Being a student in a big city can be tough! So many new things to try and see! You start partying, going to fancy restaurants, visiting museums and, before you know it, you’re out of money!
I too wanted to experience everything I could from Barcelona. As someone who knows what it is to have a very limited budget for “extra” expenses, I suggest you give these 12 options a try. They’ve saved my life!
1. 100 Montaditos. This chain of bars offers small, fancy and delicious sandwiches at dizzy prices. Every Monday, all sandwiches are worth 50 cents!!! And Wednesdays and Sundays, everything on the menu is 1 euro!!!!
2. Nostrum. If you’re looking for a healthier, but still inexpensive option, you can get everyday dishes at 1, 2 and 3 euros at Nostrum! You only have to become a Nostrum Fans Club member for a very small price!
3. Lizarran. This franchise follows the Spanish gastronomic tradition. It offers pinchos (small tapas typical of the North of Spain) and tapas at a decent price. In addition to the traditional paella, jamón serrano and tortilla de patatas, it presents many other less conventional tapas. They always have beer or combos available at a discount!
Landmarks and tourism
4. Montjuïc i la Font Màgica. Monjuïc is a hill in Barcelona with several different gardens intertwined which provide their visitors with a relaxed and natural atmosphere. The eastern part of the hill has an outstanding view over the city and its harbor. You cannot leave Barcelona without witnessing the astounding fountain and its magical light and music show. It truly is the perfect place for a date!
5. Free tours. The city has several options of free tours. You can join the ones which interest you the most to get oriented around Barcelona and discover its multiple charms.
6. Museums. Some museums are entrance free every first Sunday of every month, including MNAC (Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya), Picasso Museum, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, History Museum of Barcelona (MUHBA), Music Museum, Frederic Marès Museum, Maritime Museum of Barcelona, Botanical Garden, Museu Blau and Virreina Centre de la Imatge.
7. L’Ovella Negra. (Zamora, 78). Its prime location next to Razzmatazz and close enough to the beach clubs, makes it the perfect place to predrink before you head out to the dance floor. Besides tapas and other kinds of food, L’Ovella Negra in Poblenou is the place to watch football games while you mingle with other tourists and local people. They have the best sangria and cheap beer too!
8. Free entrance to Clubs. Most clubs in Barcelona have lists you can join to get discounts or free entrance before a specific time. All you have to do is pick a night and a club, look up their “Lista”, write your name down and you are good to go! Sometimes the list belongs to a certain PR, so you must remember the name in case they ask you at the entrance.
9. Jamboree. (Plaça Reial 17). Every Monday, this club holds WTF Jam Session at 8pm. Professional Jazz musicians, hip-hopers, groovers and other artists perform all sorts of African American music, including reggae, soul, funk and Latin. Tickets are 5€ at the entrance and 4€ on their website. Also, usually they let you stay inside afterwards when it becomes a club!
10. Jazzsí Club – Taller de Músics. (Requesens, 2). This bar hosts a Jazz jam session every Wednesday around 8pm. It is usually free with a compulsory drink or up to 4 euros with the first drink included. It is a place where Jazz students go to improvise and get a grasp of the techniques, creativity and styles required to become a professional jazz musician. It is located in the Raval neighborhood and it has a local and positive vibe.
11. El portal de l’àngel, Diagonal Mar, Glòries, La Maquinista, L’Illa Diagonal i GranVia 2 are some of the best places to shop for a reasonable price. From clothes to electrical appliances, you will find everything you need in these malls and shopping areas spread around the city.
12. Fnac, Amazon.com, La casa del libro and Abacus are the best options for you to get your study books at a decent price. Although, I would wait to buy them until you see if you are really going to use them/need them. Teachers here tend to make you buy books for no reason and, sometimes, a quick visit to the library suffices. I hope these help you get the most out of your experience in Barcelona!