Barcelona, the vibrant capital of Catalonia, is a city that needs no introduction. With its stunning architecture, sandy beaches, and rich cultural heritage, it’s no surprise that it has become a popular destination for solo travelers from around the world.
In this ultimate guide, we will help you prepare for your solo trip to Barcelona by covering everything from safety concerns to budget planning.
Last updated on: 02-01-2024
Is it safe to travel alone in Barcelona?
Barcelona is generally considered a safe city for solo travelers, with a decent level of safety during the day and night.
Spain as a country holds the 32nd spot on the Global Peace Index. The GPI is a creation of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and stands as the foremost global measure of worldwide tranquility.
However, it is advisable to take some precautions to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip:
- Be cautious with your belongings: Keep your wallet in a safe place, avoid leaving phones on tables, and be aware of pickpocketing incidents.
- Use common sense: As in any major urban area, be mindful of your surroundings and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
- Choose safe transportation: Use taxis, the metro, or the Cabify app for transportation, and be cautious with your belongings on public transit.
- Stay in popular tourist areas: Areas like Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter are well-populated and have more security presence.
What is the best time to travel to Barcelona?
The best time to visit Barcelona is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) when the weather is generally mild, sunny, and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 60°F (15°C) to 80°F (27°C).
During these months, you can explore the city’s famous landmarks, such as Park Güell, La Sagrada Familia, and La Rambla, without the crowds and long lines.
The summer months of June to August are peak season for festivals and beaches, but also see huge tourist crowds and long lines at queues.
November to February is the off-peak season, which typically sees fewer tourists, shorter lines at popular attractions, and lower prices for accommodations, but the weather can be cooler and wetter.
What are the most important holidays and festivals in Barcelona?
Some of the most important holidays and festivals in Barcelona include:
- Sant Joan (St. John’s Day): Celebrated on June 24th, this festival is marked by fireworks, bonfires, and beach parties.
- Sant Jordi (St. George’s Day): Celebrated on April 23rd, this day is also known as the Day of the Book, and it is a significant celebration in Catalonia.
- La Mercè Festival: This is the biggest and most colorful festival in Barcelona, celebrated on September 24th.
- The Feast of the Assumption: Celebrated on August 15th, this is an important religious holiday in Barcelona.
- Carnival: Celebrated in February or March, Carnival is a lively and colorful festival with parades and street parties.
- Epiphany (Three Kings Day): Celebrated on January 6th, this holiday marks the day of the arrival of the Three Kings from the Orient.
- National Day of Catalonia: Celebrated on September 11th, this day is significant for the people of Barcelona and is marked by various commemorations and traditions.
These holidays and festivals offer a great opportunity for tourists to experience the vibrant culture and traditions of Barcelona. It’s important to be aware of these dates when planning a visit, as some closures and changes to regular schedules may occur.
How to meet other solo travelers in Barcelona
There are plenty of opportunities to find travel buddies. Attend language exchange events where you can practice your Spanish and meet other like-minded adventurers.
Join group tours or activities that cater to solo travelers, allowing you to explore the city together with others. Consider staying in social hostels known for their friendly atmosphere, perfect for connecting with fellow solo travelers.
Explore local cafes, strike up conversations with friendly locals, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Barcelona.
Additionally, download a travel buddy app or utilize online travel communities and forums that can help you find meetups or even travel buddies to share your Barcelona experience with.
What are the best hostels in Barcelona?
Some of the best hostels in Barcelona, as of 2023, include:
- St. Christopher’s Inn: Located near La Rambla, this social and lively hostel is known for its huge bar, outdoor common area, and daily events. It’s a great place to meet other travelers and offers a vibrant atmosphere.
- Yeah Hostel Barcelona: This energetic hostel features a cool interior design, daily walking tours, pub crawls, a bar on-site, and comfortable beds. It also offers female-only dorms, daily communal dinners, and ample common space for socializing.
- 360 Hostel Barcelona Arts & Culture: This hostel offers daily walking tours, nightly events, and a chill patio for hanging out and meeting people. While the beds and bunks may not be the best, the hostel provides a bustling and social environment.
- Hostel One Paralelo: Voted as the best overall hostel in Barcelona, Hostel One Paralelo offers an incredible community, entertainment options, and multiple awards for being the best hostel in the city. It features a cinema room with Netflix and three common rooms with different amenities.
- Generator Barcelona: This hostel is known for its modern design and social atmosphere. It offers various amenities and a vibrant environment for solo travelers.
Is Barcelona expensive for solo travelers?
Barcelona can be an affordable destination for solo travelers, with a variety of budget-friendly options for accommodations, food, and transportation. Here are some key points to consider:
- Accommodation: Dorm beds in hostels or shared accommodations can be found for as low as €10-€15 per night. Rent for a private room or studio apartment ranges from €350-€650 per month, depending on the location and amenities.
- Food: Meals at in Barcelona can be quite affordable, with a variety of budget-friendly restaurants and cafes offering tapas, sandwiches, and other dishes. Dinner at a mid-range restaurant costs around €37.50, while a three-course meal for two people at a high-end restaurant is about €150.
- Transportation: Public transportation in Barcelona is affordable, with a T-10 ticket costing €1.50 and providing unlimited trips for one day.
- Sightseeing and entertainment: Many museums, parks, and historical sites offer free or discounted entry on specific days, and there are numerous free walking tours available to explore the city.
What are the best activities in Barcelona for solo travelers?
Some of the best activities in Barcelona for solo travelers include:
- Free Walking Tours: Joining a free walking tour is a great way to meet other solo travelers, see interesting sights, and learn about the city without the expense of a private tour.
- Explore Architectural Landmarks: Visit iconic landmarks such as Casa Batlló, Casa Pedrera, the Picasso Museum, the Sagrada Familia, and Parc Guell. Many of these sites offer online ticket purchases to avoid queues.
- Food Tours and Tapas: Enjoy the local cuisine on a food tour or by seeking out the best tapas spots in the city.
- Guided Tours: Consider joining guided tours such as the 10 Tastings of Barcelona, a Gaudi Tour, or a City Kickstart Tour to explore the city and its culture.
- Beach and Outdoor Activities: Barcelona’s beaches and outdoor spaces offer opportunities for relaxation, people-watching, and outdoor activities like jogging.
- Museum Visits: Barcelona is home to numerous museums catering to various interests. As a solo traveler, you can spend as much time as you want appreciating the exhibits and displays.
- Day Trips: Consider taking day trips to nearby regions to explore beyond the city, such as Figueres, the birthplace of Salvador Dalí.
What are the best ways to get around in Barcelona?
Barcelona has an efficient public transportation system, making it easy for travelers to get around the city. The most efficient way to get around Barcelona is by using public transportation, including trams, buses, the metro, and the FGC (suburban rail service).
The metro is the best way to see the main sights, with an extensive network, frequent service, and easy-to-use ticketing system. The bus system is also well-connected and covers the entire city, with over 100 lines.
Walking is another great way to explore the city, especially in the Old City, where many attractions are within walking distance.
Bicycles are also a popular choice for getting around, with numerous bike rental options available.
Taxis and ride-sharing apps are also available for those who prefer private transportation.
5 Must-try dishes in Barcelona
Barcelona is known for its vibrant culinary scene, offering a delightful array of famous Spanish foods that you simply cannot miss. Here are five must-try dishes in Barcelona:
- Pa amb tomàquet: This is a traditional Catalan dish that consists of bread rubbed with garlic and tomato, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt. It’s a simple yet delicious dish that can be enjoyed as a snack or as part of a meal.
- Patatas bravas: This is a classic Spanish tapa that consists of crispy fried potatoes served with a spicy tomato sauce or aioli. It’s a popular dish that can be found in many bars and restaurants throughout the city.
- Crema Catalana: This is a traditional Catalan dessert that is similar to crème brûlée. It’s a creamy custard that is flavored with lemon and cinnamon and topped with a caramelized sugar crust.
- Fideuà: This is a seafood dish that is similar to paella but made with noodles instead of rice. It’s a popular dish in Barcelona that is typically served with aioli.
- Escalivada: This is a typical Catalan dish that consists of roasted peppers, eggplant, and onions that are finely sliced and placed on a large plate. It’s a vegetarian dish that is typically served with fresh olive oil and a touch of fresh garlic.
These dishes offer a mix of traditional and modern flavors that are unique to Barcelona’s culinary scene. Don’t miss out on these must-try dishes during your visit to Barcelona.
Pepijn is the founder of Likeplan. He mainly writes about solo traveling. With over 10 completed solo trips, he writes from his own experience with the mission to encourage other people to go out and explore by themselves.