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 listing for journey bucket lists.
The town is a mix of influences, there may be the general Spanish tradition however tucked alongside proud Catalan tradition. There’s a lengthy historical past of independence claims, civil warfare and unrest. Combine this in with an enormous migrant and expat neighborhood and also you discover a mix of cultures, cuisines, languages and types.
Perhaps you need 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 particular person and wish to keep within the coronary heart of Eixample, surrounded by towering buildings, infinite procuring alternatives and Gaudi round what looks as if nearly each nook.
Both manner, we now have the very best of the barrios (neighborhoods) laid out so that you can resolve for your self!
This information was written by Sensible Wanderlust’s Head of Electronic mail and Affiliate Advertising and marketing Natalie Collins, Barcelona resident, avid metropolis explorer and fellow Cava lover. Take it away, Natalie!
Psst: In search of 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 advocate. We even have extra posts on travel in Europe.
Psst: Obtain the strolling tour to search 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 couple of ideas that can assist you put together on 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 very best months for vacationers are the Spring (late March to early June) and Autumn (late September to early November) months. Temperatures are comfy, and the town parks and tree-lined avenues look stunning. Additionally means fewer thick winter layers to pack!
- Put together a couple 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 primary grasp of Spanish and even some Catalan – don’t simply assume you will get away with English, though most vacationer locations do communicate English!
- Keep protected: Pickpockets are an enormous 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 telephone on a desk, hold your valuables in a cash belt, don’t journey carrying an expensive-looking watch and hold your bag both tied to your chair or in your knee. All the time be vigilant!
- Eat all of the foods and drinks all of the cava: Catalan and Spanish delicacies is scrumptious, with a lot of recent hearty elements, good olive oils and little tapas plates. There’s additionally the Basque affect with some nice pintxo eating places, which is my favourite option to eat! Cava can also be made within the area so respectable cava prices little or no. Take a food and wine tour in case 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 right abbreviation is Barna; Barca is the soccer group. I nonetheless really feel bizarre calling it Barna so simply follow Barcelona.
- Convey comfy strolling footwear: The town 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 respectable footwear you understand will hold your ft pleased and benefit from the stroll! To assist, we’ve obtained a Barcelona self-guided walking tour – and we’ve additionally obtained solutions for the very best strolling footwear for journey. Listed here are our favourite journey footwear for men and for women.
- Completely different areas even have completely different hyperlinks to different elements of the town: The metro system is superb and pretty simple to navigate however in case you choose to keep away from utilizing it or buses then you might want to base your self strolling distance to the stuff you wish to see or not less than on the identical metro line to keep away from a number of stops and adjustments. An space could also be quarter-hour away in a taxi however takes 45 minutes by metro or bus, so have in mind the place you wish to be in relation to the place you wish to keep.
- Keep away from short-term house leases: The housing market in Barcelona has been monopolized by vacationer leases, driving costs up a lot larger than is reasonably priced for residents and creating lots of scams and disparity. Inns had been badly affected by the pandemic so that they deserve the assist somewhat than grasping property house owners who would somewhat depart an house empty as a substitute of renting it for an inexpensive worth to an area. There are even new legal guidelines proscribing vacationer licenses and you might be 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 instances don’t sync up along with your have 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 maintain your baggage when you’re working 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 referred to as barrios, every with its personal distinct character, vibe and enchantment. To the uninitiated, it’s possible you’ll wrestle to know the place to go and what to do, however don’t fear, I obtained you lined!
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 form of place!
This provides to the allure of the town, you might be at all times 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 could be present in Barcelona!
Previous 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 the town. Filled with previous winding streets, stunning historic buildings, church buildings, lovely eating places and hidden options round each nook.
That is the place one can find Barcelona Cathedral, the Picasso Museum, Arc de Triomf, La Rambla, and an entire host of different well-known landmarks. It truly is the very best place to remain in Barcelona for a primary go to.
Nonetheless, you do want to select fastidiously as some streets are a little bit shadier than others, some are noisy, and people cute winding streets aren’t as enjoyable to remain in in case you don’t see daylight out of your lodge room window.
This barrio has nice transport hyperlinks to the remainder of the 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 world can also be extra open to vacationers so that you usually tend to discover a place to seize a espresso and a pastry if you’re an early morning sort of particular person.
That is additionally the very best place to base your self if you’re planning on taking our Self-Guided Walking Tour of Barcelona. Many of the tour covers this space and can also be the place you end so you’re a quick stroll again to your lodge afterward.
The place to Keep in El Born & Gothic
There are a combination of expensive motels on this space in addition to some severely finances hostels. Beneath are a few of our favorites:
- Hostal Fernando is a type of good kinds of hostels with clear, brilliant rooms. It additionally overlooks Església de Sant Jaume, which is a reasonably, previous church. Historical past in your windowsill!
- For one thing a little bit fancier Barcelona Hotel Colonial is correct within the coronary heart of Gothic in a wonderful colonial constructing, a brief stroll down the road takes you to Port Vell Marina and a visit in some other route 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 facet avenue from La Rambla and can also be the identical avenue you head right down to get to the Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi.
Barceloneta / Seashore
For these trying 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 unimaginable to get misplaced. To 1 facet 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 previous metropolis allure. The buildings aren’t essentially as fairly as different elements of the 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 at all times folks skateboarding and curler skating down the cycle paths alongside the entrance, so be careful as you stroll!
The place to Keep in Barceloneta / Seashore
There are a couple of bigger motels on this space as you’d anticipate with it being beachside however the costs are wildly costly. Try the well-known landmark lodge The W, stunning and epic views however out of finances for many vacationers! You possibly can nonetheless catch the views at their rooftop cocktail lounge and nightclub, in case 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 may 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 is able to be my decide if going for the seashore lodge choice. The rooftop bar can also be like a little bit backyard paradise, good for resting after an extended day of exploring.
- For a extra finances room, the Sea Hostel is a good decide for dorm room-style lodging, additionally it is subsequent door to a restaurant, Buenas Migas, that does fairly wonderful 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 pictures of Barcelona, these good purple sq. blocks and streets aligned to OCD ranges. This a part of the town is the place the well-known avenues of Diagonal and Passeig de Gracia run via, it’s the place the designer retailers are and can also 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 visitors heavier right here. However most motels have respectable sound insulation so you may keep away from 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 exquisite 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 hold stumbling into one other stunning constructing after one other, and in case you get onto a rooftop someplace you’ll see much more.
The procuring can also be unimaginable right here with the whole lot from high-end designer shops, to excessive avenue procuring, 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 also be rather well linked with public transport, the buses run frequently and there are lots 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’d anticipate there isn’t any scarcity of motels in Eixample, from simpler budgets to luxurious high-end motels. Listed here are some fo the very best 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 awesome worth lodge. The employees was a dream throughout my keep, the rooms are brilliant and comfy 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 alternative, and although the value is a little bit larger it’s not eye-watering. You possibly can go all out for a set 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 recent bread and pastries then you might want to ebook Praktik Bakery, with rooms as recent 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 apart from near the long-lasting Basílica de la Sagrada Família! If that is your most important motive for visiting Barcelona, and no person 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 customarily gaze on the unimaginable work of Antoni Gaudí.
Admittedly the restaurant selections aren’t the finest, and apart from the Sagrada itself, the structure isn’t the prettiest in Barcelona, however it’s tremendous near Eixample and straightforward to get to different elements of the town.
The place to Keep in Sagrada Família
In fact, if you’re staying on this space you then 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 wonderful shared roof terrace overlooking the long-lasting church. Right here you will get the bonus of a non-public house whereas nonetheless having the chance to get pleasure from a shared area with fellow vacationers.
- For a lodge choice, the Sercotel Rosellón has brilliant rooms, an awesome breakfast and a roof terrace with solar loungers pointing at Sagrada, an iconic option to spend a day in case you ask me!
In search of 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 pleased with their neighborhood.
Now the world is stylish and stuffed with unbiased retailers, 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 retailers close by.
This space is comparatively near Passeig de Gràcia however looks like a distinct world to the designer shops and busy avenue. The streets are principally pedestrianized and there’s a extra eclectic combine of individuals strolling the streets.
The world can also be recognized for its festivals, historically every neighborhood has its personal mini-festivals however the one in Gràcia is extensively often known as the very best. Streets are lined with decorations and stalls, with some streets working in competitors for the very best decor. Though bear in mind in case you go to in the summertime throughout these festivals you shouldn’t anticipate any peace and quiet, the events can go on all night time!
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 little bit hidden gem, and motels are typically a little bit cheaper too.
- Hotel Ronda Lesseps is a cute lodge with a wonderful inside courtyard backyard hooked up to the lodge bar. It is usually 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 the town on this little oasis.
- A extra upmarket choice with a rooftop pool is the Catalonia Park Güell lodge, costs aren’t vastly completely 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 on your afternoon poolside.
Canine-Pleasant Inns 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 good place to journey along with your furry finest pal.
Most eating places are accommodating, lots of retailers have water bowls outdoors for passing canines and it isn’t unusual to see canines becoming a member of procuring journeys. My canine loves coming procuring, it normally means getting a lot of love from retailer attendants, treats and new locations to smell.
Actually most locations you may convey your canine with you, much more so if it’s a smaller canine. Nonetheless, 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 heart.
After I arrived in Barcelona with my pup I booked right into a dog-friendly lodge and I’ve a couple of associates who’ve additionally carried out the identical. Loads of motels are used to canine companions and accommodate them fairly simply. So in case you journey along with your little pal these are the very best locations to remain.
- Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella: This lodge is correct reverse Ciutadella Park, which is by far among the best 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 also be a brief stroll to the seashore and throughout from El Born, completely positioned for exploring the 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’s additionally a beautiful out of doors space to get pleasure from 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 also be delicate to their particular guests. There’s 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 actually unimaginable. The rooms are clear and spacious, and the employees are wonderful and really accommodating. The identical vibe can also be at their different lodge Diputación, each are in Eixample and rather well positioned for accessing the remainder of the town.
The place To not Keep in Barcelona
Barcelona as an entire is fairly protected and there are few areas to keep away from, these are normally simply sure streets somewhat than entire areas and it’s extra of simply being conscious somewhat than anticipating to be robbed. You hear horror tales and sure they do occur however if you’re an skilled traveler and hold your wits about you, you’ll be positive. It helps to bear in mind that Barcelona has lots of poverty and the typical wage completely doesn’t match the price of dwelling and housing right here.
There’s additionally a big impoverished migrant inhabitants and homeless folks in sure areas, if this offends you then higher to keep away from the town fully as nobody space is healthier than others.
Apart from that, there are some areas of the town which are simply not price staying in, and I’ll clarify the place and why.
Typically while you hear tales of pickpockets, you might be listening to tales of Raval, which is positioned to the west facet of La Rambla.
The world is charming in its personal manner, however I wouldn’t advocate it for vacationers. There are some nice eating places tucked away and a few actually enjoyable bars however strolling residence at the hours of darkness shouldn’t be advisable.
- The place to Keep as a substitute: If you’re nonetheless searching for the quirky previous city model that elements of Raval have then keep in Gothic as a substitute. 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 properly positioned for La Rambla with out the night security challenges.
Sant Gervasi-Galvany is up within the hills of the town and may 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 taken with.
It’s near the hills of Tibidabo, Barcelona’s highest peak, and the views throughout the 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 a substitute: Shut by is Eixample, this has the identical metropolis residential vibe however with extra allure and simpler entry to the remainder of the town. Additionally contemplate Gràcia for a similar causes. Praktik Bakery provides you that very same native vibe however in a greater location.
If you happen to hunt for lodging that’s easy accessibility to the airport then that is the primary neighborhood to take a look at, additionally it is near the long-lasting Montjuïc which is great to discover. You too can go see the fountain present at Plaza Espanya.
Nonetheless, to get wherever you have to to leap on the metro or prepare, it’s properly linked however if you wish to stroll to the remainder of the 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 sluggish you down.
Additionally as it’s a most important transport connection level it does are typically actually busy within the stations, which may get overwhelming if you’re determining the right way to get to the place you wish to be.
- The place to Keep as a substitute: For straightforward entry to the airport look near Plaza Catalunya. The metro cease is central so will get you the place you might want to be in addition to the Sants cease does. It is usually a most important level for the airport shuttle buses to start out from, which is by far the best option to get to the airport fairly cheaply. Praktik Bakery once more is rather well positioned for ease to journey.
The place to Keep in Barcelona: Abstract
That’s numerous info! So to wrap it up right into a bite-size piece, right here we now have an at a look abstract:
- The Greatest Areas to Keep in Barcelona: Go for the Previous Metropolis or Eixample for traditional Barcelona vibes.
- The Greatest Inns in Barcelona: Greatest choices are Barcelona Hotel Colonial, Hostelin Barcelona Gran Via and Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella, any of these will make your keep iconic.
- The Greatest Canine-Pleasant Inns 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 quick time period house leases have screwed the housing market in Barcelona, in addition to many different cities all over the world. Discovering an precise residence within the metropolis is an actual drawback and the costs have been pushed so excessive by vacationer leases that the typical particular person can not afford them. Legal guidelines have now restricted vacationer licenses however this hasn’t carried out 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 advocate you to be a responsible traveler and select to remain in motels 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 remain so you may plan the remainder of your journey! If you are within the strategy planning stage don’t neglect to join our Self-Guided Walking Tour of Barcelona to get a downloadable information to discover the 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 under
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