What Does a Barcelona Trip Cost? A Full Rundown

Nativity Facade of La Sagrada Familia - Barcelona Trip Cost

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Curious how much savings or extra hours at work you’ll need to cover your Barcelona trip cost? An accountant at heart, I tracked everything I spent during my own first-time trip to Barcelona and am sharing the numbers here today. To help with your planning, I am breaking down all of my expenses below with plenty of tips on where to save and splurge.

Full disclosure: I was able to save a lot of money on my Barcelona trip cost because I added it onto a Greece trip I was already taking with my husband, Aaron. After all, travel to European cities becomes much cheaper when you are already in Europe! Since I know that not everyone can do this, I will discuss what average flights cost from the U.S. as well.

While I traveled solo in Barcelona, I travel with Aaron much more often and know that most people do not travel alone. Therefore, where relevant, I will include how the expenses look for two people traveling together. Let’s get started!

Girl posing for photo in front of sweeping view of Barcelona from Park Guell

This article was originally published in May 2022 and was updated in February 2024.


Here is my actual Barcelona Trip Cost (in USD):

Example of a Barcelona trip cost for a solo traveler

The above shows my actual expenses paid for two days in Barcelona. My budget was not on a shoestring, but was not luxurious either.

There are many factors that made my actual expenses higher or lower than yours will be, which I am discussing below. For each category, I will suggest ways to cut costs, as well as recommend a few spurges. After all, when exploring a city as cool as Barcelona, it’s worth it to indulge in a few luxuries here and there.

Travel Savvy Tip

Don’t look at this budget as a lump sum! That’s the quickest way to get intimidated and assume Barcelona is unattainable. The truth is, you won’t pay the full amount at once. You’ll buy your flight and lodging right away, and then likely pay nothing for a few months.

Once it gets closer to your trip, you’ll start looking at tours you may want to do, as well as make restaurant reservations. When you get back home from your trip, you’ll pay off any remaining vacay expenses you’ve incurred.

Breaking it into chunks like this is a much more approachable way to afford the cost of a trip to Barcelona!


Barcelona Trip Cost Breakdown:

Flight

$235.51

Here’s my best tip for finding cheap flights to Barcelona: go when you’re already in Europe. It’s possible to find some very low airfare between European cities. For example, my flight from Malta to Barcelona was only $57.51 (I also paid $178 for a better seat on my way home to the U.S.).

However, I understand that you might not be traveling to Barcelona from Europe. If you are departing from the United States, your fare will depend on your departure city and what time of the year you are traveling. You can expect prices to range between $500 and $1,200 depending on your unique circumstances.

For example, direct flights from hub cities, like Newark for example, are usually cheaper than flights with connections. Fares also tend to be lower outside of the summer high season, which spans from mid-May through early September.

To illustrate, I did a quick search on Google Flights from my local airport in Cleveland, which offers no direct flights to Europe. In early May, I can find a flight that connects in New York for $800. If I change my search to June, the price for a flight with a similar connection jumps to $1,300.

For two people, budget around $1,400 total for flights to Barcelona. Be sure to also read these tips to avoid overpaying for flights:

  • Be flexible with your travel days. As mentioned above, weekend flights can be crazy expensive. Play around with searching different departure and arrival days, and you’ll be amazed what a difference that can make.
  • Travel during the low season (October through April), when there is an overall drop in prices.
  • Last but not least, the tip that has helped me the most: Sign up for a credit card with travel rewards points. We’ve gotten countless free flights thanks to our cards, simply due to points earned on every day purchases. We’ve had great experiences using both the Capital One Venture and the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Transportation

wide city street in Barcelona

$71.14

In Barcelona, it’s easy to get around on foot. However, you will need a way to get to and from the airport. A cab ride between Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) and the city costs around €30-€35 each way.

It is cheaper to reach the Barcelona city center via metro or bus, although the journey will take a little longer. Being that I arrived around midnight, I was uncomfortable taking public transportation at that hour and chose the more expensive taxi instead.

As walkable as Barcelona is, there could be some sights you wish to see that are too far for walking. For me, this was Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia. Thankfully, Barcelona’s metro is cheap and easy to use, only costing €2.55 per trip.

For two people, the cab ride cost will stay the same, but the cost of metro tickets will double.


Lodging

bedroom with colorful art in hotel - Barcelona trip cost

$535.66

In general, the more central within a city you stay, the more your lodging will cost. That said, for a short trip like mine, staying in a good location is helpful for seeing lots of sights in a short amount of time.

I chose to stay at a modern boutique hotel called H10 Cubik, which had a decent price for how well-located it was. My room was comfortable and chic, and I only had to walk about 10 minutes to reach the Gothic Quarter. I also had quick access to a metro station just a short walk away.

To stay extra frugal, you could also consider:

  • Staying in a hostel. Barcelona has plenty of options, like Yeah Barcelona Hostel.
  • Finding a private room in someone’s place for cheap on Airbnb (although keep in mind that this platform has been instrumental in pricing locals out of the city).
  • Staying further out from Barcelona’s main sights if you don’t mind a commute. Aaron and I recently stayed at Hotel Atenea Port in Mataró, which was in a gorgeous location on the Mediterranean Sea and was an affordable train ride into Barcelona.

For two people, expect to spend about €200-€300 a night for a similar room during shoulder season (late September through November). I got a deal during my 2021 stay, but hotel prices have increased in the years since.


Groceries

$0

Eating in during your travels can help keep costs down; especially if you’re staying somewhere with a kitchen. That said, while traveling for only two days, it might not be worth it or even feasible to prepare food in your hotel room.

I personally spent $0 on groceries during my solo stay in Barcelona, since I love exploring local cafes and eateries during my travels.


Food & Drink

square with outdoor dining in Barcelona

$147.26

To really get a taste of Barcelona, dining out at least sometimes is absolutely essential. How else will you get to experience tapas or taste the local paella?

During my stay in Barcelona, I did not find dining out to be very expensive. I mostly consumed cappuccinos, croissants, and sandwiches from cafes. My biggest splurge was when I paid $37.74 at 7 Portes for paella and a local white wine.

Actually, I spent the most money on dinner in the Newark airport while coming home, when a burger and mediocre glass of chardonnay somehow amounted to $51.09.

For two people, expect the food cost to double the total that I paid.


Activities

view over rooftops from Barcelona Cathedral - Barcelona trip cost
Gothic Quarter archway on streets on Barcelona

$220.22

Doing tours and visiting places like La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona can often be the most memorable part of a trip. However, too many add-on’s could break your budget. Therefore, you should prioritize the experiences that are most meaningful to you.

Here is what it would cost to do the same activities I did in Barcelona, as well as what it would cost for two people:

Note – amounts have been adjusted to reflect price increases over the past couple years.

Summary of activities cost during a Barcelona trip

The tapas tour and Gaudí sites tour I did were pricey, but totally worth it. I actually did this very same tapas tour again when I returned to Barcelona with Aaron, and it was an equally fun experience. If you can only do one, pick the tapas tour and visit Park Güell and La Sagrada Familia on your own.


Barcelona Trip Cost: Miscellaneous Expenses

Columns and pink house within Park Guell - Barcelona trip cost

$47.42

  • Shopping: $17.42 There is plenty of good shopping to do all over Barcelona. Just be careful that you don’t blow your budget! The small sum I spent was on a Barcelona souvenir Starbucks mug.
  • Cell Phone: $30 You may have to pay for an international plan to make sure your phone works during your trip. Under my plan with Verizon, I pay $10 for every day I use cellular data abroad. It’s a bit pricey, but worth it for how often I rely on my phone for Google Maps and last minute restaurant searches. When I travel with Aaron, he keeps his phone on airplane mode so that we only pay this price for one person.
  • Pet Boarding: $0 While it’s ideal to have a friend or family member that can watch your pet for free, that isn’t always possible. When Aaron and I travel together, we always pay to board our dog in a cozy little “suite” at his vet office. For this Barcelona trip, though, Aaron was able to be home with him.

• • •

There you have it – a complete rundown of my Barcelona trip cost. I’m so glad I was able to add Barcelona onto our Greece trip, as I saved so much money on airfare.

There are many ways to make a trip to Barcelona more affordable, from using credit card points to staying in hostels. Either way, it is money well spent on amazing memories in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

Are you planning a trip to Barcelona?

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