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How to Have a Frugal yet Fabulous Trip to Barcelona
With its unique cultural attractions, miles of beaches, vibrant nightlife, excellent tapas and the Barcelona FC stadium the vibrant city of Barcelona offers attractions for visitors of all types. For those who would like to visit the Catalan capital on a budget, this is a city that offers free attractions, inexpensive but delicious dining options and user-friendly public transportation. You can find comfortable Barcelona hotels at a cheap price. Here are some insider tips to help you enjoy a fabulous but frugal trip to Barcelona.
Free things to see and do
The works of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi are among Barcelona´s most valuable cultural treasures. There is an admission fee of over 10 euros to visit monuments designed by Gaudi such as the Sagrada Familia, Casa Battló and La Pedrera but Parque Guell, a lovely park designed by Gaudi, is completely free to enter. In Gaudi´s highly individualized style, the park is complete with colourful mosaics, curves, twists and organic shapes. Children will enjoy the bright colours, exotic shapes and the mosaic lizard.
This lively street, replete with shops, restaurants, street vendors and street performers, is one of Barcelona´s principal tourist attractions. The street performers are known to be particularly quirky and fascinating. Children and adults alike can spend hours on Las Ramblas enjoying the sights and sounds without spending a single euro.
Most of Barcelona´s museums offer free admission once a month. With some careful planning and good timing, you can visit the Picasso Museum or the Museu Nacional d´Arte de Catalunya for free on the first Sunday of the month. Practically all of Barcelona´s attractions offer senior citizen and student discounts as well as free admission for children. If travelling with children, take note that some museums offer free admission to children until six years of age while others set the age limit at 10.
Barcelona’s Font Magia is a free event that is surprisingly enjoyable. Font Magia is a light, music and water show at the . This completely free show happens on Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. from October to April and Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. from May to September.
Another unique characteristic of Barcelona are the several miles of beaches within walking distance from the city centre. The beaches are public and therefore charge no admissions fee. If visiting with children, you may want to steer clear of nudist sections like the Playa de la Mar Bella.
Eating out Cheaply
This market is a feast for the senses. The meats and fish, brightly coloured fruits and vegetables and prepared foods provide options for hungry visitors of all types. Buying a piece of fruit or even a prepared vegetarian meal in La Boqueria does not necessarily have to be expensive but make sure you are clear on the price before you buy. Go for a fixed-price lunch menu. Most Spanish cafeterias and restaurants offer a fixed-price lunch menu known locally as a menú del día. They generally include a beverage, bread, a first course, second course, and desert and/or coffee. Especially if you wander away from the tourist centre and find a more residential neighbourhood, you can purchase one of these hearty local meal deals for less than 10 euros. Ordering individual menu items is significantly more expensive.
Other General tips
To save money, avoid the red tourist buses and taxis. Public transportation in Barcelona is user-friendly and inexpensive. Depending on how far you want to travel around the city, you may want to consider purchasing a transportation pass that gives you unlimited access to trains, metro, buses and trams.
Enjoying a fantastic but frugal trip to Barcelona is not difficult if you follow some simple insider trips. Take advantage of free things to see and do and make sure you choose places to eat wisely. If you stay in a centrally located hotel, you will be able to walk to many of the tourist destinations that you wish to see. When walking is not possible, take public transportation. Following these simple suggestions will allow you to enjoy your trip without breaking the budget.
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