Catalan delicacies, neo-Gothic structure, sandy seashores, rugged mountains, and a colourful historical past. Did we point out Catalan delicacies? Barcelona, Spain has each motive to be excessive on the checklist for journey bucket lists.
The metropolis is a mix of influences, there may be the general Spanish tradition however tucked alongside proud Catalan tradition. There is a protracted historical past of independence claims, civil struggle and unrest. Mix this in with an enormous migrant and expat group and also you discover a mix of cultures, cuisines, languages and kinds.
Maybe you’re looking to keep in the guts of the outdated city and Gothic structure, or would you like to expertise the mix of metropolis and seashore in Barceloneta? It might be that you’re extra of an uptown kinda particular person and wish to keep in the guts of Eixample, surrounded by towering buildings, countless procuring alternatives and Gaudi round what looks as if virtually each nook.
Either means, now we have one of the best of the barrios (neighborhoods) laid out for you to resolve for your self!
This information was written by Practical Wanderlust’s Head of Email and Affiliate Marketing Natalie Collins, Barcelona resident, avid metropolis explorer and fellow Cava lover. Take it away, Natalie!
Psst: Looking for extra issues to do in Barcelona throughout your journey? We’ve obtained a publish about our favourite food & wine tour in Barcelona, which we extremely suggest. We even have extra posts on travel in Europe.
Psst: Download the strolling tour to discover all of the hidden spots from a Barcelona resident!
Barcelona Travel Tips
Before we dive into the barrio round-up, listed here are just a few ideas to make it easier to 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! The finest months for vacationers are the Spring (late March to early June) and Autumn (late September to early November) months. Temperatures are comfy, and town parks and tree-lined avenues look stunning. Also means fewer thick winter layers to pack!
- Prepare just a few 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 may get away with English, though most vacationer locations do converse English!
- Stay protected: Pickpockets are an enormous drawback in Barcelona, and the locations I like to recommend avoiding are the worst locations you might be possible to encounter thieves. Don’t go away your cellphone on a desk, preserve your valuables in a cash belt, don’t journey carrying an expensive-looking watch and preserve your bag both tied to your chair or in your knee. Always be vigilant!
- Eat all of the food and drinks all of the cava: Catalan and Spanish delicacies is scrumptious, with a lot of contemporary hearty components, good olive oils and little tapas plates. There can be the Basque affect with some nice pintxo eating places, which is my favourite means to eat! Cava can be made in the area so first rate cava prices little or no. Take a food and wine tour if you happen to can to expertise all of it in one afternoon.
- Don’t name it Barca: Locals and long-term residents get actually sniffy about Barca/Barna. The appropriate abbreviation is Barna; Barca is the soccer workforce. I nonetheless really feel bizarre calling it Barna so simply keep on with Barcelona.
- Bring comfy strolling sneakers: The metropolis is extremely walkable however elements of it are hilly and you’ll cowl much more floor than you understand whereas gawking on the structure. So pack first rate sneakers you understand will preserve your ft joyful and benefit from the stroll! To assist, we’ve obtained a Barcelona self-guided walking tour – and we’ve additionally obtained recommendations for one of the best strolling sneakers for journey. Here are our favourite journey sneakers for men and for women.
- Different areas even have completely different hyperlinks to different elements of town: The metro system is great and pretty simple to navigate however if you happen to desire to keep away from utilizing it or buses then you definately want to base your self strolling distance to the stuff you need to see or not 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 preserve in thoughts the place you need to be in relation to the place you need to keep.
- Avoid short-term house leases: The housing market in Barcelona has been monopolized by vacationer leases, driving costs up a lot increased than is reasonably priced for residents and creating quite a lot of scams and disparity. Hotels had been badly affected by the pandemic in order that they deserve the assist fairly than grasping property house owners who would fairly go away an house empty as a substitute of renting it for an affordable value to a neighborhood. There are even new legal guidelines limiting 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 resort!
- If your check-in and check-out instances don’t sync up along with your want to roam the streets and also you want a spot to retailer your baggage, try LuggageHero: This service helps you discover a protected place to preserve your baggage when 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.
Where to Stay in Barcelona
Barcelona is damaged up into separate neighborhoods known as barrios, every with its personal distinct character, vibe and attraction. To the uninitiated, you might battle to know the place to go and what to do, however don’t fear, I obtained you coated!
As with many cities, there may be 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 retailers promoting handmade crafts, knock-off clothes and avenue meals. Barcelona is that type of place!
This provides to the allure of town, you might be all the time only a quick stroll or turning a nook away from discovering one thing fully completely different and discovering a hidden gem. Which does make searching down meals and souvenirs actually enjoyable – the whole lot your coronary heart wishes may be discovered in Barcelona!
Old City: El Born & Gothic
The outdated a part of Barcelona is the very first thing that comes to thoughts for many vacationers after they consider Barcelona, and it’s true it’s the most charming a part of town. Full of outdated winding streets, stunning historic buildings, church buildings, cute eating places and hidden options round each nook.
This is the place you’ll find Barcelona Cathedral, the Picasso Museum, Arc de Triomf, La Rambla, and a complete host of different well-known landmarks. It actually is one of the best place to keep in Barcelona for a primary go to.
However, you do want to decide rigorously as some streets are a bit shadier than others, some are noisy, and people cute winding streets aren’t as enjoyable to keep in if you happen to don’t see daylight out of your resort 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 space can be extra open to vacationers so you might be extra possible to discover a place to seize a espresso and a pastry if you’re an early morning kind of particular person.
This can be one of the best place to base your self if you’re planning on taking our Self-Guided Walking Tour of Barcelona. Most of the tour covers this space and can be the place you end so you’re a quick stroll again to your resort afterward.
Where to Stay in El Born & Gothic
There are a mix of expensive inns in this space in addition to some severely finances hostels. Below are a few of our favorites:
- Hostal Fernando is a kind of good types of hostels with clear, vibrant rooms. It additionally overlooks Església de Sant Jaume, which is a reasonably, outdated church. History in your windowsill!
- For one thing a bit fancier Barcelona Hotel Colonial is correct in the guts of Gothic in an exquisite 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 need 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 down to get to the Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi.
Barceloneta / Beach
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 virtually unattainable to get misplaced. To one 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 season Olympics.
Barceloneta correct is a good place to really feel you might be staying proper on the seashore with out lacking out on that Barcelona outdated metropolis allure. The buildings aren’t essentially as fairly as different elements of town however the seashore environment is sort of year-round.
You’ll discover chiringuitos (seashore bars) open from Spring to mid-Autumn and there are all the time individuals skateboarding and curler skating down the cycle paths alongside the entrance, so be careful as you stroll!
Where to Stay in Barceloneta / Beach
There are just a few bigger inns in this space as you’d anticipate with it being beachside however the costs are wildly costly. Check out the well-known landmark resort The W, stunning and epic views however out of finances for many vacationers! You can nonetheless catch the views at their rooftop cocktail lounge and nightclub, if you happen to can snag a desk!
- While technically not in Barceloneta it’s simply throughout the highway from the place the barrio begins, the Hotel Oasis has an incredible 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 quick stroll.
- Hotel 54 Barceloneta is correct on the entrance overlooking the marina and steps away from the seashore, this could be my decide if going for the seashore resort possibility. The rooftop bar can be like a bit backyard paradise, excellent for resting after a protracted day of exploring.
- For a extra finances room, the Sea Hostel is a good decide for dorm room-style lodging, it is usually subsequent door to a restaurant, Buenas Migas, that does fairly wonderful pastries. Wake 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 excellent 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 means of, it’s the place the designer retailers are and can be the bigger of the districts in Barcelona.
The roads are additionally very driveable, except for the irritating purple mild cease/begin system which does make site visitors heavier right here. But most inns have first rate sound insulation so you possibly can keep away from site visitors noise so long as you retain your home windows closed.
This space is charming for its typical Barcelona model 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 lots of different architectural beauties. Walking round this space you’ll simply preserve stumbling into one other stunning constructing after one other, and if you happen to get onto a rooftop someplace you’ll see much more.
The procuring can be unbelievable right here with the whole lot from high-end designer shops, to excessive avenue procuring, to impartial boutiques. If you need to store with out having to stroll far to drop your baggage again on the resort, that is the place to do it.
This space can be very well related with public transport, the buses run frequently and there are quite a lot of metro stations in addition to practice stations at each Passeig de Gràcia and at Plaza Catalunya.
Where to Stay in Eixample
As you’d anticipate there isn’t any scarcity of inns in Eixample, from simpler budgets to luxurious high-end inns. Here are some fo one of the best ones:
- When I first arrived in Barcelona I booked into Hostalin Barcelona Gran Via and it’s the place I like to recommend mates to keep for a terrific worth resort. The workers was a dream throughout my keep, the rooms are vibrant 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 good selection, and although the worth is a bit increased it’s not eye-watering. You might go all out for a collection with a personal terrace or simply benefit from the rooftop terrace which is equally pretty.
- If you need to exit your resort to the scent of contemporary bread and pastries then you definately want to e-book Praktik Bakery, with rooms as contemporary because the bread and a brief stroll to Diagonal. Just make sure not to hang around and go discover (hehehe)!
Where else to keep in Barcelona aside from shut to the enduring Basílica de la Sagrada Família! If that is your fundamental motive for visiting Barcelona, and no one will choose you whether it is then that is the place to keep. You can meander across the cafes in the world, sit in parks surrounding the basílica and customarily gaze on the unbelievable work of Antoni Gaudí.
Admittedly the restaurant decisions aren’t the finest, and aside from the Sagrada itself, the structure isn’t the prettiest in Barcelona, however it’s tremendous shut to Eixample and straightforward to get to different elements of town.
Where to Stay in Sagrada Família
Of course, if you’re staying in this space then you definately completely want a resort with views of the basílica, which aren’t the most affordable rooms in town however there are some well-priced inns price checking into.
- Sensation Sagrada Família has serviced residences with an exquisite shared roof terrace overlooking the enduring church. Here you may get the bonus of a personal house whereas nonetheless having the chance to take pleasure in a shared house with fellow vacationers.
- For a resort possibility, the Sercotel Rosellón has vibrant rooms, a terrific breakfast and a roof terrace with solar loungers pointing at Sagrada, an iconic means to spend a day if you happen to ask me!
Looking for a hidden boho artist vibe? Then Gràcia is your spot. Until the nineteenth century, this was an impartial city and residents are sometimes long-term locals and happy with their neighborhood.
Now the world is fashionable and stuffed with impartial retailers, boutiques, and cafes. Plaça de Sol is a central level the place individuals hang around to socialize, drink and indulge in the bakeries and gelato retailers close by.
This space is comparatively shut to Passeig de Gràcia however appears like a unique 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 space can be identified for its festivals, historically every neighborhood has its personal mini-festivals however the one in Gràcia is broadly often known as one of the best. Streets are lined with decorations and stalls, with some streets working in competitors for one of the best decor. Although remember if you happen to go to in the summer season throughout these festivals you shouldn’t anticipate any peace and quiet, the events can go on all evening!
Where to Stay in Gràcia
This isn’t a primary selection amongst vacationers so you’ll really feel such as you’ve hit a bit hidden gem, and inns have a tendency to be a bit cheaper too.
- Hotel Ronda Lesseps is a cute resort with an exquisite inside courtyard backyard connected to the resort bar. It can be only a 15-minute stroll to one other of Gaudí’s iconic designs, Parc Güell. Enjoy the peace hidden away from the bustle of town in this little oasis.
- A extra upmarket possibility with a rooftop pool is the Catalonia Park Güell resort, costs aren’t vastly completely different however it’s barely extra exterior the central a part of Gràcia. Rooftop swimming pools in inns are an actual deal with however they do get busy so keep in mind to reserve a solar lounger in your afternoon poolside.
Dog-Friendly Hotels in Barcelona
If you might be like the remainder of Team Practical Wanderlust and are a proud canine proprietor you’ll be happy to hear that Barcelona is a good place to journey along with your furry finest good friend.
Most eating places are accommodating, quite a lot of retailers have water bowls exterior for passing canines and it isn’t unusual to see canines becoming a member of procuring journeys. My canine loves coming procuring, it often means getting a lot of love from retailer attendants, treats and new locations to sniff.
Really most locations you possibly can carry your canine with you, much more so if it’s a smaller canine. However, simply remember that in the summer season months (from May to October) canines aren’t allowed on the primary seashores so you’ll have to discover the dog beach simply exterior the primary metropolis middle.
When I arrived in Barcelona with my pup I booked right into a dog-friendly resort and I’ve just a few mates who’ve additionally finished the identical. A variety of inns are used to canine companions and accommodate them fairly simply. So if you happen to journey along with your little good friend these are one of the best locations to keep.
- Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella: This resort is correct reverse Ciutadella Park, which is by far among the best parks for canines in town. Mornings and evenings are a hub for canine house owners with pups taking part in on the grass collectively, and there’s a kiosk in the park for human refreshments. The resort can be a brief stroll to the seashore and throughout from El Born, completely positioned for exploring town. The resort itself is gorgeous, it’s designed to merge nature with native structure and elegance, and the bar space is spacious and overlooks the park. There can be a stunning out of doors space to take pleasure in an aperitif.
- Hotel Balmes: An actual gem of a resort, they really have a particular package deal for canines, Stay & Dog. 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 can be an African artwork assortment all through the resort, a backyard and a pool.
- Hostalin Barcelona Gran Via: This resort has 2 places not too removed from one another, as talked about after I arrived in Barcelona I stayed on the Gran Via resort and it was actually unbelievable. The rooms are clear and spacious, and the workers are wonderful and really accommodating. The identical vibe can be at their different resort Diputación, each are in Eixample and very well positioned for accessing the remainder of town.
Where Not to Stay in Barcelona
Barcelona as a complete is fairly protected and there are few areas to keep away from, these are often simply sure streets fairly than entire 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 if you’re an skilled traveler and preserve your wits about you, you’ll be tremendous. It helps to remember that Barcelona has quite a lot of poverty and the common wage completely doesn’t match the price of dwelling and housing right here.
There can be a big impoverished migrant inhabitants and homeless individuals in sure areas, if this offends you then higher to keep away from town totally as nobody space is healthier than others.
Aside from that, there are some areas of town which can be simply not price staying in, and I’ll clarify the place and why.
Often 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 space is charming in its personal means, however I wouldn’t suggest it for vacationers. There are some nice eating places tucked away and a few actually enjoyable bars however strolling dwelling in the darkish shouldn’t be advisable.
- Where to Stay as a substitute: If you might be nonetheless on the lookout for the quirky outdated city model that elements of Raval have then keep in Gothic as a substitute. You will nonetheless have the identical tourist-friendly hustle and bustle and loads of outdated buildings to marvel at however much less of the after-dark considerations. May Ramblas Hotel is properly positioned for La Rambla with out the night security challenges.
Sant Gervasi-Galvany is up in the hills of town and could be very residential. Housing may be fairly costly right here and the boutiques and cafes cater to a unique clientele than what most vacationers would have an interest in.
It is shut to the hills of Tibidabo, Barcelona’s highest peak, and the views throughout town may be pretty however transport hyperlinks aren’t nice so it is going to be a protracted stroll or a number of metro and bus stops to get to the place you need to be.
- Where to Stay as a substitute: Close by is Eixample, this has the identical metropolis residential vibe however with extra allure and simpler entry to the remainder of town. Also contemplate Gràcia for a similar causes. Praktik Bakery provides you that very same native vibe however in a greater location.
If you hunt for lodging that’s quick access to the airport then that is the primary neighborhood to take a look at, it is usually shut to the enduring Montjuïc which is fantastic to discover. You may go see the fountain present at Plaza Espanya.
However, to get anyplace you’ll need to soar on the metro or practice, it’s properly related however in order for you to stroll to the remainder of town you’ll have fairly a protracted stroll. It is a quieter space to keep in however the fixed want to use the metro can gradual you down.
Also as it’s a fundamental transport connection level it does have a tendency to be actually busy in the stations, which may get overwhelming if you’re determining how to get to the place you need to be.
- Where to Stay as a substitute: For quick access to the airport look shut to Plaza Catalunya. The metro cease is central so will get you the place you want to be in addition to the Sants cease does. It can be a fundamental level for the airport shuttle buses to begin from, which is by far the simplest means to get to the airport fairly cheaply. Praktik Bakery once more is very well positioned for ease to journey.
Where to Stay in Barcelona: Summary
That’s numerous data! So to wrap it up right into a bite-size piece, right here now we have an at a look abstract:
- The Best Areas to Stay in Barcelona: Go for the Old City or Eixample for traditional Barcelona vibes.
- The Best Hotels in Barcelona: Best choices are Barcelona Hotel Colonial, Hostelin Barcelona Gran Via and Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella, any of these will make your keep iconic.
- The Best Dog-Friendly Hotels in Barcelona: Again one other vote for Hostelin Barcelona Gran Via and Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella. Cannot beat these for canine lovers!
So why aren’t we recommending any AirBnBs? In quick, AirBnB and quick time period house leases have screwed the housing market in Barcelona, in addition to many different cities world wide. Finding an precise dwelling in town is an actual drawback and the costs have been pushed so excessive by vacationer leases that the common particular person can not afford them. Laws have now restricted vacationer licenses however this hasn’t finished a lot to cease the issue that was already created. So you don’t contribute to the very actual housing disaster in town, we suggest you to be a responsible traveler and select to keep in inns as a substitute, which had been after all closely affected by the pandemic and deserve all of the vacationer love once more.
That ought to provide the finest concepts of the place to keep so you possibly can plan the remainder of your journey! While you might be in the strategy planning stage don’t overlook to join our Self-Guided Walking Tour of Barcelona to get a downloadable information to discover town!
Which space would you want to keep in? Is there a sure a part of Barcelona you might be most enthusiastic about seeing? Let us know in the feedback beneath
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