Despite living here I am very conscious of the hard times facing a huge number of people in UK and Ireland. I’m pretty sure that many of you have either downgraded the holiday plans or cancelled them completely. The real shame of this is that when you’ve had a tough time and when there is little in the way of light at the end of the tunnel a break from routine is exactly what you need.
With this in mind I thought I’d cobble together an itinerary of sorts, rehash some of my previous recommendations to pull together a holiday plan for a week or so that could work for some of you.
First up is getting here. What I suggest is avoid the Saturday to Saturday tradition, flying in on a Wednesday and back out following Tuesday for example will probably bring flight price down. As far as accommodation goes, ask yourself do you really need 4 star luxury? How much time will you realistically spend in your room? Once you are up and showered it’s entirely possible you won’t see it again till returning healthily refreshed 14 hours later. So look at Hostels and 2 star hotels and a recent addition to accomodation options is AirBNB where you can rent rooms in people’s flats.
With regard to location don’t be scared to stay a little bit further out. Barcelona is a deceptively small city thanks to the excellent public transport system. You are unlikely to be more than 5 minutes walk from a metro or train station anywhere in the city and it will be a 15 minute trip into the centre at most. The added bonus to this is that out of the centre you are likely to be able to eat and drink for, in some cases, half the cost of what you’d pay down near the Ramblas.
So, that’s you here, what to do?
Here’s a plan that I’m sure some of you could cope with for a week. On day one get yourself to one of the Chinese “Fancy Goods” shops and invest in a big cool box. Find your way to a local supermarket and load it with 30 cents a can beer, 2 euro bottles of wine/sangria or a 5 euro bottle of rum and a bag or two of ice. Throw in some bread, ham etc and you’re set fair for the day.
Use your 9 euro T-10 travel card and get to the beach, either in the city or if you want to get away from your Brit types the travel card can be used to take you as far down as Casteldelfells or as far up as El Masnou.
With the cool box costing less than 15 euro a day to fill then your day out for two will cost less than a couple of rounds of drinks in your local if you are off work.
If you want to take a day off from the beach idea, the T-10 can be used to nip around the city allowing you to take in some of the sights. As I have said in many of my previous posts you should come across somewhere that will do a three course lunch with wine for under a tenner a head. All hail the menu del dia.
Of an evening once you’ve had a relaxing day on the beach you’ll have to spend a bit of cash. If you’ve had a day on Barceloneta beach there are the options of some impressive steak action or a feed of cava with some fantastic sandwiches. Both of them are cheap and truly sensational.
If you’ve taken my advice about staying outside the centre then it’s a racing certainty that there will be somewhere near your digs that will do a good feed, with a bottle of wine and you’ll get change from 30 euro. Added to the number of bars that are doing San Miguel at a euro a bottle you can have a relaxing night, with a few drinks, watching the world go by for well under 50 euro for two.
So, there you have it. A beach holiday, some good food, change of scenery and pace for a budget of around 25 British quids a head per day. When you think what you will get through, money-wise, staying at home then maybe you can afford a week away from home after all.