I can’t say enough good things about Barcelona, I’ll bend the ear of anyone who wants to listen. One of the great things about it is that it’s surprisingly cheap, or at least, it can be… Ahead, my guide on how to see the best of Barcelona on the cheap.
I not only think Norwegian are among the cheapest for short-haul flights, they also offer the best and most generous service too. I always fly with them when I can! London to Barcelona flights start from £30 and we didn’t pay much more than that on our last trip. Ed bought a skateboard when we were there and they let us take it as additional hand luggage no probs (most airlines would sting you for that) AND there’s free wifi on board.
Eat and drink local! The secret to holidaying cheap in most places but in Barcelona you’re lucky because the local drink is cava (YUM!) and the local food is tapas (and there’s no such thing as too much patatas bravas, right?)
A friend actually told me about Rosa Negra and I’m so glad she did because I think we went 3 times in our last weekend in Barcelona…I love it! €3.50 tamarind margaritas are a no brainer. Plus, the tacos are great too!
There are plentiful painfully chic boutique hotels in Barcelona, but a lot of them are also painfully expensive. For somewhere that’s contemporary, comfy, clean and convenient (C-word overload?) AND in your budget, Barcelo Sants is a great shout. It’s right above Sants train station, so super easy in terms of getting to and from the airport, and around town, and the Sants area is raved about for being up-and-coming. The hotel has got this kind of bizarre galactic situ going on (there’s an astronaut suit in the lobby which I don’t really get), but once you get over that, the rooms are perfect for your need, all slick and modern with no fuss or frills, but a giant comfy bed, a good shower and bathroom, toiletries, tea and coffee, and a banging view. Rates hover around £100/night at peak times, which is a damn sight cheaper than a lot of places.
In a city as charming as Barcelona, you shouldn't use public transport if you don't absolutely have to. We were there for 4 days and didn't take a single bus. You can't beat spending an afternoon just strolling places and getting a little lost in the back streets. Neighbourhoods I love are Gràcia, El Raval and El Born.
Duh! One of the best things about Barcelona is its beach. That’s a totally free afternoon right there! Just don’t, I’m warning you don’t, buy mojitos from the dude on the beach, because they’re actually just lime cordial with mint leaves. DAMN IT.
Though I adore Gaudí’s stuff, I haven’t actually been in any of the main tourist sights in years. I don’t see the point. The exterior of Casa Battló is the most impressive thing about it, same with Sagrada Familia. You can happily appreciate the beauty of the Park Güell by just walking around the it too (which you don’t have to pay to do), thus dodging the queues and the costs of going in the buildings.