Barcelona is one of the most cosmopolitan travel experiences that you can have in Spain. Similar to Madrid, but with a much more relaxed pace of life, its location right on the Mediterranean Sea has contributed to its great history. At one time, Barcelona controlled most of the islands in the Mediterranean, as well as Naples, Italy and much of Greece.
Today, it is a destination for people who enjoy good food, art, and the mystique that the perennially strong Barcelona soccer team has created.
Find Inexpensive Lodging
Spain is mired in a recession that has seen unemployment reach around 20 percent of the population over the past couple of decades. Despite that, tourism remains at historic levels and prices. While these prices may be competitive, they are not going to be lower any time soon. Therefore, to save money on hotels in Barcelona, you might consider waiting to book your room until you arrive and talk with the Spanish Tourism authorities that are normally located outside the train station. Although they are not concierges that provide room information on a regular basis, you can usually prevail upon them to give you some advice on rooms that fit your budget.
Another solid resource for Barcelona is websites like Hipmunk, which focus on popular cities and ensure that they are relevant by continuously updating information. Travelers then are able to rely upon them because their accuracy is much better than other sites.
A third possibility for finding inexpensive lodging, is choosing an area of the city that you want to spend the most time in and find lodging on the out banks of a popular location. The Ramblas street area that leads to the sea is easily one of the best known parts of Barcelona, a veritable parkway full of markets and hotels. Whereas it is possible to find reasonably priced hotels along the Ramblas upon occasion, if you look at hotels one or two neighborhoods away from there, you will likely find that prices drop significantly, giving you an option of still spending your whole day there without having to pay a premium.
You could also look at staying to the south of Barcelona and taking the train into the city each morning. Tarragona, a city that was special to the Romans a couple of thousand years ago is close to Barcelona, has a very nice beach, and offers reasonable hotel rates. Some hotels even overlook the Roman Circus Maximus ruins, the site where Augustus Caesar studied at school.
Save Money at Restaurants
Beyond room rates, you can save money on restaurant meals all over Spain by ordering the meal of the day. Most restaurants in Spain are open in the morning and close around 2 PM and do not re-open until 5 or 6 pm. A meal of the day is offered before 2 PM which is very large, and typically costs less than other items being served on the menu.
Despite the fact that Barcelona is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, the city never seems to have a problem accommodating throngs of tourists. Utilizing the Spanish Tourism agency as well as online sites, you should be able to find hotel or motel space for very reasonable rates.
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