Backpacking in Barcelona – What to do and where to go

Barcelona may not be gloriously warm this time of year but the mild temperatures, low rainfall and off-peak prices keep it as an attractive holiday destination.

What to do in Barcelona

The towering Sagrada Familia, designed by Antoni Gaudi is an absolute must visit for any stay in Barcelona. It’s easy to get to and tickets, starting at €15, can be purchased on line to limit any queueing when you arrive. Incredibly, the gigantic cathedral is still yet to be completed but there is still an abundance of stunning scenery to enjoy inside in its current unfinished state.
Gaudi is someone who features very prominently in Barcelona and a lot of his work can be seen dotted across the city. La Pedrera is one of the most popular buildings as is the brightly coloured Casa Battlo where the Gaudi Museum is based. You’ll also see plenty of fine architecture in the Gothic Quarter of the city with its many buildings dating back to Roman and medieval times.

Any football fans simply must take a trip to the Nou Camp, the home of Barcelona FC. The 99,354 capacity stadium is the biggest in Europe and it’s been an iconic footballing sight for decades. Stadium tours are available but with the football season in full swing you may find they have a home game during your stay. So many seats means tickets are easy to purchase directly from Barcelona FC’s own website.

How to get there

Very cheap return flights this winter are available from a range of UK airports including Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London Stansted and Manchester. Prices vary depending on the dates but can be booked for as little as £30. For non-flying options, you can take the Eurostar to Paris and then catch a bus ride from the French capital. Direct services taking around 14-15 hours, running overnight and will cost you around £70 return if booked a couple of weeks prior to your trip.

Where to eat & drink

Barcelona Things to doLa Boqueria market is one of the best places to get fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood. The bustling market is packed with stalls all offering a great selection of some of Spain’s most enjoyed foods. There’s something for absolutely everyone here and prices tend to be quite reasonable. To go even more small-budget though, hop to one of the 100 Montaditos stores dotted across the city.

It’s far from a fancy place to eat but the novelty of ordering several small sandwiches at €1 a go is quite something. The selection on offer is fantastic and they even have some dessert sandwiches to cater to those with a sweet tooth.

Where to stay

The exceptionally well located Don Moustahe Hostel is one of the cheapest yet most highly rated hostels in the city. A spot in a 12 bed mixed door will usually set you back just €14 in the winter months and the friendly staff there will guarantee you have a satisfying visit. For anyone after a private room, the Bed and Bike is the perfect place to be. Their affordable rooms also include a free bike tour of the city which can be a fantastic way to get a quick look at what Barcelona has to offer.