A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Dubai vs. Barcelona for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Music

Should you visit Dubai or Barcelona?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Dubai and Barcelona can help you decide which place is right for you.

Dubai

Dubai is a modern, glamorous, and opulent city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Barcelona

Barcelona is a cultural, friendly, and colorful city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and live music.

Dubai and Barcelona: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


How is Dubai different from Barcelona?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Barcelona and Dubai. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Dubai or Barcelona Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Dubai
Barcelona

You'll find a number of museums and attractions in both Barcelona and Dubai.

Many visitors head to Dubai specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The city's most famous landmark is the Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world. Head to the observation deck for stunning views.

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 Dubai or Barcelona Better for Food?

Dubai
Barcelona

Foodies will find both Dubai and Barcelona both to be unique destinations.

Dubai has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. The national dish in the area is khuzi, or ghuzi, which is a meal of roasted lamb or mutton, prepared with rice vegetables and nuts.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Barcelona is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. 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 Dubai or Barcelona Better for Nightlife?

Dubai
Barcelona

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find comparable options between Dubai and Barcelona.

People head to Dubai just to party. Frequented by the wealthy and opulent, the city has world class night clubs and DJs that travel from around to world to perform.

The nightlife in Barcelona is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. 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.

Is Dubai or Barcelona Better for Music?

Dubai
Barcelona

Dubai and Barcelona are both destinations where visitors can find live music.

Dubai has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. The city attracts world famous international DJs and musicians giving it one of the world's best music scenes.

Barcelona is a world class music destination. Popular music venues include Tablao de Carmen, Razzmatazz, and Jamboree.

Is Dubai or Barcelona Better for Beaches?

Dubai
Barcelona

Barcelona is considered to be a more popular beach destination.

With world-famous beaches, Barcelona is a very popular vacation destination. The city features long sandy beaches where you can soak up the Mediterranean sun right in the heart of town. Popular beaches include Bogatell Beach, Barceloneta Beach, and Nova Icària.

Dubai has a beach worth visiting. There are a number of both private and public beaches in the city. They are almost all man-made, so they are large, flat, and have soft sand. It's also generally safe to swim at most beaches.


Is Dubai or Barcelona Better for Shopping?

Dubai
Barcelona

If you're looking to go shopping, Dubai and Barcelona both offer plenty of spots.

Many people travel to Dubai specifically to go shopping. With its many malls, souks, and shopping areas, this is the place to go for luxury shopping. Popular items to purchase include gold and diamond jewelry, shawls, and Persian rugs.

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 Dubai or Barcelona Better for Families?

Dubai
Barcelona

You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Dubai or Barcelona.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Dubai. This city has family-friendly resorts, skyscrapers with spectacular views, and amusement parks that are fun for the whole family. There are also plenty of fountains that the kids can splash around in.

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 Dubai or Barcelona Better for Students?

Dubai
Barcelona

For students, both Dubai and Barcelona are fairly comparable places to visit.

Students come from all over the world to visit Dubai. Many major universities from around the world have campuses in this city, making this a top destination for international students.

Barcelona is a great destination 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 Dubai or Barcelona Better for Public Transit?

Dubai
Barcelona

Barcelona has better public transit to get you around.

With a huge network, the transit system in Barcelona can get you around easily. There's a metro, bus, and tram system that navigates the city.

Dubai has a few public transit options. The city's public transportation system includes buses, water buses, a monorail system, and a metro.


Is Dubai or Barcelona a more walkable city?

Dubai
Barcelona

Barcelona is more walkable than Dubai.

Barcelona is a very walkable destination. 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.

Dubai is generally not very walkable. It is one of the less pedestrian-friendly cities around the world. There is lots of road work, even in the more walkable areas, so getting around on foot can be challenging.

Should I spend more time in Barcelona or Dubai?

How long in Dubai or Barcelona?

Both Dubai and Barcelona have a number of activities to choose from. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either.

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


  • How many days in Dubai or Barcelona? Ideal Length of Stay
    Dubai 3-7 
    Barcelona 3-7

One day in Dubai or Barcelona?

People visit Dubai because there is so much to do. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

In Barcelona, many people enjoy the live music and food that this historic big city offers. It's also a great beach destination, too. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Dubai or Barcelona?

People visit Dubai because there is so much to do. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Barcelona. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Dubai or Barcelona?

People visit Dubai 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. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

Barcelona is a fun place to experience. In Barcelona, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this big city destination offers. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.


A week in Dubai or Barcelona?

Dubai is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Dubai, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

In Barcelona, many people enjoy the museums and nightlife that this cultural big city offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.

Which city is cheaper, Barcelona or Dubai?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dubai is $198, while the average daily cost in Barcelona is $128. 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 Dubai and Barcelona in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dubai $136
    Barcelona $78
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dubai $272
    Barcelona $156
Compare Hotels in Dubai and Barcelona

Looking for a hotel in Dubai or Barcelona? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Dubai


Hotels in Barcelona


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Dubai Hotel Prices and Barcelona Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dubai $10
    Barcelona $16
Typical Local Transportation prices in Dubai

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Dubai:


  • Taxi Ride
    $12
  • Airport Taxi
    $12
  • Sea Taxi
    $0.54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dubai

Also for Dubai, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Ultra - Dubai Private Airport Transfer from city centre to Dubai Airport DXB: $8.73
  • Ultra - Dubai Private Airport Transfer from Dubai Airport DXB to city centre: $8.73
  • Ultra - Dubai Private Airport Transfer from Dubai Airport DXB to Jumeirah Beach: $8.73
  • Ultra - Dubai Private Airport Transfer from Jumeirah Beach to Dubai Airport DXB: $8.73
  • Shared Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Ski Dubai/Wild Wadi: $15
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Dubai to Dubai Airport (DXB): $17
  • Private Airport Transfer: Dubai Airport (DXB) to Dubai: $17
  • Private Transfer to/from Dubai Airport (DXB): $17
  • Shared Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Dubai Frame: $18
  • Shared Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Aquaventure/Lost Chamber: $18
  • Sharing Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Dubai Mall (Burj Khalifa, VR Parks, DAUZ): $18
  • Shopping Tour with Sharing Transfers: $19

Typical Local Transportation prices in Barcelona

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


  • 10 Trip Metro Ticket
    $8.12
  • Airport Bus
    $5.21
  • Metro
    $2.19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Barcelona

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Barcelona:

  • Private 5 days in Barcelona with private transfers and private tours: $1,524
  • Private 5 days in Barcelona with tours and transfers and pick up and drop off: $1,213
  • Private Round-Trip transfer from Barcelona Airport or Barcelona city to Andorra: $876
  • Private 3 days in Barcelona with private tours and transfers: $796
  • Montserrat Monastery Tour & Hot Air Balloon Flight, Including Transfer, Lunch, Photos, Cava: $791
  • Private Transfer & Tours to Andorra from Barcelona 10 Hours: $597
  • Barcelona city or airport to Andorra Private Transfer: $564
  • Private Transfer from Barcelona travel to Andorra: $554
  • Transfer Barcelona-Madrid: $531
  • Private Round-Trip Transfer to Montserrat from Barcelona: $529
  • Private Transfer: Andorra to Barcelona City or BCN Airport by Luxury Van: $522
  • Barcelona city to Andorra Private Transfer: $520

Is it cheaper to fly into Dubai or Barcelona?

Prices for flights to both Barcelona and Dubai 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
    Dubai $45
    Barcelona $28
Typical Food prices in Dubai

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Dubai:


  • French bread
    $0.95
  • Sumo salad in Dubai Mall + Juice
    $10
  • Lemon Mint Tea
    $4.36
  • Coffee & Cake
    $6.53
  • Smoothie
    $5.45
  • Shawarma
    $1.91

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dubai

For Dubai, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Romantic Dhow Creek Dinner Cruise With Live Shows and International Buffet: $17
  • Sightseeing Dhow Cruise Dinner: $18
  • Dubai Deira Cruise with International Buffet Dinner with Live Shows: $19
  • Cruising with Dinner and Live Shows at Dubai Creek: $20
  • Dubai Creek Dhow Cruise Dinner: $20
  • Dhow Dinner Cruise at Dubai Creek (Without Transfers): $20
  • Sail along the Dubai Creek Dhow cruise with a delectable Dinner from AED 60: $21
  • Sightseeing Romantic Dhow Cruise Dinner: $21
  • Dhow Cruise Dinner Dubai: $22
  • Dhow Cruise Dinner on Dubai Creek: $22
  • Evening Dhow Dinner Cruise in Dubai: $22
  • Dubai Creek 2-Hour Romantic Dhow Cruise Dinner: $23

Typical Food prices in Barcelona

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


  • Hot Cocoa & Churro
    $4.32
  • Sandwich
    $1.77
  • Baguette & Horchata
    $3.96
  • Tapas on the beach
    $8.63
  • Gelatto
    $2.60

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.
    Dubai $15
    Barcelona $28
Typical Entertainment prices in Dubai

For Dubai, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Visit to the Dubai Museum
    $0.82

Tours and Activities in Dubai

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Dubai.

  • Global Village Entry Tickets: $4.11
  • Dubai Full-Day Global Village Tickets: $4.11
  • Global Village Entry Ticket: $4.19
  • Skip the Line: Global Village Ticket: $4.32
  • Global Village Dubai (Ticket): $4.85
  • Dubai Global Village Entrance Ticket: $5.20
  • Dubai Marina: Explore its activities & attractions on this audio walking tour: $5.50
  • Ethnic Emirati Dining Experience: $12
  • Resident Marina Sightseeing Tour: $12
  • Dubai City Tour, Dubai: $12
  • Dubai Virtual City Tour With Live Video Chat Commentary: $15
  • Flying Cup Experience Ticket Dubai: $17

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
    $44
  • Souvenir Gaudi Book
    $8.90
  • Admission to Museo Picasso
    $6.25

Tours and Activities in Barcelona

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

  • #1dayBarcelona. 6-Hour Action Packed Private City Discovery Tour: $549
  • 'Game Of Thrones' Small Group Tour in Girona from Barcelona: $125
  • 1 hour private sailing tour: $158
  • 1,5 hour Vermut & Sailing Experience Barcelona with drinks and snacks!: $41
  • 1-hour Private Speedboat Cruise from Barcelona: $372
  • 1.5-Hour Sights of Barcelona E-Bike Tour Led by a Local Guide: $34
  • 2 Hours Private Sailing Tour for Family and Friends: $316
  • 2 Hours Running Tour in Barcelona with Local Guide: $35
  • 2 hour Private Sunset Sailing Cruise Barcelona: $372
  • 2 hour Sailing Cruise Barcelona: $47
  • 2 hour Sunset Sailing Cruise Barcelona: $47
  • 2 hours Exclusive Sunrise Sailing Experience from Port Vell: $335

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dubai $18
    Barcelona $14
Typical Alcohol prices in Dubai

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Dubai:


  • A Couple Drinks
    $25

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 we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Dubai and Barcelona, we can see that Dubai is more expensive. And not only is Barcelona much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Dubai is in Middle East and Barcelona is in Europe, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Barcelona would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Barcelona and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Dubai would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Dubai than you might in Barcelona.


When is the best time to visit Dubai or Barcelona?

Barcelona has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but Dubai experiences a tropical climate with fairly warm weather most of the year.

Should I visit Dubai or Barcelona in the Summer?

Both Barcelona and Dubai during the summer are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Dubai because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Also, many visitors come to Barcelona in the summer for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

The heat can be very extreme in Dubai. In the summer, Dubai is much warmer than Barcelona. Typically, the summer temperatures in Dubai in July are around 35°C (95°F), and Barcelona is about 23°C (73°F).

Dubai usually gets less rain in July than Barcelona. Dubai gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Barcelona receives 22 mm (0.9 in) of rain this time of the year. June to August is the dry season in Dubai.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Dubai 35°C (95°F) 
    Barcelona 23°C (73°F)

Should I visit Dubai or Barcelona in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Dubai and Barcelona. Dubai attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Also, most visitors come to Barcelona for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Dubai is generally much warmer than Barcelona. Temperatures in Dubai average around 29°C (84°F), and Barcelona stays around 17°C (63°F).

In October, Dubai usually receives less rain than Barcelona. Dubai gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Barcelona receives 94 mm (3.7 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Dubai 29°C (84°F) 
    Barcelona 17°C (63°F)

Should I visit Dubai or Barcelona in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Dubai as well as Barcelona. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Dubai throughout the year. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Barcelona because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Dubai is much warmer than Barcelona in the winter. The temperature in Dubai is usually 19°C (66°F) in January, and Barcelona stays around 9°C (48°F).

Dubai usually gets less rain in January than Barcelona. Dubai gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Barcelona receives 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain this time of the year. January to March in Dubai is the rainy season.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Dubai 19°C (66°F) 
    Barcelona 9°C (48°F)

Should I visit Dubai or Barcelona in the Spring?

Both Barcelona and Dubai are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Plenty of visitors come to Dubai because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Also, the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty are the main draw to Barcelona this time of year.

In the spring, Dubai is much warmer than Barcelona. Typically, the spring temperatures in Dubai in April are around 26°C (79°F), and Barcelona is about 13°C (55°F).

In April, Dubai usually receives less rain than Barcelona. Dubai gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Barcelona receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the spring. The dry season in Dubai is June to August.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Dubai 26°C (79°F) 
    Barcelona 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Barcelona and Dubai

Dubai Barcelona
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 19°C (66°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 9°C (48°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Feb 20°C (68°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 10°C (50°F) 36 mm (1.4 in)
Mar 23°C (73°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 11°C (52°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Apr 26°C (79°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 13°C (55°F) 51 mm (2 in)
May 31°C (88°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 16°C (61°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
Jun 33°C (91°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 20°C (67°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Jul 35°C (95°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 23°C (73°F) 22 mm (0.9 in)
Aug 36°C (97°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 23°C (74°F) 66 mm (2.6 in)
Sep 33°C (91°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 21°C (70°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Oct 29°C (84°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 17°C (63°F) 94 mm (3.7 in)
Nov 25°C (77°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 13°C (55°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
Dec 21°C (70°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 10°C (49°F) 50 mm (2 in)


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Dubai vs. Barcelona Travel Comparison

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