by historical buildings, such as La Boqueria Market (worth a walk-through) and the Liceu Theater, Barcelona's famous opera house.

Follow Las Ramblas as it flows to the sea and the Christopher Columbus Monument. At this point, take the metro or taxi to your hotel for a late-afternoon siesta. Or, continue walking, following the pedestrian path into the port and the beach.

Cost: Free

Stroll Along the Sea

Metro: L4 - Barcenoleta

At sunset, travel to Barcenoleta and join the locals promenading along the palm-lined boardwalk and walking paths next to the Mediterranean Sea. Stop for a drink and tapas/pinxtos at one of the many small, beach side bars set on the sand called chiringuitos.

Cost: Free

Eat Dinner in El Born

Metro: L4 Barcenoleta or Jaume

Barcelonians eat dinner late, usually after 9:00pm. For a variety of dining choices wander around the El Born district. Lining El Born's cobble-stoned, medieval streets are dozens of small restaurants. Pick one that peeks your interest and is within your budget.

If you are not up to a full meal, try the tapas/pinxtos places around the Placa de Santa Maria del Mar.

For pinxtos, enter the restaurant, grab a plate and pick among a variety of tooth-picked appetizers lining the bar. When you are finished, hand the plate and toothpicks to the bartender/server. They'll count the toothpicks and charge you accordingly - typically 1-3€ per pinxto.

Cost: 15 - 50€










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