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Barcelona on a budget
Barcelona is truly one of the greatest cities in the world. Its culture, food, people, architecture and weather creates a beautiful setting that enriches the heart the moment you walk down La Ramblas - Gaudi's city inspires the soul and galvanises the palette. However with the euro currency being so strong, it's become much harder to find value for your money in an already expensive city. Whether you're coming from the states with the dollar or the UK with the pound, here's a few tips to help you save a little in order to live a lot.
Easily one of the biggest slices of your budget will be in selecting the right accommodation. If your heart is set on a hotel, look away from the city centre for some good deals, especially near Port Olympic, where there are a variety of deals for good hotels. The best way to save your money would be to stay in a youth hostel, generally they are in excellent condition and very central. Rooms can vary from double rooms to a 12 bed dorm, and the latter can cost as little as 10 euros per night. The people you meet in hostels can often make the trip a hit, especially if you're a solo traveller.
Obviously food is a huge part of the culture of Barcelona, but you're going to have to limit yourself to what to eat whilst you're there if you want to save. The best way of saving and experiencing local food is to first have breakfast in your hostel or hotel, which is normally included. For lunch, shop at a local shop or market for some bread, meat, cheese and olives that could all cost about 5 euros for 3 days of lunch. It's up to you if you want to eat out during the evening, I think it's always good to have one meal a day where you're allowed to indulge yourself in local delights. Head to where the locals eat, stay away from tourist hot spots where the prices will be high and the food not as authentic.
The sights in Barcelona are incredibly impressive, you do not want to miss out on any sightseeing. One of the best ways to do this is by taking a ''city sightseeing bus'' that is hop on, hop off. Generally they are about 20 euros for a 2 day pass that allows you to see all the major sights and the whole city. Yes you will feel like a tourist and you'll probably feel like a sell out, but if used to their full, the hop on hop off buses are definitely worth the money.
Whatever you do in Barcelona, do not miss out on this masterpiece. It costs about 12 euros to enter and a healthy proportion of people opt to take a few photos of the building from the fence outside. It's an expensive visit, but Gaudi's final piece of architecture is truly breath taking. There is no other building like it in the world, so don't be put off by the high entry cost.
I hope some of these tips have helped, otherwise enjoy a beautiful city that remains in the hearts of travellers around the globe.