Barcelona, Spain - Eat Local Food, See Famous Attractions on Low Budget

May 12, 2011

Planning a trip to Barcelona in the month of August.
Want to experience local culture. Suggestions on what places to see? Also some restaurants serving local food. (not very expensive)
Will be traveling on a very low budget. Can you help me find some cheap hotels or hostels not too far from the city.

Barcelona  •  Spain
May 15, 2011

Vinay's answer about where to stay and eat in Barcelona

Hi, Barcelona sounds like a fantastic choice. though it's too bad you're there for such a short time and won't be able to and immerse yourself in the local culture at your leisure. Barcelona, with it's rich history, Latin charm and it's vast variety of architectural styles, exudes a personality that is inimitable and instantly engaging so I'm sure you'll find yourself coming back soon enough for another taste!


(Source: Christine Zenino) 

Things to See

Since you're interested in art and cutlture , I've suggested a few places that will help give you a strong insight and understanding of this city and it's people. I'm sure you'll enjoy exploring the rich heritage of Barcelona. 

This museum is home to a large collection of Catalonian art, in addition to this, the museum also holds a notable collection of Gothic and Romanesque art work, a tribute to the long and illustrious history of the city


National Museum of Art of Catalunya MNAC

Palau Nacional (Source: Palau Nacional) 

Housed in the imposingly domed, towered, frescoed, and columned Palau Nacional, built in 1929 as the centerpiece of the International Exposition, this superb museum was renovated in 1995 by Gae Aulenti, architect of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris
Pride of place goes to the Romanesque exhibition, the world's finest collection of Romanesque frescoes, altarpieces, and wood carvings, most of them rescued from chapels in the Pyrenees during the 1920s to save them from deterioration, theft, and art dealers.

(Source: Fodor's Travel Guides) 

PARC MONTJUÏC, S/N, 08038 Barcelona, Spain | +34 936 22 03 76 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +34 936 22 03 76      end_of_the_skype_highlighting | MNAC

Hours:  Tuesday to Saturday: 10 am to 7 pm | 10 am. to 2:30 pm | Closed on: Monday

Admission: $12

2. Picasso Museum (Recommended)

The museum has one of the most extensive collections of artworks by the renowned 20th century Spanish artist listing his work in collection in chronological order. This is one of the most popular and most visited museums in Barcelona. If the national museum was not enough to sate your desire for fine art, then this is another great place to visit, though as the name suggests not many artists are featured here. 


Picasso Museum

Hall of Las Meninos in Museum of Pablo Picasso in Barcelona (Source: Playing Futures: Applied Nomadology) 

Here's a review I found:

Picasso museum is one of the places you have to visit when you get to Barsa.

The Museu Picasso reveals Picasso's relationship with the city of Barcelona, a relationship that was shaped in his youth and adolescence, and continued until his death.

The collection of museum include more than 3500 works and Picasso himself donated a large number of items. This included his early work, school books, academic pieces, paintings from his Blue Period and more it's hard to introduce him just by little review, so this is just my high recommend to visit this place when you come to Barsa and to enjoy in masterpieces of Maestro.

(Source: Picasso Museum Barcelona - Reviews - TravBuddy)

C/ MONTCADA, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona, Spain | +34 933 19 63 10 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +34 933 19 63 10      end_of_the_skype_highlighting ‎| Picasso Museum 

Hours:  Daily 930am to 6pm

Admission: $9.25

A mock village, the Poble Espanyol draws mixed reactions from visitors and locals. To some it is the ultimate in cheesy tourist attractions , while others are happy to enjoy the wide open spaces and theme park like atmosphere. But that aside it must be said that no where else is it possible to find example of every style of Spanish architecture in such a pleasant setting

Poble Espanyol

Contorn-entorn 4 (Source: Contorn-entorn 4) 

You can wander from Andalucïa to the Balearic Islands in the space of a couple of hours of slow meandering, visiting surprisingly good copies of characteristic buildings from all the country's regions.  It is sometimes the scene of summer concerts. Elsewhere you'll find an Andalucian barrio, a Basque street, Galician and Catalan quarters and even a Dominican monastery (at the eastern end). The buildings house dozens of restaurants, cafes, bars, craft shops and workshops (such as glassmakers), and some souvenir stores.

(Source: Poble Espanyol in Barcelona, Spain - Lonely Planet) 

Location:Avinguda Francesc Ferrer I Guardia, 13 08038 Barcelona |

Tel: 935 086 300

Hours:Open Mon 9am-10pm / Tue-Thu 9am-2am /  Fri-Sat 9am-4am /  Sun 9am-12am 

Admission: $13

La Sagrada Família is Antoni Gaudí's architectural creation. Begun in 1882, it is still unfinished and construction is ongoing! Many say that the structure looks like it is built of bones, to see why, do catch a glimpse of it at night when its lights are on. This is an absolute must see as it embodies the design brilliance of a man whose works turn Barcelona from a drab city into a fanciful wonderland of mind bending architecture and no trip to barcelona can be said to be complete without a visit.

La Sagrada Familia

Barcelona Sagrada Familia (Source: Wolfgang Staudt) 

Here's a snippet of what lonely planet had to say of Gaudi's handiwork.

If you have time for only one sightseeing outing, this should be it. La Sagrada Família inspires awe by its sheer verticality, and in the manner of the medieval cathedrals it emulates, it's still under construction after more than 100 years. When completed, the highest tower will be more than half as high again as those that stand today. Unfinished it may be, but it attracts around 2.8 million visitors a year and is the most visited monument in Spain.

(Source: Lonely Planet) 

Hours: Daily 09:00-20:00 (Apr-Sep)

Admission:  $18

Location:Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

5. La Rambla

This sweeping promenade is one of the most iconic tourist spots in the city. The main street is lined with boutiques and eateries, these are fairly expensive and mostly cater to tourists , but even if your budget is modest, don't be scared off! Just duck into one of the side streets to find a broad selection of (relatively) cheaper restaurants and bars.

La Rambla

Street Performers on La Rambla (Source: Dimo Dimov) 

This is a great place to experience local culture without the feel of being a visitor, just watch the citizens of the city go about their business, the local street performers keeping the crowds entertained and just basically stand witness to a typical day in this fascinating city 

Here's a review from a traveler:

Favorite thing: Walking down Las Ramblas was entertaining at any point. It was constantly jammed packed of people and 'buskers'.....Lots of costumes and artists and market and people. Great times, endless fun.
 Fondest memory: I enjoyed every aspect of Barcelona, from its food, shopping, weather, to its people and accommodation.I shall return!

 (Source: Las Ramblas, Barcelona - Reviews - VirtualTourist) 




Here's a few events that will be going on in the city around the time you get there, you should check them out if you have the time.

1. Espai 13 (art exhibit)

Espai 13 is an exhibition space that displays work by experimental artists.

For 11 months, the cycle passes through five individual exhibition phases, each spotlighting a different artist.

The 2010/11 cycle is titled 'Implicit Sound'. Marcus Coates, Esther Ma'as and Arash Moori, Michael Sailstorfer, Su-Mei Tse and Joao Onofre take it in turns to exhibit their installations, which embed the concept of sound in their visual art.

 (Source: Espai 13, Barcelona | Whatsonwhen) 

Espai 13 (art exhibit)

(Source: vincent desjardins) 

When: 8 Oct 2010 - 11 Sep 2011; Exhibit closed on Monday (annual)
Where:Joan Miró Foundation
Cost   : $3
Time   : Tue-Sat 10am-7pm (until 9.30pm Thu, until 8pm Jul-Sep); Sun 10am-2.30p           Phone:+34 934 439 470 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +34 934 439 470      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

2. Sants Festa Major

The festival is celebrated in august with a large outpouring of enthusiasm and jubilation as people take to the streets in a big show of music and dancing that goes well into the night.

The Sants Festa Major takes place on and around the Carrer de Sants street in Barelona's Montjuï district. Twelve main streets host their own parties and activities. When night falls, everyone celebrates with music, parades and a 'dance of the giants'.

(Source: Whatsonwhen) 

When: Aug 2011 (annual)
Where: Carrer de Sants
Cost: Free


Food in Barcelona tends to come at a bit of a remium , but here's a few restaurants that will leave you and your wallet satisfyingly full!

1. Maitea Taberna

Maitea Taberna is known for serving delicious tapas. This is a no-frills restaurant with very casual ambience. This is one of the restaurants that is frequented by the locals so you're in no danger of getting ripped of by a sub par tourist trap. Many diners have observed that the restaurant is a great value for money and te seafood is particularly recommended.

Maitea Taberna

 (Source: Javier Lastras)

Check out the reviews.


If you walk at the Rambla from the beach-end to Catalunya, you can take a left at Carrer del Pintor Fortuny. Then the restaurant is at the first corner on your left. Order different tapas and be sure to ask for vinegar end olive oil (the best!). Best meal this year so far :-) ... and at a reasonable price.

(Source: DOPPLR | Where's good to eat in Barcelona?) 

Very cool restaurants with friendly staff and good prices. Traditional Catalan cusine with locally sourced ingredients - not your usual Tapas.
The menu is in the form of a food magazine which you can also download from the website.

(Source: DOPPLR) 

Casanova, 157 (entre Paris y Corsega), 08036 Barcelona | Tel: 34 93 439 51 07 | Maitea Taberna

Woking Hours: Open For lunch and dinner

Price range: $8 - $41

2. Barravel

Barraval serves up a selection of popular Catalan and Mediterranean cuisine, with ingredients that it proudly claims are purchased from the nearby Boqueria market. The weekend menu is very popular, and includes a generous portion of authentic recipe paella accompanied by a selection of tapas, for just $21 every Sat and Sun.

Here's a review I found:

The truth is that this area of Barcelona is full of small charms, corners, urban islands. There are more of later, more for lunch and dinner and over night. The latter is the case of Raval Bar, or at least is the fact that you knew me: after dinner, we wanted a place near where a drink. And here we ended. A little crowded, but we be quick and find place to sit, so cool. (translated from spanish)

 (Source: Ms de noche - Raval Bar en Barcelona) 

I always go with my friends to this bar, is most of the Raval and the food excellent! I recommend it. (translated from spanish)

 (Source: Barraval Restaurant - Barcelona - Reviews) 

C/ Hospital 104 | Tel: 93 329 8277 | Barravel

Operating Times: Mon-Thur 12pm-2am. | Fri-Sat until 3am. | Sat-Sun from 9am.

Price:Starts at about $12-$13


3. Botafumeiro

This isn't really a cheap restaurant but the sea food here is claimed to be the best you can have in Barcelona. The King of Spain himself has been a gust here so you really can't doubt  their credentials. The restaurant boasts an indulgent variety of sea food and if you're a foody go ahead and treat yourself. Reservations are recommended for dining.


 (Source: George Groutas) 

Check out the diners' reviews.

Although the competition is strong, this classic marisquer consistently puts Barcelona's finest seafood on the table. Much of the allure comes from the attention of the white-jacketed staff. International businesspeople often rendezvous here, and the King of Spain is sometimes a patron. The establishment prides itself on its fresh- and saltwater fish, clams, mussels, lobster, crayfish, scallops, and several varieties of crustaceans

(Source: Frommer's) 

Once a year i take weekend trip to Barcelona from Iceland just to dine there. Love everything about this place. Food is Fantastic,grate atmosphere and one of the best service i ever had. Its a Grate place for a Romantic diner for 2, as well for celebration with family and friends!!!

(Source: Botafumeiro Moncho - Yahoo! Travel) 

C/ GRAN DE GRÃCIA, 81, 08012 Barcelona | Tel: 932 184 230 | Botafumeiro

Woking Hours: daily 1pm to 1 am

Price: starts at about $20 

Consider Top Table for reservations.


Since you're going to be on a tight budget I've listed out a few of the better hostels that are right in the city center so commuting is cheap and convenient.

1. Paraiso Travellers Hostel (Recommended)

Parisio is a great place to set up base if you're in Barcelona for a short stay. The hostel is clean and well maintained. The staff are also friendly and very accommodating. Though it doesn't really offer much in the way of luxury, it still manages to cover the fundamentals very well; which is exactly what most budget travelers really want from their hotel.

The hostel was fantastic! Highly recommended!!! Excellent value! hostel is in good location (close to city sites and metro stations) Best of all, the staff was excellent - friendly, always happy to chat, gave excellent directions and ideas on how to best enjoy the city.

Source: Hostels.com) 

I was 6 nights in Paraiso and I had a very good time. I was not particularly looking for a hostel where I could have fun, I mostly expected a helpful and amiable staff which was the case! Anyway,
on 2 nights there was free sangria :) It is well located, near to 2 subway stations with 2 lines. I slept in 2 rooms, the 1st had a shower and the 2nd didn't, but there are 2 common bathrooms & they were always clean ! 1 thing to imrove is at least a microwave so we don't always have to go out! Thx!

 (Source:hostel world) 

Ronda de Sant Pau, 55, 08015 Barcelona, Spain | +34 933 29 93 78 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +34 933 29 93 78      end_of_the_skype_highlighting ‎| Parasio Hostel

Check In: 1pm  | Check Out: 11pm

Price: $24

Book your rooms here

2. Equity Point Centric

Equity Point is a neat youth hostel in central Barcelona it attracts a young urbanite crowd and so makes the list as the most 'hip' hostel to stay in while on a trip to Barcelona. A slight complaint that has come up though is that the hotel charges extra for things most would take for granted, like bed linen etc...it's not expensive, but is still an annoyance to wind up paying more than you expect (though the website does state it quite clearly so it really shouldn't too much of a surprise)

Liked: has everything what hostel should have except.... spirit ;] please be aware that only cushion, cushion cover and bottom sheet is included in the price. top linnen is 2e per stay and blanket is 2e per stay.

Disliked: lift :)

 (Source: Equity Point Centric Reviews Great Location and friendly staff) 

The staff was great and was happy to move me to another room when I realized I was the only female in a room with 11 guys and was the only one who spoke English. The bar there was also surprisingly busy and fun during my stay.

 (Source: Reviews of Equity Point Centric in Barcelona) 

Passeig de Gracia 33, Barcelona, Spain | +34 932 31 20 45 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +34 932 31 20 45      end_of_the_skype_highlighting ‎| Equity Point Centric

Check In 11:00 | Check Out 10:00

Price: $30

you can book your room from the link above

3. Backpackers BCN Diputació

The Backpackers BCN in Diputacio is another good choice of hostel in the city center for under $30 a night. It has large common areas and encourages interaction between the guest a little more than the others otherwise it's fairly standard with few surprises, good or bad. It's the cheapest place on the list on paper but that comes at a slight sacrifice in terms of room size and maximum occupancy...so it can get a little cramped; hough if you're coming back to your room just to sleep, that shouldn't really pose a problem.

We had a great time here! Very nice people working here, and overall a very good place if you want to live close to the center of the city, but still have a calm place to sleep =) can be a little noicy in the mornings if you live close to the road but we slept well anyway!

(Source Travellerspoint) 

Very friendly and extremaly helpful staff. The best location, in a very nice and quiet neighbourhood. The hostel itself is placed in an old appartment building, what makes it unique with its internal design. Shared facilities clean and tidy. 2 computers with free internet. I will definitely choose this hostel when visiting BCN again.

(Source:Barcelona Hostel Reviews) 

Diputació, 323 ppral.1a, Barcelona, Spain | Tel:+34 934 88 02 80 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +34 934 88 02 80      end_of_the_skype_highlighting ‎| Backpackers BCN

24 hours Check InCheck Out

Price: starts at $24 a night

You can make your booking from here

Well these are my suggestions. I hope they were able to help you decide on where to go. If yo need help or information on anything else (flight or train tickets etc.) then all you have to do is write in and we'll get right on it!

Answered by Vinay Viswanath

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