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

Should you visit Kuala Lumpur 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 Kuala Lumpur 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.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a welcoming, friendly, and diverse 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 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. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Other reasons to visit include beaches, shopping, and museums.

How is Kuala Lumpur different from Barcelona?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Kuala Lumpur or Barcelona better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Spend time exploring the signts and museum in either Kuala Lumpur or Barcelona.

Travelers visit Kuala Lumpur from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. The most notable landmark in the city is the famed Petronas Twin Towers, but other popular sights include Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur Tower, and the National Museum.

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 Kuala Lumpur or Barcelona better for Food?

Foodies will find both Kuala Lumpur and Barcelona both to be unique destinations.

Eat your way through Kuala Lumpur, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. The food is influenced by the populations that live here and you'll find a lot of Malay, Chinese and Indian flavors. Spicy curries and noodle dishes are very common. Street food is also a mainstay in this city and it's an experience to wander the market streets and sample dishes from the different vendors.

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 Kuala Lumpur or Barcelona better for Nightlife?

The nightlife scene is relatively similar in Kuala Lumpur and Barcelona.

Kuala Lumpur has a large number of nightlife venues. Rooftop bars and lounges are popular hangout spots after the sun sets. For classy pubs and clubs head to the Golden Triangle district, but if drinking and partying isn't your thing, the city's night markets are not to be missed.

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.

Is Kuala Lumpur or Barcelona better for Shopping?

Shoppers can find a variety of stores in both Kuala Lumpur and Barcelona.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in Kuala Lumpur. The city is filled with shopping malls, and a big appeal of shopping in this city is the very affordable prices. Some of the most popular shopping malls are Suria KLCC at the base of the Petronas Towers as well as the malls in the Bukit Bintang/Jalan Imbi areas.

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 Kuala Lumpur or Barcelona better for Families?

Both Kuala Lumpur and Barcelona are family-friendly destinations.

Kuala Lumpur is a very family-friendly destination. This family-friendly city includes a surprising number of opportunities to experience wildlife. There's an aquarium, petting zoos, and places to see the wild monkeys. There are also large playgrounds including one by the Petronas Towers. Kids will also enjoy exploring the Botanical Gardens, Butterfly Park, and the Forest Eco Park.

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 Kuala Lumpur or Barcelona better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Kuala Lumpur and Barcelona are both good destinations for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Kuala Lumpur. This is a popular stop for backpackers on the Southeast Asia circuit. It's modern and comfortable but also affordable and diverse. The city has a number of affordable hostels, but it also has a more laid back and authentic vibe than you'll find in many other Southeast Asian cities. The city also isn't as touristy as some other cities, so the people are down to Earth and helpful without being jaded by all of the vacationers.

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 Kuala Lumpur or Barcelona better for Students?

Both Kuala Lumpur and Barcelona are popular destinations for students.

Kuala Lumpur is a very popular place to visit for students. It's affordability, diversity, and dynamic atmosphere make this a great city for international students.

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 Kuala Lumpur or Barcelona better for Public Transit?

Visitors will find public transit in both Kuala Lumpur and Barcelona.

With a huge network, the transit system in Kuala Lumpur can get you around easily. The system is relatively easy to navigate with most signs in English. There are buses, a monorail, light rail transit and commuter trains.

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

Is Kuala Lumpur or Barcelona a more walkable city?

Kuala Lumpur and Barcelona are similar when it comes to walkability.

Kuala Lumpur is very walkable. Traffic can be congested, but there are many wide sidewalks and pedestrian areas around town. The River of Life waterfront area offers nice paths that connect many tourist 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.


Kuala Lumpur and Barcelona: Pros and Cons

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


Should I spend more time in Barcelona or Kuala Lumpur?

How long in Kuala Lumpur or Barcelona?

Both Kuala Lumpur 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 Kuala Lumpur.

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


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

One day in Kuala Lumpur or Barcelona?

People visit Kuala Lumpur because there is so much to do. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Kuala Lumpur has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

In Barcelona, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this colorful city offers. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

A weekend in Kuala Lumpur or Barcelona?

People visit Kuala Lumpur because there is so much to do. 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 fun place to experience. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring.

Five days in Kuala Lumpur or Barcelona?

People visit Kuala Lumpur 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. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

In Barcelona, many people enjoy the nightlife and live music that this laid-back big city offers. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. Plenty of people spend five days here when traveling. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

A week in Kuala Lumpur or Barcelona?

Kuala Lumpur is a popular choice for travelers. 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 popular place to visit. Many people spend one week here. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The entire area has lots to do.

Which city is cheaper, Barcelona or Kuala Lumpur?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kuala Lumpur is $49, 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 Kuala Lumpur and Barcelona in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kuala Lumpur $30
    Barcelona $78
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kuala Lumpur $60
    Barcelona $156

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kuala Lumpur $5.17
    Barcelona $16
Typical Local Transportation prices in Kuala Lumpur

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Kuala Lumpur are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.40
  • Metro Ride (for Two)
    $0.73
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.40
  • Taxi From Airport
    $20
  • Bus from Airport
    $1.82
  • Train & Boat to Pulau Ketam
    $2.72

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kuala Lumpur

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

  • Private Transfer : Kuala Lumpur Attractions: $7.84
  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport Departure Transfer: $10
  • Airport Transfer: $11
  • Kuala Lumpur Shared Attraction Transfers: $11
  • Kuala Lumpur Hotels to Sunway Lagoon Theme Park Transfer (1-way): $12
  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport Transfer- Departure: $12
  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport Departure Transfer: $12
  • Budget Kuala Lumpur Airport Transfer-Departure: $12
  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport Departure Transfer: $12
  • Private: Kuala Lumpur International Airport Departure Transfer: $13
  • Departure Transfer : Kuala Lumpur International Airport: $13
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Lumpur Int. Airport (KUL): $17

Typical Local Transportation prices in Barcelona

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


  • 10 Trip Metro Ticket
    $8.13
  • Airport Bus
    $5.21
  • Metro
    $2.19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Barcelona

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Barcelona:

  • Ultra - Barcelona Private Transfer from City Centre to Barcelona Cruise Port: $9.41
  • Ultra - Barcelona Private Transfer from Barcelona Cruise Port to City Centre: $9.41
  • Ultra - Barcelona Private Airport Transfer city centre to El Prat Airport BCN: $9.41
  • Transfers From Cruise Port to Barcelona Main Train Station( Sants Train Station): $30
  • Transfer to Montserrat Monastery from Barcelona: $33
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Barcelona El Prat Airport to Barcelona City: $39
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Barcelona City to Barcelona El Prat Airport: $39
  • Transfer in private minivan from Barcelona City to Barcelona el Prat Airport: $55
  • Transfer from Barcelona to Valencia or viceversa: $498
  • Transfer from Barcelona to Port Aventura Park: $435
  • Transfer from Barcelona Airport to Barcelona CITY - ROUND TRIP: $124
  • Transfer from Barcelona (any hotel or address) to Barcelona Airport (BCN): $61

Is it cheaper to fly into Kuala Lumpur or Barcelona?

Prices for flights to both Barcelona and Kuala Lumpur 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
    Kuala Lumpur $10
    Barcelona $28
Typical Food prices in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dinner at Ding Tai Fung
    $9.08
  • Roti Bread
    $0.23
  • Food Court Lunch
    $3.27
  • Dinner at Indian Restaurant (for Two)
    $4.88

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kuala Lumpur

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

  • Amazing Local Food Tour in Kuala Lumpur: $29
  • Discover the Best Local Food Tour by Night in Kuala Lumpur: $39
  • Malaysian Ramadhan Buffet Dinner Cultural Show - nearby KLCC: $40
  • Small group epic food tour! Immerse yourself in the local culture too!: $44
  • Best Local Food Tour by Night at Kuala Lumpur: $45
  • Market Visit & Garden-to-Table Cooking Class: $47
  • Yummy Yummy Street Food Tour - Kuala Lumpur By Night (Guided With Transport): $53
  • Old Markets & Beyond: Kuala Lumpur Food Tour: $55
  • Cultural Night Tour with Dinner: $55
  • Kuala Lumpur Food Tour: $59
  • Chef-Designed Small-Group Food Tour: $60
  • Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Kuala Lumpur Private Street Food Tour: $61

Typical Food prices in Barcelona

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


  • Hot Cocoa & Churro
    $4.33
  • Sandwich
    $1.77
  • Baguette & Horchata
    $3.96
  • Tapas on the beach
    $8.64
  • Gelatto
    $2.61

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.
    Kuala Lumpur $12
    Barcelona $28
Typical Entertainment prices in Kuala Lumpur

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Kuala Lumpur's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • KL Tower Admission (for Two)
    $10
  • Canopy Walk at FRIM Forest Reserve
    $1.13

Tours and Activities in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Great Kuala Lumpur Tour with 21 Attractions: $5.00
  • Consultation Services for Your Tour Program: $5.00
  • City Highlights and Cultural Landmarks: An audio tour exploring KL's melting pot: $5.99
  • Skip the Line: Chocolate Factory Tour Ticket: $7.74
  • Skip the Line: KL Tower Mini Zoo Admission Ticket in Kuala Lumpur: $8.19
  • Laser Battle Experience in Kuala Lumpur: $8.30
  • Skip the Line: KL Tower Observation Deck Entry Ticket: $9.00
  • Kuala Lumpur City Tour: $9.43
  • KL Tower Admission Ticket: $9.49
  • KL Tower Admission Ticket: $9.72
  • KL Half Day City Tour SHARED: $10
  • Half Day City Tour-Xmas Special (25 Dec Only): $10

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
    $8.92
  • Admission to Museo Picasso
    $6.26

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
    Kuala Lumpur $5.38
    Barcelona $14
Typical Alcohol prices in Kuala Lumpur

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


  • Bottle of Wine
    $10

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 Kuala Lumpur and Barcelona, we can see that Barcelona is more expensive. And not only is Kuala Lumpur much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Kuala Lumpur is in Asia 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 Kuala Lumpur would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Kuala Lumpur 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 Barcelona would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Barcelona than you might in Kuala Lumpur.

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Kuala Lumpur vs. Barcelona Travel Comparison

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