Most of the hotels offer parking facility and NOT free parking. However, my friends tell me that Lugaris apartments near the beach offer free parking for those guests who book directly with them.
The other option is to book into hotels away from the city center. For instance, if you book into Novotel Barcelona Cornella, you can park for free in the surrounding areas. The hotel is away from hustle and bustle of Barcelona but close enough to a metro station and even a medium size shopping mall. Personally, will not recommend parking in the unsecured open area but you can take a chance in the streets nearer to this hotel.Look for parking spaces that are not marked in yellow, blue or green but are marked in white.
If you are looking for a vacation rental on airbnb, zero-in on apartments in Montjuïc area and the upper parts of Poble Sec. There are many free free parking areas and your host must be able to find you a free parking.
Drop your car for Barcelona leg of the tour
It is a pain to find a car park in Barcelona. If you do manage to find one, it is expensive. It makes sense to drop off your car and rehire at the end of your Barcelona leg of the tour. That way, you will save money and the headache!
To move within Barcelona, you should buy T10 pass and use public transport.
How difficult is it to find car parking?
If you use Google Maps, you can find "parking difficulty" icon in Maps which will indicate how hard it will be to find a spot for your vehicle.
Car parks with low charges
If you cannot rehire the car, drop your car at one of the car parks with low charges. My suggestion is to park at NN Zona Franca Car Park. Per day parking fee is less than €10. Much cheaper than what any hotel will charge you.
You should park your car at NN Zona Franca car park and then use metro to reach your hotel.
Car parking at city center is expensive
Parking tariffs are based on the demand -supply for parking. City center areas like Eixample and Ciutat Vella, have the highest parking tariff (called Zone A). The rates go down substantially as you move away from city center and tourist attractions. In Zone A, tariff can be €2.5 per hour with maximum parking time of 1 - 2 hours.
Do not feel tempted to find the hotel with free car parking. Parking is expensive in Barcelona and nobody is going to offer it for free.(If they do, they will be indirectly charging the same under different heading!)
Read fine print with regard to car parking
- Offsite parking reservations required - You will have to inform the hotel about the need of parking and they will help you reserving a parking place near the hotel
- Free parking nearby - Confirm with the hotel manager or the host, if it is secured or is it parking on the streets
- Self parking (surcharge) - You have to pay extra to park in either a public parking or a private parking area. Before booking, check with hotel about the the surcharge and where to park.