A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Brussels vs. Barcelona for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Old Town

Should you visit Brussels or Barcelona?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Brussels and Barcelona. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Brussels

Brussels is a multicultural, historic, and cosmopolitan city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Barcelona

Barcelona is a laid-back, historic, and cultural city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.

How is Brussels different from Barcelona?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Brussels or Barcelona better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Both Brussels and Barcelona have interesting landmarks and museums for visitors.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Brussels. Popular sights include Saint-Michel Cathedral, Place Royale, and the Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Barcelona that are not to be missed. Architecture and history all contribute to the city's impressive sights and museums. Famous landmarks include the Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Casa Milà, and the Palace of Catalan Music.


Is Brussels or Barcelona better for Food?

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine in both Brussels and Barcelona.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Brussels makes for a great culinary experience. While the city is most known for its waffles and fries, the diversity of dishes and international restaurant selection continues to grow. Other popular dishes include moules-frites, waterzooi (a stew), and stoemp (made with mashed potatoes and vegetables).

Many restaurants in Barcelona have been singled out for their culinary prowess. With easy access to fresh produce, there are many food markets around town. You'll also find great fresh local dishes at the many restaurants. Make sure you try the paella, croquettes, and Jamon Iberico.

Is Brussels or Barcelona better for Nightlife?

Party-goers will usually choose Barcelona over Brussels.

Barcelona is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. The city offers an amazing nightlife at a much more affordable price than many places in Europe. There are beach parties, boat parties, and bars that stay packed late into the night. The city also hosts many street fiestas and music festivals.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Brussels. The city's nightlife is quieter and more mellow than some other major cities around Europe. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of dance clubs and bars where you can hang out. Keep your wits about you after the sun goes down as some areas are a bit rougher than others.

Is Brussels or Barcelona better for its Old Town?

Visitors enjoy the old town areas in both Brussels and Barcelona.

There are many historical things to see in the old town of Brussels. The old town in the city center is where you'll find the greatest concentration of historic sights. The area is surrounded by tree-lined boulevards and is easy to explore.

The old town of Barcelona is one of the most recognized in the world. Dating back 2,000 years the Gothic Quarter remains a hub of life and activity. It's fun to explore the wandering streets or people watch in one of the plazas. There are also many fascinating boutique shops and restaurants.

Is Brussels or Barcelona better for Shopping?

Shopping in a popular activity in both Barcelona and Brussels.

Brussels is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Although it's famous for diamonds, the city also has many shopping streets where you can find designer brands, vintage shops, and other unique boutiques that are fun to explore.

Barcelona is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Head to Portal De L’Angel, Rambla de Catalunya, or Passeig De Gracia for some of the city's best shopping districts.


Is Brussels or Barcelona better for Families?

Both Brussels and Barcelona are family-friendly destinations.

Brussels is a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has a number of unique kid-friendly activities including a Mini-Europe Museum, a Comic Strip Museum, and Train World. The city is also a chocolate lover's dream with many factories and chocolate shops around town.

Barcelona is a very family-friendly place to visit. Check out the Magic Fountains Show near Plaça d’Espanya, wander through the aquarium, or sample some chocolate at the Chocolate Museum. There are also many great parks and playgrounds around town.

Is Brussels or Barcelona better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Brussels and Barcelona are comparable places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Many backpackers visit Brussels. The city has an active nightlife and a number of hostels that are great for backpackers, but do take note that some areas can get a bit rough at night, so make sure you understand where you are.

Barcelona is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. There are many hostels around town, each with its own personality. Many of the hostels also organize activities or dinners for guests so it's easy to meet other travelers.

Is Brussels or Barcelona better for Students?

Brussels and Barcelona are comparable places to visit for students.

Many students visit Brussels. The city has a number of universities that attract students from around the world. The multicultural setting is great for students of the world.

Barcelona is a very popular city for students. This is a popular study abroad destination and you'll find international students from around the world. It's a beautiful city with plenty to see and do.

Is Brussels or Barcelona better for Public Transit?

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Brussels and Barcelona.

Brussels has a great public transit system. Transit options include train, tram, metro, bus and waterbuses.

Barcelona has a great public transit system. There's a metro, bus, and tram system that navigates the city.


Is Brussels or Barcelona a more walkable city?

Brussels and Barcelona both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Brussels is very walkable. If you stay in the historical area, it's easy to walk around and many boulevards are being converted to pedestrian areas.

Barcelona is very walkable. The city is more spread out than some other major European cities, but there are many plazas and outdoor areas that are fun to explore on foot. The city has designed "superilles," which are areas where car traffic has been directed around pedestrian-friendly plazas so visitors can explore, relax, or play.

Brussels and Barcelona: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


Should I spend more time in Barcelona or Brussels?

How long in Brussels or Barcelona?

Both Brussels and Barcelona have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Barcelona than Brussels.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Brussels is 1-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Barcelona is 3-7 days.


  • How many days in Brussels or Barcelona? Ideal Length of Stay
    Brussels 1-5 
    Barcelona 3-7

One day in Brussels or Barcelona?

People visit Brussels because there is so much to do. Visiting the old town is also a must. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Brussels has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

The beautiful city of Barcelona offers museums and nightlife. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Brussels or Barcelona?

People visit Brussels because there is so much to do. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Barcelona is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

Five days in Brussels or Barcelona?

People visit Brussels because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Most people head to the area for the shopping. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

Barcelona is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Barcelona, five days is sufficent for most. The entire area has lots to do.


A week in Brussels or Barcelona?

Brussels is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Barcelona is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Barcelona has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.

Which city is cheaper, Barcelona or Brussels?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Brussels is €109, while the average daily cost in Barcelona is €123. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Brussels and Barcelona in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Brussels 58
    Barcelona 75
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Brussels 116
    Barcelona 150

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Brussels 13
    Barcelona 15
Typical Local Transportation prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Brussels are as follows:


  • Subway Pass
    4.50
  • Atomium train ticket (2)
    8.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Brussels

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Brussels:

  • Private Airport Transfer: from Brussels to Brussels Airport (BRU): $25
  • Private Departure Transfer from Brussels City Center to Brussels Airport (BRU): $32
  • Private Airport Transfer to the City: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer: Brussels Hotel to Brussels Railway Station: $46
  • Private Business Transfer from Brussels Hotel to Brussels Airport (BRU): $49
  • Private Transfer to/from Brussels Airport (BRU): $50
  • Airport (BRU) Private Transfer: $53
  • Private Airport Transfer: Brussels to Charleroi Airport (CRL): $55
  • Private Airport Transfer: Brussels to Brussels Airport (BRU): $56
  • Departure Private Transfer from Brussels to Brussels Airport in Business Car: $57
  • Brussels City all area to Brussels Airport BRU - Private Airport transfer 1-7pax: $60
  • Brussels City all area to Brussels Airport BRU - Private Airport transfer 1-3pax: $60

Typical Local Transportation prices in Barcelona

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Barcelona are as follows:


  • 10 Trip Metro Ticket
    7.80
  • Airport Bus
    5.00
  • Metro
    2.10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Barcelona

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Barcelona:

  • Airport Transfer: $127
  • Airport Transfers: $20
  • Airport, Port cruise & Hotel Transfers: $81
  • Ancient winery of vermouth, Tarragona & Reus: private Round-Trip Transfer: $311
  • Arrival Private Transfer Barcelona City or Airport to Andorra by Business Car: $445
  • Arrival Private Transfer Barcelona Port to Barcelona City by Business Car: $57
  • Arrival Private Transfer Luxury Van Barcelona Port to Barcelona City: $70
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Barcelona Cruise Port to Bacelona City: $88
  • Barcelona - Salou private transfer: $198
  • Barcelona 1-Way Private Luxury Airport or Port Transfer: $47
  • Barcelona Airport (BCN) to Cruise Port - Arrival Private Car Transfer: $46
  • Barcelona Airport (BCN) to Cruise Port - Arrival Private Van Transfer: $32

Is it cheaper to fly into Brussels or Barcelona?

Prices for flights to both Barcelona and Brussels change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Brussels 31
    Barcelona 27
Typical Food prices in Brussels

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Brussels:


  • Ice Cream & Macaroons
    4.60
  • Dessert (Turkish Delights)
    4.75
  • Cheese
    5.60
  • Olives and Snacks
    6.98
  • Waffle
    3.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brussels

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Brussels.

  • Classic Belgian cooking class and lunch: $79
  • Your Private Tailored Belgian Food Tour with a Local: $93
  • Private Food Tour – 10 Tastings with Locals: $112
  • Cooking Lesson and Gourmet Belgian-Inspired Meal with a Local in Brussels: $115
  • Private Brussels Food Tour (walking lunch or dinner): $373

Typical Food prices in Barcelona

Some typical examples of dining costs in Barcelona are as follows:


  • Hot Cocoa & Churro
    4.15
  • Sandwich
    1.70
  • Baguette & Horchata
    3.80
  • Tapas on the beach
    8.28
  • Gelatto
    2.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Barcelona

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Barcelona.

  • Live from Potato Gnocchi Online Cooking Class: $23
  • Live from Barcelona to China: Potato Gnocchi Online Cooking Class: $23
  • Barcelona organic dinner in a beautiful rooftop garden: $35
  • Paella Cooking Experience + Boqueria Market Tour: $48
  • Interactive Spanish Cooking Experience in Barcelona: $49
  • Hands-on Brunch Cooking Class with Bottomless Mimosas!: $50
  • Born district food tour and tasting in Barcelona: $51
  • Street Food Tour & Gothic Quater Sightseeing with Local Expert: $52
  • Barcelona Street Food Tour: Local Market & Gothic Quarter with Expert Guide: $52
  • Tasty Barcelona Street Food Tour With Local Market Visit: $59
  • Skip the Line: Flamenco Show and Dinner Ticket: $62
  • 2-Hour Bites & Flavors Private Food Tour: $66

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Brussels 18
    Barcelona 27

Tours and Activities in Brussels

Here are a few actual costs in Brussels for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Brussels Autoworld Museum Entrance Ticket: $15
  • Pick Up from your Hotel in Brussels to Departure point Brussels City Tours: $22
  • Beer Tour: $27
  • Brussels 2.5-Hour Belgian Beer Tasting Experience: $29
  • Highlights and Hidden Gems Guided Bike Tour: $34
  • Private Tour with a Local: $40
  • Kanal and Molenbeek Runnning Tour: $44
  • Running Tour of the Historical Center: $44
  • The Best Of Brussels Walking Tour: $54
  • Belgian Chocolate Tasting Tour: $62
  • Private Tour w/ Locals – Highlights & Hidden Gems: $66
  • Artistic Bruges on a Private Tour with a local: $75

Typical Entertainment prices in Barcelona

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Barcelona are as follows:


  • Picasso Walking Tour and Museum Pass
    42
  • Souvenir Gaudi Book
    8.55
  • Admission to Museo Picasso
    6.00

Tours and Activities in Barcelona

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Barcelona are as follows:

  • A Culinary Audio Tour of El Born by VoiceMap: $5.50
  • Self-Guided Tour with Over 100 Sights: $5.67
  • Private Barcelona Ghost Tour: Gothic Quarter Exploration Game: $7.45
  • Museu de la Xocolata Admission Ticket: $7.46
  • History Museum of Catalonia Skip-The-Line Ticket: $9.08
  • Skip the Line: Erotic Museum of Barcelona Admission Ticket with free souvenir: $9.95
  • Skip the Line: Human Bodies - Entrance to the exhibition Ticket: $9.95
  • Skip the Line: History Museum of Catalonia & Rooftop Access Ticket: $9.95
  • Guided Tour at Catalonia's Royal Academy of Medicine: $10
  • Guided Tour at Barcelona's Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts: $10
  • IDEAL Frida Kahlo, the Life of an Icon Ticket: $10
  • Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum Entry Ticket: $10

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Brussels 10
    Barcelona 14
Typical Alcohol prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Brussels are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    10
  • Beer
    6.00

Sample the Local Flavors in Brussels

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Brussels:

  • Brussels Pub Crawl: $14

Sample the Local Flavors in Barcelona

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Barcelona:

  • Estrella Damm Brewery Guided Tour with Tasting: $9.08
  • Generation Pub Crawl in Barcelona: $19
  • Barcelona Pub Crawl: $20
  • Wine Tasting Experience in Barcelona: $22
  • Opera Samfaina: Food and Wine Tasting Interactive Experience in Barcelona: $26
  • Wine tasting & tapas: $39
  • Barcelona Guided Local Wine Tasting Tour: $44
  • Wine Tasting near Sagrada Familia: $47
  • Home Food and Wine Tasting with Wine Lover: $51
  • Fun Wine Tasting in Barcelona with a Sommelier!: $53
  • Spanish wine tasting in a historic building with a Sommelier: $54
  • Food Tasting Tapas and Wine Tour: $62


When comparing the travel costs between Brussels and Barcelona, we can see that Barcelona is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Brussels vs. Barcelona Travel Comparison

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