Barcelona attracts more and more tourists of all ages every year, which is something that doesn’t quite surprise us as this beautiful city offers an immense amount of monuments and attractions to see! However, Barcelona is considered one of the most expensive cities in all of Spain.
We are going to give you the best tips on saving your money when in Barcelona, making the most of your stay whilst spending as little as possible.
Let’s start with transport…
Every journey begins with the flights. Within the EU, hardly any other airline offers flights as cheap as Ryanair. Prices to fly to Barcelona- El Prat airport, located just 15km from the centre of Barcelona, begin at only €12.99. There are flights every day making it easy for you to plan the date of your holiday!
You can buy flights directly through their website or on their app. You can also find cheap flights on Skyscanner, a website which helps you search for cheap airline tickets and compare prices.
Transport to the centre of Barcelona
To go from the airport to the city centre, you can save money by taking public transport.Choosing which transport is the most suitable for you will depend on your arrival terminal and the part of the city you are going to. Here we offer you a list of the cheapest options.
The Aerobus connects the Barcelona- El Prat airport with Plaza Cataluña, in the city centre, and runs from the two terminals T1 and T2. The aerobus costs €5.90 and comes every 5 and 10 minutes from 5am to 12pm. In just 35 minutes, it takes you to Sepúlveda- Urgell, Plaça Espanya and Plaça Catalunya stations!
It is perfect for those who want to enjoy the crowded atmosphere of Barcelona from the beginning of their holiday. Or those who wish to have their accommodation in one of the more central neighbourhoods. If not, from here you also have a great connection to the rest of the city.
Bus 46 is a cheaper alternative than the Aerobús and takes you downtown to Plaza Espanya from terminals T1 and T2. It costs no more than €2.40, comes every 15 to 20 minutes, and takes between 40 and 55 minutes, because it has many stops. Perfect for those who have hotels in the centre, who aren’t in a hurry and wish to save as much as possible.
Train: Rodalies R2
The train is the most comfortable alternative and is perfect for those who arrive at terminal T2, since it is only available here. The single ticket costs only €4.60, it passes every 30 minutes and connects you with the central station in just 25 minutes. The most central station is Passeig de Gràcia, which is a few minutes from Plaza Catalunya.
The L9 metro line is another alternative that takes you from the airport to the centre of Barcelona. You can enter both from T1 and T2 and arrive in 30 minutes at Zona Universitaria. To go to other more central places you will have to change lines and the path will be a little longer. To get to Plaza Catalunya you would have to take the L3 and take 12 more stops. The single ticket costs €5.15.
N17 and N18: Night buses
For those arriving at night, buses N17 and N18 are the most appropriate cheap alternative. The N17 leaves from T1 and the N18 from both T1 and T2 and connects the airport with Plaza Catalunya in 40- 50 minutes. They come every 20 minutes from 00:30h. A single ticket costs €2.40 and is a good alternative to travel at night and not spend money on a taxi.
Public transport to explore Barcelona
Discovering Barcelona on foot is the best option, this way you won’t miss a thing. However, Barcelona is a huge city and it’s not possible to see everything via foot, so we recommend combining the walks with public transport, such as the metro to be able to go to the most remote places. To save money and time, it is best to buy a metrocard with which you can travel as much as you want.
The Hola Barcelona Travel Card has unlimited travel on the metro and other public transport networks, it costs €15 for two days and €34.20 for 5 days. It is the best way to visit Barcelona!
Another way of getting around is via the trendy electric scooters, check out our definitive guide on using these in Barcelona.
Cheap accommodation in Barcelona
It is very important to have a comfortable place to rest and recharge after a long day of exploring Barcelona, preparing yourself for the following days of sight- seeing. Therefore, it is essential to choose the appropriate accommodation for your stay in the city.
AB Apartment Barcelona is the best budget accommodation option in Barcelona. We offer you over 500 holiday apartments, available to rent daily, weekly, or monthly in the most central areas of the city. You can save up to 25% compared to Airbnb and Booking.com. Many of the apartments are just 2-5 minutes from the beach, and a few minutes walking from the most interesting and relevant tourist attractions in Barcelona.
The apartments are modern, fully furnished and come with all the necessary utensils to make you feel at home and make the most of your stay in the best city in the world. In addition, at AB Apartment Barcelona, we offer our clients discounts on tourist attractions and much more! With us you will not only enjoy your holiday in the best apartments, but with unbeatable tourist promotions!
Free attractions in Barcelona
Now for our recommendations on the free attractions and viewpoints of Barcelona, which are definitely worth visiting.
The Sagrada Familia
The Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, designed by the architect Gaudí, is the most emblematic monument in Barcelona. The basic ticket without audio guide or access to the towers costs €17, but it is possible to enter for free: every Sunday at 9am there are masses that last an hour. There is no need to make reservations or register, all you have to do is arrive early and be quiet. When the mass is over, they will not force you to leave, so you can stay and take photos. It is perfect to enjoy the Sagrada Familia in all its splendour, listen to the sound of prayers and to pray.
Access to Torres is not free however, but you can observe the building from a free viewpoint. You have to go to the Hotel Ayre, which is 200 metres from the Basilica. In the building, if you take the elevator up the stairs to get onto its terrace, you can see the best view of the Sagrada Familia while having a drink. It is an incredible viewpoint!
Crypt of the Sagrada Familia
Not everyone knows it, but the list of the World Heritage of Humanity, drawn up by Unesco, includes the two parts of the Sagrada Familia that Antoni Gaudí worked on in life: the façade of the nativity, and the crypt. Visiting the Crypt of the Sagrada Familia is free. The Crypt is made up of seven chapels dedicated to the Holy Family and another five channels aligned in a straight line. There is also the tomb where Antoni Gaudí is buried. Access to the Crypt is independent of access to the Basilica, therefore, you must enter the Crypt either before or after the Basilica as the hours are very limited.
Temple of Augustus: A journey to Roman times
The Temple of Augustus is a true hidden secret and very unknown among tourists. A narrow and dark street in the Gothic Quarter or Barcelona leads you to an even darker building with 4 columns from the Roman time of Augustus, built in the 1st Century BC. The remains are part of the Barcelona History Museum. It is a fascinating place and takes you back a few centuries.
Plaza de España
The Plaza de España is one of the most beautiful in Barcelona. In the centre of the square is a spectacular monumental fountain. Definitely worth visiting and taking photos! Behind the fountain is the Arenas shopping centre, which used to be an old bullring and has a fantastic panoramic terrace at the top. To save money go up to the terrace from inside the shopping centre. Its circular shape allows you to have very complete views over the Plaza de España, the entrance to Montjuic park and the Magic fountain.
The Turó de la Rovira
The Turó de la Rovira is not well known among visitors, but it offers spectacular views of the entire city! Many people from Barcelona, mainly young people, meet here in the afternoons. It is the ideal place to contemplate how the city manages to take the last rays of sunshine of the day. Definitely the best place to end the day, watching the sunset over the city from the very top.
As you can see, if you have a limited budget or just want to save some money, there is no excuse to enjoy the charm of Barcelona. In addition, there are endless more things to do for free in Barcelona!