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6 Money Saving Tips for College Students Traveling to Barcelona

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

So you’re studying abroad and you want to take advantage of those $20 RyanAir flights and travel outside of your host country, or maybe you’re planning an unforgettable Spring Break. The catch? You’re still a student, and you only have a limited budget. No problem! Here are some tips for traveling in and around Barcelona that will save you a ton of money, and that you wish you’d known sooner!

#1 Don’t be afraid of hostels

You might have read horror stories of bed bugs in hostels, but really, how different are they from hotels? St. Christopher's is a well-run, clean, fun, and young-person centered hostel chain with a location just off of Plaza Catalunya. With prices around 30 euros and breakfast included, you really can't beat this price in a major city like Barcelona. Make sure you do your research, and you won't regret all the money you'll save!

#2 Take advantage of cheap eats at La Boqueria

The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, usually referred to as simply "La Boqueria," is a not-so-hidden gem in Barcelona. Located just off of Las Ramblas, this market is a few minutes' walk from Plaza Catalunya. Here, lunch is only a few dollars. Grab a jamΓ³n sandwich, or a freshly squeezed juice and salad or empanada for the equivalent of five to seven dollars, or even less!

  1. What are some dishes that I should make sure to try in Spain? Do you have any recommendations for restaurants?

    • Definitely go get tapas (try it all!), paella, sangria, and jamΓ³n sandwiches (at La BoquerΓ­a). El Drac de Sant Jordi is an inexpensive tapas bar in the Gothic Quarter that I loved!

#3 Traveling with friends? Split an Airbnb!

If you're not sold on staying at a hostel, or you're traveling with a handful of people, Airbnb is your new best friend. You can rent individual rooms or entire apartments, depending on your preference or price range. These homes are fully vetted and many of the hosts are very generous, leaving new food items for their guests and offering late check out. Most hosts also leave their key in a lockbox, so you can check in at all hours of the night with no issues--you can't even do that without paying extra at certain hotels!

#4 Don’t forget your Student ID!

I'm sure you know about the glory of the student discount, but did you know that you can get into many museums in Europe for FREE with it? Take the Picasso Museum, for example. It's normally 12 euros per person, but with a flash of your student ID, you can see some of the most famous paintings in the world for free! The same rule can apply if you have an EU passport and you're under 25, so look up which deals will save you the most money before planning your day trips!

#5 Going out? Don’t forget about Aashi

Want to go clubbing? If you're a student, or at least look under the age of 25, you're in. Barcelona is known for having fantastic nightlife, and the clubs around Port Olympic are crowded no matter which night of the week it is. Don't get roped into spending money on a cover charge, no matter what the club promoters tell you. If you go out before 2am (sounds easy enough, but remember that in Spain, people go out much later than in the US), mention that you're "on Aashi's list" at the door and you'll get in for free!

#6 Walk.

Want to know the easiest way to save a couple (or more) bucks? Don't pay for a cab, enjoy the walk. This might seem like a no brainer, but it's easy to get caught up in the mindset that spending a few euros here and there won't break the bank. It's true, a few euros probably won't, but that's probably not your grand total once you've taken a cab a dozen times by the end of your trip. Plan ahead and enjoy the stroll--you'll probably discover places along the way that you never would have otherwise.

  1. I would love to see an article about the best shoes for cities! All that walking can really be a killer on my feet!

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