Catalan delicacies, neo-Gothic structure, sandy seashores, rugged mountains, and a colourful historical past. Did we point out Catalan delicacies? Barcelona, Spain has each purpose to be excessive on the checklist for journey bucket lists.
The town is a mix of influences, there’s 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 group and also you discover a mix of cultures, cuisines, languages and kinds.
Possibly you want to keep within the coronary heart of the outdated city and Gothic structure, or do you need to expertise the mix of metropolis and seaside in Barceloneta? It might be that you’re extra of an uptown kinda particular person and need to keep within the coronary heart of Eixample, surrounded by towering buildings, limitless buying alternatives and Gaudi round what looks as if nearly each nook.
Both approach, we now have one of the 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 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 obtained a publish 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 Suggestions
Earlier than we dive into the barrio round-up, listed below are a couple of suggestions that can assist you put together in your journey to Barcelona.
- Be aware of the season: Barcelona splendidly experiences all 4 seasons, so don’t assume it’s heat year-round. Winter will get chilly and damp! One of the best months for vacationers are the Spring (late March to early June) and Autumn (late September to early November) months. Temperatures are snug, and the town parks and tree-lined avenues look stunning. Additionally means fewer thick winter layers to pack!
- Put together a couple of 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 fundamental 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 drawback in Barcelona, and the locations I like to recommend avoiding are the worst locations you’re prone to encounter thieves. Don’t depart your cellphone on a desk, preserve your valuables in a cash belt, don’t journey sporting an expensive-looking watch and preserve your bag both tied to your chair or in your knee. At all times be vigilant!
- Eat all of the foods and drinks all of the cava: Catalan and Spanish delicacies is scrumptious, with a lot of recent 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 option to eat! Cava can be made within the area so respectable cava prices little or no. Take a food and wine tour in the event 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 workforce. I nonetheless really feel bizarre calling it Barna so simply keep on with Barcelona.
- Deliver snug strolling footwear: The town is extremely walkable however elements of it are hilly and you’ll cowl much more floor than you understand whereas gawking on the structure. So pack respectable footwear you recognize will preserve your ft glad and benefit from the stroll! To assist, we’ve obtained a Barcelona self-guided walking tour – and we’ve additionally obtained recommendations for one of the best strolling footwear for journey. Listed below are our favourite journey footwear for men and for women.
- Completely different areas even have completely different hyperlinks to different elements of the town: The metro system is great and pretty simple to navigate however in the event you favor to keep away from utilizing it or buses then it is advisable to base your self strolling distance to the stuff you need to see or no less than 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 take note the place you need to be in relation to the place you need to keep.
- Keep away from short-term condo leases: The housing market in Barcelona has been monopolized by vacationer leases, driving costs up a lot greater than is inexpensive for residents and creating quite a lot of scams and disparity. Accommodations had been badly affected by the pandemic so that they deserve the assist fairly than grasping property homeowners who would fairly depart an condo empty as an alternative of renting it for an inexpensive worth to an area. There are even new legal guidelines proscribing 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 along with your must 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 whilst 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 known as barrios, every with its personal distinct character, vibe and attraction. To the uninitiated, you could wrestle to know the place to go and what to do, however don’t fear, I obtained you coated!
As with many cities, there’s 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 road meals. Barcelona is that form of place!
This provides to the attraction of the town, you’re all the time only a brief stroll or turning a nook away from discovering one thing utterly completely different and discovering a hidden gem. Which does make looking down meals and souvenirs actually enjoyable – every little thing your coronary heart needs will 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 the town. Stuffed with outdated winding streets, stunning historic buildings, church buildings, cute eating places and hidden options round each nook.
That is the place you’ll discover Barcelona Cathedral, the Picasso Museum, Arc de Triomf, La Rambla, and a complete host of different well-known landmarks. It truly is one of the best place to remain in Barcelona for a primary go to.
Nevertheless, you do want to select rigorously as some streets are a little bit shadier than others, some are noisy, and people cute winding streets aren’t as enjoyable to remain in in the event you don’t see daylight out of your resort room window.
This barrio has nice transport hyperlinks to the remainder of the town and is a brief stroll to the seaside, with elements of it opening out onto the marina at Port Vell so that you get views of the blue Mediterranean Sea. The realm can be extra open to vacationers so that you usually tend to discover a place to seize a espresso and a pastry in case you are an early morning kind of particular person.
That is additionally one of the best place to base your self in case you are planning on taking our Self-Guided Walking Tour of Barcelona. Many of the tour covers this space and can be the place you end so you’re a brief stroll again to your resort afterward.
The place to Keep in El Born & Gothic
There are a combination of expensive accommodations on this space in addition to some critically funds hostels. Beneath are a few of our favorites:
- Hostal Fernando is a kind of good kinds of hostels with clear, vivid rooms. It additionally overlooks Església de Sant Jaume, which is a reasonably, outdated church. Historical past in your windowsill!
- For one thing a little bit fancier Barcelona Hotel Colonial is true within the coronary heart of Gothic in a fantastic colonial constructing, a brief stroll down the road takes you to Port Vell Marina and a visit in another course 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 just a few doorways down a facet road from La Rambla and can be the identical road you head all the way down to get to the Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi.
Barceloneta / Seashore
For these wanting extra for the seaside vibes then Barceloneta is for you. This barrio is a small space made up of completely aligned streets so it’s nearly inconceivable to get misplaced. To at least one facet is Port Vell, to the south is the seaside, head north to El Born and east to Villa Olympica, the Olympic village from when Barcelona hosted the 1992 summer time Olympics.
Barceloneta correct is a superb place to really feel you’re staying proper on the seaside with out lacking out on that Barcelona outdated metropolis attraction. The buildings aren’t essentially as fairly as different elements of the town however the seaside environment is nearly year-round.
You’ll discover chiringuitos (seaside 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 / Seashore
There are a couple of bigger accommodations on this space as you’ll count on 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 funds for many vacationers! You possibly can nonetheless catch the views at their rooftop cocktail lounge and nightclub, in the event 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 a tremendous rooftop pool and terrace and appears out in the direction of the marina. From right here you possibly can entry El Born, Gothic and Barceloneta in only a brief stroll.
- Hotel 54 Barceloneta is true on the entrance overlooking the marina and steps away from the seaside, this might be my decide if going for the seaside resort choice. The rooftop bar can be like a little bit backyard paradise, excellent for resting after a protracted day of exploring.
- For a extra funds room, the Sea Hostel is a superb decide 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 seaside.
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 the town is the place the well-known avenues of Diagonal and Passeig de Gracia run via, it’s the place the designer retailers are and can be the bigger of the districts in Barcelona.
The roads are additionally very driveable, except for the irritating pink mild cease/begin system which does make visitors heavier right here. However most accommodations have respectable sound insulation so you possibly can keep away from visitors noise so long as you retain your home windows closed.
This space is charming for its typical Barcelona fashion with lengthy avenues, Guadi’s spectacular buildings, and delightful 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 preserve stumbling into one other stunning constructing after one other, and in the event you get onto a rooftop someplace you’ll see much more.
The buying can be unimaginable right here with every little thing from high-end designer shops, to excessive road buying, to impartial 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 be rather well related with public transport, the buses run recurrently and there are quite a lot of metro stations in addition to practice stations at each Passeig de Gràcia and at Plaza Catalunya.
The place to Keep in Eixample
As you’ll count on there isn’t a scarcity of accommodations in Eixample, from simpler budgets to luxurious high-end accommodations. Listed below are some fo one of the best ones:
- After I first arrived in Barcelona I booked into Hostalin Barcelona Gran Via and it’s the place I like to recommend pals to remain for an ideal worth resort. The workers was a dream throughout my keep, the rooms are vivid and cozy 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 value is a little bit greater it’s not eye-watering. You may go all out for a collection with a personal terrace or simply benefit from the rooftop terrace which is equally beautiful.
- If you wish to exit your resort to the scent of recent bread and pastries then it is advisable to guide Praktik Bakery, with rooms as recent because the bread and a brief stroll to Diagonal. Simply make sure to not hang around and go discover (hehehe)!
The place else to remain in Barcelona apart from near the enduring Basílica de la Sagrada Família! If that is your essential purpose for visiting Barcelona, and no one will decide you whether it is then that is the place to remain. You possibly can meander across the cafes within the space, sit in parks surrounding the basílica and customarily gaze on the unimaginable work of Antoni Gaudí.
Admittedly the restaurant selections aren’t the greatest, and apart from the Sagrada itself, the structure isn’t the prettiest in Barcelona, however it’s tremendous near Eixample and straightforward to get to different elements of the town.
The place to Keep in Sagrada Família
After all, in case you are staying on this space then you definitely 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 accommodations price checking into.
- Sensation Sagrada Família has serviced flats with a fantastic shared roof terrace overlooking the enduring church. Right here you will get the bonus of a personal condo whereas nonetheless having the chance to take pleasure in a shared house with fellow vacationers.
- For a resort choice, the Sercotel Rosellón has vivid rooms, an ideal breakfast and a roof terrace with solar loungers pointing at Sagrada, an iconic option to spend a day in the event you ask me!
In search of a hidden boho artist vibe? Then Gràcia is your spot. Till the nineteenth century, this was an impartial city and residents are sometimes long-term locals and pleased with their neighborhood.
Now the world is fashionable and filled with impartial 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 looks like a unique 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 realm can be recognized for its festivals, historically every neighborhood has its personal mini-festivals however the one in Gràcia is broadly referred to as one of the best. Streets are lined with decorations and stalls, with some streets working in competitors for one of the best decor. Though remember in the event you go to in the summertime throughout these festivals you shouldn’t count on any peace and quiet, the events can go on all evening!
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 little bit hidden gem, and accommodations are usually a little bit cheaper too.
- Hotel Ronda Lesseps is a cute resort with a fantastic inside courtyard backyard hooked up 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 the town on this little oasis.
- A extra upmarket choice with a rooftop pool is the Catalonia Park Güell resort, costs aren’t vastly completely different however it’s barely extra outdoors the central a part of Gràcia. Rooftop swimming pools in accommodations are an actual deal with however they do get busy so bear in mind to order a solar lounger in your afternoon poolside.
Canine-Pleasant Accommodations in Barcelona
In case you are like the remainder of Crew Sensible Wanderlust and are a proud canine proprietor you may be happy to listen to that Barcelona is a superb place to journey along with your furry greatest good friend.
Most eating places are accommodating, quite a lot of retailers have water bowls outdoors for passing canine and it isn’t unusual to see canine becoming a member of buying journeys. My canine loves coming buying, it often means getting a lot of love from retailer attendants, treats and new locations to smell.
Actually most locations you possibly can deliver your canine with you, much more so if it’s a smaller canine. Nevertheless, 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 heart.
After I arrived in Barcelona with my pup I booked right into a dog-friendly resort and I’ve a couple of pals who’ve additionally accomplished the identical. A whole lot of accommodations are used to canine companions and accommodate them fairly simply. So in the event you journey along with your little good friend these are one of the 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 homeowners with pups taking part in on the grass collectively, and there’s a kiosk within the park for human refreshments. The resort can be a brief stroll to the seaside and throughout from El Born, completely positioned for exploring the town. The resort itself is gorgeous, it’s designed to merge nature with native structure and elegance, 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 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 places 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 unimaginable. The rooms are clear and spacious, and the workers are superb and really accommodating. The identical vibe can be at their different resort Diputación, each are in Eixample and rather well situated for accessing the remainder of the 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 fairly than entire areas and it’s extra of simply being conscious fairly than anticipating to be robbed. You hear horror tales and sure they do occur however in case you are an skilled traveler and preserve your wits about you, you’ll be fantastic. It helps to remember that Barcelona has quite a lot of poverty and the typical 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 the town totally as nobody space is best than others.
Other than that, there are some areas of the town which can be simply not price staying in, and I’ll clarify the place and why.
Typically if you hear tales of pickpockets, you’re listening to tales of Raval, which is situated to the west facet of La Rambla.
The realm is charming in its personal approach, however I wouldn’t advocate it for vacationers. There are some nice eating places tucked away and a few actually enjoyable bars however strolling house at the hours of darkness shouldn’t be advisable.
- The place to Keep as an alternative: In case you are nonetheless on the lookout for the quirky outdated city fashion that elements 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 considerations. May Ramblas Hotel is effectively situated for La Rambla with out the night security challenges.
Sant Gervasi-Galvany is up within the hills of the town and could be very residential. Housing will be fairly costly right here and the boutiques and cafes cater to a unique clientele than what most vacationers could be desirous about.
It’s near the hills of Tibidabo, Barcelona’s highest peak, and the views throughout the town will be beautiful however transport hyperlinks aren’t nice so will probably be a protracted stroll or a number of metro and bus stops to get to the place you need to be.
- The place to Keep as an alternative: Shut by is Eixample, this has the identical metropolis residential vibe however with extra attraction and simpler entry to the remainder of the town. Additionally think about Gràcia for a similar causes. Praktik Bakery provides you that very same native vibe however in a greater location.
When 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 enduring Montjuïc which is fantastic to discover. You may also go see the fountain present at Plaza Espanya.
Nevertheless, to get anyplace you have to to leap on the metro or practice, it’s effectively related however if you wish to stroll to the remainder of the town you should have fairly a protracted 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 essential transport connection level it does are usually actually busy within the stations, which might get overwhelming in case you are determining find out how to get to the place you need to be.
- The place to Keep as an alternative: For straightforward entry to the airport look near Plaza Catalunya. The metro cease is central so will get you the place it is advisable to be in addition to the Sants cease does. It’s also a essential level for the airport shuttle buses to start out from, which is by far the simplest option to get to the airport fairly cheaply. Praktik Bakery once more is rather well situated for ease to journey.
The place to Keep in Barcelona: Abstract
That’s numerous info! So to wrap it up right into a bite-size piece, right here we now have an at a look abstract:
- The Finest Areas to Keep in Barcelona: Go for the Outdated Metropolis or Eixample for traditional Barcelona vibes.
- The Finest Accommodations in Barcelona: Finest choices are Barcelona Hotel Colonial, Hostelin Barcelona Gran Via and Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella, any of these will make your keep iconic.
- The Finest Canine-Pleasant Accommodations in Barcelona: Once more one other vote for Hostelin Barcelona Gran By way of and Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella. Can not beat these for canine lovers!
So why aren’t we recommending any AirBnBs? In brief, AirBnB and brief time period condo leases have screwed the housing market in Barcelona, in addition to many different cities world wide. Discovering an precise house within the metropolis is an actual drawback and the costs have been pushed so excessive by vacationer leases that the typical particular person 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 accommodations as an alternative, which had been after all closely affected by the pandemic and deserve all of the vacationer love once more.
That ought to provide the greatest concepts of the place to remain so you possibly can plan the remainder of your journey! If you are within the starting stage don’t neglect to enroll in our Self-Guided Walking Tour of Barcelona to get a downloadable information to discover the 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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