Barcelona is an unmissable city, easy to reach and ideal for any traveler. But what is the best area to stay?
Your decision depends on the purpose of the trip, the length of stay, your preferences and the budget available. Taking all these aspects into consideration, let's see how to choose the best and most strategic area to stay in Barcelona.
We also find out which neighborhoods are best avoided, even though Barcelona is considered a generally safe city.
Where to stay in Barcelona
First of all, it must be said that Barcelona is no longer an economic destination, especially in terms of housing costs. Also in Barcelona it is almost always high season.
This is why it is even more important to understand where it is best to sleep in Barcelona, in order to save money and at the same time stay in a strategic place to visit the city.
As a location the downtown neighborhoods are definitely the best choice, especially for short stays: perfect for enjoying the charm of the city and easily reaching the main attractions on foot.
The real heart of the city is Plaça de Catalunya, nerve center and starting point of the main streets, such as the famous boulevard La Rambla, Il Passeig de Gràcia or the Rambla de Catalunya.
Plaza Catalunya is located on the border between theelegant Eixample district and old Gothic quarter.
Keep in mind that the historic center is quite intimate and you can go around it all on foot. Starting from Plaça de Catalunya and staying within a radius of about 2 km you can look for a property in one of the downtown districts, such as Gothic Quarter, El Born, the area of Passeig de Gràcia or Eixample.
In this way you will have most of the points of interest within easy reach and a wide choice of places to spend the evenings. The most distant attractions from the center are Park Güell or Montjüic.
The historic center is also the perfect base for families with small children who have to go around with a stroller and who can visit the city without having to use public transport.
The center is always full of people at any time of day or night; in particular the neighborhoods Born or Barrio Gotico are the most lively in the evening. The latter is also the most central and rich in restaurants and clubs.
Among the districts of the center, the least recommended is El Raval because some areas are more degraded (especially towards the sea) and less safe at night. If you find a good structure, check the location and check the reviews to see if it could be a valid solution. The safest area is the one towards Plaça de Catalunya. In any case, always keep your eyes open and do not go into alleys in the evening.
If, on the other hand, your stay in the Spanish city includes at least 5 days, you could evaluate other areas close to the center and well connected by the subway, like New town.
Gràcia or Barceloneta are also a valid alternative, from here you can also move towards the center on foot. Staying in semi-central areas you will also solve any budget problems.
For those who go for work, the best area to stay in Barcelona is near Plaza de Espana where is there "Fira de Barcelona" the trade fair center of the city. It is a well-connected area made up mostly of offices and companies.
In any case, Barcelona is a city with good public transport and it is easy to move from one place to another.
The Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Barcelona
The Gothic Quarter is the historic area of the city and one of the most chosen neighborhoods by the many tourists who visit Barcelona. A set of narrow alleys and picturesque squares, where the remains of what was once an ancient Roman village are hidden.
Located between Raval and El Born, the Gothic is the real heart of the city, near the Rambla. Among the main attractions is the splendid and imposing Cathedral of Santa Croce and Sant'Eulalia.
The streets are full of shops, bars and restaurants, especially at Plaça Reial. Even in the evening the neighborhood is lively, there is no shortage of places to have a drink.
It is one of the best areas to stay in Barcelona, central and close to the most important attractions of the city, such as Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, Casa Amatller and La Pedrera, ideal for those who want to see the works of Gaudí.
Eixample is quiet, safe and residential. There is no shortage of excellent restaurants, cafes, trendy bars, clubs and shops for shopping. In fact this is where the famous passes Paseo de Gracia the shopping street par excellence.
Keep in mind though that the Eixample is the largest district in the center and it is divided into left and right areas. It is therefore necessary to evaluate the position because depending on where you choose the accommodation you could be more or less distant from the center and in particular from Plaque of Catalonia.
The Sagrada Familia area is located inside the Eixample, it is a very quiet area and well connected if you are staying near a metro stop. In addition you will have the advantage of being a stone's throw from the famous basilica.
Historically known as the Ribera, it is one of the districts of the Old City along with the Barrio Gotico, the Raval and the Barceloneta. El Born is one of the most elegant areas of Barcelona, home to many clothing shops, museums, restaurants and bars.
El Born is very popular with young people, especially in the evening, but it is always pleasant to take a stroll through the streets of this charming barrio, which also houses the Picasso Museum, the Basilica of Santa María del Mar and the Parc de la Ciutadella.
Born is the perfect area to stay in Barcelona for those looking for a mix of culture and night life.
Gràcia is a small village a stone's throw from the center, and was an independent city until the end of the 19th century. In reality, it still continues to be a small community today.
This barrio is full of artists, actors, musicians, photographers and painters who give the neighborhood a bohemian-looking charm. Plaça del Sol is the heart of the neighborhood, full of bars and cafes, always very animated by young Spaniards during the summer evenings.
The area is very well connected to the center, the metro stop is Fontana, Plaça Catalunya can be reached in less than 5 minutes by metro or in 15 minutes on foot. Also important attractions such as the Park Guell or the Sagrada Familia, are within walking distance.
The district Gracia is the ideal place to sleep in Barcelona for those who want to experience the true soul of the city, avoid the crowds of tourists and at the same time stay within walking distance of the center and the main attractions.
For sea lovers Barceloneta is the best choice to stay in Barcelona, it offers a splendid view of the sea and is still close to the historic center.
It is the perfect area to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, where you will find the best fish restaurants and many bars.
For those looking for a quiet and less touristy area, close to the sea and with new facilities and excellent value for money, the modern district of Poblenou is a valid alternative where to sleep in Barcelona. It is not in the center but is well connected by public transport.
The Rambla del Poblenou is beautiful, an avenue full of shops, restaurants and tapas bars, where you can stroll down to the beach, breathing in a calm and relaxing atmosphere.
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