Solo female traveler looking for your next destination? Chloe from Journey With Chloe shares her experience traveling solo in Barcelona in this Barcelona Solo Guide so that you can enjoy all this amazing city has to offer, even if you decide to teach English in Barcelona.
Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that you need to be prepared for anything! Travel insurance has always been high my list of things to get before I travel but now more than ever its at the top of my list.
I’m pretty sure we have all had travel plans messed up because of COVID and not all insurers covered this. So when looking for travel insurance it’s important to check it covers travel disruption due to COVID-19, Hey Mondo, Passport Nomads, Safety Wing, and Travel Insurance Master all provide cover for this.
Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single trip cover, annual multi trip cover, and long term travel cover. You even have the option to start the cover when you are already on your trip, although you won’t be covered for the first 72 hours. For me my favourite feature is their app which offers you a 24/7 Dr chat and the ability to file a claim direct in the app.
Passport Nomads provides the most comprehensive cover for Digital Nomads. The game changer with them is that you have a red card and if you find yourself in need of medical care you just contact them and they will pre load your card with the funds to cover your treatment, meaning you won’t need to pay out of pocket and then put in a claim later.
Safety Wing is great value with monthly cover starting at $39. It’s super easy to use and it just renews each month. They have an excess of $250 and it’s simple to make a claim through their website. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy and I like that it renews on a monthly basis, so I don’t have to pay out a big lump sum up front.
I also use Travel Insurance Master for some short vacation type trips.
If you are doing shorter trips or an extended backpacking trip then Hey Mondo or Travel Insurance Master are the best option. If you are a digital nomad or planning travel of at least 6 months then go for Passport Nomads or SafetyWing.
Barcelona Solo Guide
I recently lived in Barcelona for a year. It was undoubtedly the best experience of my life and I got to enjoy all of the best viewpoints in Barcelona too. I have to be honest, the rumors of Barcelona being notorious for pickpocketers are true. A lot of my friends who lived there had their things stolen. BUT all of these times were during a night out clubbing, so don’t get scared off. Just be smart with your belongings and they won’t be stolen.
Barcelona is still the ideal place for solo female travelers. I couldn’t have felt safer walking home alone at 5 am from the metro, hiking up mountains outside of the city or even hitchhiking by myself! Just like anywhere else in the world, being street-smart is key. I always ended up having conversations with strangers whenever I explored the city by myself. Barcelona’s population is international, meaning people are very open-minded and friendly.
Things to do in Barcelona
Visit Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló is a unique and stunning architectural masterpiece located in the heart of Barcelona, Spain. Designed by renowned architect Antoni Gaudí, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. Visitors can explore the fascinating interior of the building, which features intricate designs and unique features such as the famous dragon roof and the ornate staircase.
Recently, Casa Batlló was awarded the prestigious “Best Museum Experience” award at the Museum and Heritage Awards in London. This recognition is a testament to the incredible experience that visitors can expect when they visit this iconic building.
Visit La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia is an iconic church located in Barcelona, Spain. Sagrada Familia is the thing most people picture in their mind when they think of Barcelona. This stunning structure was designed by Antoni Gaudi, one of the most famous architects and good place in Spain, and construction on the building began in 1882. However, the church remains unfinished, with work ongoing to this day.
Despite the fact that La Sagrada Familia is still a work in progress, Sagrada Familia is still one of the most popular tourist attractions in Barcelona. The church is famous for its unique and beautiful design, with soaring spires and intricate facades that are unlike anything else you’ll see in the city.
It’s a great way to spend a morning or afternoon in Barcelona and should be on all solo travel in Barcelona itineraries.
Take a walk around Park Guell
This beautiful park was also designed by the famous architect, Antoni Gaudi. Park güell is a great place to relax, take a walk and enjoy the city views. It’s one of the most beautiful and unique parks I’ve ever been to, and it’s definitely worth taking the time to explore.
Park Guell is full of whimsical and colorful features that will take your breath away. From the stunning mosaic tiles that cover many of the park’s surfaces to the intricate stone carvings that decorate the walls and benches, there’s no shortage of things to admire here. Plus, the park offers amazing views of the city, so be sure to bring your camera!
One of the best things about Park Guell is that there’s something for everyone here. Whether you’re interested in architecture, nature, or just taking a leisurely stroll, you’re sure to find something that you enjoy. There are plenty of quiet spots to relax and take in the surroundings, as well as lively areas where musicians and street performers entertain passersby.
Explore the Gothic Quarter
If you’re planning a solo trip to Barcelona, you absolutely have to make time to explore the Gothic Quarter. This historic neighborhood is filled with narrow winding streets, charming cafes, and unique boutiques, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon wandering and taking in the sights.
As you explore the Gothic Quarter, you’ll be transported back in time. The neighborhood is filled with buildings and monuments that date back centuries, including the stunning Barcelona Cathedral and the famous Picasso Museum.
The Gothic Quarter has a distinct energy and vibe that’s hard to describe, but impossible to ignore. You’ll find street performers, local artists, and plenty of friendly locals, all adding to the unique character of the neighborhood.
Have some tapas
Barcelona is famous for its delicious tapas and if you’re traveling solo in Barcelona, eating tapas like the locals is one of the best things you can do.
Barcelona is famous for its tapas culture, and there are countless bars and restaurants throughout the city where you can sample some of the best food around.
What’s great about tapas is that you can try a little bit of everything. In Barcelona eating tapas is a social experience – you can sit at the bar, chat with the locals, and try different dishes together. So even if you’re traveling alone, you won’t feel lonely at all!
I recommend checking out some of the tapas bars in the Gothic Quarter, like El Xampanyet or La Cova Fumada. Both of these places are small and cozy, with a lively atmosphere and plenty of delicious food. Another great option is the Mercat de La Boqueria, a famous food market where you can browse the stalls and try all sorts of local specialties.
Getting from Barcelona Airport to the City Centre
There is an Aerobus which takes you from the airport to Plaza Catalunya, but it costs around €5. A cheaper option is the public bus (€2.15). During the day, take bus 46 to Plaza Espanya.
At night, take the N16 night bus to Plaza Catalunya or N17 to Plaza Espanya or Plaza Universitat (one stop after). You can jump on the metro at any of these plazas if you need to travel further.
Getting Around Barcelona
Barcelona is such an interlinked city when it comes to transport. It’s super easy to get around via bus and metro.
If you’re terrible at navigating like me, use Google Maps to map your route before exploring and take screenshots. The app works out which bus or metro lines you need to take.
Don’t buy single tickets! A T10 costs €9.95 which gives you 10 journeys by bus and metro. If you want to cycle, rent a bicycle (from €6). Only locals can use the city bikes.
The best areas to Stay in Barcelona for solo travelers
The best places to stay are in the ‘local’ neighborhoods:
Gràcia – the most traditional Catalonian area. Visit Parc Güell, eat tapas and wander around the various plazas.
Eixample – I lived in this area and loved it! Home to the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s Casa Batllo and Casa Milà
If you want to be more central:
Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter) – the old city, with cobbled streets and beautiful architecture such as the Cathedral.
Barceloneta – closest to the most popular beach and lots of clubs. Hence, the streets can be noisy at night during the summer.
El Born – similar to the Gothic Quarter. Near Ciutadella park.
Other cheaper but further out options:
Vila Olímpica – a short walk to Bogatell beach and the Port.
Poble Sec – near the Magic Fountain and Montjuïc.
I wouldn’t recommend staying in La Rambla or especially El Raval. It’s a bit sketchy at night…
The best hotels to Stay in Barcelona for solo travelers
The Mirror Barcelona – Adults Only
Budget Accommodation in Barcelona
Good hostels will cost between €55 and €60 per night during low season, it’s a better option to save money.
In summer, prices double! Expect to pay at least €20 a night for a decent hostel.
If you’re on a tight budget, check out Couchsurfing. It’s free and you get the chance to meet someone with knowledge about atypical things to do in the city! Check out these Couchsurfing tips if it is your first time using the app.
Food in Barcelona
Another amazing aspect of this city is the food. You can find any type you want.
Good news for solo female travelers, there are plenty of tapas bars around Barcelona and epic food markets like La Boqueria Barcelona.
Go to neighborhoods further out from the center such as Poble Nou, Poble Sec and Gràcia for the cheapest and most authentic food! For example, try Gata Mala.
It’s a vegetarian and vegan-friendly city too, with meals under €10. I would recommend Veggie Garden, Cat Bar or Biocenter. There are also many coffee shops you can explore in Barcelona!
France may be reputable for making good crêpes but they’re just as delicious in Barcelona! Try sweet or savory for under €10 at Creps Barcelona.
Day trips from Barcelona
There are plenty of fun things to do in Barcelona but if you are looking for some day trips to take outside of the city you could take a trip to Montserrat from Barcelona or Gerona is also not too far away.
This is a guest post written by Chloe from Journey With Chloe. All images are credited to Chloe and Journey With Chloe blog. If you liked this post please check out Chloe’s blog Journey With Chloe and be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Monday 27th of January 2020
I love your solo blog about Barcelona. You have some really good ideas about what to do in the city, you did a great job. If you are ever back in Barcelona I would love to show you some amazing places to eat in the city. I run a food tour company called Eye on Food Tours drop me a line some time.
all the best,
Friday 10th of February 2017
Finding a CouchSurfing host in Barcelona can be really difficult, especially in the high season. Hosts there are inundated with requests. I managed to find hosts for my time there, but I have a billion references and still had to send out a ton of requests.
While I didn't have anything stolen, I had a child try to steal my bag while I was sitting in a plaza in the middle of the day. Keep your hand on your stuff at all times! Too bad for him I'm a New Yorker who had the strap of my bag under my foot. You don't have to be out clubbing or drinking to get robbed.
Friday 10th of February 2017
Completely agree with this! Barcelona is beautiful and feels perfectly safe. I haven't been everywhere in Europe (yet ;) ) but it really is amazing how safe so many of the cities feel. I don't get what people are scared about. Chloe, you totally nailed it when you talk about being a little street-smart can get you a long way. We ladies just have to be aware of our surroundings!
Thursday 9th of February 2017
I visited Barcelona with a group but felt completely safe and comfortable there! Great advice.
Thursday 9th of February 2017
This is such a great guide. I like that you even include vegan vegetarian places because a lot of people assume that Spain is all about meat and cheese. :) I'm going to Barcelona in March so will bookmark this!