Barcelona is the perfect city for visiting on a tiny budget and having a wonderful time.
What to see: PARKS! ALL THE PARKS! Make sure to see as much Gaudi architecture as possible as well, not that it’s hard. There are beautiful parks all over the city. My favorite was the labyrinth park that was a metro stop away from my hostel. I don’t remember the specific name, but it was 2 euros to get in to what seemed to be a secret garden just behind a stadium filled with rubble. It’s the kind of place you feel like you shouldn’t be, which adds to the magic. I sat there and sketched in the rain for a bit.
How to get around: Depending on your length of stay there are a few options. I was in Barcelona for four days, and I purchased the “T-10” ticket at my first metro station. This is 10 euros for 10 metro trips. The normal rate is 2 euro a trip. So, there are definitely savings there.
I also did a lot of walking. Speaking a bit of Spanish is helpful, if you are opting to walk long distances across the city with only a map as it can be easy to get lost down winding roads.
Where to stay: There are loads of affordable accommodation throughout Barcelona, and even if you stay a bit away from the main attractions, the metro is widespread and can get you very close to all of the main attractions.
I stayed at Feetup Garden House Hostel, and it was definitely in my top five hostel experiences. There was a great community vibe there and a grocery store and the metro just around the corner.
If I were to do it again, though. I would have tried to find an equally small hostel (the best for meeting people and getting an authentic experience) in Gracia. It’s an up and coming part of town and has a decent art scene. I walked through and ran into a three block long flea market with artists, hipsters (a lot), and vintage lovers. I picked up a gift for my brother for cheap.