How to do Barcelona in 3 Days on a Budget

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We teamed up with travel blogger Ian Thornley to show us how to do Barcelona on a budget in 3 days

Ready to tick Barcelona off your bucket list? I teamed up with St Christopher's Inns who sent me to Barcelona to see if I could do the Catalan capital in 3 days on a budget. Barcelona is unique in that it is a huge city, on the sea, surrounded by mountains. What a combo! It's definitely my favourite place for a city break, so here is how to experience it all without spending a small fortune...

Check out The Best Sights and Attractions To See in Barcelona


Barcelona is so accessible from the UK, a quick internet search will throw out hundreds of flights. The cheapest I found in the next two months is £32 return! You can pick up a flight over the weekend in September (when the average temperature is 26 degrees) for £79 return on Average. The flight is just 2-2.5hrs depending on where you fly from so you can be on the beach in no time.

Cost of a flight from UK to Barcelona Thu-Sun in September 2018 …. £79pp


One thing becomes very evident very quickly when planning a trip to Barcelona, accommodation is EXPENSIVE! The average price per night in Barcelona is £145 but do not fear.. For just £29 per night you are able to secure a room at St Christopher’s Inns – Barcelona Hostel! The hostel is in the best location possible, just a 2 minute walk from Catalunya station which is right in the centre of the city! I stayed here during my last trip to Barcelona, the dorm room was super modern, clean & well lit with a cool balcony overlooking the city; also the rooms are accessible by key card only which keeps them private & safe.

The bed was really comfy and comes with your own plug socket, a curtain for privacy and a built in suitcase sized locker to store your things. You have access to a shared bathroom, which in truth looked no different to a bathroom at a modern gym or something similar. Everyone was really quiet at night so I had no problems sleeping, but one of the best things about the stay ---was that it made meeting people really easy, I was invited to a bar crawl while queuing up to check in! You also get a free breakfast included in the price so need to spend money eating out. There's even a charming outside seating area.

Cost of a dorm room for 3 nights at  Christopher’s Inns – Barcelona Hostel…. £89pp


These cost-effective activities will keep you more than busy for 3-4 days in the sunny city. In total, all of these things cost me a total of only £54. See the breakdown of prices for each activity. Here's what I got up to in Barcelona...

Sun it up at Barcelonetta beach!

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This is the main beach running down Barcelona’s coast, it is buzzing with people and is lined with amazing restaurants, bars and things to do – Free

Roam the ancient grounds of Monjuic Castle

The military fortress dates back to the 1600’s! the castle is situated atop Monjuic hill, it offers panoramic views and has cannons for you to play with – £3

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Relax on the remote and dreamy Badalona beach

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This hidden gem is just a 25 minute train ride north of the city centre, there are stretches of the beach that make you feel that you are actually on a secluded island – Free

Explore the iconic Sagrada Familia

This amazing basilica was designed by Antoni Gaudi, the designs are so detailed that construction started 136 years ago and it is still not finished – £12

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Have a cocktail with panoramic views of Barcelona Wet bar at the W hotel

The W Barcelona is iconic and the bar is one of the best in Europe, it has an ultra-swanky (yet affordable) vibe whilst offering panoramic views of the coast line – £11

Explore the ancient cathedral & foothills of Mount Tibidabo

Mount Tibidabo offers unique views of the rural side of Barcelona, at the top there is an ancient cathedral, a restaurant & bar and even a theme park! The Ferris Wheel lights up the night sky every evening  – Free

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Enjoy a coffee whilst people watching, overlooking the Arc de Trimof

The Arc was the entrance to the 1888 world fair and whilst that doesn’t mean much to me, it looks really pretty and there’s some great coffee shops where tou can watch the world pass by   – £2

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Get the grand tour of the famous Camp Nou stadium!

I’ve been to a lot of football stadiums but FC Barcelona’s is my all-time favourite, it’s really special at dusk - £20

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Check out 18 Things Football Fans Need to do in Europe

Enjoy a morning coffee overlooking the city at Bar Pel Mirador

This hidden gem of a café offers a great view of Barcelona Marina for a chilled start to the morning – £2

Watch the sunset over the city from the bunkers of El Carmel

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Head up here at sunset to enjoy one of the best views of Barcelona, when at the top you can buy snacks and alcohol and if you’re lucky there are people playing instruments.  A really special place. - Free

Make a wish at the impressive Font Magica

As impressive a fountain you will ever see, the light show at night is something else – Free

Marvel at the architecture at Park Guell

This UNESCO world heritage site is home to some of the most unique of Gaudi’s architecture and is surrounded by beautiful gardens - £4

Cost of 3-4 days of activities in Barcelona…. £54

There it is, fly to Barcelona, stay in a great room and explore the city for 3-4 days for a grand total of £222! What are you waiting for? Book your flight and book your room with St Christopher’s, print off your itinerary and go make some memories!

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Like this article? Read Ian's guide on How to Take Travel Snaps Like a Pro

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