Barcelona is one of my favorite European cities. The food, the people, the history, the architecture… this place is ready to wow every type of traveler. And with many points and miles to choose from to visit Barcelona, you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to save money. Here’s my complete guide to visiting Barcelona on points and miles. (Written by Kendyl of kendyltravels.com).
Personally, I like to travel to Barcelona in the winter (December-March). The weather is fair, and there are hardly any tourists. Plus, it’s the best time to get some great points and miles rates on airfare and hotels.
One of the best points and miles options is using Flying Blue Miles. Almost every major card transfer partner will run bonuses to Flying Blue every couple of months, which can easily save you 20-30% on the number of miles needed.
Flying Blue business class redemptions are around 55,000 points if you have flexible travel dates. And if you wait for a 20-30% transfer bonus, it can be a really good deal. If you don’t want to fly business class, you can book a Flying Blue economy redemption for as little as 15,000 miles each way. You can transfer points into Flying Blue from all major bank travel cards – American Express, Chase, Citi, and Capital One.
Or, consider transferring your points to Virgin Atlantic for a roundtrip flight for as few as 12,000 points from the East Coast. Like FlyingBlue, you can transfer points from any major travel credit card program.
There are many other ways to book to Barcelona. Iberia is a good choice, as outlined in this post. I have also flown there on United Airlines.
One of my favorite places to stay in Barcelona is the Kimpton Vivadora in the Gothic Quarter. The hotel is in a great location, close to La Rambla street and many Gothic Quarter attractions, and offers a free wine happy hour every day. Kimpton is a part of the IHG One Rewards, so you’ll need IHG points to book it. I like to use my Ihg Premier Rewards card for the 4th night free with points. What’s great about the Kimpton Vivadora is that many low-season nights will also qualify for your annual 40,000-point free-night certificate. You can’t combine the certificate with the 4th night free with points, but you can easily book a 5-night stay for under 100,000 points between them.
If you have an American Express Platinum card, there are many Fine Hotels + Resorts properties in good locations throughout Barcelona. You would use your $200 credit at one of them. Consider the Majestic Hotel and Spa, where you can book a room for around $250 a night. During your stay at a Fine Hotels + Resorts property with your Platinum card, you’ll also be given some other perks, including a $100 property credit, daily breakfast for two, 4:00 pm check-out, and a room upgrade (when available).
Every major hotel chain has hotels in Barcelona. Using points and miles for a stay there is quite easy!
Explore La Rambla
La Rambla is the Main Street of Barcelona. Filled with shopping and tons of visitors, it is a fun place to people-watch, shop, or eat.
Barcelona is home to the influence of Gaudi Architecture. Check out seven of his Unesco properties while in Barcelona. Their style is distinctive and recognizable!
Visit Park Guell for the absolute best views of Barcelona. Designed by Gaudi, you will appreciate how colorful and playful this park is!
Not far from the hustle of Barcelona, you’ll find one of the most stellar views at the Montserrat Monastery within the mountains. Wear some walking shoes and take a hike to the cross for a great view of the monastery. Viator has an excellent 1/2 day trip there.
Barcelona Tapas Tour
A trip to Spain is not complete without a tapas tour. There are many to choose from, but this one brings you to some local favorites at an affordable price.
La Sagrada Familia
Book your tickets in advance and see one of the most beautiful churches in the world. La Sagrada Familia offers a free app with a pretty good audio guide included with your ticket, so you don’t have to book a guided tour. This gorgeous church is the queen of Barcelona. Visiting Barcelona on points and miles will not be complete without a visit here!
The Picasso Museum showcases the early life and works of Pablo Picasso. It’s a pretty neat collection of works and even some photographs. Save €12 and head to the museum every Thursday between 4-7 for their free hours.
A local and tourist favorite, Canete is a great tapas bar at a higher-end price point. Get the clams, you won’t be disappointed.
Pinchos bar is around the corner from the Kimpton Vivadora, head here for a cheap lunch or dinner.
Tapas bar with lines of locals out the door, lose Caracoles gives a local experience in a restaurant with a truly historic vibe.
With a great selection of Spanish wines and a specialization in Mediterranean tapas, Guell is a great option for dinner.
Barcelona is one of the best European cities. You’ll love the points and miles prices, cheap pinchos and tapas, great local wines, and the incredible things to do. Visiting Barcelona on points and miles should be on your destination wishlist.
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