Currency

Euro (€)

Daily Costs

Budget: Less than €60

  • Dorm bed: €11–30
  • Set lunch: from €11
  • Bicycle hire per hour: €5

Midrange: €60–200

  • Standard double room: €80–140
  • Two-course dinner with wine for two: €50
  • Walking and guided tours: €15–25

Top end: More than €200

  • Double room in boutique and luxury hotels: €200 and up
  • Three-course meal at top restaurants per person: €80
  • Concert tickets to Palau de la Música Catalana: around €45

Bargaining

Haggling over prices is accepted in some markets, and shops may offer a small discount if you’re spending a lot of money. Otherwise expect to pay the stated price.

Money

ATMs are widely available (La Rambla has many). Credit cards are accepted in most hotels, shops and restaurants.

ATMs

  • Barcelona abounds with banks, many of which have ATMs.
  • ATMs are in plentiful supply around Plaça de Catalunya, and along Via Laietana and La Rambla.
  • Most ATMs allow you to use international debit or credit cards to withdraw money in euros.
  • There is usually a charge (around 1.5% to 2%) on ATM cash withdrawals when abroad.

Changing Money

You can change cash or travellers cheques in most major currencies without problems at virtually any bank or bureau de change (usually indicated by the word canvi/cambio).

The foreign-exchange offices that you see along La Rambla and elsewhere are open for longer hours than banks, but they generally offer poorer rates. Also, keep a sharp eye open for commissions at bureaux de change.

Credit Cards

Major cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus are accepted throughout the city. They can be used in many hotels, restaurants and shops, although there may be a minimum purchase requirement of €5 or €10.

When paying with a credit card, a photo ID is often required, even for chip cards where you're required to enter your PIN (for US travellers without chip cards, just indicate that you'll give a signature).

If your card is lost, stolen or swallowed by an ATM, you can telephone toll-free to immediately stop its use:

Amex 900 814500

Diners Club 902 401112

MasterCard 900 971231

Visa 900 991124

Tipping

  • Restaurants Catalans typically leave 5% or less at restaurants. Leave more for exceptionally good service.
  • Taxis Optional, but most locals round up to the nearest euro.
  • Bars It's rare to leave a tip in bars, though a bit of small change is always appreciated.

Travellers Cheques & Moneycards

Travellers cheques are far less convenient than simply using bank cards at ATMs. If you do opt for this old-school option, Amex and Visa are widely accepted brands. For lost cheques, call a 24-hour freephone number (for Amex 900 814500, for Visa 900 991124).

The Travelex Cash Passport (www.travelex.com) and Thomas Cook Travel Moneycard (www.thomascookmoney.com) are prepaid cards. You can load funds on to them before you travel and use them like any card in ATMs, restaurants or shops worldwide.