With around 32 million annual visitors, Barcelona is one of the most popular European travel destinations. This has meant tightly booked hotels and higher prices for some attractions.
That said, a Barcelona vacation can still be an affordable and exciting escape. It just means picking the right time of year, the right itinerary, and having a realistic idea of how much you’ll have to spend.
Whether you want to laze on the beach or immerse yourself in architecture and history, there are Barcelona trips at every price point. We’ve broken down all the details so you can figure out how much it will cost for you to spend time in this historic coastal city.
Average Trip to Barcelona Cost in 2023
A week in Barcelona costs around $3,600 for two people:
- Average Accommodation Cost: $125
- Average Flight Cost: $725 per person
- Food, Drink & Activities: $170
- Transportation: $60
- Total Cost: $3,600
Barcelona Trip Cost: Average by Item
How much you spend in Barcelona is, of course, hugely individual. A backpacker wandering through during the low season is going to spend much less than someone seeking out luxury in the busiest time of year.
This is why we break down every cost so you can see for yourself what you may spend when visiting this famous Spanish city. Pick and choose to put together an affordable and exciting getaway.
According to BudgetYourTrip, the average price for a night in a Barcelona hotel is $125. This is an average that takes into account hotel prices from the very basic to five-star luxury.
So, your actual costs will depend heavily on where you decide you want to stay. On the premium end, you’ll find options like Hotel dONNA located on the beach in the southern side of Barcelona. This hotel is 26 km from Barcelona’s bustling Old Town.
However, it is only 2 km from the railway station, which allows you to split the difference between quiet and convenience. Amenities include an outdoor pool, a well-reviewed restaurant, a lounge bar, and water views from the terraces.
Rooms go for around $250 a night. At the other end of the spectrum is the basic but vibrant Urbany Hostel BCN GO!, with prices around $65 a night for dorm-style rooms. Small private rooms are available for a little more.
The prices here include at least one meal a day. However, vegetarians take note: meals are all meat-centered, so you will need to make plans for your own meals if you decide to stay at Urbany. The hostel is about a three-minute walk from the Urgell Metro station.
Flight costs vary based on the time of year and just how grueling or relaxed a schedule you are up for. You can buy a ticket from New York to Barcelona for as little as $420; but, be prepared to spend 24 hours traveling, with multiple layovers and airport changes between flights.
A more reasonable travel schedule can be accomplished for around $750 per person going from New York to Barcelona.
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
Barcelona has a reputation as one of the world’s great food cities. With its location on the Mediterranean coast, the city has ample access to a wealth of ingredients from land and sea. Luckily, you can find great things to eat at all price points.
There are many casual lunch options available. A cheap takeaway meal such as a kebab with fries will cost between $5 and $7. There are also many mid to high range restaurants in Barcelona.
A visit to Lluritu, a casual seafood restaurant, will cost between $30 and $40 per person. Barcelona, particularly its Gothic Quarter in the historic center, is an arresting city where you can easily spend a day just walking and looking at architecture.
The narrow streets are lined with bars and clubs where you can stop for a quick drink or a plate of tapas before going on your way. Expect to pay $3 to $5 for a small tapas plate or up to $12 for more elaborate seafood tapas.
If you visit only one cathedral, make it the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar. Entry is free before 1:00 and after 5:00 pm. Any other time of day, the fee is around $5. For just under $10, you can take a guided tour that involves taking in the view from the rooftop.
Barcelona’s Picasso Museum contains a massive collection of the artist’s paintings, drawings and engravings from various points in his career. Basic admission costs just under $10. “Skip the Line” passes can be purchased in advance for around $30.
Museum lovers can save a few bucks by ensuring that their visit includes the first Sunday of the month. This day is designated Free Museum Day and is celebrated with free admission to a number of area museums.
However, some critics say the crowds are too large on these days and visitors are best off booking their tickets for a different day. Many museums in Barcelona host free days outside the first Sunday.
For instance, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya offers free admission after 3:00 every Saturday. Visits to Barcelona aren’t just churches and museums. Just outside the city is Tibidabo, a hilltop amusement park with a stunning view of the city.
Tickets can be purchased for around $40 per person. While many locals and repeat visitors consider La Rambla overrated, the La Boqueria market located within it is still worth a visit.
Operating continuously since 1217, this market offers a mix of touristy bric-a-brac, plates of fried fish, fruit smoothies, and Spanish wines. Grab a quick drink and enjoy the people watching. Another destination for free and cheap entertainment is the Els Encants flea market.
Admission to the market itself is free. It’s centrally located between La Sacrada Familia, the Disseny Hub design museum and the Torre Glòries.
The Palau de la Música Catalana offers tours for just under $20 per person. Performances at the venue are also very affordable. While the price varies depending on who’s playing, tickets can be had for around $25.
Barcelona’s public transportation system is very flexible and includes buses, the Metro, trams, and two cable cars. You can purchase an individual one-way ticket for around $2. If you want to take multiple trips, a tourist card like the Hola BCN!
Barcelona Travel Card can be a good option. This offers unlimited trips for the life of the card. A five-day card can be purchased for about $45. If you decide you want to travel by cab, prices are still very affordable.
Expect a basic fee around $2.50, then about $1.50 a kilometer after that. Cabs in Barcelona charge around $25 an hour for standing and waiting time. A traveler planning to stay in Barcelona’s city center, or just outside with easy access to trains, will likely not need to rent a car.
However, if you are planning to go outside the city, a car rental will give you more flexibility. Rates range from $150 to $250 for a week-long rental.
Things to Consider
- If you want to visit a popular attraction, buy your tickets in advance. Nothing is worse than spending your visit in a world-class city waiting in line.
- Catalan is not a dialect of Spanish. While most Catalan speakers also speak and understand Spanish, they are separate languages.
- Carry a reusable water bottle and top it off at free Refill Aqua locations throughout the city.
- Avoid buying meals in La Rambla. This neighborhood has gotten a bad reputation with both locals and savvy tourists for overpriced meals, rampant mass tourism, and its abundance of pickpockets.
- Don’t wear short skirts, short shorts, or tank tops (this rule applies to both women and men) on a day you plan to tour cathedrals. Most are active Catholic churches, and require clothing that covers your shoulders, knees, and upper legs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cheapest month to visit Barcelona?
The so-called “shoulder season” months, which include March and April in the spring and September and October in the fall, are said to be the best months for travel deals in Barcelona.
Other sources say the low season, which runs through November to early March, can yield some discounts on airfare and hotel costs.
How many days do you need for Barcelona?
Many visitors describe Barcelona as a slow city you want to explore at a leisurely pace. Plan at least four to five days here. A full week is even better.
Which is better, Madrid or Barcelona?
It all depends on what you want on your vacation. Barcelona is a coastal city with beaches while Madrid is landlocked. But, Madrid has fewer tourists and often lower prices on food. Compare attractions in both cities to see which ticks off more of the boxes on your Spanish vacation must-have list.
Is it rude to tip in Barcelona?
Because Spanish workers receive a full wage, they aren’t dependent on tips like bartenders and servers in America. While a tip isn’t expected, servers there say they are always appreciated.
Does Barcelona have a dress code?
People in Barcelona tend to dress more formally than Americans do, especially when we’re on vacation. Avoid wearing shorts and t-shirts in the city center. You won’t necessarily be turned away at restaurants if you’re dressed too casually, but you will be instantly recognizable as a tourist.
So, What Is the Average Trip Cost for Barcelona?
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost||$125 per night|
|✈️ Average Flight Cost||$725 per person|
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities||$170 per person, per day|
|🚕 Transportation||$60 per day|
|💲 Total Cost||$3,600|
A week in Barcelona costs around $3,600 for two people. What your individual spending will look like depends on the time of year and what you decide to do once you are in this coastal city.
Figure out what is a can’t-miss attraction and where you feel you can economize to make the Barcelona vacation of your personal dreams.
So, with so much to see and do and the ability to visit on a budget, what are you waiting for — book your trip to Barcelona and experience for yourself all that this idyllic destination has to offer!