Hi guys, this is the first time I'm travelling to Europe and am a tad bit lost. Would really appreciate it if anyone could tell me where I could stay in these places and some must-see sights. My budget is about 50 Euros a night for 2 people. The problem that I'm having mainly is which area I should stay in, in each of these places so tht I will be close enough to the touristy stuff to be able to walk around. Also, how much can I expect to spend a day? I'm pretty much on a tight budget. Appreciate any help I can get. Thanks!
If those 50 euro´s include a place to sleep you are indeed on a tight budget.. All three cities belong to the more expensive ones in Europe.
You could book a hostel if you do not mind sleeping in a room with strangers, if you prefer some more privacy you could look into budgethotels or apartments (which are often cheaper then hotels).
http://www.hotel.nl/en/ is a website where all hotels are under 30 euro´s a night. In Paris, do not expect a lot of luxury for this price, hotels are particularly expensive over there. I booked a cheap one last year and although it was clean and big, it was so slanted that I ended up rolling on top of my partner when lying down in bed everytime. Barcelona and Madrid are a bit better.
In Paris, I believe a good place to stay is either the Latin Quarter, with a lot of bars and restaurants or around Les Halles. Both these neighbourhoods are lively and close to most of the main sights. You probably want to go to the Eiffeltower, Arc de Triomph, Louvre including the tullieres (gardens, very nice when the weather is allright), Notre Dame and the Sacre Coeur. If you want to save some money I can advise you to climb the Arc de Triomph instead of the Eiffeltower, it is cheaper, not so busy and although it is not as high as the eiffeltower you still get an incredible view of the city. The view is also very nice from the stairs of the Sacre Coeur and in the evening you will quite often see local performers playing music there. It is free and usually people walk around selling cans of beer and other drinks for a low price.
Do not go to bars and terraces around populair sights because you will pay a lot of money for a drink or snack over there (I spend 5 euro´s on a glass of diet coke and 7 on a beer around Centre Pompidou). The restaurants in Quartier Latin are usually a good price but pay attention to the prices of drinks when they offer a cheap menu!
In Barcelona the best place to stay according to me is Eixample. It is a very big district and most of the main sights can be found over here, it is also known to be safer then other districts, although I have never had any problems in other districts either so far. the Born district is nice as well because you will find a lot of bars over there.
The main sights in Barcelona are La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló and La Pedrera (also named Casa Mila), Park Guell, The beach, Montjuic (a hill in the south west), Las Ramblas (big shoppingstreet), Barri Gótic, the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia and the district Gracia. To much for one forum post actually.
Check the following website for more sights: http://www.all-barcelona-guide.com/en/sights/
For all cities goes that going into certain sights is usually quite expensive, just like going to a restaurant or bar close to a tourist attraction. So consider walking into a less tourist area before sitting down. The sights I named above are all very interesting without entering the buildings (if you can enter them anyway) so you do not necesseraly have to spend a lot of money on that.
If you want more information or have some other questions, just ask
Thanks so mch for your detailed reply! It's extremely helpful as I now have a rough idea of where I can start my holiday planning Will let you know if I need anymore help!
Glad to be helpful! I will keep checking this thread then once in while.