Keep within Budget on your Trip to Barcelona

When you have found the best accomodation to stay in your Barcelona vacation, the next step is to drop by Boqueria Market, unquestionably a destination to tickle the senses with offerings of well-cured meats hung from enormous hooks in the ceiling, an array of fresh seafood and organic crops, and other produce from neighbouring provinces to encourage you to prepare a delicious 5 star meal in your apartment kitchen on your visit to Barcelona.

There are plenty of extra costs to keep an eye open for when eating out, just like restaurants from home some may impose a VAT tax that will add 7 % to your bill. If you wish to sit on the terrace they charge a 'suplemento' tax, which can range from 1 to 3 EUR per person to as much as a 20 % addition on the bill. Note that lunch is eaten late in the afternoon, anytime from 1pm to 3.45pm. Never leave your personal belongings on the table when eating on a terrace, and don't worry about tipping, if you're so inclined feel free to leave some small change, but no offense is taken if you prefer not to leave anything.

Planning days out ahead of time can pay off as you can check out which venues and activities are free of charge to visit, in particular the galleries and museums. Some places open their doors with no charge every day of the week, while others are free only on Sundays. The national art gallery of Catalonia, Museu Nacional D'Art de Catalunya, or MNAC, is free to the under-15 year olds, the over-65s and to everyone on the first Sunday of the month. As it gets dark the place dazzles with a spectacular water and light display at the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, but it's the range of art and many other priceless artefacts that will keep you there the entire day.

The Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, or MACBA in short, often offers free workshops in one of the on-site auditoriums. There's a Study Center, Library Reading Room and Special Collections Room here which houses a collection of books, publications and archives free for public use. Some of the best city's art objects are away from the museums - don't miss the delights of Ciutadella Park, one of the largest in the city and perfect for relaxing and picnicking in the quiet grounds, whilst Parc Guell will excite your mind with its enchanted arrangements. Designed and built in 1900 to 1914 by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, it's a park with highly bizarre structures and artworks inspired by forms of nature.

Other interesting and unique venues and buildings to visit are the Parc de la Crueta del Coll, the Fundacio Joan Miro Musuem and, unlike anything seen before, Jean Nouvel's gleaming tower The Torre Agbar, a suggestively formed structure that has earned itself some truly naughty nicknames purely down to its phallic shape.

Providing you plan well ahead for your short city break you'll find something interesting to do every day, and with the many inexpensive apartments to stay in the city centre, if you do decide to stay longer then it's easy enough to stretch your holiday finances to enjoy this wonderful destination.