Located on the Mediterranean Coast, Barcelona mixes in a unique way the atmosphere of a large metropolis with the vibrating lifestyle of a beach destination. Barcelona has always been a dreamland for backpackers thanks to offering a lot of places to stay and things to do without having to get a second mortgage to afford a vacation here. Of course, if you really want to, you can spend a fortune in Barcelona.
Barcelona’s “backbone” is La Rambla , the street where you can find cafes, restaurants, performers, flower sellers and …the beaches very close by. Particularly during August, Barcelona is teaming with tourists, but at the same time quite a lot of restaurants close their doors for the summer vacation. On the plus side, accommodation is quite cheap and you are bound to bump only into tourists – the Spaniards are on vacation, busy soaking up the sun.
Vacation packages suitable for Barcelona?
When it comes to visiting a large city for the first time, it’s always a good idea to start your search with the hot deals available. Of course you can always check out the cheap flights to Barcelona and then find a hotel in Barcelona which offers the facilities you need. However, looking for those independently will cost you both time and money. Even if you are not a major fan of Europe vacation packages , you can still check out the deals available and you might be in for a nice surprise.
Generally speaking, the vacation packages include the round trip flight, the hotel and sometimes the rental car. But in Barcelona you really don’t need a car at your disposal. The public transport system is great and the city can be explored on foot as well, especially if you decide to stay close to the sights. You can look for cheap hotels close to La Rambla but avoid the ones on the street if you really want to sleep during the night.
It is a good idea to book in advance particularly if you plan to visit Barcelona during the peak summer months. However, last minute traveling is particularly encouraged when the economy is still shaky. Both hotels and airlines prices seem to drop every week so you might be able to find some incredible deals if you are patient and flexible.
What to do
Each year, between August 15 and 21, the neighborhood of Gràcia celebrates the Feast of the Assumption. The streets are filled with colorful decorations. Live music, theatre performances, incredible street food and fireworks keep the locals and visitors entertained.
Festes de la Mercè is the main annual festival which takes place in Barcelona on September 24. It celebrates the city’s patron saint, the Virgin de la Merce. The celbrations begin two days earlier with the parade of the giants (giant wooden figures, operated by people, walk along the city’s streets). There are also concerts, sports events and beautiful fireworks. The highlight of the festival is the competition which determines which group of people can form the highest human tour. Make sure to be in Placa de Sant Jaume to watch this fantastic display of strength.
Where to stay
Regardless of your reasons to visit Barcelona, it is a good idea to look for a hotel located in the city center. If you are not fond of partying all night, avoid the hotels located on La Rambla. There are a lot of cheap options close to the main boulevard, but away from the noise and party atmosphere.
AAE Hotel Orleans Barcelona : You will find 9 AAE hotels in Barcelona, located in different neighborhoods. This one is located in between the beach and the trendy bars, so you are close to everything. A night in a double room with bathroom ensuite costs about €70.
Best Western Hotel 54 is located near the Barceloneta beach and just 15 minutes walk from La Rambla. The hotel offers 27 rooms and most of the rooms delight the traveler with an incredible view of the city. All rooms have private bathroom, AC, phone, safe and TV. The price for a double room starts at €100 per night.
Gran Central Inn is located at the edge of the old town, close to the party area and the beach. It’s suitable for couples looking for intimacy as well as for those on a low budget. Some of the rooms offer ensuite bathroom and there’s AC available. There’s a common kitchen the guests can use. A double room with bathroom ensuite costs about €80 per night.
Hostal SantCarlo is located in the city center, close to La Rambla. There are 10 rooms available for the guests, some with private bathroom. A double room with private bathroom costs about €70 per night, while if you choose a double room with shared bathroom, the price is only about €40 per night.
INOUT hostel is located in the heart of Collserola Park. La Rambla can be reached by metro in only 5 minutes. The hostel offers free wi-fi, a game room, a library and lovely meeting rooms. The breakfast is included in the bed price. The hostel offers 3 little pools and a nice terrace. The hostel offer only dorms (4 to 10 beds) and thanks to its popularity you need to book a bed in advance. In the 10-bed dorm a bed costs about €15 per night.