Where to Stay in Barcelona if You Go For the First Time

If you are looking for where to sleep in Barcelona, it is probably because you have chosen this city as the next destination of your trip. let me say good choice: I lived in Barcelona for 6 months and every time I go back I discover something new to do both day and night!

This guide is meant to give you an overview of best neighborhoods to stay in Barcelona and if you still have confused ideas, don't worry: at the end of this article you will have chosen the perfect hotel!

  • 1 - Where to stay in Barcelona for the first time: Gothic Quarter
  • 2 - Where to stay in Barcelona low cost: Montjuic
  • 3 - Where to stay in Barcelona near the sea: Barceloneta
  • 4 - Where to sleep in Barcelona with children: Villa Olimpica
  • 5 - Where to sleep if you are looking for an alternative and healthy life: Gracia
  • 6 - Where to sleep for the nightlife - El Born
  • 7 - Where to sleep in a quiet neighborhood: Sant Antoni / Paral.Lel / Poble Sec
  • 8 - Where NOT to sleep in Barcelona: El Raval

Brief overview of the best neighborhoods

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is a magnificent Mediterranean city, famous for its magnificent churches, cobbled streets, colorful buildings and exciting nightlife.

Home to over 1,5 million people, Barcelona is divided into 10 distinct neighborhoods just waiting to be explored.

Il Gothic Quarter is the district in the center of the city or the oldest part of Barcelona.

Here you will find cobblestone streets smoothed by the passage of people, picturesque squares, markets and ancient churches. The central location of this area combined with its charming atmosphere make in my opinion the Barrio Gotico and its surroundings, the best area to sleep in Barcelona if it's the first time you go there.

New town, Ciutadella e El Born are 3 neighborhoods west of downtown (if you are looking for a lively neighborhood, these 3 neighborhoods are my favorite choice). Charming and unique, you'll find great restaurants, energy-filled bars and historic attractions here.

To the east of the center are the districts of The Raval e Montjuic, home to lush natural scenery, trendy restaurants, exquisite food and great value boutique hotels.

To the north you can explore the barrio of Funny, my first choice on where to stay in Barcelona if you are looking for a quiet neighborhood and an alternative and healthy life.

South of the center, on the shores of the Mediterranean, is the district of Barceloneta. A stone's throw from the city center, this quaint neighborhood is where you'll find the best beaches and seaside attractions in the city.

You don't know yet where to stay in Barcelona? Don't worry, by the end of this article you will surely have made the right choice!

Maybe you might like: The 10 best budget hotels in Barcelona

1 - Where to stay in Barcelona for the first time - Barrio Gotico

Characterized by a mix of old and new charm, from cobbled streets, beautiful churches and quaint squares, the Gothic Quarter (El Gòtic) is undoubtedly the heart and soul of Barcelona (and the neighborhood where I lived).

In addition to the historic sites, this neighborhood is full of great restaurants, lively bars and great shops.

The Gothic Quarter is though one of the most touristic areas of the city. The streets during the summer are often crowded and pickpockets are the order of the day. As many streets are narrow, there isn't always a lot of natural light coming into the hotel rooms.

That said, you can't beat its location and the vibe that characterize it. Within walking distance you have world-class shopping and museums.

More nearby points of interest:

  1. Las Ramblas
  2. Market de la Boqueria
  3. Barcelona Cathedral
  4. Picasso Museum
  5. Gaudi Exhibition Centre

The main avenue of the Gothic Quarter is called La Ramblas and all around you can find luxury hotels and hostels. When I lived in Barcelona it was also an area where you could find great budget accommodation, today this is no longer the case: in the Gothic Quarter expect to get what you pay for.

The best hotels in the Gothic Quarter

Below are the ones that I think are the best hotel to sleep in in terms of quality / price ratio:

Among the mid-range hotels, the Ona Hotels Mosaic and the TOP choice to stay in the Gothic Quarter. Close to restaurants, cafes and tourist attractions, this three-star hotel is within walking distance of the city's main attractions.

Always among the average hotels I also point out the Hotel California, another good choice.

THEHotel OhLa Barcelona it's a trendy boutique hotel and energetic, with a gorgeous rooftop pool, perfect for summer stays.

Il Mercer Hotel is another beautiful boutique, famous for the wonderful breakfast that will prepare you to start the day on the right foot.

If you like particular locations take a look at the historical one Hotel Neri which is found in one of the most beautiful squares in Barcelona.

If you haven't found the right hotel among these hotels, check out the other hotels in the Gothic Quarter by clicking on the blue button below:


2 - Where to stay in Barcelona on a budget - Montjuic

Montjuic, a large neighborhood south of the center of Barcelona, ​​is a peaceful oasis with breathtaking views, the perfect place for a "getaway" while remaining within walking distance of the city center.

Located along the Mediterranean coast, the Montjuic district is where you will find a great variety of museums, monuments and beautiful natural landscapes.

Montjuic is also the place in Barcelona where a number of cheap accommodation. From backpacker hostels to boutique hotels, this neighborhood has something for every need, age and budget.

More nearby points of interest:

  1. MNAC, the National Museum of Catalan Art
  2. Barcelona botanical garden
  3. Montjuic Castle
  4. Flower market

The best hotels in Montjuic

Il Parallel it is a much loved budget hotel low cost travelers. Quietly located, this hotel is comfortable and clean, within walking distance of the city's main attractions.

Among the luxury choices, certainly the Hotel Miramar Barcelona GL it does not disappoint even the most demanding travelers. This 5-star hotel, surrounded by gardens, boasts a picturesque location on Montjuïc Mountain, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It offers 2 swimming pools, free Wi-Fi and rooms with spectacular views over Barcelona.

Didn't find what you were looking for? Click on the button below to see all the other hotels in Montjuic!


3 - Where to stay in Barcelona near the sea - Barceloneta

Barceloneta extends along the seashore. Originally it was a fishermen's district with winding and narrow streets and welcoming taverns and that atmosphere of "country" that despite everything it still manages to maintain.

La Barceloneta is one of the best areas where to sleep in Barcelona near the sea, even with children. Home to the most famous beach in the city, this area is full of activities and attractions for everyone, even for the little ones.

From outdoor adventures and museums to authentic restaurants and independent shopping, there's plenty to see and do in this vibrant neighborhood.

More nearby points of interest:

  1. Ciutadella Park
  2. beaches
  3. Catalan History Museum
  4. Port Vell
  5. Barcelona Aquarium
  6. Cable car of the Port
  7. Church of Sant Miquel del Port

The best hotels in La Barceloneta

I honestly don't know if I would recommend you to stay in La Barceloneta, especially as it is so close to some other neighborhoods in the city that I prefer.

If you still decide to sleep here, be sure to rent a legal apartment (they should have an official number on their listing).

Consiglio: if I were to stay in this area, I would like to experience the luxury for once Eurostars Grand Marina (by the way one of the best family hotels in all of Barcelona), or the highly recommended H10 Port Vell.

La my TOP choice however it remains theOasis Hotel, a comfortable two-star hotel in the heart of Barcelona (with a swimming pool!)

Among cheap hostels take a look at the Safestay Barcelona Sea a lively and fun place located within walking distance of the most famous beach in the city, restaurants, shops and many of the main attractions. It has a stylish bar, wonderful views, and breakfast is available for a small additional fee.

Didn't find what you were looking for? Click on the button below to see all the other hotels in La Barceloneta!


4 - Where to stay in Barcelona with children - La Vila Olimpica

Designed by Josep Martorell, Oriol Bohigas, David Mackay and Albert Puigdomènech in the Sant Martí district for the 1992 Olympic Games, The Olympic Village it is an entire neighborhood near the sea that was supposed to host the athletes who participated in the competitions.

This important urban project led to the regeneration of an abandoned industrial site and large areas of the coast.

The Vila Olimpica is a series of large housing blocks and today is one of the residential districts of Barcelona with beaches, large landscaped areas and public services and is the best area where to sleep in Barcelona with children.

The area also offers a wide range of water sports and sailing activities thanks to the large beaches that stretch on both sides of the harbor.

Here you will find parks, streets and avenues full of sculptures or particular buildings such as the famous golden sculpture in the shape of a whale designed by Frank Gehry, and the pergolas (imitations of trees in iron and wood), which were installed by Enric Miralles and Carme Pinos on Avenida Icaria.

The best hotels in La Vila Olimpica

for families even with very little children certainly an apartment is a great choice, I advise you to look at the prices and availability of Apartamento en la Playa, which, in addition to a fully equipped kitchen offers a patio, a garden and free WiFi.

Also take a look at the Sweet Inn - Cozy Ciutadella, featuring a living room and fully equipped kitchen, and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels.

If you prefer instead a hotel then the TOP choice in terms of quality / price ratio is l ' ibis Styles Barcelona City Bogatell with private parking, playground for your children and swimming pool on the roof.

Didn't find what you were looking for? Click on the button below to see all the other hotels and apartments at Villa Olimpica!


5 - Where to sleep in a bohemian neighborhood - Gracia

The "Gracia village”Was originally a separate village from Barcelona but when the Eixample was built, the village was incorporated into Barcelona.

Gracia is a bit of a paradox in my opinion and I have a soft spot for this bohemian neighborhood: on the one hand, you see many of the signs of traditional Catalan village life, on the other hand you have their own organic bakeries, juice bars and international restaurants. of big city.

It's a wonderful place to stay, one of my favorites, and is only a 30-40 minute walk (or metro / taxi) from the historic center.

The best things to do and see in Gracia

  1. Visit Parc Güell
  2. Go shopping on Carrer Verdi
  3. Have an aperitif in the Plaza del Sol
  4. Visit Casa Vicens
  5. Visit the neighbors Casa Batllo and Casa Milà in the Eixample district

The best hotels in Gracia

Gracia is known for its excellent boutique hostels, the luxury hotel and apartments for rent. It will therefore not be difficult for you to find the right accommodation for your needs.

Personally I would recommend the Hostel Generator e Grace House which are ideal for those who love the hostel and also for couples or families with a limited budget.

If you are looking for a luxury hotel, trial Casa Fuster (famous because it is the Woody Allen's favorite place, a regular visitor to this hotel and, above all, to its café. Sometimes it happens to see him play the clarinet when he is in town, in impromptu concerts).

Didn't find what you were looking for? Click on the button below to see all the other hotels and apartments in Gracia!


6 - The best area to stay in Barcelona for nightlife - El Born

Located in the heart of historic Barcelona together with the Gothic Quarter, El Born, with its medieval streets and artisan shops is a labyrinth of surprises, full of delicious bakeries, tapas bars, wine bars and restaurants happy to open their doors to tourists looking for a place to rest and relax.

El Born is the neighborhood to stay if you want to stay in the heart of the old city and you are looking for nightlife: you are within walking distance of La Barceloneta, the Gothic Quarter and the metro stops that can take you to any point of the city.

Even if a little touristy, with its artisan shops and trendy restaurants, El Born is the perfect place for you!

Note: be sure to visit the Picasso Museum, showing the artist's works from an early age to some of his most famous paintings. Try to visit it on the first Sunday of the month when it's free.

What to see and do in El Born:

  1. Flamenco show at the Palau Dalmases
  2. Enjoy a cocktail in the beautiful bars

I migliori hotel a El Born

La my TOP choice for the hotel certainly falls on thelovely K&K Picasso which is located a few steps from the Ciutadella Park and has a wonderful pool terrace.

something cheap instead I suggest you take a look at the 360 Hostel Barcelona Arts&Culture which combines quality and culture with a great atmosphere which is why it is my recommendation for El Born. It is within walking distance of the best bars and clubs in the area and is surrounded by restaurants, shops, cafes and attractions.
Didn't find what you were looking for? Click on the button below to see all the other hotels and apartments in El Born!


7 - Where to sleep in a quiet neighborhood: - Sant Antoni / Paral.Lel / Poble Sec

I have grouped these three neighborhoods together because they are all great places to stay, central, safe and quiet, far enough from the tourist trail to feel like real "locals", but at the same time close enough to comfortably do everything you put on the list of places. things to see in Barcelona.

Not to mention the neighborhood of Poble-Sec which borders the beautiful Montjuïc!

They are old and traditional barrios and are perfect above all, for those who love to eat!

Today these 3 neighborhoods are multicultural areas, which means that there are many alternative restaurants if you are tired of Catalan cuisine (although I don't know how that could happen ?!).

It is in this part of the city that you will find everything from the cheapest pintxo bars and vermouth barchesse, to the most imaginative restaurants in Albert Adría.

Theaters, markets and cafes are scattered throughout the area as well Sant Antoni hosts a new wave of hipster cafes and restaurants, including my favorite donut shop in Spain!

I've never stayed here personally (I've opted for other places) but I've heard good things about it TWO Hotel Barcelona andHotel Brummel.

7 - Where NOT to sleep in Barcelona - El Raval

A few steps from the most touristic stretch of Las Ramblas is the neighborhood The Raval, one of the most traditional and multicultural places in the city. Although charming and although parts of the neighborhood have recently been modernized, with hipster cafes and vintage shops on every corner, El Raval is frequented by the night crowd and the petty underworld. In short, it is not a place where (personally) I would walk alone at night.

There are many nice hotels in the Raval district, as well as many apartments for rent and budget options. In this part of the city, it is worth doing your research paying attention, both for the location of the accommodation and the quality.


Hotel in Barcelona, ​​tips on how to choose it

How to decide which one book hotel in Barcelona? Or which apartment?

First of all think about the budget you have available: already from this you can make a filter and eliminate many options that are out of your reach.

Second, choose the area you would like to stay in: central, most comfortable, charming and noisy, or in a quiet neighborhood (if you have children I recommend the second choice).

To do this, I hope you have read more above the my guide to the districts of Barcelona (Barrios) to decide where you would like to stay.

Se you are young and you want to party, maybe you prefer to stay in El Born for the lively nightlife, if you are a person who prefers tranquility, then better other neighborhoods.

Also evaluate how many you are. If you are many, surely an apartment is a cheaper choice and it also allows you to have a kitchen available and therefore to make you save even more.

Finally, go to booking.com and read all the descriptions of each hotel, the cancellation policies ed any penalties that you have to pay if in the end you cannot leave for your trip.

Also check, if you are arriving by plane, how easy it is to reach the hotel by public transport or if the hotel provides a shuttle service.

If you go by car, it is important that you choose a hotel that has free parking available for guests.

Barcelona is convenient for getting around by public transport and it is highly recommended to do so, so if you don't have parking you may have to leave there your car on the road for a week (and no one guarantees you that when you come back, you will find it).

On booking.com, when you are looking for a hotel, you will see that on the left column you will see a lot of options to select to refine your search (for example if you want a hotel with a swimming pool, or that accepts dogs, or that has family rooms ).

You'll see it's very simple!

In my opinion, one thing is fundamental when choosing a hotel in Barcelona: it must be comfortable to reach the metro or bus stops, so that with all the things there are to see in Barcelona, ​​you don't waste too much time traveling.

Now I think I've given you all the info on how and where to sleep in Barcelona, if you have others, do not hesitate to write it to me in the comments!

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