Those who know me know that I did lots of research for our trip to Barcelona as always. We only had 1.5 days in Barcelona & 2 nights so I wanted to make sure we could get as much in as possible since I don’t plan on going back…we have way too many places to see to visit more than once 😉 I do take notes on our trips so that I can share my info with my awesome readers. You can find more info about saving money & traveling on a budget in my How to Plan a Family Trip to Barcelona, Spain on a Budget Also check back for some more posts about Barcelona soon!
Geting to Barcelona
We flew on RyanAir and got a great deal. We flew round trip from Frankfurt Hahn to Girona for $120 for a family of 4! Also check multiple Airports because you can fly from Cologne-Bonn too but the prices will vary a bit and the time schedules do as well, the weekend we wanted to do there was nothing from Cologne-Bonn. Also if your dates are flexible you can check that as well because sometimes you can save money by leaving one day earlier or later, etc. For this weekend trip our dates were set but thankfully the prices were amazing.
That price included the carry on for each person, we did not pay for checked baggage this time, and it worked out great. I don’t think we’ll pay for baggage again! It’s so freeing in many ways. Less to take & carry, no waiting at the airport etc.
If your new to flying RyanAir you can check out my post here for more info, you do NOT need to pay the extra money to reserve a seat, even if traveling as a family, my link has more info.
There are other airlines that do fly into Barcelona so you can check those as well, I did and it would’ve been hundreds of dollars more to use one for that weekend so we stuck with RyanAir, because traveling cheap allows us to make the most of our time here and see many places 😉
Getting from Girona Airport to Barcelona
There are several options to do this:
Train – You can take the train, but you have to take a taxi to get to the train station. Train ticket will run around €11,25/$12 per person. The taxi will be around €20/$21 to the train station.
Bus – You can use a shuttle bus but I’ve heard they aren’t a good choice if you have an early morning flight, so make sure you check that the times will work with your schedule. The cost is €15 for one way or €25 for round trip per person. So for our family it would’ve been €100/$105 and it was not available for our early morning flight. So not only was the rental car cheaper but more convenient as well.
Taxi – it’s possible but will cost you about €120 so probably only to be used in desperate times.
Rental Car – There are several companies you can use however we got an amazing deal booking with Firefly through RyanAir. There is more info on my How to Plan a Family Trip to Barcelona, Spain on a Budget page but basically it cost us $80 to rent the car and allowed us the freedom to do what we wanted.
Getting Around Barcelona
Metro – The metro is supposedly pretty efficient in Barcelona, however after our metro experience in Rome we didn’t even bother trying it. If you do use it do NOT buy the single trip ticket for €2,15 it is a rip off! Instead get the T10 card for €9.95 for 10 trips and it can be shared by your whole group, you and find more info here.
Taxi – These are also said to be reasonable and easy to use, our friends used one and all went well, we however did not. Rates start at €1,03-€1,30 per km and may have some supplemental fees, see link for more info.
Hop on Hop Off Bus – is a great idea for Barcelona because it’s so huge! The HOPO bus has 2 routes. There are 2 companies and they range from $26-29 per person for 1 day and offer a discount on the 2nd day. For 4 of us it was $103.09 for 1 day. They also offer free wi-fi which is great if you are traveling with teenagers who don’t appreciate sighting as much as you do 😉
Walking – free but know that Barcelona is very spread out so you’ll need some form of transportation to help you get around.
Driving – yes, you can drive in Barcelona if you’d like. We drove from Girona to our Apartment in Barcelona so we had to drive in it a bit and guess what…it wasn’t horrible. Then again we like to drive and have drove all over Iceland, in the UK, all over Japan to include Tokyo, etc. And we even had quite the challenging situation….which we overcame and things worked out great…more about that in my Barcelona, Spain – Half Day post.
If you do want to drive know that parking can be challenging so there are a few things you can do ahead of time to make your life easier. First free parking is ‘almost’ nonexistent including at hotels however some hotels/apartments will often offer it for a small fee. For our hotel we had to use a parking garage that was a 1 min walk away and the daily parking was €30 (for overnight parking) BUT you can buy a 3 day parking card for €45 instead. We only needed parking for 2 days but it was still cheaper to by the card. To do this you get the ticket when you enter the garage and find your spot. You then go to the attendant and tell them you need the parking pass and they will set it up for you, it was super easy. With the pass your also able to park in lots all over the city using the same pass, we however did not drive again until we left, but it is an option.
As always when booking airline tickets, transportation, etc make sure to see if you can use a site like Oribitz.com to use a discount code and also use Ebates to get a % back! You also get a % back with Booking.com but they don’t offer discount codes like Orbitz does so it’s normally my 2nd choice. You can sign up for Ebates HERE
If you’ve been to Barcelona what was your best method for getting around?