Where To Stay For Luxury: Eixample
If you like Gaudí, modern design, and high-end shopping, Eixample is where you should be hanging out while in Barcelona. The elegant neighborhood, known for its 19th-century street-grid design, has avenues flanked by upscale restaurants, cafés, and boutiques. Many of Gaudís works can be found here too, including Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, and La Sagrada Familia .
Best places to stay in Eixample
- BUDGET: St. Christophers Inn This is one of my favorite hostels in Europe. It has co-ed and female-only dorm rooms, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary breakfast. Theres also a laid-back bar on the premises and a shared kitchen, so its easy to hang out and meet people.
- MID-RANGE: Hotel Praktik Vinoteca Got wine? This sweet hotel does. Plenty of it. You can arrange to have a tasting of four different wines, led by the in-house master sommelier and accompanied by cheese and snacks.
- LUXURY: Cram Yeah, its kind of an odd name, but once you scan your card key and open the door to your ultra-comfy room, complete with huge beds, plush robes and slippers, and all the other trappings of luxury, you wont care what the name of the hotel is. Bonus: the in-house restaurant has two Michelin stars.
Where To Stay For Foodies: Sant Antoni
A relatively off-the-radar neighborhood for visitors, Sant Antoni is a hip part of town and a great place for those who like to indulge in food and drink. Browse the dozens of food stalls at the Mercat de San Antoni and then go on a vermouth crawl, sipping low-priced glasses of the libation while trying to decide which of the neighborhoods great restaurants youre going to dine in. Be sure to snap some photos of the Torres Venecianes, a monument from the 1920s inspired by Venice.
Best places to stay in Sant Antoni
- BUDGET: TOC Hostel Barcelona The social hostel offers backpackers a super secure place to stay . Theres a laid-back lounge and common area with games, and outdoor pool, and cozy pod beds that ensure youll get a decent sleep.
- MID-RANGE: Saint Antoni Market A stylish mid-range hotel, Sant Antoni Markets 68 rooms offer all the perks youd expect from a sleek hotel, plus bathrooms with large showers and magnifying mirrors.
- LUXURY: Eric Vökel Boutique Apartments A series of luxury apartments with spacious guests quarters. Some apartments have balconies and all have fully equipped kitchens.
Pars Tailors Hostel More Hipster Party
This one is for the one who wants to stay in a cool hostel, meet younger people and go out at night.
Pars Tailors Hostel has a central location, and they do run Pub Crawls.
The people staying here are usually younger from 18 up to 28, roughly.
The design is very hipster-ish, and they even have their own Paella Nights. Some nights of the week the whole hostel also moves to Plaza Espanya for the Magic Fountain Show.
I also love the central location here.
You are staying in the Hipster area of Sant Antoni, with plenty of cool bars, restaurants and cafés. Another advantage? You can take the Airport Shuttle bus from here directly, the bus stop is just 20 meters from here.
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Whats The Best Area To Stay In Barcelona
If its your first time visiting Barcelona, a stay in Barri Gòtic will serve you well. In this district, youre able to fully immerse yourself in the rich history of the city without sacrificing todays modern comforts. Get around by foot, eat at delicious tapas bars, and be the tourist you are. Its your first time in Barcelona after all!
If youre looking for a less touristy stay, go for accommodation in either the El Raval or Gracia neighborhoods. Both are known for being quieter but bursting with local life. Since these districts are outside of the center of the city, hotels and hostels will also be much less expensive than those in places like Barri Gòtic, El Born, or Las Ramblas.
Taking a luxurious vacation and looking for a stay to match? Spring for a suite in Las Ramblas or Eixample, where youll find gorgeous hotels with five-star amenities. Plus, staying here puts you just steps from some of the best shopping in Spain, and what would a luxurious vacation be without treating yourself?
Finally, if youre making your way to Barcelona for the sun, book a room in the Barceloneta area. Not only can you enjoy the best beach in the city, but youre also a quick walk away from other major attractions you may want to see that is if you can pull yourself off the sand for an afternoon.
Bonus : Best Hotels Near Barcelona El Prat Airport
Barcelona El Prat Airport is the main airport in the city and most probably the place where youll land if you arrive to the city by plane. The airport is located 15 km from the city center, which means around 20 minutes by car with no traffic.
In case you have a very late or very early flight, a wise idea would be to book your stay as close to the airport as possible. If you have decided to do so, here are the best airport hotels I have selected for you :
- AC Hotel by Marriott Gava Mar Airport Heres my recommendation for all travelers that are looking for easy access to El Prat Airport while also enjoying a super luxurious stay! This accommodation is very well placed, only 5.5 km from the airport.
- Ciutat del Prat This awesome hotel offers a great value for the money youll be paying and it is also very well located, only 3.2 km from the airport!
- BAH Barcelona Airport Hotel Are you traveling on a tight budget but still looking for an accommodation close to El Prat? No worries, this one is a good choice and its only 2.4 km from the airport.
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The Best Areas To Stay In Barcelona
I love Barcelona. What a great city. Its expansive but its city center is compact, walkable, and an absolute delight to make your base for a short or long term stay. Many of the best things to do in Barcelona are centrally located, but there are some that require a short metro ride, so your choice of neighborhoods to stay in will make a difference in what you see and how you get there.
Many of the best hotels in Barcelona and best hotels for families are dotted around the upscale Eixample neighborhood, though central Barri Gòtic and El Born also have their share of 4 and 5-star accommodations. Gràcia and Poblenou both have a good range of family-friendly accommodation, though the two neighborhoods are farther away from most of Barcelonas attractions. Poble Sec, El Raval, and Barceloneta all offer reasonably central midrange and budget accommodation.
Barri Gòtic is Barcelonas historical and geographical center. A tangle of medieval streets and plazas, this part of the city has been inhabited since Roman times and is home to the citys Gothic cathedral. Barri Gòtic is within a 20-minute walk from numerous attractions and most other neighborhoods of interest. This part of the city attracts the tourist crowds, and with good reason: its an all-rounder, with great dining, shopping, and numerous places to stay.
A Quick Barcelona Geography Overview
In order for you to really figure out where to stay in Barcelona, its pretty important to get a high-level layout of the city in your head. So, you know, you have some idea of what were talking about when we dive into the details about the best neighborhoods, and which are more central versus others that are further out.
Barcelona was founded by the Romans sometime in the range of 20 BCE 10 BCE. Originally called Barcino, it was an important spot along the Via Augustus during the Roman Empire, offering relatively easy access to the Iberian Peninsula.
Cituat Vella refers to the old city the one that was originally founded by the Romans millennia ago, and still stands in the same place today. Though, obviously, it looks just a tiny bit different today than it did then .
There are four neighborhoods that make up the Cituat Vella the Gothic Quarter, El Born, El Raval, and Barceloneta and youll find three out of four below. Despite their proximity to one another, theyre actually really distinct from one another, and well dive into the details of each in the guide below.
There were a series of smaller towns outside of the old city, the most well known is probably Gràcia. As the city expanded, it enveloped these towns and they became a part of Barcelona proper. As a result, each of those smaller towns has a very strong community feeling and distinct vibe. One of them happens to be our top pick for the best place to stay in Barcelona.
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What Area To Stay In Barcelona For Culture & History: El Raval
El Raval is the place to stay if you are looking to experience the most out of the citys culture. It has plenty of ethnic food joints, value bars, and sights you wont get anywhere else. There are also quite a few museums if you are looking to really looking to dive into Catalan culture and history.
There is one downside to El Raval. It might not be the most dangerous place in Barcelona, but it is known for a lot of petty crime. Watch out for uber-friendly people, and if you are traveling with a family, you might want to stay clear of this area.
A Stay Downtown Near Plaa De Catalunya
downtownPlaça de Catalunyamost popular Barcelona areaPlaça de Catalunya – Plaza Catalunya.brand newhotel Praktik ÈssensExceptionalIberostar Paseo de GraciaWonderfulPlaça de Catalunya medieval Barcelona – Ciutat Vella19th century modernist areaEixamplePlaça de CatalunyaMap hotels Plaça de Catalunya
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The Frum Leisure Culture And Party Squares
If youd like to visit one of Barcelonas most modern neighborhoods, choose The Fòrum. This once industrialized area has now one of the citys best spots for both culture and recreation.
If youre a party animal, you should know that Parc del Fòrum hosts Barcelonas largest events, including mega music festivals like La Mercè, Primavera Sound, and Feria de Abril.
In Parc del Fòrum, youll also discover:
- Museu Blau, the 82-ft. high Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona.
- Esplanade, the worlds second-largest square, covering 904,170 sq. ft. .
- Zona de Banys, a bathing zone with a rare set of sea-water swimming pools.
- Parc dels Auditoris, a gigantic outdoor area that combines two halls connected by a passageway.
Our recommendation: The neighborhood is also home to Port Fòrum, the largest dry marina in Catalonia. If you fancy an unusual, luxurious accommodation, book a night on a yacht.
Best Neighbourhoods To Stay In Barcelona
If you want to stay in the midst of the narrow and intricate medieval streets in Barcelona in one of the places strongly dominated by Gothic-style architecture, one of your best options will be the areas to the right of Las Ramblas where you will find authentic Gothic constructions a bit everywhere. The ambience is fabulous here and so it the acoustics in the squares when you listen to the local musicians playing! Take a stroll on Las Ramblas for people-watching and feel the vibe and the Catalan way of life!
Las Ramblas is the generally crowded plane tree-lined boulevard separating the two neighbourhoods El Raval on the left-hand side and the Barri Gòtic, the Gothic Quarter, on the right-hand side. A stroll along Las Ramblas is often entertaining since it is Barcelonas vibrant and lively pedestrian street featuring both flower sellers and human statues posing for a photo and a few coins.
Basílica de Santa Maria del PiBasílica of Our Lady of Mercy
Moreover, it is a great neighbourhood to spend half a day just strolling around, visiting a museum, exploring the small shops, enjoying a Catalan meal in one of the numerous restaurants and finally discovering the local nightlife and bars!
Mid-rangeCatalonia Portal de lAngel is a hotel set in a traditional 19th-century building, located between Plaza de Catalunya and Barcelonas Gothic Quarter. It offers a daily buffet breakfast, free Wi-Fi and an outdoor pool surrounded by painted murals.
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Where To Stay In Barcelona
Its no secret that choosing the right hotel or apartment can make or break a holiday, and deciding where to stay is possibly the most important decision youll make when planning a trip to Barcelona.
In this post, Ive pooled together the knowledge gained from more than twenty years of living in the city to help you decide which neighbourhood is best and find a hotel that fits your needs and expectations.
El Raval Where To Stay In Barcelona On A Budget
In case you want to taste some of the real Barcelona life, with both its good and bad sides, El Raval is your choice! It is one of the most controversial neighborhoods of the city, as you will get to see there very clearly the multiculturalism and gentrification of Barcelona.
El Raval is bursting with hipster cafes and cool shops and there are things happening every minute over there! Plus, its located close to El Poble Sec as well, so you can visit it if you want!
I recommend it to youngsters who dont mind the vivid Barcelona vibe!
If you feel like this is the best area for you, here are the top hotels in El Raval I have hand-picked for you:
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Barceloneta Best Neighbourhood For Beach Holidays
Attractions: Central: Nightlife: Relax:
This seaside neighbourhood is the best area to stay in Barcelona near the beach.
The old fishermans village still retains some of its charm of yesteryear, with old women sitting on stoops chatting afternoons away while children kick balls around narrow streets.
If any neighbourhood hasnt been completely taken over by mass tourism this is it youll have a great choice of local bars plus thebest restaurants in Barcelona, especially if you love fish.
Beach lovers cant go wrong as its only 5 minutes from the beach for this reason its an optimal spot for Barcelonas best holiday apartments. This is as close as youll get to direct beach access.
What you wont like is the enormous amount of foot traffic moving through on their beach holiday try to get a hotel not facing one of the main streets.
With only one metro station in the area trains get crowded especially during summer.
There are also hardly any tourist attractions and little hotel variety.
Top Things To See And Do In El Born
Enjoy a night of fiery flamenco at Palau Dalmases.
Excite your sense and dine with a twist at Dans Le Noir.
Relax and enjoy cocktails, cava, wine and more at Bodega Maestrazgo.
Rock out at Magic, a bar and nightclub that blast good old fashion rocknroll and alternative music.
Sip sophisticated cocktails at Dr Stravinsky.
Learn how to shake it at Collage Art & Cocktail Social Club.
Enjoy a great atmosphere and delicious cocktail at Porteno Cocktail Bar, one of the best little bars in the city.
Taste exquisite gin cocktails, mojitos and more at the chic and stylish Rubi Bar.
Charm your tastebuds at Dux, a hidden speakeasy that specializes in craft cocktails and homemade gin.
Cool down with a fresh and delicious mojito at Mamaine Mojitos.
Savour great food and even better gin cocktails at the Lime House.
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The Best Place To Stay In Barcelona For Culture History & Nature: Montjuic
Montjuic is a more laid back area in Barcelona. It offers museums, sporting facilities, and a lot of natural landscape. Here you wont find as many as tourists, and youll be able to experience of the culture that the locals actually enjoy day to day.
It offers something for couples, singles, and families as well as activities to fit everyones budget.
Where Should Couples Stay In Barcelona
Barcelona is one of the top romantic cities in the world and itâs the perfect destination for you and your significant other. If youâre in the city with your beloved, the best area to stay would be in the Gothic Quarter where all the historic neighborhoods and attractions are located. Some of the best villas and hotels in Barcelona for couples can be found near the top attractions in the city.
If youâre visiting Barcelona with your partner, this private room in a penthouse at the heart of Barcelonaâs Gothic Quarter is the perfect accommodation. It features a huge terrace overlooking plaza ReÃ¯al and a bathroom with a jacuzzi. For couples who want to be close to all the restaurants and trendy shops, this private room is the best choice. You can stroll around the historic neighborhood, enjoy traditional cuisine, and experience an amazing local vibe.
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Thanks To Jessica Our Barcelona Expert
Almost seven years ago to the date, I stepped foot in Barcelona for the very first time. I was studying abroad in southern Spain for a semester, and Id decided to make a weekend getaway to Barcelona. Less than a month later, I was back for another mini break. And a few months after that, Id signed up for a second study abroad in Barcelona. Within a year of finishing my program, Id moved to Barcelona with vague plans to teach English for a bit and definite plans to enjoy the city to the fullest.
That was in 2011, and now Ive been here for five years. Even though its been half a decade, the city still regularly sweeps me off my feet. Now, I work here as a freelance translator and travel writer. I make part of my living by helping people figure out what to do on their trips to the city as well as where to stay in Barcelona.
After five years here, Ive got a pretty good handle on where you can find the coolest neighborhoods in the city and the best areas to stay in Barcelona. And Id love to be able to share some of that with you!