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Foto: Sagrada Familia

How to spend a perfect long weekend in Barcelona

Looking for a big adventure on a small budget? Getting to beautiful Barcelona from San Francisco—and having the best long weekend ever—costs less than you think

Written by Time Out for LEVEL
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Barcelona’s culture, architecture and world-famous restaurant and bar scene can feel overwhelming when you’ve only got 72 hours. But with LEVEL now offering low-cost direct flights from San Francisco for $350 (yep, you read that right) there’s nothing standing in the way of a long weekend (or several) in this captivating seaside city. With $1,000 under your belt, you can afford to travel with LEVEL’s modern fleet, complete with wifi, inflight entertainment and USB charging ports, plus a boutique hotel and all the tapas, vermouth, culture and art you could dream of. Check out our guide to a small budget, big on adventure weekend in Barcelona. Book your flight to jump across the pond now.

Three perfect days in Barcelona

Sleeping
© Casa Batlló

Sleeping

Check into Room Mate Anna, a dangerously Instagrammable boutique close to Barcelona’s shopping district of Passeig de Gracia ($231 for three nights). It is interior designer Lorenzo Castillo’s love letter to the city’s portside vibe, with gorgeous flashes of turquoise, aquamarine and coral. Don’t miss the seasonal rooftop plunge pool and solarium. Set in the Eixample neighbourhood, it also allows you to be first in the queue for the iconic Casa Batlló ($28)—Antoni Gaudí’s modernist museum.

Visiting

Visiting

Relax into the Barceloní pace of life by walking everywhere or getting a T10 travel card ($11.80) with ten journeys on any form of public transport. It would be a crime to visit Barcelona and skip the works of genius Antoni Gaudí: plan your route around the Sagrada Familia ($40)—which is as impressive outside as inside—then onto Parc Güell, ($8.68 in advance online) where English garden meets fairytale dreamscape. Don’t forget the less-lauded Gaudí creations like Palau Güell ($16) and Torre Bellesguard ($10). Entry fees gobble up your funds quick, but Barcelona is full of free joys too: marvel at the human statues and stalls on the city’s constantly buzzing heart centre La Rambla, pop into Mercat de la Boqueria to salivate (and taste) a rainbow of fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood and fresh juices. Burn off the tapas and pintxos by hiking up to Montjuïc mountain to savor the 360 degree view over the Mediterranean. While you’re there, stop by at the Catalan surrealist artist’s Fundació Joan Miró ($14), the largest museum in the world. Back at sea level, browse the warren-like streets of El Raval, known for its vintage boutiques. Flamingos Vintage Kilo and Holala! are best for bargains in bulk, plus you can easily purchase extra checked bags with LEVEL. If you haven’t reached art saturation point, check out the monumental MACBA (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona) before stretching out on the golden sands of Barceloneta beach. For something more adventurous, seek out Surf House Barcelona for beach yoga ($28) and free paddle surfing. Or help out by picking up garbage from the shore in exchange for a smoothie.

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Eating
© Irene Fernández

Eating

Begin your tapas crusade at La Pepita ($26), a cute round-the-clock spot in Gràcia. If you have to wait, owners Sofia and Andreu send you to next door’s vermouth bar La Cava and fetch you when your table’s ready. Lunch like royalty at Eixample’s CruiX, with their $19 set menu including three tapas, paella and dessert. Then dive into the city’s best patatas bravas with “secret” sauce at Bar Tomas, killer montaditos (tapas piled on circles of bread) at Quimet i Quimet and absurd waffles topped with crema catalana at Pastisseria Escribà. Bliss.

Drinking
© Irene Fernandez

Drinking

Everything tastes better accompanied by a good vermouth: try the house vermouth at classic bodegas like La Vermuteria del Tano and Bar Electricitat. Two Schmucks is your go-to for boundary-pushing cocktails (and all-night brunch), while Satans Coffee Corner is Barri Gòtic will revive you the morning after with the best cup of joe in town.

Book your next vacation now with LEVEL

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