Catalan delicacies, neo-Gothic structure, sandy seashores, rugged mountains, and a colourful historical past. Did we point out Catalan delicacies? Barcelona, Spain has each cause to be excessive on the checklist for journey bucket lists.
Town is a mix of influences, there’s the general Spanish tradition however tucked alongside proud Catalan tradition. There’s a lengthy historical past of independence claims, civil conflict and unrest. Combine this in with an enormous migrant and expat neighborhood and also you discover a mix of cultures, cuisines, languages and kinds.
Perhaps you want to keep within the coronary heart of the previous city and Gothic structure, or do you wish to expertise the mix of metropolis and seashore in Barceloneta? It may very well be that you’re extra of an uptown kinda individual and wish to keep within the coronary heart of Eixample, surrounded by towering buildings, limitless purchasing alternatives and Gaudi round what looks as if nearly each nook.
Both manner, now we have the most effective of the barrios (neighborhoods) laid out so that you can determine for your self!
This information was written by Sensible Wanderlust’s Head of E-mail and Affiliate Advertising Natalie Collins, Barcelona resident, avid metropolis explorer and fellow Cava lover. Take it away, Natalie!
Psst: On the lookout for extra issues to do in Barcelona throughout your journey? We’ve acquired a submit about our favourite food & wine tour in Barcelona, which we extremely suggest. We even have extra posts on travel in Europe.
Psst: Obtain the strolling tour to seek out all of the hidden spots from a Barcelona resident!
Barcelona Journey Suggestions
Earlier than we dive into the barrio round-up, listed below are a number of ideas that will help you put together in your journey to Barcelona.
- Be aware of the season: Barcelona splendidly experiences all 4 seasons, so don’t assume it’s heat year-round. Winter will get chilly and damp! One of the best months for vacationers are the Spring (late March to early June) and Autumn (late September to early November) months. Temperatures are snug, and town parks and tree-lined avenues look lovely. Additionally means fewer thick winter layers to pack!
- Put together a number of Spanish phrases: Barcelona is in Catalonia, a Spanish area with a historical past of independence claims from the Spanish state. True Barcelona locals are sometimes fiercely Catalan, with Catalan as their first language, Spanish second and English coming someplace after that if wanted. So you’ll do higher with both a fundamental grasp of Spanish and even some Catalan – don’t simply assume you will get away with English, though most vacationer locations do converse English!
- Keep secure: Pickpockets are a giant drawback in Barcelona, and the locations I like to recommend avoiding are the worst locations you might be more likely to encounter thieves. Don’t depart your cellphone on a desk, preserve your valuables in a cash belt, don’t journey sporting an expensive-looking watch and preserve your bag both tied to your chair or in your knee. At all times be vigilant!
- Eat all of the food and drinks all of the cava: Catalan and Spanish delicacies is scrumptious, with plenty of contemporary hearty elements, good olive oils and little tapas plates. There may be additionally the Basque affect with some nice pintxo eating places, which is my favourite method to eat! Cava can be made within the area so respectable cava prices little or no. Take a food and wine tour should you can to expertise it multi functional afternoon.
- Don’t name it Barca: Locals and long-term residents get actually sniffy about Barca/Barna. The proper abbreviation is Barna; Barca is the soccer crew. I nonetheless really feel bizarre calling it Barna so simply follow Barcelona.
- Carry snug strolling sneakers: Town is extremely walkable however elements of it are hilly and you’ll cowl much more floor than you notice whereas gawking on the structure. So pack respectable sneakers you already know will preserve your ft comfortable and benefit from the stroll! To assist, we’ve acquired a Barcelona self-guided walking tour – and we’ve additionally acquired ideas for the most effective strolling sneakers for journey. Listed below are our favourite journey sneakers for men and for women.
- Totally different areas even have totally different hyperlinks to different elements of town: The metro system is superb and pretty straightforward to navigate however should you desire to keep away from utilizing it or buses then it is advisable to base your self strolling distance to the belongings you wish to see or no less than on the identical metro line to keep away from a number of stops and modifications. An space could also be quarter-hour away in a taxi however takes 45 minutes by metro or bus, so bear in mind the place you wish to be in relation to the place you wish to keep.
- Keep away from short-term condominium leases: The housing market in Barcelona has been monopolized by vacationer leases, driving costs up a lot increased than is inexpensive for residents and creating quite a lot of scams and disparity. Motels have been badly affected by the pandemic in order that they deserve the help fairly than grasping property house owners who would fairly depart an condominium empty as an alternative of renting it for an affordable value to a neighborhood. There are even new legal guidelines proscribing vacationer licenses and you might be now not allowed to hire a room short-term, so don’t contribute to the housing disaster, be a accountable vacationer, and keep in a lodge!
- In case your check-in and check-out occasions don’t sync up together with your must roam the streets and also you want a spot to retailer your baggage, take a look at LuggageHero: This service helps you discover a secure place to maintain your baggage whilst you’re operating round so that you don’t stand out like a blatant vacationer! Use the code PRACTICALW for two hours of free baggage storage on us.
The place to Keep in Barcelona
Barcelona is damaged up into separate neighborhoods known as barrios, every with its personal distinct character, vibe and enchantment. To the uninitiated, you might battle to know the place to go and what to do, however don’t fear, I acquired you lined!
As with many cities, there’s additionally an enormous financial variation. Strolling alongside Passeig de Gràcia you’ll see customers swinging baggage from Gucci, Versace and Saint Laurant, after which step down La Rambla simply 10 minutes away and discover quirky low-cost hippy outlets promoting handmade crafts, knock-off clothes and avenue meals. Barcelona is that sort of place!
This provides to the appeal of town, you might be all the time only a brief stroll or turning a nook away from discovering one thing utterly totally different and discovering a hidden gem. Which does make looking down meals and souvenirs actually enjoyable – every thing your coronary heart needs could be present in Barcelona!
Outdated Metropolis: El Born & Gothic
The previous a part of Barcelona is the very first thing that involves thoughts for many vacationers once they consider Barcelona, and it’s true it’s the most charming a part of town. Stuffed with previous winding streets, lovely historic buildings, church buildings, lovely eating places and hidden options round each nook.
That is the place you will see that Barcelona Cathedral, the Picasso Museum, Arc de Triomf, La Rambla, and an entire host of different well-known landmarks. It truly is the most effective place to remain in Barcelona for a primary go to.
Nevertheless, you do want to choose rigorously as some streets are a bit of shadier than others, some are noisy, and people cute winding streets aren’t as enjoyable to remain in should you don’t see daylight out of your lodge room window.
This barrio has nice transport hyperlinks to the remainder of town and is a brief stroll to the seashore, with elements of it opening out onto the marina at Port Vell so that you get views of the blue Mediterranean Sea. The realm can be extra open to vacationers so that you usually tend to discover a place to seize a espresso and a pastry in case you are an early morning kind of individual.
That is additionally the most effective place to base your self in case you are planning on taking our Self-Guided Walking Tour of Barcelona. A lot of the tour covers this space and can be the place you end so you’re a brief stroll again to your lodge afterward.
The place to Keep in El Born & Gothic
There are a mix of expensive motels on this space in addition to some significantly funds hostels. Under are a few of our favorites:
- Hostal Fernando is a type of good kinds of hostels with clear, vivid rooms. It additionally overlooks Església de Sant Jaume, which is a reasonably, previous church. Historical past in your windowsill!
- For one thing a bit of fancier Barcelona Hotel Colonial is correct within the coronary heart of Gothic in a ravishing colonial constructing, a brief stroll down the road takes you to Port Vell Marina and a visit in another path takes you thru medieval streets.
- If you wish to keep as shut as potential to the eccentric La Rambla then the May Ramblas Hotel is the one for you. It’s positioned only some doorways down a aspect avenue from La Rambla and can be the identical avenue you head all the way down to get to the Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi.
Barceloneta / Seaside
For these wanting extra for the seashore vibes then Barceloneta is for you. This barrio is a small space made up of completely aligned streets so it’s nearly not possible to get misplaced. To 1 aspect is Port Vell, to the south is the seashore, head north to El Born and east to Villa Olympica, the Olympic village from when Barcelona hosted the 1992 summer time Olympics.
Barceloneta correct is a superb place to really feel you might be staying proper on the seashore with out lacking out on that Barcelona previous metropolis appeal. The buildings aren’t essentially as fairly as different elements of town however the seashore ambiance is nearly year-round.
You’ll discover chiringuitos (seashore bars) open from Spring to mid-Autumn and there are all the time folks skateboarding and curler skating down the cycle paths alongside the entrance, so be careful as you stroll!
The place to Keep in Barceloneta / Seaside
There are a number of bigger motels on this space as you’ll count on with it being beachside however the costs are wildly costly. Try the well-known landmark lodge The W, lovely and epic views however out of funds for many vacationers! You possibly can nonetheless catch the views at their rooftop cocktail lounge and nightclub, should you can snag a desk!
- Whereas technically not in Barceloneta it’s simply throughout the street from the place the barrio begins, the Hotel Oasis has a tremendous rooftop pool and terrace and appears out in direction of the marina. From right here you possibly can entry El Born, Gothic and Barceloneta in only a brief stroll.
- Hotel 54 Barceloneta is correct on the entrance overlooking the marina and steps away from the seashore, this is able to be my decide if going for the seashore lodge possibility. The rooftop bar can be like a bit of backyard paradise, good for resting after an extended day of exploring.
- For a extra funds room, the Sea Hostel is a superb decide for dorm room-style lodging, it is usually subsequent door to a restaurant, Buenas Migas, that does fairly superb pastries. Get up early, seize a espresso and pastry for a dawn stroll alongside the seashore.
Welcome to Eixample, the world that you simply’ll see most in aerial photographs of Barcelona, these good purple sq. blocks and streets aligned to OCD ranges. This a part of town is the place the well-known avenues of Diagonal and Passeig de Gracia run by, it’s the place the designer outlets are and can be the bigger of the districts in Barcelona.
The roads are additionally very driveable, other than the irritating purple mild cease/begin system which does make visitors heavier right here. However most motels have respectable sound insulation so you possibly can keep away from visitors noise so long as you retain your home windows closed.
This space is charming for its typical Barcelona fashion with lengthy avenues, Guadi’s spectacular buildings, and delightful balconies. You’ll discover Casa Batlo and Casa Mila, Plaza Catalunya to the south, Casa de les Punxes and plenty of different architectural beauties. Strolling round this space you’ll simply preserve stumbling into one other lovely constructing after one other, and should you get onto a rooftop someplace you’ll see much more.
The purchasing can be unimaginable right here with every thing from high-end designer shops, to excessive avenue purchasing, to unbiased boutiques. If you wish to store with out having to stroll far to drop your baggage again on the lodge, that is the place to do it.
This space can be very well linked with public transport, the buses run recurrently and there are quite a lot of metro stations in addition to prepare stations at each Passeig de Gràcia and at Plaza Catalunya.
The place to Keep in Eixample
As you’ll count on there isn’t a scarcity of motels in Eixample, from simpler budgets to luxurious high-end motels. Listed below are some fo the most effective ones:
- After I first arrived in Barcelona I booked into Hostalin Barcelona Gran Via and it’s the place I like to recommend associates to remain for an excellent worth lodge. The employees was a dream throughout my keep, the rooms are vivid and cozy and it’s canine pleasant!
- For bougie fanciness proper on Passeig de Gràcia with the views to match the Hotel Royal Passeig de Gràcia is a superb alternative, and although the value is a bit of increased it’s not eye-watering. You may go all out for a collection with a non-public terrace or simply benefit from the rooftop terrace which is equally pretty.
- If you wish to exit your lodge to the odor of contemporary bread and pastries then it is advisable to e book Praktik Bakery, with rooms as contemporary because the bread and a brief stroll to Diagonal. Simply ensure to not hang around and go discover (hehehe)!
The place else to remain in Barcelona aside from near the enduring Basílica de la Sagrada Família! If that is your major cause for visiting Barcelona, and no one will decide you whether it is then that is the place to remain. You possibly can meander across the cafes within the space, sit in parks surrounding the basílica and usually gaze on the unimaginable work of Antoni Gaudí.
Admittedly the restaurant decisions aren’t the greatest, and aside from the Sagrada itself, the structure isn’t the prettiest in Barcelona, however it’s tremendous near Eixample and simple to get to different elements of town.
The place to Keep in Sagrada Família
After all, in case you are staying on this space then you definately completely want a lodge with views of the basílica, which aren’t the most cost effective rooms within the metropolis however there are some well-priced motels price checking into.
- Sensation Sagrada Família has serviced residences with a ravishing shared roof terrace overlooking the enduring church. Right here you will get the bonus of a non-public condominium whereas nonetheless having the chance to take pleasure in a shared house with fellow vacationers.
- For a lodge possibility, the Sercotel Rosellón has vivid rooms, an excellent breakfast and a roof terrace with solar loungers pointing at Sagrada, an iconic method to spend a day should you ask me!
On the lookout for a hidden boho artist vibe? Then Gràcia is your spot. Till the nineteenth century, this was an unbiased city and residents are sometimes long-term locals and happy with their neighborhood.
Now the world is fashionable and filled with unbiased outlets, boutiques, and cafes. Plaça de Sol is a central level the place folks hang around to socialize, drink and indulge within the bakeries and gelato outlets close by.
This space is comparatively near Passeig de Gràcia however appears like a distinct world to the designer shops and busy avenue. The streets are largely pedestrianized and there’s a extra eclectic combine of individuals strolling the streets.
The realm can be identified for its festivals, historically every neighborhood has its personal mini-festivals however the one in Gràcia is extensively often known as the most effective. Streets are lined with decorations and stalls, with some streets working in competitors for the most effective decor. Though bear in mind should you go to in the summertime throughout these festivals you shouldn’t count on any peace and quiet, the events can go on all evening!
The place to Keep in Gràcia
This isn’t a primary alternative amongst vacationers so you’ll really feel such as you’ve hit a bit of hidden gem, and motels are usually a bit of cheaper too.
- Hotel Ronda Lesseps is a cute lodge with a ravishing inside courtyard backyard connected to the lodge bar. Additionally it is only a 15-minute stroll to a different of Gaudí’s iconic designs, Parc Güell. Benefit from the peace hidden away from the bustle of town on this little oasis.
- A extra upmarket possibility with a rooftop pool is the Catalonia Park Güell lodge, costs aren’t vastly totally different however it’s barely extra outdoors the central a part of Gràcia. Rooftop swimming pools in motels are an actual deal with however they do get busy so keep in mind to order a solar lounger in your afternoon poolside.
Canine-Pleasant Motels in Barcelona
If you’re like the remainder of Staff Sensible Wanderlust and are a proud canine proprietor you’ll be happy to listen to that Barcelona is a superb place to journey together with your furry greatest pal.
Most eating places are accommodating, quite a lot of outlets have water bowls outdoors for passing canines and it isn’t unusual to see canines becoming a member of purchasing journeys. My canine loves coming purchasing, it normally means getting plenty of love from retailer attendants, treats and new locations to smell.
Actually most locations you possibly can carry your canine with you, much more so if it’s a smaller canine. Nevertheless, simply bear in mind that in the summertime months (from Might to October) canines aren’t allowed on the principle seashores so you’ll have to discover the dog beach simply outdoors the principle metropolis middle.
After I arrived in Barcelona with my pup I booked right into a dog-friendly lodge and I’ve a number of associates who’ve additionally executed the identical. A variety of motels are used to canine companions and accommodate them fairly simply. So should you journey together with your little pal these are the most effective locations to remain.
- Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella: This lodge is correct reverse Ciutadella Park, which is by far top-of-the-line parks for canines within the metropolis. Mornings and evenings are a hub for canine house owners with pups enjoying on the grass collectively, and there’s a kiosk within the park for human refreshments. The lodge can be a brief stroll to the seashore and throughout from El Born, completely positioned for exploring town. The lodge itself is gorgeous, it’s designed to merge nature with native structure and magnificence, and the bar space is spacious and overlooks the park. There may be additionally a stunning outside space to take pleasure in an aperitif.
- Hotel Balmes: An actual gem of a lodge, they really have a particular bundle for canines, Keep & Canine. This treats your pup as a particular visitor with its personal mattress, meals and water bowls, treats and snacks and toys, and housekeeping can be delicate to their particular guests. There may be additionally an African artwork assortment all through the lodge, a backyard and a pool.
- Hostalin Barcelona Gran Via: This lodge has 2 areas not too removed from one another, as talked about once I arrived in Barcelona I stayed on the Gran Through lodge and it was really unimaginable. The rooms are clear and spacious, and the employees are superb and really accommodating. The identical vibe can be at their different lodge Diputación, each are in Eixample and very well positioned for accessing the remainder of town.
The place To not Keep in Barcelona
Barcelona as an entire is fairly secure and there are few areas to keep away from, these are normally simply sure streets fairly than complete areas and it’s extra of simply being conscious fairly than anticipating to be robbed. You hear horror tales and sure they do occur however in case you are an skilled traveler and preserve your wits about you, you’ll be superb. It helps to bear in mind that Barcelona has quite a lot of poverty and the common wage completely doesn’t match the price of residing and housing right here.
There may be additionally a big impoverished migrant inhabitants and homeless folks in sure areas, if this offends you then higher to keep away from town totally as nobody space is healthier than others.
Apart from that, there are some areas of town which can be simply not price staying in, and I’ll clarify the place and why.
Usually whenever you hear tales of pickpockets, you might be listening to tales of Raval, which is positioned to the west aspect of La Rambla.
The realm is charming in its personal manner, however I wouldn’t suggest it for vacationers. There are some nice eating places tucked away and a few actually enjoyable bars however strolling residence at nighttime isn’t advisable.
- The place to Keep as an alternative: If you’re nonetheless in search of the quirky previous city fashion that elements of Raval have then keep in Gothic as an alternative. You’ll nonetheless have the identical tourist-friendly hustle and bustle and loads of previous buildings to marvel at however much less of the after-dark considerations. May Ramblas Hotel is effectively positioned for La Rambla with out the night security challenges.
Sant Gervasi-Galvany is up within the hills of town and could be very residential. Housing could be fairly costly right here and the boutiques and cafes cater to a distinct clientele than what most vacationers could be excited about.
It’s near the hills of Tibidabo, Barcelona’s highest peak, and the views throughout town could be pretty however transport hyperlinks aren’t nice so it will likely be an extended stroll or a number of metro and bus stops to get to the place you wish to be.
- The place to Keep as an alternative: Shut by is Eixample, this has the identical metropolis residential vibe however with extra appeal and simpler entry to the remainder of town. Additionally think about Gràcia for a similar causes. Praktik Bakery offers you that very same native vibe however in a greater location.
In case you hunt for lodging that’s easy accessibility to the airport then that is the primary neighborhood to have a look at, it is usually near the enduring Montjuïc which is fantastic to discover. You may as well go see the fountain present at Plaza Espanya.
Nevertheless, to get wherever you have to to leap on the metro or prepare, it’s effectively linked however if you wish to stroll to the remainder of town you should have fairly an extended stroll. It’s a quieter space to remain in however the fixed want to make use of the metro can gradual you down.
Additionally as it’s a major transport connection level it does are usually actually busy within the stations, which may get overwhelming in case you are determining the best way to get to the place you wish to be.
- The place to Keep as an alternative: For straightforward entry to the airport look near Plaza Catalunya. The metro cease is central so will get you the place it is advisable to be in addition to the Sants cease does. Additionally it is a major level for the airport shuttle buses to start out from, which is by far the best method to get to the airport fairly cheaply. Praktik Bakery once more is very well positioned for ease to journey.
The place to Keep in Barcelona: Abstract
That’s various data! So to wrap it up right into a bite-size piece, right here now we have an at a look abstract:
- The Finest Areas to Keep in Barcelona: Go for the Outdated Metropolis or Eixample for traditional Barcelona vibes.
- The Finest Motels in Barcelona: Finest choices are Barcelona Hotel Colonial, Hostelin Barcelona Gran Via and Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella, any of these will make your keep iconic.
- The Finest Canine-Pleasant Motels in Barcelona: Once more one other vote for Hostelin Barcelona Gran Through and Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella. Can not beat these for canine lovers!
So why aren’t we recommending any AirBnBs? In brief, AirBnB and brief time period condominium leases have screwed the housing market in Barcelona, in addition to many different cities world wide. Discovering an precise residence within the metropolis is an actual drawback and the costs have been pushed so excessive by vacationer leases that the common individual can’t afford them. Legal guidelines have now restricted vacationer licenses however this hasn’t executed a lot to cease the issue that was already created. So that you don’t contribute to the very actual housing disaster within the metropolis, we suggest you to be a responsible traveler and select to remain in motels as an alternative, which have been after all closely affected by the pandemic and deserve all of the vacationer love once more.
That ought to provide the greatest concepts of the place to remain so you possibly can plan the remainder of your journey! While you’re within the starting stage don’t neglect to join our Self-Guided Walking Tour of Barcelona to get a downloadable information to discover town!
Which space would you want to remain in? Is there a sure a part of Barcelona you might be most enthusiastic about seeing? Tell us within the feedback beneath
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