Best Areas to Stay in Barcelona
Best Areas to Stay in Barcelona

The Best Areas to Stay in Barcelona for a First-Time Visitor

Where to Stay in Barcelona: What You Need to Know

When it comes to deciding the best area to stay in Barcelona, you need to know that the cost of accommodation in the city is not exactly cheap, being even higher than those of Madrid. However, hotel fares in Barcelona are cheaper than the ones in other large European cities like Venice or Rome.

Best areas to stay in Barcelona, Spain
Best areas to stay in Barcelona, Spain

Generally speaking, the quality of accommodation in Barcelona is really high for 3-star and over hotels and you can find some really great budget B&Bs and pensions.

On average, a two or three-star hotel in a central district can be set you back around 50-60 euros per night.

Top-rated hotels can be found for about 80-100 and expect to pay around 100-150 euros per night in a standard room at a five-star hotel.

Barcelona is a city with high hotel occupancy all year round, so it is always advisable to book in advance to avoid surprises. Try to avoid, as far as possible, the big events like football matches, congresses or large concerts, when the fares reach astronomical levels.

As for the best areas to stay in Barcelona, the cheapest hotels are in the more peripheral districts, such as Sant Andreu, Sant Martí or Sants-Montjuïc and the most expensive ones are in Ciutat Vella (Old Town), l’Eixample, one of the best areas to stay in Barcelona for nightlife.

If money is not an issue, then the central area around Plaza Catalunya is probably the best area to stay, thanks to its great public transport connection and the possibility of exploring the city on foot.

Here we give you a list with the best quarters to stay in Barcelona, as well as a shortlist of hand-picked hotels (budget, midrange and luxury) in each district.

The best areas to stay in Barcelona

1. Best area: Barri Gòtic

The Barri Gòtic, Barrio Gótico or Gothic Quarter of Barcelona is the heart of the Roman and medieval city.

It is located to the east of the famous Ramblas of Barcelona.

Replete with small streets, charming corners and centenary buildings, the Gòtic is the best area to stay in Barcelona if you like history and architecture.

In this quarter, part of the Ciutat Vella (Old Town) district, you can find some of the top attractions in the city such as the Jewish quarter, the Cathedral of Barcelona or the shopping street Portal de l’Angel.

Barrio Gótico - Best area to stay in Barcelona
Barrio Gótico – Best area to stay in Barcelona

What makes this the best area to stay in Barcelona

  • Heart of the city
  • Accessible on foot
  • Lots of shops
  • Nightlife
  • Roman monuments
  • Cathedral
  • Old Jewish Quarter

Hand-Picked Hotels in This Area

  • Our Top Pick

    The NH Barcelona Centro is located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. It offers quality accommodation in the best neighbourhood to stay in the city.

  • Budget Option

    Hostal Santa Ana is a small family-run B&B offering simple rooms a stone’s throw away from the famous Rambla de Barcelona.

  • Midrange Option

    Gorgeous Hotel Neri is an exquisite luxury five-star hotel part of the Relais & Chateau hotel chain. It is located right on plaza de Sant Felip Neri, one of the most charming corner in central Barcelona.

  • Luxury Option

    B&B Brun boasts a Mediterranean-style decor with some retro features. This B&B is located 3 minutes away from La Rambla and has a very high rating on booking engines.

2. El Born

El Born, also known as Barrio de La Ribera is one of the top choices to stay in Barcelona.

It is located east from Via Laietana.

It is a very central area, with medieval architecture and it hosts some of the most important tourist attractions in the city, such as the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar (also known as Cathedral of the Sea), the Palau de la Música Catalana or the Picasso Museum Barcelona.

It is an area with a lot of personality, gentrified in the last decades and with a young atmosphere and lots of nightlife options.

The neighbourhood is also home to a wealth of designer shops and upscale restaurants.

El Born
Accommodation in El Born

What makes this the best area to stay in Barcelona

  • Very central
  • Charming streets
  • Youthful atmosphere
  • Good for nightlife
  • Palau de la Música
  • Museo Picasso
  • Santa María del Mar
  • Ciutadella Park

Hand-Picked Hotels in This Area

  • Our Top Pick

    Hotel Banys Orientals is located on the most vibrant street in Born in a 17th-Century regal building. It’s merely a minute walk from here to Santa María del Mar.

  • Budget Option

    Chic & Basic Zoo, faithful to its name, offers simple, yet stylish accommodation. It is located on Passeig Picasso, a stone’s throw away from Ciutadella Park.

  • Midrange Option

    Exe Laietana Palace is located on via Laietana. It is a four-star hotel. Some of its rooms boast views of the ancient Roman Wall of Barcelona.

  • Luxury Option

    The K+K Picasso Hotel is a fantastic luxury four-star property located across from Parc de la Ciutadella. It has very modern rooms and a pool on its deck.

3. Eixample

The Eixample district can be considered the heart of modern Barcelona.

The grid layout of its streets was conceived in the nineteenth century by Ildefons Cerdà on an idea of utopian and futuristic city based on the equality of its citizens.

The main commercial artery of this great district is without a doubt the Passeig de Gràcia, a very upmarket boulevard with all kinds of shops, from Zara to Prada. Here you can also find two of Gaudi’s masterpieces, Casa Batlló and La Pedrera.

The Eixample is home to the main nightlife areas of the city, with a high concentration of bars and restaurants in the vicinity of Plaza Universitat and in the upper part of the old Eixample Esquerra neighborhood.

It is probably the best area to stay in Barcelona because of its location and the transport possibilities offered by the metro and bus systems.

Ensanche - Dónde dormir en Barcelona

What makes this the best area to stay in Barcelona

  • The true centre of the city
  • Unparalleled shopping possibilities
  • Lots of hotels
  • Art Nouveau architecture
  • Nightlife
  • Gay friendly
  • Very well connected by bus and metro

Hand-Picked Hotels in This Area

  • Our Top Pick

    Chi Hotel is located in the Esquerra de l’Eixample quarter, close to the metro station Urgell, a 10 minute walk from Plaza Universitat. It is a great modern hotel with a rooftop pool.

  • Budget Option

    Cheap and cheerful Hostal Oliva has a privileged location on Passeig de Gràcia. It offers traditional rooms with simple decor and good service.

  • Midrange Option

    Praktik Vinoteca Hotel Is a fantastic three star hotel located on the central Balmes street. It is a themed hotel with a decoration revolving around the world of wine.

  • Luxury Option

    Hotel Palace Is an icon of luxury in the city of Barcelona. It is a five star hotel with a classic and refined style, elegantly decorated. It has a spa and swimming pool.

4. El Raval

El Raval, formerly known as the “Barrio Chino” or Barcelona’s Chinatown, is the alternative heart of Barcelona.

It is a multicultural, traditionally working class neighborhood. In recent years it has emerged as a hipster epicentre in the city.

Here, old traditional bars are next to luxury cocktail drinkeries, dusty locksmith shops are door to door with modern conceptual shops. In Raval, you can eat a greasy kebab or indulge in a fusion inspired avocado sashimi with sesame oil any day of the week.

This neighborhood is located on the west flank of La Rambla and its neuralgic center is Rambla del Raval, a semi-pedestrianized street and with plenty of bars and restaurants.

Some of the attractions in Raval include the cat sculpture by botero, Sant Pau del Camp monastert, the state-of-the-art Filmoteca de Catalunya, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the ancient Tallers street. El Raval is very well connected by metro (lines 1,2 and 3).

Best areas to stay in Barcelona: El Raval
Best areas to stay in Barcelona: El Raval

What makes this the best area to stay in Barcelona

  • Alternative atmosphere
  • Cheap accommodation
  • Uber central
  • Well Connected
  • Heaps of nightlife
  • Vintage shops
  • All kinds of restaurants
  • Filmoteca and MACBA

Hand-Picked Hotels in This Area

  • Our Top Pick

    Hipster hits new heights at Barceló Raval. A new neighbourhood icon. Located on Rambla del Raval, it has a youthful atmosphere and a funky decor. It also has a panoramic terrace and a small pool.

  • Budget Option

    Simple Hostal River, located on calle Sant Pau, is in the heart of Raval and offers cheap no-frills accommodation in Barcelona.

  • Midrange Option

    Hostal Grau is one of the top options to stay in Raval. Its lovely minimal decor with a vintage touch makes it an instant favourite. It also has great service.

  • Luxury Option

    Casa Camper Barcelona offers contemporary luxury in a yuppie, youthful way. It has a bold and daring decor and a privileged location in the heart of El Raval.

5. Poble Sec

The neighbourhood of Poble Sec is in what we could still consider the centre of Barcelona, between the Avenida del Paral.lel and the Montjuïc mountain.

It is a traditionally working-class neighborhood that in recent years is experiencing a rebirth.

Its central street, carrer Blai, is a pedestrianized boulevard where you can find the largest concentration of bars and restaurants in the area.

The area of the neighborhood adjacent to Plaza Espanya and Parc de Montjuïc is more upmarket. In this area you can find the main theatre complex in the city, as well as some important museums.

El Molino theatre, the Spanish version of Moulin Rouge, is located on Avenida del Paral.lel and is another attraction of the neighbourhood.

Staying in Poble Sec
Staying in Poble Sec

What makes this the best area to stay in Barcelona

  • Small neighbourhood feel
  • Relatively central
  • Connected by metro (lines 2 and 3)
  • Great theatre scene
  • Traditional bars and restaurants
  • Gateway to Montjuïc Park
  • Cheap accommodation

Hand-Picked Hotels in This Area

  • Our Top Pick

    Hotel Paral.lel enjoys an excellent location next to the Avenida del Paral.lel. It is a hotel of minimalist decoration and simple lines, with spacious and modern rooms.

  • Budget Option

    The funky Futura Casa Lola B&B is located on Calle Salva, very close to Montjuïc Park and 10 minutes walk from El Raval. It is one of the best budget accommodation options in Barcelona.

  • Midrange Option

    Located 300 meters from the Port of Barcelona, Hotel Grums is a fantastic option to stay in Barcelona. With a modern décor, this great four-star hotel has a spa.

  • Luxury Option

    Lush Hotel Miramar Barcelona GL is a luxurious classic style hotel located in the Montjuïc mountain. It enjoys excellent views of the city of Barcelona and has a pool and spa.

6. Sagrada Familia

Officially this neighborhood is part of the Eixample District, but given the interest it arouses, with many travellers wanting to stay near the Sagrada Familia, we have separated it.

Sagrada Família is located to the northeast of the centre of the city and is a quiet and relaxed residential area with typical high-street commerce.

It is a middle-upper class neighborhood, with elegant art nouveau palaces, tree-lined avenues and parks.

Obviously the greatest attraction in the neighborhood is the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece, started at the end of the 19th century and still in the process of construction.

But the attractions here don’t stop at Sagrada Familia. Not far from the temple you can find the magnificent Antic Hospital de Sant Pau, also of art-noveau style and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Mejores zonas para alojarse en Barcelona - Sagrada Familia
Mejores zonas para alojarse en Barcelona – Sagrada Familia

What makes this the best area to stay in Barcelona

  • Sagrada Familia
  • Hospital de Sant Pau
  • Quiet area
  • Wide tree-lined streets
  • Connected by metro (lines 2 and 5)
  • Lots of accommodation options

7. Gràcia

Located north of the city centre, the Gràcia neighborhood is one of the most picturesque quarters of Barcelona.

It is a neighborhood of small streets and a small village feel within the big city.

In August, Gràcia is full of life and colour. During the Festes de Gràcia the neighbors of the different streets come together to compete on decoration contests, carry out calçotadas and popular lunches and at night there are concerts and parties on the street.

Gràcia is also the neighborhood in which you can find Parc Güell, one of the most celebrated works by the famous architect Antoni Gaudí.

Gràcia - Dónde alojarse en Barcelona
Gràcia – Dónde alojarse en Barcelona

What makes this the best area to stay in Barcelona

  • Relatively central
  • Young and alternative vibe
  • Small town feel
  • Bars and restaurants
  • Alternative shopping
  • Parc Güell

Hand-Picked Hotels in This Area

  • Our Top Pick

    Eric Vökel Boutique Apartments are located in the lower part of Gràcia, very close to the Sagrada Familia. It is an uber-stylish aparthotel, designed with attention to detail for a luxurious stay in Barcelona.

  • Budget Option

    The Barcelona Urban Hotels Bonavista is a traditional style pension located in Gràcia. It offers simple accommodation at low prices.

  • Midrange Option

    Aparthotel Silver is located in Gràcia, near the metro stop Fontana. It has a contemporary decor and an excellent rating on hotel search engines.

  • Luxury Option

    Hotel Casa Fuster is an iconic luxury hotel in Barcelona. It is a five star hotel housed in an art nouveau building from the early 20th century. It is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This wonderful hotel has a sauna, swimming pool and gym, as well as great views of Barcelona.

8. Sants – Montjuïc

Sants – Montjuïc is a large district located west of Barcelona.

Within this district you can find the quarters of Sants, Poble Sec, Montjuïc, Zona Franca, among others.

Sants train station is the main railway hub in Catalonia, so this neighborhood is the best place to stay in Barcelona if you want to make day trips by train.

The area also hosts the trade fair grounds of Fira de Barcelona, located in the Montjuïc park, which makes it the best area to stay in Barcelona for business travellers.

Sants – Where to stay in Barcelona

What makes this the best area to stay in Barcelona

  • Excellent train connections
  • Connected by metro
  • Shopping centres and shops
  • Barcelona Trade Fair Grounds
  • Airport connection
  • Montjuïc Park

Hand-Picked Hotels in This Area

  • Our Top Pick

    The Barceló Sants Hotel is a business style, space-themed hotel located in the very Sants station grounds. Ideal for business travellers or those who need to be near the station.

  • Budget Option

    Hotel Transit is a simple and affordable accommodation option located just three minutes walk from Sants station. It offers simple and clean rooms at reasonable prices.

  • Midrange Option

    Hotel Acta CITY47 is located in the upper part of Sants, on Calle Nicaragua, 20 minutes walk from the Camp Nou Stadium. It has a modern decor and very good rating on hotel search engines.

  • Luxury Option

    The Crowne Plaza Barcelona – Fira Center Hotel is a four star business hotel located very close to the Barcelona Fair. It has a spa and wellness center and is the best option for business travellers.

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