If I have to choose my Top 5 cities in Europe Barcelona would be there for sure. Have visited the City several times and each time I discover something new. TIP for the people visiting Barcelona- Never follow the touristic places ( especially restaurants, bars etc.), go deeper and then you will find the local, not overprices attractions.
How to get there?
As you are well aware living in Belgium has many positive aspects. My last visit in Barcelona was in May. My good friend Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) offered a good promo so the tickets price was ~ 29.00 Eur. From Brussels Zaventem you can fly 3 times per day to Barcelona. Good deals can be founded on http://www.vueling.com too. The best way is to compare all options to find “the cheapest one”.
Where to stay?
Barcelona is big so you have a great choice of Hotels, Apartments etc. Last time we found a nice apartment (it was best option for a small group of friends). For me the location is always very important (metro access, taxi, attractions). Sagrada Familia Apartment was brilliant if you compare the relation between price and quality. In summer it is easier to stay closer to the Sea (Barceloneta). All depends on your personal preferences 🙂
How long to stay?
If you visit Barcelona first time I would recommend at least 5 days to find the positive vibes of the city. If you have seen the main attractions 3 days will be also workable.
What should be your budget?
After visiting other big cities in Europe like London, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm I need to admit that Barcelona is cheap. Prices of food, drinks, cocktails, clothes, public transport are budget friendly.
To give you an idea the metro ticket in London for 1 day (Oyster Card so cheaper option already) costs 12 pounds, in Barcelona 2 days Pass costs 13.30 EUR so as you can easily calculate it is much cheaper. I could show you 100 examples how huge the differences are.
If you compare Brussels and Barcelona I would say at least the food, cosmetics, drinks are at least 40% cheaper.
How to travel in Barcelona?
The easiest way is metro. As explained above the prices are really good. It is the fastest option and very convenient.
I personally like to walk on foot to have a better view on the city and to meet some locals.
Where to eat?
So far my number one in Barcelona is Boca Grande.
PASSATGE DE LA CONCEPCIÓ, 12 – 08003 BARCELONA (SPAIN) RESERVATIONS: (93) 467 51 49 or RESERVATIONS@BOCAGRANDE.CAT
You can find there best selection of local specialties: tapas, sea food and the best Gin Tonic Cocktail I have ever drunk. This place is maybe not the cheapest but you taste best quality of food and drinks.
In case you are not a fan of tapas you can easily find some small local restaurants serving Paellas-The most typical dish of Spain.
To taste the real Paella go to Can Sole. Have really enjoyed the real Spanish taste.
Where to go out in Barcelona?
Pacha Club– For me the number one. To spend less money I would suggest to add yourselves to a guest list to not pay an entrance fee.
Razzmatazz– One of the biggest clubs in Barcelona with a few rooms (different styles).