Where to Stay in Barcelona [Your No Stress Guide for 2018]

Barcelona is one of the coolest cities in Europe. Located on the coast of the Mediterranean, this Spanish city has so much to offer visitors in terms of art, architecture, history, nature, food and wild after dark fun.

But, Barcelona is a massive and sprawling city that can overwhelm even the most seasoned traveller. That’s why we wrote this one of a kind neighbourhood guide, so you can know exactly where to stay in Barcelona.

Written by our travel experts, this guide will help you navigate the most important neighbourhoods so you can travel to Barcelona with ease and confidence. We’ll help you find the best area based on your interests and guarantee you’ll find a neighbourhood that suits your travel style.

By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly where to stay in Barcelona.

Additional reading – 17 AWESOME things to do in Barcelona, and the 17 Best Hotels in Barcelona, Spain

Where to Stay in Barcelona

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Barcelona

  • Where to stay in Barcelona first time – La Sagrada Familia
  • Where to stay in Barcelona on a budget – El Gòtic
  • Best area to stay in Barcelona for nightlife – El Born
  • Coolest place to stay in Barcelona – El Raval
  • Best neighbourhood in Barcelona for families – La Barceloneta

Where to Stay in Barcelona

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Barcelona.

Best Budget Hotel in Barcelona – Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Familia

Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Familia

Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Familia is the best budget hotel in Barcelona

Offering outstanding value for money, a heap of amenities and a great location, the best budget hotel in Barcelona is Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Familia. Set in the main touristic hub of Barcelona and offering a swimming pool, fitness centre and in-house restaurant, it’s a real winner.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Barcelona –  H10 Port Vell

H10 Port Vell

H10 Port Vell is the best mid-range hotel in Barcelona

Modern, boutique and boasting a rooftop swimming pool there’s no denying that H10 Port Vell is the best mid-range hotel in Barcelona. The rooms are gorgeous, with a stylish ensuite bathroom, work desk and some rooms have awesome city views. Guests can relax after exploring Barcelona on the impressive rooftop terrace.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Barcelona –  Le Meridien Barcelona

Le Meridien Barcelona

Le Meridien Barcelona is the best luxury hotel in Barcelona

Located in one of the coolest parts of the city, Le Meridien is the best luxury hotel in Barcelona. Offering 5-star accommodation and service, Le Meridien is seldom bettered. There is a spa complex, fitness room and tours desk. There are lavish suites and more humble double rooms available.

 

Barcelona Neighbourhoods Guide

Barcelona

Barcelona

Sunny, sunny Barcelona is one of the most popular city destinations in Europe. Attracting over 8 million tourists every year this is a city well prepared for first-time tourists, full-time travellers and everybody in between.

This is the cultural capital of Catalonia home to a wealth of historical gems, artistic wonders and some amazing food too. There is so much to explore in Barcelona that even the local’s don’t get bored. After all, with the beach only ever a 30-minute ride away, maximum, there is always fun to be had!

From the historical hotspots of La Sagrada Familia and El Gòtic to the trendy neighbourhoods of El Born and El Raval, there is a neighbourhood in Barcelona to suit every kind of traveller.

Being a city well geared up for tourists, and to support the local community too, getting around Barcelona is really rather easy.

If you want to take the easy and fun option you can jump on one of the open top hop-on-hop-off tour buses. You can enjoy audio commentary too!

Hotel Jules Insider Tip

Should you prefer a more local experience you can jump on the Metro. Barcelona’s metro system is expansive but simple and safe to use. It’s a really affordable way to explore the city and to tick off as many of the best neighbourhoods in Barcelona as possible.

There is something quite romantic about sauntering through the streets of Barcelona, even as a solo traveller. The perfect way to immerse in the vibes of this eclectic city.

Barcelona’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in

Now let’s take a look, in greater detail, at the best neighbourhoods to stay in Barcelona. Each is a little different to the last so be sure to check out which is right for you!

Neighborhood #1 - La Sagrada Familia

(Where to stay in Barcelona first time)

La Sagrada

La Sagrada Familia is our pick for here to stay in Barcelona for your first time

If you want to stay at the heart of the action in Barcelona you better get yourself to  La Sagrada Familia. Offering a little bit of everything and a great selection of accommodation,  La Sagrada Familia is the best place to stay in Barcelona first time around.

Being in such a central location means that you can easily walk to other must-visit neighbourhoods. El Born, for example, is just a 30-minute walk away through some of the most authentic Catalonian streets in Barcelona.

Naturally, the best thing to do in the La Sagrada Familia neighbourhood is to visit La Sagrada Familia itself. This world renowned church still remains unfinished. A masterwork from iconic artist and architect Antoni Gaudí, La Sagrada Familia is the classical jewel of Barcelona. It really is as incredible in person as it is in the guidebooks.

Despite the attention of the masses La Sagrada Familia, as a neighbourhood, hasn’t sold out. You’ll find buskers around each corner playing classic Spanish tunes and locally-run tapas bars aplenty.

Top Things to Do in La Sagrada Familia

  • Gaze in awe, at every angle at Gaudí magnificent La Sagrada Familia.
  • Learn about everything architectural at Escoles de Gaudí.
  • Take a moment to take it all in, and seek some shade, in Plaça de Gaudí.
  • Stock up on all your football memorabilia at FCBotiga.
  • Have a laugh at the Tactic Escape Rooms on Carrer de los Castillejos.
  • Fill your boots at all you can eat Aitor Restaurant.

Where to Stay in La Sagrada Familia

Best Budget Hotel in La Sagrada Familia – Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Familia

Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Familia is the best budget hotel in La Sagrada Familia

Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Familia is an affordable hotel in the heart of the neighbourhood. As the best budget hotel in La Sagrada Familia Hotel Catalonia offers free and unlimited WiFi, A/C in every room and there is even a swimming pool too! La Sagrada Familia is a 15-minute walk away.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in La Sagrada Familia – Ayre Hotel Rosellon

Ayre Hotel Rosellon

Ayre Hotel Rosellon is the best mid-range hotel in La Sagrada Familia

Many rooms in Ayre Hotel Rosellon feature impressive views of La Sagrada Familia. This is why is it the best mid-range hotel in La Sagrada Familia. This and the amazing rooftop sun terrace! Guests can choose their level of comfort from the pillow menu upon check-in.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in La Sagrada Familia – Castro Exclusive Residences

Castro Exclusive Residences

Castro Exclusive Residences is the best luxury hotel in La Sagrada Familia

Despite the luxury nature of Castro Exclusive Residences, they are an affordable hotel in La Sagrada Familia. The apartments have great facilities, including a private ensuite bathroom, kitchenette and dining room space. Guests can indulge in the mood-lit indoor swimming, or relax on the rooftop terrace.

 

Neighborhood #2 - El Gòtic

(Where to stay in Barcelona on a budget)

El Gòtic, Barcelona

El Gòtic is our pick for where to stay in Barcelona on a budget

In your research on Barcelona, you may well have stumbled across the most famous street in Barcelona, Les Rambles. Well, here it is! El Gòtic is the city’s historical, Gothic quarter that is home to Barcelona’s most loved boulevard.

Despite its historical nature El Gòtic is kind of trendy. Boasting coffee shops, buskers and a smattering of popular nightclubs. Couple this with the fact that it is one of the most affordable areas of Barcelona to visit and you are on to a real winner.

Along Les Rambles, you will find commercial European high street stores, some cute souvenir shops and some great little tapas bars too. If you like to sip on coffee and watch the world go by, Les Rambles is a great spot to do so.

Away from the gothic gems of the neighbourhood, you’ll find some Mediterranean charm in Plaça Reial. Forget the coffee, here you need cerveza and tapas beneath a palm tree.

Top Things to Do in El Gòtic

  • Explore ancient Catalonia at the Museum of the History of Barcelona.
  • Marvel at the magnificence and grandeur of the Cathedral of Barcelona in the heart of El Gòtic.
  • Catch an authentic Flamenco show at Tabalo Flamenco Cordobes Barcelona.
  • Sample some of the best-cured meats in Europe at Jamòn Experience.
  • Take a picture next to the Gambrinus Lobster Statue, just because…
  • Experience one of the oldest Synagogues in all of Europe at Sinagoga Mayor de Barcelona. This Synagogue dates back to the 3rd-Century.

Where to Stay in El Gòtic

Best Budget Hotel in El Gòtic – Urbany BCN GO

Urbany BCN GO

Urbany BCN GO is the best budget hotel in El Gòtic

Offering both private rooms and affordable dormitories Urbancy BCN GO is the best budget hotel in El Gòtic. Don’t be put off by the hostel nature of Urbany BCN GO, this is a clean, bright and modern accommodation option in El Gòtic. There is a cool chill-out area and sociable hotel bar too.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in El Gòtic – St Christopher’s Inn Barcelona

St Christophers Inn Barcelona

St Christophers Inn Barcelona is the best mid-range hotel in El Gòtic

El Gòtic is a budget-friendly neighbourhood in Barcelona and is home to many hostel-come-hotel accommodation options, like St Christopher’s Inn. With both trendy dorms and colourful private rooms, St Christopher’s Inn has something for everyone. Outstanding service and great facilities, including a bar and sun-trapped courtyard terrace.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in El Gòtic – H10 Raco Del Pi

H10 Raco Del Pi

H10 Raco Del Pi is the best luxury hotel in El Gòtic

Boutique, bright and the best luxury hotel in El Gòtic, H10 Raco Del Pi is a little gem. Both affordable and luxurious, the hotel has gorgeous minimalist rooms. The rooms all have air-conditioning, private ensuite bathroom and mini bar. All the major sights are within a short walking distance.

 

Neighborhood #3 - El Born

(Best area to stay in Barcelona for nightlife)

El Born, Barcelona

El Born is our pick for best area to stay in Barcelona for nightlife

Small but perfectly formed, El Born is a brilliant place to stay in Barcelona for nightlife. It is fair to say that every neighbourhood in Barcelona has a thriving nightlife scene, it’s Spain after all, but there is something about the nightlife in El Born that is a cut above the rest.

Home to tapas and cerveza bars for the daytimes, cocktail bars for the early evening and pumping clubs for the later hours, El Born allows your night to evolve naturally all within a few streets.

Before you explore El Born’s buzzing nightlife though, there are a few cultural gems that need to be ticked off your bucket list. Start with the Picasso Museum and move on to El Born Centre de Cultura i Memòria. At the Picasso Museum, you can explore a comprehensive collection of the famous cubist’s work. The gift shop alone is incredible!

There is a range of different events at the Centre de Cultura i Memòria each month. Set in the ruins of a 1700s market, it’s photogenic even when event free.

Top Things to Do in El Born

  • Spend a morning, or more, exploring the expansive Picasso Museum.
  • Explore the wonders of the European Museum of Modern Art.
  • Have a good old sing-a-long at Arena Bar, dancing is encouraged.
  • Kick back with new found travel friends at Ziryab Cocktail & Shisha Lounge.
  • Snooze off the hangover in the sun at the simply beautiful Ciutadella Park.
  • Have a gin-based hair of the dog at Cactus Gin Bar.

Where to Stay in El Born

Best Budget Hotel in El Born – Hotel Santa Marta

Hotel Santa Marta

Hotel Santa Marta is the best budget hotel in El Born

Cosy and homely, Hotel Santa Marta is the best budget hotel in El Born. Offering everything from single rooms to family quadruples, there is a room for one and for all here. There is WiFi throughout the hotel and breakfast is included which makes for great value for money.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in El Born – H10 Port Vell

H10 Port Vell, Barcelona

H10 Port Vell is the best mid-range hotel in El Born

H10 Port Vell is a dreamy boutique hotel in a great spot in El Born. As the best mid-range hotel in El Born H10 offers guests complimentary use of their rooftop plunge pool and sun terrace. There is an in-house coffee bar and each room comes with a mini bar.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in El Born – K+K Hotel Picasso

K+K Hotel Picasso

K+K Hotel Picasso is the best luxury hotel in El Born

K+K Hotel Picasso is the best luxury hotel in El Born, no doubt about it. From the rooftop plunge pool, you can enjoy incredible views of Barcelona from above. The staff are really wonderful, available 24-hours a day and are incredibly helpful. Rooms all have a laptop safe and a work desk.

 

Neighborhood #4 - El Raval

(Coolest place to stay in Barcelona)

El Raval, Barcelona

El Raval is our pick for the coolest place to stay in Barcelona

El Raval is the coolest place to stay in Barcelona for sure. Living somewhat in the shadow of El Gòtic, El Raval has a personality all of its own that is ever evolving and always on trend.

Within the neighbourhood of El Raval, you can get shopping at indie-stores, sip slightly overpriced lattes at urban coffee-bars and soak up the vibes from the buskers and chattering locals.

If you want to get in with the local crowd head to La Boqueria of an early evening. This vast dining hall is home to an awesome collection of tapas and bocadillo bars. It’s a firm favourite with locals who are always happy to chat with passing travellers.

Be sure to keep your wits about you in El Raval. With clean cut edges and steps aplenty this is the playground of choice for young skater kids. They’re generally courteous but aimlessly wandering tourists aren’t all that appreciated!

Top Things to Do in El Raval

  • Sample a little bit of everything, and then some more, at La Boqueria.
  • Connect with Barcelona’s seafaring history at the Maritime Museum.
  • Explore Güell Palace, one of Gaudí earliest impressions on Barcelona.
  • Experience the weird and the wonderful at the Museo de las Illusions.
  • Observe incredible masterpieces at the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art. Hang outside and watch the skaters do their thing!
  • Grab a cocktail or two at Bar Betty Ford with locals.

Where to Stay in El Raval

Best Budget Hotel in El Raval – Oriente Atiram

Oriente Atiram

Oriente Atiram is the best budget hotel in El Raval

Ornate in design but affordable in price, Oriente Atiram is the best budget hotel in El Raval. The place kind of feels like a set from a Wes Anderson movie, with a large atrium space, marble facades and an eclectic mix of modern and dated furnishings. The staff are nice and helpful.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in El Raval – Barcelo Raval

Barcelo Raval

Barcelo Raval is the best mid-range hotel in El Raval

Bright, trendy and with an outstanding rooftop plunge pool, Barcelo Raval is the best mid-range hotel in El Raval. Many rooms offer impressive views of Barcelona’s cityscape and all have ultra-modern decor. The in-house bar is a chic spot to meet fellow travellers and enjoy cocktails.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in El Raval – Le Meridien Barcelona

Le Meridien Barcelona, Barcelona

Le Meridien Barcelona is the best luxury hotel in El Raval

Ideally located in central El Raval and within a short walk of El Gòtic, Le Meridien is a wonderful place to stay. As the best luxury hotel in El Raval, Le Meridien offers guests use of the rooftop sun terrace, sauna and jacuzzi. All rooms feature an iPod dock, free WiFi and a mini bar.

 

Neighborhood #5 - La Barceloneta

(Best neighbourhood in Barcelona for families)

La Barceloneta, Barcelona

La Barceloneta is our pick for best neighbourhood in Barcelona for families

If you are heading to Barcelona with your family La Barceloneta is a great neighbourhood to use as a base.

What makes La Barceloneta the best place to stay in Barcelona for families is that it is right on the beach! Little ones can spend from sun up to sun down playing in the sand and splashing in the sea.

Once the whole gang have had their fill of sand-castle building and cartwheels in the sun you can head into Barcelona’s inner city neighbourhoods with complete ease. El Born is just a 10-minute walk away! The metro is easier than you might think to navigate with little ones in tow. You are never far away from a taxi stand in Barcelona if you want total ease of movement from one neighbourhood to another.

Foodies will become totally obsessed with La Barceloneta. This neighbourhood is home to some of the most authentic, fabulous, seafood restaurants in all of Catalonia. If you are a fan of mussels you are in luck. If you are on the hunt for an authentic paella, in La Barceloneta! Restaurante Salamanca is a good place to start.

Top Things to Do in La Barceloneta

  • Play all day long, and then some, at Playa de la Barceloneta.
  • Travel the world in one day at Barcelona Zoo.
  • Have an interactive learning day at the History Museum of Catalonia.
  • Run, dance and play in the sun at Parc de la Barceloneta.
  • Dine overlooking the ocean at Mamarose Beach Restaurant
  • Scuba dive with sharks at Aquarium Barcelona.

Where to Stay in La Barceloneta

Best Budget Hotel in La Barceloneta – Hotel 54 Barceloneta

Hotel 54 Barceloneta

Hotel 54 Barceloneta is the best budget hotel in La Barceloneta

Hotel 54 is the best budget hotel in La Barceloneta, it even has a rooftop terrace. The rooms are cosy but bright, clean and modern. Guests are welcome to relax at the in-house bar or up on the rooftop. The views of the yacht-filled harbour are pretty incredible.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in La Barceloneta – Pullman Barcelona Skipper

Pullman Barcelona Skipper

Pullman Barcelona Skipper is the best mid-range hotel in La Barceloneta

Offering family rooms and ocean views, Pullman Barcelona Skipper is the best mid-range hotel in La Barceloneta and is great for families too. There is a playground and a swimming pool for the kids to enjoy. Pullman Barcelona Skipper offers a babysitting service too. Breakfast is included in some rates.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in La Barceloneta – Hotel Arts Barcelona

Hotel Arts Barcelona

Hotel Arts Barcelona is the best luxury hotel in La Barceloneta

Hotel Arts Barcelona is, without a doubt, the best luxury hotel in La Barceloneta. Boasting the full 5-stars from start to finish, Hotel Arts offers incredible levels of service and ultimate levels of comfort. The rooftop sun terrace and plunge pool is the most impressive in all of Barcelona.

 

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Barcelona

Amazing food, unreal architecture and countless hours of sunshine are just a few of the reasons Barcelona is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. No matter your age, style or travel budget, there’s something for everyone in Barcelona.

Just to recap; El Born is our top choice for where to stay to experience Barcelona’s infamous nightlife. With cervecerias, bars and nightclubs lining the streets, this neighbourhood is lively and vibrant no matter the time of day.

Our recommendation for the best hotel is H10 Port Vell. Modern and stylish, this hotel is affordable, luxurious and boasts stunning views of the city and sea.

Let us know if we missed anything in the comments below. Bon voyage!

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About the Author Hotel Jules Editor

Hotel Jules is an internationally acclaimed review site that rates the best hotels in the world. Our primary objective is to offer tourists with added information on the different types of accommodation they can get in various places around the world. Each one is evaluated using factors like cleanliness, service, location, price affordability, and amenities.

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