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 record for journey bucket lists.
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 conflict and unrest. Combine this in with an enormous migrant and expat neighborhood and also you discover a mix of cultures, cuisines, languages and types.
Possibly you want to keep within the coronary heart of the outdated city and Gothic structure, or do you wish to expertise the mix of metropolis and seashore in Barceloneta? It could possibly be that you’re extra of an uptown kinda individual and wish to keep within the coronary heart of Eixample, surrounded by towering buildings, countless purchasing alternatives and Gaudi round what looks as if nearly each nook.
Both manner, we’ve 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 E 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 bought a put up 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 seek out all of the hidden spots from a Barcelona resident!
Barcelona Journey Ideas
Earlier than we dive into the barrio round-up, listed here are just a few suggestions that can assist you put together on your journey to Barcelona.
- Be conscious 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 perfect 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 stunning. Additionally means fewer thick winter layers to pack!
- Put together 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 primary 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 downside in Barcelona, and the locations I like to recommend avoiding are the worst locations you’re more likely to encounter thieves. Don’t depart your cellphone 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 food and drinks all of the cava: Catalan and Spanish delicacies is scrumptious, with a number of contemporary 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 solution to eat! Cava can also be made within the area so first rate 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 proper abbreviation is Barna; Barca is the soccer group. I nonetheless really feel bizarre calling it Barna so simply persist with Barcelona.
- Convey snug strolling sneakers: Town is extremely walkable however components of it are hilly and you’ll cowl much more floor than you notice whereas gawking on the structure. So pack first rate sneakers you already know will hold your toes completely happy and benefit from the stroll! To assist, we’ve bought a Barcelona self-guided walking tour – and we’ve additionally bought solutions for the very best strolling sneakers for journey. Listed here are our favourite journey sneakers for men and for women.
- Completely different areas even have totally different hyperlinks to different components of town: The metro system is great and pretty simple to navigate however in case you desire to keep away from utilizing it or buses then you must base your self strolling distance to the stuff you wish to see or at the least 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 bear 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 inexpensive for residents and creating numerous scams and disparity. Inns had been badly affected by the pandemic in order that they deserve the assist relatively than grasping property house owners who would relatively depart an house empty as an alternative of renting it for an affordable worth to an area. There are even new legal guidelines limiting vacationer licenses and you’re now not allowed to lease a room short-term, so don’t contribute to the housing disaster, be a accountable vacationer, and keep in a resort!
- In case your check-in and check-out instances don’t sync up together with your have to 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 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.
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 battle to know the place to go and what to do, however don’t fear, I bought you lined!
As with many cities, there may be additionally an enormous financial variation. Strolling alongside Passeig de Gràcia you’ll see buyers 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 town, you’re all the time only a quick stroll or turning a nook away from discovering one thing utterly totally different and discovering a hidden gem. Which does make searching down meals and souvenirs actually enjoyable – all the things your coronary heart needs may be present in Barcelona!
Outdated Metropolis: El Born & Gothic
The outdated 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. Filled with outdated winding streets, stunning historic buildings, church buildings, cute eating places and hidden options round each nook.
That is the place you will discover Barcelona Cathedral, the Picasso Museum, Arc de Triomf, La Rambla, and a complete 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 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 resort room window.
This barrio has nice transport hyperlinks to the remainder of town and is a brief stroll to the seashore, with components 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 kind of individual.
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 resort afterward.
The place to Keep in El Born & Gothic
There are a mix of dear lodges on this space in addition to some critically price range hostels. Beneath are a few of our favorites:
- Hostal Fernando is a type of good types of hostels with clear, vibrant rooms. It additionally overlooks Església de Sant Jaume, which is a reasonably, outdated church. Historical past in your windowsill!
- For one thing a bit fancier Barcelona Hotel Colonial is true 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 another 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 situated only some doorways down a aspect avenue from La Rambla and can also 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 unattainable to get misplaced. To at least 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 superb place to really feel you’re staying proper on the seashore with out lacking out on that Barcelona outdated metropolis allure. The buildings aren’t essentially as fairly as different components of town however the seashore ambiance is sort of 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 just a few bigger lodges on this space as you’d anticipate with it being beachside however the costs are wildly costly. Take a look at the well-known landmark resort The W, stunning and epic views however out of price range for many vacationers! You’ll be able to 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 an incredible rooftop pool and terrace and appears out in the direction of the marina. From right here you’ll be able to entry El Born, Gothic and Barceloneta in only a quick stroll.
- Hotel 54 Barceloneta is true on the entrance overlooking the marina and steps away from the seashore, this could be my choose if going for the seashore resort choice. The rooftop bar can also be like a bit backyard paradise, excellent for resting after an extended day of exploring.
- For a extra price range room, the Sea Hostel is a superb choose for dorm room-style lodging, it’s also 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 just’ll see most in aerial pictures of Barcelona, these excellent pink 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 also be the bigger of the districts in Barcelona.
The roads are additionally very driveable, other than the irritating pink gentle cease/begin system which does make site visitors heavier right here. However most lodges have first rate sound insulation so you’ll be able to keep away from site visitors noise so long as you retain your home windows closed.
This space is charming for its typical Barcelona type 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 purchasing can also be unbelievable right here with all the things 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 resort, that is the place to do it.
This space can also be very well linked with public transport, the buses run frequently and there are numerous metro stations in addition to practice stations at each Passeig de Gràcia and at Plaza Catalunya.
The place to Keep in Eixample
As you’d anticipate there is no such thing as a scarcity of lodges in Eixample, from simpler budgets to luxurious high-end lodges. Listed here are some fo the very best ones:
- Once I first arrived in Barcelona I booked into Hostalin Barcelona Gran Via and it’s the place I like to recommend buddies to remain for a fantastic worth resort. The workers was a dream throughout my keep, the rooms are vibrant 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 superb selection, and although the worth is a bit larger it’s not eye-watering. You could possibly go all out for a set with a personal terrace or simply benefit from the rooftop terrace which is equally beautiful.
- If you wish to exit your resort to the odor of contemporary bread and pastries then you must guide Praktik Bakery, with rooms as contemporary because the bread and a brief stroll to Diagonal. Simply make certain to not hang around and go discover (hehehe)!
The place else to remain in Barcelona aside from near the long-lasting Basílica de la Sagrada Família! If that is your primary cause for visiting Barcelona, and no one will decide you whether it is then that is the place to remain. You’ll be able to meander across the cafes within the space, sit in parks surrounding the basílica and usually 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 near Eixample and straightforward to get to different components of town.
The place to Keep in Sagrada Família
After all, if you’re staying on this space then you definately completely want a resort with views of the basílica, which aren’t the most cost effective rooms within the metropolis however there are some well-priced lodges value checking into.
- Sensation Sagrada Família has serviced flats with a wonderful shared roof terrace overlooking the long-lasting church. Right here you will 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 choice, the Sercotel Rosellón has vibrant rooms, a fantastic breakfast and a roof terrace with solar loungers pointing at Sagrada, an iconic solution 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 fashionable 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 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 world can also be identified for its festivals, historically every neighborhood has its personal mini-festivals however the one in Gràcia is extensively referred to as the very best. Streets are lined with decorations and stalls, with some streets working in competitors for the very best decor. Though remember 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 selection amongst vacationers so you’ll really feel such as you’ve hit a bit hidden gem, and lodges are typically a bit cheaper too.
- Hotel Ronda Lesseps is a cute resort with a wonderful inside courtyard backyard connected to the resort bar. It’s also 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 choice with a rooftop pool is the Catalonia Park Güell resort, costs aren’t vastly totally different however it’s barely extra outdoors the central a part of Gràcia. Rooftop swimming pools in lodges 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
In case you are like the remainder of Workforce Sensible Wanderlust and are a proud canine proprietor you may be happy to listen to that Barcelona is a superb place to journey together with your furry finest pal.
Most eating places are accommodating, numerous retailers have water bowls outdoors for passing canine and it isn’t unusual to see canine becoming a member of purchasing journeys. My canine loves coming purchasing, it often means getting a number of love from retailer attendants, treats and new locations to smell.
Actually most locations you’ll be able to deliver your canine with you, much more so if it’s a smaller canine. Nonetheless, simply remember that in the summertime months (from Could to October) canine aren’t allowed on the primary seashores so you’ll have to discover the dog beach simply outdoors the primary metropolis middle.
Once I arrived in Barcelona with my pup I booked right into a dog-friendly resort and I’ve just a few buddies who’ve additionally accomplished the identical. Loads of lodges are used to canine companions and accommodate them fairly simply. So in case you journey together with your little pal these are the very best locations to remain.
- Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella: This resort is true reverse Ciutadella Park, which is by far top-of-the-line parks for canine 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 resort can also 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 magnificence, and the bar space is spacious and overlooks the park. There’s additionally a beautiful outside space to take pleasure in an aperitif.
- Hotel Balmes: An actual gem of a resort, they really have a particular package deal for canine, 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 resort, a backyard and a pool.
- Hostalin Barcelona Gran Via: This resort has 2 areas not too removed from one another, as talked about after I arrived in Barcelona I stayed on the Gran By way of resort and it was actually unbelievable. The rooms are clear and spacious, and the workers are superb and really accommodating. The identical vibe can also be at their different resort Diputación, each are in Eixample and very well situated for accessing the remainder of town.
The place To not Keep in Barcelona
Barcelona as a complete is fairly secure and there are few areas to keep away from, these are often simply sure streets relatively than entire areas and it’s extra of simply being conscious relatively 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 fantastic. It helps to remember that Barcelona has numerous poverty and the common wage completely doesn’t match the price of residing 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 town fully as nobody space is best than others.
Except for that, there are some areas of town which might be simply not value staying in, and I’ll clarify the place and why.
Usually once you hear tales of pickpockets, you’re listening to tales of Raval, which is situated to the west aspect 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 dwelling at nighttime will not be advisable.
- The place to Keep as an alternative: In case you are nonetheless searching for the quirky outdated city type that components of Raval have then keep in Gothic as an alternative. You’ll nonetheless have the identical tourist-friendly hustle and bustle and loads of outdated buildings to marvel at however much less of the after-dark issues. May Ramblas Hotel is properly situated 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 may be fairly costly right here and the boutiques and cafes cater to a distinct clientele than what most vacationers could be thinking about.
It’s near the hills of Tibidabo, Barcelona’s highest peak, and the views throughout town may be beautiful however transport hyperlinks aren’t nice so it is going to 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 allure 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’s also near the long-lasting Montjuïc which is fantastic to discover. You can even go see the fountain present at Plaza Espanya.
Nonetheless, to get wherever you will have to leap on the metro or practice, it’s properly linked however if you wish to stroll to the remainder of town you’ll 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 primary transport connection level it does are typically actually busy within the stations, which might get overwhelming if you’re determining learn how to get to the place you wish to be.
- The place to Keep as an alternative: For simple entry to the airport look near Plaza Catalunya. The metro cease is central so will get you the place you must be in addition to the Sants cease does. It’s also a primary level for the airport shuttle buses to begin from, which is by far the best solution to get to the airport fairly cheaply. Praktik Bakery once more is very well situated for ease to journey.
The place to Keep in Barcelona: Abstract
That’s numerous data! So to wrap it up right into a bite-size piece, right here we’ve an at a look abstract:
- The Greatest Areas to Keep in Barcelona: Go for the Outdated 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 By way of and Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella. Can’t beat these for canine lovers!
So why aren’t we recommending any AirBnBs? Briefly, 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 dwelling within the metropolis is an actual downside 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 accomplished 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 lodges as an alternative, which had been in fact 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’ll be able to plan the remainder of your journey! While you’re within the strategy planning 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’re most enthusiastic about seeing? Tell us within the feedback beneath
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