Five Tips to visit Barcelona with a student budget
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Barcelona is considered as one of the world’s most beloved cities. With a Gothic quarter and iconic architecture, an extensive list of great restaurants, there’s no reason not to include Barcelona on everyone’s bucket list. To maximize your visit to Barcelona, here’s the list of helpful tips to explore the city on a student budget:
1) Find an accommodation
The first thing to do when you arrive in Barcelona is look for a place to live. Barcelona is one of the most touristic cities in Europe, so finding the ideal accommodation can be a real headache, especially during the peak season. The cheapest way if you’re coming by yourself or as a pair is to start looking for a flat-share. If you come with three or more people, we recommend renting an apartment together privately, as finding a flat-share for more than three rooms is almost impossible. Rents depend on the area, so you can expect to pay between €250 and €500 per person with all utilities included. We suggest you stay in Les Corts, Zona Universitaria or parts of Eixample; these are cheap and student-friendly neighbourhoods. Don’t wait and take a look at our large choice of student accommodation in Barcelona at OK Apartment.
The average monthly cost for shopping per person (food and hygiene) is usually around €80 for the most careful spenders or double for an average spender. So it’s safer to assume that you’ll spend around €100 per month when going to the most reasonably priced supermarkets such as Mercadona, Lidl and Consum. Then when it comes to eating out, you should know that fast food chains in Barcelona are more expensive than most of local restaurants. Usually, a three-course set meal will cost around €10 or a half set menu around €6. These are two great places for cheap meals: 100 Mondanitos (everything on the menu for €1 on Wednesdays and Sundays) and Nostrum (pre-cooked dishes for €1, €2 or €3). Finally, know that wherever there are universities, you can usually find plenty of cheap restaurants nearby.
Barcelona’s transport network is very punctual and simple to use. The only thing is that it’s relatively expensive when compared to other parts of Spain. A single ticket for a bus or metro trip in Barcelona cost €2.15, but that’s definitely not the cheapest option. Instead you can buy a T-10 ticket which costs €10 for 10 trips. If you travel at least two ways each day and you’re under 25 years old, then buy the unlimited T-Jove quarterly travel card for €105 (so €0.58 per trip if you’re travelling twice each day). If you’re planning to stay longer, a more economical and ecological way to move is the public bike rental service called Bicing. It costs just under €50 a year and you can use it without additional charges for journeys lasting less than 30 minutes. The city is small, so it will hardly ever take you more than that to get anywhere on two wheels.
If you chose Barcelona as your next destination, the numerous and various activities that the city offers would probably have had something to do with it. The best part is that you don’t necessarily have to break your piggy bank to enjoy Barcelona’s lifestyle. A good way to discover the city without spending a penny is to simply stroll around the numerous buildings, squares, parks or markets that Barcelona has to offer. For more cultural activities, take advantage of the first Sunday of each month to visit the museums for free — though you’ll have to get their early to avoid the queues. Last tip, regularly check the events that the city organises, which are especially numerous during the peak season. Some of them are free or with great discounts.
5) Night Life
Barcelona is obviously a fantastic place to go if you love to party. By the way, don’t be surprised if the clubs seem empty before 2AM, as people usually arrive at around 3AM and leave in the early hours of the morning. You should definitely try the most famous nightclubs like Razzmatazz, Bling Bling and Pacha at least once (entry costs between €15 to €20). But if you’re going out every weekend, then we recommend you start your night in the Raval or Gothic areas, where you’ll find a large number of great and cheap bars. In these neighbourhoods, you can expect to pay for a beer less than €2 and cocktail no more than €6. After warming up, stay in this area and find a nightclub. To save money, get there early and take advantage of free entry (usually before 1 AM). You can also walk along Las Ramblas and wait until someone gives you a flier for a free entry, sometimes with a free drink included.
To sum it all up, it’s safe to say that you can live more than comfortably in Barcelona and enjoy an active social life with between €800 – €1000 using these tips. We leave you an infographic below that compares the cost of living in different European cities. In the end, Barcelona isn’t as expensive as you may think!
That’s about it for now. All that remains is to say “Welcome to Barcelona”!
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