5 Neighborhoods To Stay in Barcelona (And Best Hotels Recommendations For Each of Them!)

Barcelona Passes – which one is worth the money barcelona 9 sagrada familia

Barcelona, although not the capital of Spain, is still one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe and a superb city that has something to offer for all types of travelers out there, regardless if you’re interested in history, architecture, art, culture or gastronomy!

If you are planning a vacation there, you might be wondering where to stay in Barcelona, right? No worries, I’m here to help! In this post you’ll find out everything you need to know about the 5 best neighborhoods to stay in Barcelona together with the best hotel recommendations in each of them.

I, like many others, fell in love with Barcelona and visited it many times! Moreover, I even lived in the city for some time which allowed me to get to know it better (please read all my tips on Barcelona here). So you can rest assured that I only have inside tips for you!

Bunkers del Carmen Lookout 4 Unusual Things To Do In Barcelona Spain

NOTE: By the way, please remember to book as much in advance as you can because all hotels with good reviews always get sold out fast!

Now, let me help you a little bit with areas of Barcelona where it is best to stay for a tourist!

Are you ready? Let’s go!

If you’re in a hurry…

The best area to stay in Barcelona for first time visitors is Barrio Gotico (the Gothic Quarter). This is the historical and geographical heart of the city and one of the best places to stay in Barcelona if you want to be close to all the important landmarks, attractions and activities – not to mention the tapas bars!

Best hotels in Barcelona, Spain in a nutshell

Which area should you choose?

First of all, here is a map of all the 5 neighborhoods I am recommending in Barcelona, so you can better visualize them:

barcelona areas

Barcelona is divided into 10 official areas named “districts” and each of them is extremely different from the others. In this article I will recommend 5 neighborhoods where you can stay if you are visiting the city for the first time or if you just want to be close to the most important attractions.

In order to choose the best places to stay in Barcelona for you, I have created this personalized list of recommendations:

  • Best area to stay in Barcelona for luxury: Eixample
  • Best area to stay in Barcelona for budget travelers: El Raval
  • Best area to stay in Barcelona for nightlife: El Born
  • Best area to stay in Barcelona for families: La Barceloneta

For each district or neighbourhood I carefully selected some of the best hotels for every type of budget, be it 5-star hotels, middle-priced accommodations or hostels.

You should know that each of these neighborhoods have unique advantages, so choose the one that fits you most. So, here we go, let’s find out everything you need to know about the 5 best neighborhoods to stay in Barcelona with hand-picked Barcelona accommodations in each of them sorted by your budget:

And here is a video so you can better understand the atmosphere of the best neighborhoods in the city:

1. Barrio Gotico / Gothic Quarter – Where to stay in Barcelona for the first time

5 Neighborhoods To Stay In Barcelona (And Best Hotels Recommendations For Each Of Them!) la rambla

Barrio Gotico means the Gothic Quarter and it is actually one of the oldest neighborhoods of the city, also known as the Old City Center. This is a very touristic area, buzzling of shops, museums and events, especially during the summer days!

This is definitely the best area in Barcelona for people who are visiting the city for the very first time!

The famous avenue La Rambla is the center of this neighborhood and you can also find the popular La Boqueria Market there – one of the most famous food halls in the entire city where you can go to buy authentic ingredients and food!

This neighborhood is perfect for people who want to do sightseeing, especially those of you who are visiting Barcelona for the very first time. If you stay there, you will be close to the central area and most of the attractions.

2 5 Neighborhoods To Stay In Barcelona (And Best Hotels Recommendations For Each Of Them!) Gothic Quarter

Luxury (US$170 and up)

Because the Gothic Quarter is such a popular and touristic area of the city, the rooms are selling out very fast and that’s why I recommend you book yours as soon as possible!

  • Hotel The Serras is a 5-star luxury hotel located right in the heart of the city! I am sure you will fall in love with the infinity pool on the rooftop, the Michelin-starred restaurant and the amazingly decorated rooms! This hotel is actually the building where Pablo Picasso lived and started his career in 1896!
  • The Wittmore has amazing city views and extremely quiet rooms where you will be able to relax after a full day. I am sure you will also enjoy the on-site restaurant and bar where they await you with a wide range of tasty meals and different types of wine! Make sure to book your stay here if you want to be in one of the best hotels in the heart of the city!

Middle-priced (US$110 – US$170)

  • Catalonia Avinyo is a cool 3-star hotel with bright and modern decorated rooms. They even have a rooftop pool and their own gym in case you don’t want to lose your shape during your vacation! Of course, you will be right in the heart of the city, close to many restaurants, clubs and bars if you want to go out and have a good time!
  • NH Barcelona Barri Gotic is located right in the heart of the area, but also very close to the beach. They have free Wi-Fi, delicious breakfast options and lots of nice spots for shopping and dining around. Plus, staying here means you’ll only be a short walk away from all the important attractions in the Old City!

Budget (up to US$110)

  • Hostal Excellence is a good budget option in the Barrio Gotico. The rooms are clean and modern and you can even stay and relax in the lounge area. The 24-hours reception is a great bonus, as it will give you some flexibility in planning your stay in Barcelona. Get ready to have a great time here!
  • Hotel Inglés – this one is very close to La Rambla and Boquería market, so you can enjoy some of Barcelona’s landmarks right near your hotel. The rooms are very simple and clean, perfect for a comfortable stay in the city. Plus, you will be a short walk away to all the important attractions in one of the best areas in Barcelona!

2. La Barceloneta – Where to stay in Barcelona with a family

Barcelona Passes – which one is worth the money barcelona 4

I am sure you heard about the famous Barceloneta Beach before, have you? It is one of the authentic neighborhoods of Barcelona and also the most demanded one amongst tourists!

Barceloneta is the perfect area for beach lovers! The city has a coastline of six kilometers of beaches and the very first one and most accessible is Barceloneta. This transformed it into a place full of tourists, but also of amazing seafood restaurants where you can get to taste the real Spanish cuisine!

Here are my recommendations of hotels – all of them have fabulous reviews, great location close to the beach and I also sorted them out by price for your convenience:

1 5 Neighborhoods To Stay In Barcelona (And Best Hotels Recommendations For Each Of Them!) La Barceloneta

Luxury (US$170 and up)

  • W Barcelona is probably the most famous hotel in Barcelona and a landmark of the city, as you can clearly see it on the beach. It offers excellent service, amazing design and a unique view over the sea and the entire city. The perfect place for a luxury, signature stay in Barcelona!
  • Hotel Arts Barcelona is another 5-star luxury hotel in Barceloneta on the beach that stands up with its cool outdoor pools, panoramic city views and incredible spa where you can completely relax after a day of exploring Barcelona. It even has its own hair salon and luxury boutiques and the spacious rooms will make you feel like a queen/king!

Middle-priced (US$110 – US$170)

  • Hotel SB Icaria Barcelona is a 4-star accommodation located only 5 minutes away from the beach! The rooms are very clean and stylish and the entire hotel has many great facilities such as a very good on-site restaurant, bar and even a garden terrace.
  • NH Hesperia Barcelona del Mar is another cool 4-star hotel, only 4 minutes away from the beach, even though it is a bit more far away from Barceloneta beach (closer to Sant Martí neighborhood). This one awaits you with amazing restaurants that serve traditional Spanish cuisine!

Budget (up to US$110)

As you might have already guessed, there aren’t many budget options in Barceloneta, as it is one of the most popular and touristic places in the city. Still, I will recommend two places where you can book a room in case you want to be as close to the beach as possible. Hurry up to book them if you see them available for your dates!

  • Hotel Medium Renaixença is really close to the beach and all of them are nice and clean. The rooms are clean and spacious and you can even use the laundry facilities, lockers and padlocks!
  • Kalma Sitges Hotel is right on the beach, which is a great bonus. The staff is very friendly and the rooms are tidy. You will be close to many good seafood restaurants because you are so close to the beach!

3. Eixample

Barcelona Passes – which one is worth the money gaudi casa batllo

Eixample is a newer neighborhood than, for example, the Gothic Quarter. It was built on a grid system called “super block”, it’s very geometric and some of the best city planners worked on it. I definitely recommend it to travelers that are planning to be based in one of the best areas in Barcelona for an upscale stay!

This is the perfect spot to stay in if you want to be as close as possible to some of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces such as Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo and La Padrera.

Eixample is not as crowded, as it is made of large avenues where you can have a nice walk and discover the city. It is also very close to the city center and if you want to stay in some of the most gorgeous luxury hotels in Barcelona, this is the place to be!

That being said, here are the best hotels I could find in one of the best areas around:

3 5 Neighborhoods To Stay In Barcelona (And Best Hotels Recommendations For Each Of Them!) Eixample

Luxury (US$170 and up)

  • Monument Hotel – This is my first luxury recommendation and a gorgeous hotel located only 5 minutes away from Casa Batllo and La Padrera, as well as Passeig de Gràcia. Besides being near some of Gaudi’s masterpieces, Monument Hotel awaits you with an amazing gourmet restaurant with 3 Michelin stars. You should also know that this hotel is actually Enric Batllo’s house from the 19th century, so you will literally stay in a monument!
  • Ohla Eixample – When I said that Eixample has some of the best luxury hotels in the city, I wasn’t kidding! During your stay here, you will be spoiled with a heated outdoor pool, a Michelin-starred restaurant and gorgeous, spacious rooms! Plus, it’s located very close to Passeig de Gràcia, one of the most important venues in Barcelona!

Middle-priced (US$110 – US$170)

  • Ayre Hotel Caspe – Here’s an amazing hotel with gym, restaurant, bar and a cool outdoor terrace. The rooms are super clean and soundproofed, so I guarantee you will sleep like a baby here! Ayre Hotel Caspe is also very close to Gaudi’s houses, Passeig de Gràcia and tons of tapas bars.
  • Bcn Urban Hotels Gran Rosellon is a cool and super modern 4-star hotel with middle-priced options. I am sure you will enjoy the seasonal outdoor pool, the awesome fitness center and the sun terrace! By the way, staying here means you’ll be in one of the best neighborhoods in the city, close to plenty tapas bars and pubs, so get ready to have a good time here!

Budget (up to US$110)

  • Sweet BCN Youth Hostel is a great budget accommodation located only 500m away from Gaudi’s La Pedrera. The rooms are very simple and clean and the ceilings and floors are simply gorgeous! You can choose from private rooms and dormitory rooms, depending on your budget and preferences. A great place to make international friends!
  • 360 Hostel Barcelona Arts&Culture is another good budget hostel with nice rooms. You can also benefit from the shared kitchen where you can cook your meals. This hostel is super close to Placa de Catalunya (750m away), so you can rest assured that you are close to Barcelona’s heart.

4. El Born – Where to stay in Barcelona for nightlife

Barcelona Passes – which one is worth the money arc de triomphe

Are you a night owl looking to dance the night away? Then search no more, as El Born is one of the best areas for nightlife!

El Born is another historical area of Barcelona, but a little bit more modern than the Gothic Quarter. I recommend it for people who want to enjoy the city’s nightlife.

If you pass right through the Arc de Triomf you will reach the beautiful area of El Born, a place rich in good restaurants and tapas bars. You can also find there Santa Caterina Market, a food hall almost as popular as Boqueria!

NOTE: There aren’t that many accommodation options in the gorgeous neighborhood of El Born, so I recommend you book yours as soon as you can:

4 5 Neighborhoods To Stay In Barcelona (And Best Hotels Recommendations For Each Of Them!) El Born

Luxury (US$170 and up)

  • K+K Hotel Picasso 4* Superior is a gorgeous 4-star boutique hotel that awaits you with a rooftop swimming pool, contemporary décors and free Wi-Fi. You can also have some great meals at their on-site restaurant, or you can relax with a delicious cocktail at their amazing bar! Plus, staying here means you’ll be close to many bars and nightlife places, so get ready for an unforgettable time in Barcelona!
  • Hotel Banys Orientals is my second luxury recommendations and I am sure you will like the fact that the hotel is actually a building from the 18th century! The rooms are super chic and clean and they even have balconies where you can enjoy the view and just relax. Make sure to book a room here if your dream is to stay in one of the best areas for nightlife!

Middle-priced (US$110 – US$170)

  • Exe Laietana Palace is actually a 4-stars hotel set in a gorgeous neo-classical building that has been refurbished. Each morning you can enjoy a delicious breakfast at the hotel and then proceed to discover the neighborhood and the city! One of the best middle-priced hotels in one of the best areas around!
  • Hotel Oasis is my second middle-priced recommendation in this area. The hotel has an overall cozy atmosphere and the rooms are nicely decorated. They even have an outdoor pool where you can enjoy your days of evenings when you don’t feel like walking around, or you can spend the night in one of the nightlife places around the hotel. What more would you need?!

Budget (up to US$110)

  • Pension Ciudadela is my recommendation for every budget traveler that wishes to stay in El Born. The rooms are very simple and clean and they will offer everything you need for a good quality budget stay in Barcelona. Make sure to book your stay here and you’ll be close to many nightlife options and other interesting sights around!

5. El Raval – Where to stay in Barcelona on a budget

5 Neighborhoods To Stay In Barcelona (And Best Hotels Recommendations For Each Of Them!) el raval street

In case you want to taste some of the real Barcelona life, with both its good and bad sides, El Raval is your choice! It is one of the most controversial neighborhoods of the city, as you will get to see there very clearly the multiculturalism and gentrification of Barcelona.

El Raval is bursting with hipster cafes and cool shops and there are things happening every minute over there! Plus, it’s located close to El Poble Sec as well, so you can visit it if you want!

I recommend it to youngsters who don’t mind the vivid Barcelona vibe!

If you feel like this is the best area for you, here are the top hotels in El Raval I have hand-picked for you:

5 5 Neighborhoods To Stay In Barcelona (And Best Hotels Recommendations For Each Of Them!) El Raval

Luxury (US$170 and up)

  • Hotel 1898 is a 4-star hotel located right along the famous La Rambla street, in the heart of El Raval! It is actually a 19th century building that was restored and transformed into a luxury accommodation with a heated rooftop pool, a cool restaurant, a sun terrace and more! Definitely one of the best hotels around!
  • Catalonia Ramblas 4* Sup is another 4-star accommodation, only 3 minutes away by walking from Placa Catalunya. You can taste the authentic Catalan cuisine, bathe in the awesome outdoor or indoor pool or get an awesome massage! Plus, it’s also close to El Poble Sec and other interesting sights around!

Middle-priced (US$110 – US$170)

  • Leonardo Hotel Barcelona Las Ramblas is an amazing middle-priced accommodation that also has an outside swimming pool, awesome rooftop terrace and some delicious breakfast options, all for accessible, middle prices!
  • Gaudi Hotel – Do you want to stay in a stunning hotel in Barcelona where you will have a view of Park Guell on the terrace? Then this is the place to be! Gaudi Hotel has very clean and modern rooms, a great bar, laundry and ironing services and more!

Budget (up to US$110)

  • Hostal Operaramblas is a great budget hostel in El Raval, Barcelona. The rooms are tidy and decorated in a simple manner, perfect for relaxing and having a good night’s sleep. You will also find many cool cafes and restaurants in the surrounding area! This accommodation is also close to El Poble Sec and other cool landmarks around.
  • Niu Barcelona is another good idea because it has a cute rooftop terrace, an awesome outdoor pool and you can choose from different types of rooms, depending on their size and types of bathrooms. Book your stay here if you want to be in one of the best budget areas in Barcelona and get ready to have an enjoyable time!

BONUS 1: Best apartments in Barcelona

Maybe you’re the type of traveler that prefers a cozier, homey feeling when they’re traveling, right? In which case I will tell you that I feel the same! Luckily for the both of us, Barcelona has TONS of amazing Airbnb options that will satisfy any preference and pocket size.

Below I have selected the best apartments in Barcelona, all of them in the city center and with fabulous reviews:

Luxury (US$110 and up)

  • Esplendido apto de tres dormitorios con terraza – This is definitely one of the best luxury apartments in Barcelona, just check out the pictures and you’ll understand what I mean! Plus, it is located in one of the best areas in the city – the town centre! It’s the best place if you’re looking for a local atmosphere!
  • Elegant Zen Studio with Superb View of Las Ramblas – Here’s another excellent choice for all travelers looking for a superb place. This one looks amazing and it’s also very well located, with quick access to all the main attractions in the city, including Las Ramblas. Keep an eye out if they’re free during your dates!

Middle-priced (US$70 – U$110)

hotel barcelona

  • Gorgeous vintage room with AC (Old Town) – This beautiful room in a shared apartment is very well located, right in the soul of the Old Town, close to all the important attractions and activities in Barcelona. Clean and cozy!
  • BEACH & HEART OF BARCELONA (PRIVATE ROOM) – This is another private room in an apartment that I recommend to all those of you that are looking to save some money on accommodation. Plus, the location is pretty close to the beach as well!

Budget (up to US$70)

  • Double room in the heart of Barcelona – Here’s an awesome private room that’s also very well located, right in the city center. It’s the best place to book if you’re looking to live like locals and have a good stay in the city!
  • GOTHIC-STYLE MULTIPLE ROOM – This is another great private room that comes with unbeatable rates and a very good location, close to countless public transport options. Which means you’ll be well-connected to the rest of the city as well!

BONUS 2: Best hotels near Barcelona El Prat Airport

spain airport

Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN) is the main airport in the city and most probably the place where you’ll land if you arrive to the city by plane. The airport is located 15 km from the city center, which means around 20 minutes by car with no traffic.

In case you have a very late or very early flight, a wise idea would be to book your stay as close to the airport as possible. If you have decided to do so, here are the best airport hotels I have selected for you (one for each type of budget):

  • (Luxury) AC Hotel by Marriott Gava Mar Airport – Here’s my recommendation for all travelers that are looking for easy access to El Prat Airport while also enjoying a super luxurious stay! This accommodation is very well placed, only 5.5 km from the airport.
  • (Middle-priced) Ciutat del Prat – This awesome hotel offers a great value for the money you’ll be paying and it is also very well located, only 3.2 km from the airport!
  • (Budget) BAH Barcelona Airport Hotel – Are you traveling on a tight budget but still looking for an accommodation close to El Prat? No worries, this one is a good choice and it’s only 2.4 km from the airport.

Type your dates below to see the rates for the available hotels:



Booking.com


Conclusion

Barcelona Passes – which one is worth the money park guell 2

Yay, you have reached the end of my complete post on the best neighborhoods and hotels in the city! Barcelona is so unique and diverse, it was really hard finding only 5 neighborhoods to recommend! Each of these areas are very different from each other, and the choice really depends on your own preferences and budget!

The city is definitely worth visiting, I have spent 3 months there, and it still was not enough!

I hope my ultimate guide on Barcelona areas and hotels has helped you to decide on which area is the best for you to stay in and find your perfect accommodation!

NOTE: However, if you want to read my tips on things to do in Barcelona, how to avoid the crazy lines to Sagrada Familia, what to visit outside Barcelona and more, please click here to find all my content about this beautiful city!

As usual, do not hesitate to ask me any questions in the comments section below if you want to ask for additional information, it is always welcomed!

Yulia

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By |2020-03-20T16:39:30+04:00August 5th, 2018|Barcelona, Europe, Spain|10 Comments
About the Author:
Yulia is originally Russian but truly is a world citizen in heart. She was traveling around the world for over 4 years now. Her blog MissTourist.com is created with the purpose to inspire people to travel more and to share her advice of how to travel "smart".

10 Comments

  1. Jason Truong 28.05.2019 at 01:57 - Reply

    Every blog i have read so far (in preparation for our family’s first trip to Europe) has been full of great information. Please continue with your great efforts and I will be sure to pass this site to more friends and coworkers.

    • Yulia 28.05.2019 at 15:34 - Reply

      Thanks Jason, happy to hear it! <3

  2. Gaye Davis 07.06.2019 at 20:27 - Reply

    Hi Romina,
    We will arrive in Barcelona on Friday, November 22, 2019 via cruise ship. The ship docks at 7 a.m. and I think we will be able to get off the ship and arrive at our hotel the Arc La Ramblas by 10 a.m. I was thinking of taking the hop off/hop on tour with the Barcelona Bus Turistic. Do you think we will need to purchase tickets for the Sagrada Familia in advance? We only have the one day and evening in Barcelona. We fly out the morning of Saturday, November 23rd. I wanted to do the hop on/hop off and see the Sagrada Familia and possibly the Barcelona Cathedral or the Picasso Museum. Do we need to purchase tickets in advance for either of these? Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Gaye

    • Yulia 10.06.2019 at 13:49 - Reply

      Hi, Gaye!
      Taking the Hop-On Hop-Off bus is a great way to discover Barcelona in such a short timeframe, good choice! Yes, I totally recommend purchasing your tickets for Sagrada Familia a bit in advance (at least 1 – 1.5 months). I generally recommend booking tickets in advance so you’ll have everything organized and be less stressed about this 🙂
      The skip-the-line tickets (the ones that I definitely recommend taking so you will avoid the long lines) are available from 2 PM on. So my recommendation would be to take the touristic bus after you arrive, explore the city (it has 3 different lines, the blue and red one take 2 hours each and the green one 40 minutes, so you will have some time for this), go to Picasso Museum or Barcelona Cathedral for a brief visit and then go to Sagrada Familia in the late afternoon, to catch the sunset there (the best time to visit it!).
      I also recommend reading my article about Mistakes you should avoid at Sagrada Familia for more information.

      That’s it, I hope this was useful! Have a great time in Barcelona and have fun! 🙂

  3. Janet 31.07.2019 at 15:36 - Reply

    Hi Yulia.
    Am traveling to Barcelona with my 4 yr old daughter come September 5th all through till 10th September. This is our first time. Mind helping me with advice on the best places to visit, especially for the girl and for us to maximise on the tour. Thanks

    • Yulia 31.07.2019 at 16:31 - Reply

      Hi Janet!
      Sure! Actually, I have an entire article about it, which you can check out here – Barcelona with kids – 25 Awesome Things To Do
      The list has as many options as you need for your itinerary and you can choose the best activities for you and your daughter, regardless if you need something more relaxing, adventurous, cultural etc.
      Hope you’ll have a great vacation in Barcelona! 🙂

  4. Sophia 13.08.2019 at 00:25 - Reply

    Hello. I am traveling with two of my girlfriends to Barcelona end of March 2020. We are going to see one of our favorite bands play and explore this great city. We want to eat delicious food and sightsee as well as shop. Will be staying 6 nights. We want quiet, safe and close to centre and explored air bnbs but decided against it and much rather stay at a hotel. Can you recommend which area would be best? We are not looking for crazy nightlife as we are older, late 50s, late 40s and late 30s. We want to wander to cafes and local cool bars. Please advise. Most grateful. Sophia

    • Yulia 21.08.2019 at 13:43 - Reply

      Hi Sophia,
      First of all, congrats on going to Barcelona, it’s such an amazing city!
      For what you want, I’d definitely recommend the neighborhood of Eixample. It’s laid-back and safe, while also having a great selection of bars and being close to the center and all the other attractions. You can find my hotel recommendations right here in the article! 🙂
      Some other alternatives that are not mentioned here would be Gràcia or Sant Antoni.
      Hope this helps and I wish all 3 of you a great time in Barcelona!

  5. Amy Peck 02.01.2020 at 22:07 - Reply

    Hello Yulia-I’ll be going to Barcelona in February. I’ll arrive a few days before my husband, who’s attending a week long conference. I’ll have days to myself to explore. Question-what area to book a hotel for myself? Thinking of taking a cooking class. I love to hike, shop unusual shops, and really get a taste and feel of how locals truly live. Looking for any suggestions!! Thank you! Amy

    • Yulia 06.01.2020 at 16:49 - Reply

      Hello Amy,

      If you want to get a sense of how the city really is, I would deffinitely recommend you to choose the district El Raval!

      As for cooking classes, I found a few interesting one on the GetYourGuide website, like this one, but there are more options, you can check them out on their website!

      You can also take a look at my other articles on Barcelona, if you’re looking for some extra inspiration on things to do, places to go and where to eat!

      Have lots of fun!

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