I had a trip to Barcelona from London from 15-20 Dec 2018. It was the time not many people wanted to go there because it was winter 😀
Actually I was planning to Paris. However, after considering the flight tickets, accommodation and other factors, I booked the tickets to Barcelona as things were much cheaper (don’t blame me LOL).
As usual, I tried Couch Surfing (CS) to save accommodation cost and to get contact with locals. My last night, I stayed at St. Christopher’s Inns in the center. It is a very good hostel. If you book directly on its website: https://www.st-christophers.co.uk/, you will get free breakfast (and yes, the breakfast is very nice ^^)
In my opinion, 5 days is more than enough for Barcelona if you plan well not play by ear like me LOL.
Let have a look at Barcelona tourist maps made by me ^^
As you can see from the map, the red area – Placa de Catalunya is the city center which is the focus of shopping stores and tourist attractions. The other red circle is the airport – just one airport in Barcelona. From the airport, you can take Airport Aerobus (A1 and A2) which costs 6 euros one way to the city center. The highlighted areas are popular attractions.
My flight arrived at 8pm, and I was so lucky because my host from CS came to the airport to pick me up as a Christmas gift from Barcelona. How nice!!!
In terms of transportation, you can easily go around the city by buses and Metro (subway). To save money, you can buy T-10 Card for 10 euros which can be used for buses and metro up to 10 times. When travelling, I am an active walker, so I only walked. It took me an hour to go home from the city center. I know I am crazy but I like It. It can help you have a better contact with the city, discover more, exercise and yes save money 🙂 To be economical is very important to budget backpacker LOL
I highly suggest you join Free City Walking Tour. You can understand about the city that you visit and maybe make new friends. To be honest, it is not “free”, you are expected to give some tips for the tour guide like 2-3 euro each. However, it is just a small amount and it is worthy.
Besides, almost all attractions in Barcelona are ticketed. They are quite expensive though. Therefore, if you are on budget, you should choose what is really interesting to you. For me: La Sagrada Familia, Catedral de Barcelona and Park Güell.
There was one thing I missed last time: the magic fountain of Montjuïc, in front of the National Museum (30 mins walk from the city center). They have a timetable for the performance, but I did not check in advance, just showed up. Unluckily, there was no show on that day L However; this area is very great to visit both in the night time or day time. I really enjoyed sitting in front of the National Art Museum, listening to music from street performers and appreciating life. 🙂
Another fun thing to do is taking a walk to La Boqueria Market. It is one of the biggest fresh markets in Europe. You can find a lot of things here: fruits, chocolate, Spanish ham, cheese, seafood and many more. Prices are also cheaper.
How about the beach? Yes, I went to beach as well- Barceloneta. Because it was winter, the beach was totally empty =]]] If you search on the Internet, there are always pictures of Barceloneta full of tourists. To be honest, the beach failed to impress me as I have seen many breath-taking beaches before. However, it is still cool when a city has a nearby beach for people to relax after exhausted working days. A beach picnic is also a dope idea.
About the food…. Hmmmm I am not a person travelling for food, so this is not my main focus. But as you may know, Spain is famous for its diversified cuisine. I do love Paella. It is so good. Let have a look what I ate when I was in Barcelona: Salmon salad, fried fish, tapas, paella, spicy fried potatos.
Absolutely, you should not forget about souvenirs (for yourself :D) when you travel to a new place. I am highly interested in hand painting porcelain. I bought 4 pieces (3-5 euros for each).
I would be happy if you share what in your favorite activities and things in Barcelona ^^