Europe, Experience, People

A Backpacking Adventure Through Barcelona

By Kimberley Richards

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One backpack and limited cash was all I had when I arrived in Barcelona with my best friend. We were in the midst of a four-city tour in Europe and we wanted to make the most out of our three nights in Barcelona. After arriving in the city and observing the beautiful architecture, I had a feeling it wasn’t going to take much to fall in love with Barcelona. I was right.

With limited cash, we decided to try Couchsurfing for the first time. Our host Alex lived right in the center of Barcelona, a 10-minute walk from Catalunya Plaza which is an area full of shops and restaurants. He has a one-bedroom flat and gave us a full-size blow-up bed to share. We were comfortable, his place was clean and of course–it was all free. 

Seafood Paella

Seafood Paella

Out of the four cities I traveled through while in Europe, I found Barcelona to be the best place to eat on a budget! We limited ourselves to only lunch and dinner (coffee in the morning) and were able to find meals for as little as 4 Euros. I do recommend however two things: 1) Orange juice–there’s something special about the OJ in Barcelona, coming from a non-OJ-drinker and 2) putting aside some cash and having at least one nice staple dish. One night, we met Alex for dinner on Las Ramblas (popular street in central Barcelona) and treated ourselves to paella. Yum!

RELATED: Eclectic Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

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If there’s one thing to budget for on a tight backpacking trip through Barcelona, it should be to see at least one of Antoni Gaudi’s work, and I highly recommend La Sagrada Familia. It’s a breathtaking church with an interesting history. You’ll spend hours there taken away by the detailed and impressive architecture and reading the interesting history of the construction of the church.

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

Gaudi’s Park Guell is another popular and beautiful destination.  There’s a fee to enter the park but if you’re tight on cash you can also enjoy a beautiful walk to the top of the Three Crosses right next door for free. We arrived at dusk and climbed to the top to find the most beautiful view of the city of Barcelona. We took a seat next to the Three Crosses and absorbed the relaxing view.


Fountain in Catalunya

Barcelona is so beautiful and so architecturally unique that I found the best way to explore the city was on foot. One morning, we woke up early and went to Catalunya Plaza and from there walked around for hours! Everywhere we turned there was a hidden gem with a beautiful fountain, cool vintage shops or just beautiful looking buildings and cool alleyways.

Random vintage shop

Random vintage shop

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Barcelona certainly has beautiful beaches and although it was chilly during our trip, we took the walk to the beach, sat by the water and felt so at peace! Though I hear it’s much more crowded and active in warmer weather–it was nice to kick back and enjoy our surroundings. After sitting by the sand for some time, we grabbed a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants stationed along the beach. I definitely can’t wait to go back when it’s warm enough for a dip in the ocean!

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Kimberley Richards

Kim has truly fallen in love with travel. Her passion for exploring the needs of the African Diaspora led her to her first travel experience, serving as a volunteer teacher for 6 weeks in Ghana. Kim is a freelance writer, covering stories that deals with social concerns of Black communities. Kim currently serves as the Special Assistant and African-American liaison to a Philadelphia City Councilman. She is of Jamaican decent and a proud Temple University alum that split her childhood in New York, Massachusetts and Florida. Kim has an obsession with coffee shops.... loves ice cream, Jamaican food and the beach. She's excited to travel to new places but also to frequently visit the small village she lived in, in Ghana...that community has without a doubt, captured her heart.

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