Barcelona is divided into 10 districts and more than 70 neighborhoods. With that many options it can be overwhelming to decide where you want to base yourself on a trip to the city. There are a number of factors you need to think about when determining what’s best for you, and everybody’s best choice will be different.
- If you are in town for a short time, aim to be closer to the attractions and in area where you do not have to sort out public transportation. Ideal option is to stay in Plaza Catalunya, the city center of Barcelona. You should also look at El Born neighbourhood
- If you like partying late into the night stay somewhere where you won’t have to spend a huge amount of time or money getting home from the best nightclubs, you can look at beachfront area
- If you like to get to sleep early aim to stay far away from the busy nightlife areas where noise will persist throughout the evening, Poble Sec neighbourhood could appeal to you.
- If you are embarking on a cruise, you could look at hotels near the cruise port
There are plenty of other things you should consider, but make sure you’re always prioritizing how you like to travel, everyone’s different!
Keep in mind that all room prices fluctuate throughout the year depending on demand.
Recommended hotels in popular neighborhoods
Centrally located, El Born is known for its shopping, culture and nightlife. It has very easy access to popular tourist destinations including the beaches, the gothic quarter, the Picasso museum and the park Ciutadella with the zoo.
It also has a few different metro stations to get you quickly to other spots throughout the city. El born has a great deal of small, local shops and the famous nightlife street of Passeig de Born.
Just on the edge of Parc de la Ciutadella is K + K Hotel Picasso. Your stay here will be more of an upscale one with a rooftop pool and terrace and rooms around €250/night. The hotel is on the larger side but the staff make your stay personal with friendly and helpful recommendations whenever you need them. The breakfast is big and delicious. The beds are comfortable and the rooms are big. This hotel cannot be faulted.
Catalonia Born, only a few steps further from Parc de la Ciutadella and on the edge of the El Born neighborhood is a bit more budget friendly with rooms running just under €100/night. The perfect location also boasts friendly staff and sound proof rooms. There’s a small pool on the rooftop, a buffet breakfast and a bar open in the afternoons and evenings.
Abutting the sea Barceloneta is a fiercely proud neighborhood with a dark history during the Spanish civil war. Today the only remnants of that time is La Bomba, the bomb shaped tapa created in honor of the hand grenades that used to be thrown in the area. Here you have the beach at your doorstep and plenty of day and nightlife.
Do be respectful of the residents (as you should be everywhere you go) there is a strong push back against tourists in the neighborhood. Don’t let that discourage you from staying and instead try to think how you would want visitors to your home acting. Keep your voices down at night and keep beach attire on the beach.
A truly luxurious option with rooms going for over €500/night is W Barcelona. Literally steps from the beach with to die for views this is the place to go to treat yourself. The rooftop pool provides room for mora than just a splash and comes with lounge chairs and poolside service. The W provides breakfast options as well as a trendy bar on premise.
With a similarly fabulous location Hotel 54 Barceloneta does not have a pool but the price drops to around €200/night and when you’re that close to the sea who needs a pool. The rooms are clean and the beds are comfortable. The staff is friendly and the restaurant provides breakfast as well as meals throughout the day.
El Raval is complicated. And its complications are why it’s so interesting. Historically the area was infamous for prostitution, drinking, crime and Hemingway. Today everything and nothing has changed. This area is not dangerous but if you are not a seasoned traveler and gritty streets worry you, this is not the place for you.
El Raval is often referred to as Barcelona’s china town and you’ll find a wonderfully diverse population in the area. It’s diversity only adds to its personality and you’ll find no shortage of small restaurants, drinking establishments and things to do in the neighborhood. The streets here are particularly at night, so if you’re a light sleeper, look elsewhere.
A unique stay away from the big, chain hotels can be found at Casa Camper Hotel Barcelona. The rooms cost around €200-250/night. The hotel is located on a pedestrian street which means no car traffic but that can mean more foot traffic, especially in the evening, so request a room higher up to enjoy peace and quiet. The Camper hotel offers a spectacular terrace as well as breakfast and an all-day snack bar. This is a stylish, comfortable choice which even offers a discount on the nearby shoe store of the same name!
On the upper edge of the El Raval neighborhood, Hotel Midmost offers spectacular comfort with a price tag of just €150/night. The rooms are beautifully decorated and cozy. The rooftop offers luxurious sun loungers around a small paddling pool as well as a bar with drinks and tapas. Breakfast is on offer but you’re not far from anywhere you’d like to be. Rooms are mostly quiet.
Quiet but bustling, Poble Sec is a local neighborhood free of heavily touristed attractions. You’ll be off just to the west of city center, don’t worry though, metros abound and you can easily get to what you want to see while pretending to be a local, at least while you’re in town. You’ll have no shortage of tapas bars, drinking bars, and nightlife, most of which will be filled with Catalonians.
One of the perks of staying away from central is that you can sleep somewhere as perfectly posh as Hotel Brummell with a price tag of just over €100/night. This boutique hotel which is hipster and trendy without being pretentious offers breakfast, a small terrace and pool as well as free yoga classes. The staff are full of local recommendations making you feel all the more local.
A budget option in Poble Sec, where you can get deals as low as €50/night is Hotel Paral – lel.