Barcelona continues to be one of the most popular destinations in Europe. Most people who want to visit the city usually want to know how much does it cost to go to Barcelona? Well, it depends on where you’re flying from and when you go.
Since Barcelona is just a single city, I’m going to focus costs for a week that includes round-trip airfare, six nights hotel (you’d be there 7-days, 6-nights), average meal prices, transportation, admission prices to the major attractions, and random spending. It’s also based on a single person so if you’re going as a couple, double the estimates (except hotels).
Food & Drink $299
Random spending $75
TOTAL $1,776 USD
The above estimate is in American dollars. Since I’m Canadian, I’ll be making some additional notes for Canadians, but please use xe.com to find out the average costs in your home currency.
I want to stress that the above are estimated prices for the average traveller. There are always ways to save money on your travels (which I’ll highlight below). The idea of this how much does it cost to go to Barcelona guide is to give you a rough idea of what to budget for.
Flights vary significantly based on where you’re flying from and when you’re travelling. A quick search shows that you can find flights for as low as $350 from Boston and New York during the low season (winter). Flights can be found in the low $400’s from multiple cities in the off-season (fall & spring).
During the peak season is where flights obviously cost the most. In July airfare can range from $550-$900 but prices in August drop down to $500-$700. For this article, I chose $600 as the “average” price.
Canadians need to budget more for their flights. Although $600 USD is about $800 CAD, the average direct flight price from Canada is $900 in August. Flying in May or September is a bit cheaper at about $800 a trip, but also keep in mind that direct flights are only available from Toronto or Montreal.
If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Gold Rewards Card gives you a signup bonus of up to 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which have a minimum value of $300 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees, a sign up bonus worth $250 and it comes with airport lounge access.
How much you spend on accommodations depends on your preference, but for my estimates, I’m going with $105 a night since I found many mid-range hotels in that price range. Prices vary by season, but that’s a good estimate to work with. Below are some hotels and brands you may want to check.
Hostels: Some of the hostels in Barcelona are like boutique hotels. Sure you’ll be sharing a room, but the amenities and look of some of the hostels are simply fantastic. Search for ones with private rooms, and you’ll be able to save a ton.
Mid-range hotels: You can find mid-range hotels all over the city, so just focus on the location. The Gothic quarter and around Plaça de Catalunya are the most popular spots since you’ll be near the action. You could save some money by staying further out at a hotel near a metro station.
Luxury Hotels: Luxury hotels in Barcelona are aplenty and it really comes down to brand preference. Note that if you’re going to go this route, you could easily add $100 – $200 per night.
Airbnb: Renting an apartment via Airbnb is my preferred choice since you can find some great places for pretty reasonable prices. Again, just stick to a good location, preferably in the Gothic Quarter but anywhere near Plaça de Catalunya will be okay. Use my invite and get a $45 credit towards your first stay.
If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. For example, Canadians should consider the BMO World Elite Mastercard since it typically has a sign up bonus of $250 when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months of card membership. This card does have an annual fee of $150 but it’s normally waived for the first year so you’re getting $250 for free. There’s also the Marriott Bonvoy American Express which gives you 51,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months. That’s enough points for up to five free nights at some hotels which could easily have a value of over $650.
Barcelona is serviced by the metro, buses, trams, and RENFE trains (and a gondola). To be realistic, most people who travel to Barcelona will only need the metro and buses to get to the major attractions.
Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) operates the main public transportation in Barcelona. They service the metro and local bus lines in the metropolitan area. In my estimates above I already factored in the exchange rate, but I’ve listed the official prices in Euros below.
Single fare: A one-way bus or metro ride will cost you €2.20, but if you’re coming from the airport, it’s €4.50
Barcelona travel cards Hola BCN!: These passes are available for unlimited journeys on public transportation over 2, 3, 4 or 5 consecutive days on a single ticket. They cost €14.50, €21.20, €27.50, €33.70 respectively and include trips to the airport
T-10 Integrated transport ticket: This multi-person travel card allows 10 one-way journeys in a single zone for just €10.20 which’s a little over €1 per ride! Although it does not cover the trip from the airport, in my opinion, this is the best value for public transportation in Barcelona since you can share it with multiple people.
Barcelona Card: This official tourist pass of Barcelona is a 3-in-1 card that includes transportation, free admission or discounts to certain attractions, and discounts at various places in Barcelona. To be honest, this card does not offer much value when you see what’s included and is pretty expensive at €45, €55, €60 for 3, 4, or 5-day adult passes. Children pay €21, €27, and $32, but again, this is not a good value.
RENFE: If you plan on taking a day trip or travelling to another city by train, you’ll be taking the RENFE which is the national carrier. Popular day trips include Montserrat, Sitges, and Valencia. Although the Barcelona Card gives you access to RENFE, it doesn’t apply to long distances. How much your ticket costs depends on distance so check the RENFE site for prices.
My estimated budget of €30 for a week may seem low, but that’s more than 20 rides on the metro or bus and transportation to the airport. If you plan on going further out, you’ll need to budget more.
Barcelona has a ton of attractions that are worth your while. I’ve listed what people consider the “must-sees” in the city, but it’s entirely subjective. You don’t need to pay to go into all of these attractions, but since this is a week-long estimate, I’m going to assume you’re doing all, if not most of them.
- Sagrada Familia skip the line
- Casa Batlló
- Casa Milà
- Parc Güell
- MNAC – Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
- Picasso Museum
- Barcelona FC Camp Nou experience
- Poble Espanyol
Since Barcelona is such a popular city for tourists, I recommend buying your tickets in advance from Klook since you can usually get a small discount and you can skip the lines.
Keep in mind that many Barcelona attractions are free or rather, what makes Barcelona great is just walking around. Every neighbourhood is unique, so it’s more about people watching than going to sites. It’s up to you to decide how much you should spend on attractions while in Barcelona. Read my guide now of the La Rambla and Gothic quarter neighbourhoods now to get an idea of what you should check out.
Food and drink
How much you decide to spend on food a day will vary by person, but below are prices you can expect to pay for average meals with a drink.
- Breakfast – $5
- Lunch – $12
- Dinner – $25
That works out to $42 dollars a day for food. I honestly don’t expect you to spend that much a day since there will be many times where a simple sandwich or something from the market will be enough to fill you up. Obviously, if you eat at a sit-down restaurant every meal and order multiple rounds of alcohol, you’ll end up spending much more.
One thing to note about food. It’s something you should never cheap out on. When I went to Barcelona, I was on a backpacker’s budget, so I ate as cheap as possible. To this day, it’s my biggest travel regret because I never got to try local delicacies such as tapas.
When figuring out how much does it cost to go to Barcelona? Food is the one factor that could drastically affect your budget. Even if you don’t want to spend much, put aside some money for one great meal, it’ll be worth it. I wrote a guide on how to eat cheap when travelling if you need more tips to save.
Usually when I travel, I love to shop, but in Barcelona, there was nothing in the city I was interested in picking up. Don’t get me wrong, they have all the major chains, so you’ll be able to shop if that’s what you like to do. But, it’s unlikely you’ll be spending money on tacky souvenirs or goods that are unique to Barcelona or Spain.
As a result, you probably won’t need to budget more than $50-$100 for random spending, and even then it’ll most likely be spent on food. Now if you’re a shopaholic, it’s probably best to have a separate budget just for shopping.
So how much does it cost to go to Barcelona? My rough estimates show that you can expect to pay $1,776 USD per person or a combined total of $3,552. You can easily reduce your costs based on where you stay and what you eat, but overall, Barcelona is a reasonably priced destination. Need some more inspiration? Read my how much does it cost to go to guides on Rome, Greece, London, Paris, Cyprus, Amsterdam, Croatia, Malta and Spain.