It might have been the excitement to finally see the great city, and just finally be in Spain, but I felt great energy as soon as I started walking around the city. There’s so much to see and do I could spend a lot of time there for sure. Unfortunately, accommodations are not cheap (see the costs below, and this place was way out of the city center). It might be best to book early if you see a good deal, but worth checking out for sure. Once you’re there I felt the prices weren’t bad for basic things including food, but I don’t do a lot of the touristy stuff, so that part I can’t comment on.
A little side note… before arriving I had no idea Spain, and particularly Barcelona has a cannabis scene in the form of cannabis clubs (associations). They’re like dispensaries in the US but are also places to hang out and smoke. Some are just lounges, while others have games like pool, foosball, ping pong, board games, etc. I’m no expert on these though, so I can’t go into much detail, I just know that marijuana is still illegal in Spain and heard some of these places are not official (as in registered with the city); so you should probably tread lightly… there’s some grey area to it all I never got the fully story on. As far as finding them though, that’s easy; just search “cannabis club” on Google maps; they’re all over the city. You pay a membership fee to join (I think it’s typically a yearly thing) and then make contributions for products. They are such a great way to enjoy cannabis, I hope they become a thing all over the world. Also, the products are very good quality and the contributions are rather inexpensive, around 8-13€ per gram.
This was a 9-night stay…
- Accommodation – $803.09* (additional information below)
- Getting around locally – $73.43 (5 and 4-day public transportation passes; 38,20€ and 31€)
- Living expenses – $536.18 (groceries, eating out, and some contributions to cannabis clubs)
- Activities – $0
- Mobile phone/data – $22.38 (I use Google Fi which provides service in most countries. If you’re interested and based in the U.S., you can use this paid link to sign up, which will give me a referral fee at no extra cost to you.)
- Medical insurance – $20.73 (I’m using SafetyWing; rates are determined by age, and mine is slightly above the base. If you’re interested there is a paid link/banner on the right side of the page)
Total $1,455.81 / 9-nights = $161.76 per
- I stayed at Hotel Orangine (FCB Stadium Area) booked through Booking.com. It’s a bit of a distance from the center, but the area has a nice local feel and it’s just a short walk from 2 metro lines making it easy to get around the city. The room was a very standard hotel room, but comfortable. During my stay, the weather wasn’t quite hot enough to enjoy, but there’s a nice pool and lounge area on the roof.
Transportation to and from varies a lot, so I left it out of the above breakdown along with most incidental/one-time personal costs. But for those interested, in this particular case, I booked a direct train with Renfe from Montpellier Saint-Roch to Barcelona Sants. My seat was 2nd class and the cost was 69,50€ ($76.99). All other standard day to day expenses are included to give an idea of how much basic living costs in the area are. Groceries will sometimes include personal care items (i.e., toothpaste, deodorant, etc.).
** I try to use Rakuten whenever it’s an option; why not take the money. It works with a browser add-on, and there is also a mobile app. Note from the Ratuken site, “Stores pay us a commission for sending our members to their websites, and we share it with you. It’s that simple!” If you haven’t signed up yet, and are interested, please consider using this referral link to help support me, and get a signup bonus. I use it regularly and recommend it, but take a look for yourself to decide if it’s right for you. When you sign up using the link, use it spending $, we each get $! The $ varies, I’ve recently seen at $40 and $30. They state “Offer may be modified or canceled anytime.” Payments are made by PayPal, or you can have a check sent to you.
*** Of course, the currency exchange varied during the stay, so for simplicity, I used a rate of 1 USD = 0,91€ for cash transactions. The accommodations and some daily purchases made on cards were entered at the converted cost charged.
**** Since this is my living situation, I don’t go to top-rated restaurants or paid entry to tourist attractions too much. I do eat out a lot, but nothing too special; to some extent, it’s somewhat more cost-effective this way… at least that’s what I’m telling myself. I try to be cost-conscious, eating as a local would… maybe you could say like a broke college guy that is LOL! I try to note any differences to this above.
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