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

Should you visit Lisbon or Barcelona?

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

Should I visit Lisbon or Barcelona? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Lisbon

Lisbon is a colorful, vibrant, and stunning city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.

Barcelona

Barcelona is a historic, cultural, and friendly city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and live music.

How is Lisbon different from Barcelona?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Lisbon or Barcelona better for Museums and Historical Sights?

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

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Lisbon has many famous sights for visitors. World renowned landmarks include St. George's Castle, Jerónimos monastery, the Belém Tower, Santa Justa Lift, and countless world class museums.

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 Lisbon or Barcelona better for Food?

Dining out in both Lisbon and Barcelona can be an enjoyable experience.

For foodies, Lisbon is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. There are many local restaurants as well as food tours and cooking classes that you can enjoy. Make sure you try the local favorites like bacalhau à brás, frango no churrasco, and pastel de nata.

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 Lisbon or Barcelona better for Nightlife?

The nightlife scene is relatively similar in Lisbon and Barcelona.

The nightlife in Lisbon is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. It is a bustling city with a lot of energy late into the night. There are countless bars, clubs, and music venues that cater to every personality type and style.

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 Lisbon or Barcelona better for Music?

It can be fun to see live music in either Lisbon and Barcelona.

Lisbon has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. The local folk music, fado, is popular here, but there are also venues that host almost any other style of music as well.

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

Is Lisbon or Barcelona better for its Old Town?

It's fun to wander around the old towns in both Lisbon and Barcelona.

With a famous historical old-town, Lisbon offers plenty to see. The city is famous for the Alfama area, which is where you find the traditional buildings, cobblestoned streets, wandering alleyways, and steep hills. Make sure you take in the stunning view from various parts of town.

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 Lisbon or Barcelona better for Shopping?

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

Many people travel to Lisbon specifically to go shopping. For high end shopping, head to The Avenida da Liberdade. It's lined with designer brands and luxury boutiques.

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 Lisbon or Barcelona better for Families?

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Lisbon or Barcelona.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Lisbon. Popular family-friendly activities include exploring Castelo Sao Jorge, visiting the aquarium, hanging out on the beach, and of course, taking the funiculars.

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 Lisbon or Barcelona better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Lisbon and Barcelona are both good destinations for backpackers.

Lisbon is a very popular city to visit for backpackers. Hostels are abundant, and you'll have no trouble finding other backpackers to hang out with. Many hostels even organize activities and group meals for travelers.

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 Lisbon or Barcelona better for Students?

Both Lisbon and Barcelona are popular destinations for students.

Lisbon is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. It's a lively city with a lot to see and do 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 Lisbon or Barcelona better for Public Transit?

Visitors will find public transit in both Lisbon and Barcelona.

Visitors in Lisbon can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. The metro has four lines that go around the city. There are also trams, buses, and the funiculars.

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

Is Lisbon or Barcelona a more walkable city?

Lisbon and Barcelona are similar when it comes to walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Lisbon. There are many walkable areas that aren't too hilly like Baixa, a stretch along the Tagus River, and Belém.

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.

Lisbon and Barcelona: Pros and Cons

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


Should I spend more time in Barcelona or Lisbon?

How long in Lisbon or Barcelona?

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


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

One day in Lisbon or Barcelona?

People visit Lisbon because there is so much to do. Visiting the old town is also a must. 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.

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the big city destination of Barcelona. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Lisbon or Barcelona?

People visit Lisbon because there is so much to do. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. 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.

Barcelona is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


Five days in Lisbon or Barcelona?

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

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Barcelona. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Lisbon or Barcelona?

Lisbon is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Lisbon, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Many travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the laid-back big city of Barcelona. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Which city is cheaper, Barcelona or Lisbon?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Lisbon is €105, 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 Lisbon and Barcelona in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lisbon 47
    Barcelona 75
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lisbon 94
    Barcelona 150

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lisbon 19
    Barcelona 15
Typical Local Transportation prices in Lisbon

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


  • Taxi Ride
    6.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lisbon

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

  • Lisbon Shared Transfer: To or From the Airport: $9.58
  • Lisbon Shared Transfer: To or From the Airport: $11
  • Lisbon Private Transfer to Airport: $11
  • Lisbon Airport Shared Departure Transfer: $11
  • Lisbon Airport Shared Arrival Transfer: $11
  • Lisbon Private Transfer: To or From the Airport: $11
  • Private Transfer To or From Lisbon Airport: $11
  • Shared Transfer Between Airport and City Hotels: $11
  • From Freeport Shopping Experience with Transfers: $11
  • Lisbon Airport Arrival Shared Transfer: $11
  • Lisbon Shared Departure Transfer to Airport, Train or Port: $11
  • Lisbon Shared Arrival Transfer from Airport, Train or Port: $11

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:

  • 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 Lisbon or Barcelona?

Prices for flights to both Barcelona and Lisbon 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
    Lisbon 34
    Barcelona 27
Typical Food prices in Lisbon

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


  • Coffee
    2.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lisbon

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

  • Virtual Portuguese Cooking Lesson: $31
  • Live Online Cooking Class from Pastel de Nata with Filipa: $39
  • Bohemian dinner party on a beautiful rooftop near the coast: $42
  • 2-Hour Pastel de Nata Cooking Class: $51
  • The magic of Pasteis de Nata cooking class in Lisbon: $53
  • Bitemojo Self Guided Food Tour New To Lisbon: $54
  • Withlocals Your Way: Lisbon Personalised Private Food Tour: $56
  • Pastel de Nata Cooking Class with Local Baker: $57
  • Private Groups: Pastel de Nata cooking class and tasting in Lisbon's pastry shop: $57
  • Authentic Portuguese dinner with a local chef: $58
  • Lisbon Food Tour: $62
  • Lisbon Old Town Food Tour by Sitway: $63

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.
    Lisbon 19
    Barcelona 27

Tours and Activities in Lisbon

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

  • Lisbon Downtown Tour - The Perfect Introduction to the City: $1.24
  • Lisbon Historical Walking Tour: $3.11
  • Sintra Myths and Legends Interpretative Center Entry Ticket: $3.99
  • Contemporary Park of Nations Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.48
  • The Soul of Alfama Self-guided Audio Tour by VoiceMap Lisbon: $5.99
  • Museu Coleção Berardo Admission Ticket: $6.22
  • Skip the Line: Pilar 7 Bridge Experience Admission Ticket: $6.22
  • Street Art Virtual Tour in Lisbon: $6.22
  • Lisboa Story Centre: 1-Day Admission Ticket: $7.41
  • Lisboa Story Centre Admission Ticket: $8.09
  • Capuchos Convent Skip-the-Line Ticket: $8.71
  • Calouste Gulbenkian Museum Admission Ticket: $12

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:

  • #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
    Lisbon 14
    Barcelona 14

Sample the Local Flavors in Lisbon

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Lisbon:

  • 1-Hour Portuguese Wine Tasting Session: $22
  • 3-Hour Portuguese History & Flavors Food & Wine Tour: $30
  • Portuguese Wine Tasting and Cheese Lunch: $56
  • Christ the King and Arrábida Small-Group Tour with Wine Tasting from Lisbon: $58
  • Craft Beer, Port & Wine Tour: $68
  • Food & Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $75
  • Santuário Cristo Rei-Sesimbra-Castle Palmela-Bacalhoa Winery with wine tasting: $81
  • Full-Day Évora Wine Tour: $84
  • Wine Tasting in Lisbon: $87
  • Private Van Tour Arrabida and Wine Tasting: $89
  • Wine tasting Private Day Tour ARRABIDA: $92
  • Van Private Tour Arrábida Wine Tour: $96

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 Lisbon and Barcelona, we can see that Barcelona is more expensive. And not only is Lisbon much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Lisbon would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Lisbon 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 Lisbon.

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Lisbon vs. Barcelona Travel Comparison

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