Learning a language is a rewarding, empowering, useful and amazing experience but, sometimes, finding the motivation can be challenging.
That’s why learning abroad is one of the most successful paths: you can travel, learn and meet new people at the same time! But it’s also important to keep an eye on your budget and to know how to save money on your language trip.
Your language course
Learning Spanish on a trip is a great experience but one that can be very different from one person to another: you may have a lot of weeks to learn abroad or you just have a week but want to make the most of it. You may want to be surrounded by other students that, like you, are going through the same process or maybe you prefer a smaller environment.
It is easy to manage your budget with Expanish courses as they offer you endless possibilities. With prices per week, you can choose to do 4 hours or 6 hours of group lessons for as many weeks as you need. Another option is to combine the fun and the experience of a group lesson with private tuition or just picking one-to-one classes tailored to your needs.
If you’re learning Spanish with a specific purpose, for example for Business or to get a certification like DELE (Diplomas of Spanish as Foreign Language), the courses at Expanish have you covered.
Mi casa es tu casa: accommodation
Once you have chosen your course, your accommodation in Barcelona is the second most important thing to consider. Barcelona, as a very touristic city, has many accommodation offerings but it is important that you find one that works for you and your budget. Expanish gives you the possibility to book your accommodation providing two great alternatives: a shared apartment with other students or a homestay with a local family.
For a very reasonable price, you can stay in a single or twin room in an apartment with other students. They are all located within 15 minutes of the school and you can save money by using the kitchen to cook your own meals. It is definitely a very fun option that can be budget-friendly.
Or you can have an even more immersive experience and live with a family. You can have some meals prepared for you and all Expanish Homestays are within 25 minutes of the school. If you want to know how to save money on transport and food during your language trip, keep reading to find more useful tips.
Getting around Barcelona
Barcelona has a great public transportation and is the best way for you to move around. Buses, trains, subway or tram will be able to get you anywhere in the city and for a very good price. The other great thing about Barcelona’s transport is that it is integrated so, as long as you are within the city limits, you can use the same ticket or travel card for any type of transport.
You can check the Transports Metropolitan de Barcelona (TMB) website for the best fares. As a general rule, for short stays the Hola BCN! travel cards may be your best bet; if you are around a bit longer, using the same T-10 that locals use is a good idea, and if you are staying for a month and you travel a lot the T-50/30 (50 travels in 30 days) is a very good option to save money.
There are also night buses that work with the same card and the metro is open all night long on Saturdays. Yay! However, if you are too far (or too tired) you can always take one of the iconic black and yellow Barcelona’s taxis. They are less expensive than in other big cities but they are not cheap. Another advantage is that there’s plenty of them, especially in busy nightlife areas, so they are almost always an option. A regular not-too-far ride at night can cost around 10 euros, as night and weekend fares are more expensive. If you are going very far though you may consider taking a bus if your budget is a bit tight. Apps like Uber or Lyft do not exist in Barcelona for now. You can also check TMB or Citymapper apps to learn your way around and calculate prices.
Don’t eat your budget away!
Barcelona is one of the best cities to eat out and, although it is less expensive than London, Paris or San Francisco, it can get pricey. Dinner is always more expensive than lunch and, most bars and restaurants (even really fancy ones) almost always offer a lunch menu on weekdays. Most menus give you a wide enough selection so you can always pick something you like. For around 10 euros you can get a complete meal with the first course, second course, dessert and drinks and/or coffee. And, for a bit more, you can enjoy the lunch menu of some nice restaurants that otherwise would be out of your budget.
Tapas are great and tasty: they are a social gathering, a break from stress and an opportunity to try the different food without getting too full. However, eating tapas can be more expensive than ordering some menu dishes. Think about a tasting menu: you get many great things in small doses but it’s more expensive than just one course. Also, as Barcelona is very touristy, areas near popular streets or attractions can be very expensive. But venturing away from the main street can just be a good solution. As a rule of thumb to be able to compare prices, you can use patatas bravas, something most places offer (and that you should definitely try).
- From 3 to 4 euros: Cheap. You’re lucky!
- Around 4 or almost 5 euros: Regular. Well, it’s Barcelona after all.
- From 5 to 5.50 euros: Expensive.
- Around 6 euros or more: Pretty much a scam.
Try to ask recommendations from local people about where to eat, for example, your host family if you are in a homestay. Each neighborhood in Barcelona has its hidden culinary gems, so get exploring. And remember, Barcelona has many great eating offerings, so try not to eat your budget away!