Where to Stay in Barcelona – Neighborhoods & Area Guide

The largest city and capital of Catalonia and the second-largest city in Spain, Barcelona is recognized all over the world for its rich history and its gorgeous coastline. Situated on the northeastern section of the Mediterranean coast of Spain, Barcelona gained an international status in the tourism industry after it played host to the Olympic Games in 1992.

A classic European gem, Barcelona boasts a vibrant food culture, innumerable historic structures, pristine beaches, great Mediterranean climate, and arguably one of the best nightlife scenes in Europe. No wonder this city seems to find its way onto most travel itineraries.

With so much to do and see, Barcelona is easily a place where you would like to spend at least a week or more. Having said that, looking for suitable accommodation during your travels could be highly bothersome, which is why, we have listed some of the most popular neighborhoods to assist you in planning where to stay in Barcelona.

Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter)

Barri Gòtic

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Barri Gòtic

Named the Gothic Quarter after its Roman past and the relics of that era, Barri Gòtic is arguably the oldest and the liveliest neighborhood of Barcelona. Streets here are lined with structures covered in Roman and Medieval-era architecture along with countless modern cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs and shops. When exploring the area, it’s best to not follow a map and go where your heart (or instincts) takes you. A part of the “old city,” Gothic Quarter is home to Cathedral of Barcelona, a stunning Gothic cathedral constructed somewhere between the 13th and 15th centuries. Calle Ferran is a good place to grab a drink, however, there is never a dearth of places to drink and party in the Gothic Quarter.

Good for: All kinds of travelers, especially nightlife seekers.
Other Highlights: Museu d’Història de la Ciutat (MUHBA), Plaça del Pi, Plaça Reial and Plaça Sant Felip Neri.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Duquesa Suites Barcelona – A few minutes’ walking from the beach, Duquesa Suites Barcelona offers comfortable rooms with extra-large double beds, flat-screen TV, capsule coffee machine, and ensuite bathroom with free toiletries. Other facilities include an onsite swimming pool, 24-hour front desk, sun terrace, and an optional breakfast basket. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • H10 Cubik 4* Sup – Rooms at the H10 Cubik come with a cozy double bed, flat-screen TV, minibar, tea/coffee maker, seating area (in selected rooms), and ensuite bathroom. The property also has a bar, an outdoor pool, and a terrace. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Petit Palace Boqueria Garden – A 19th century historic building transformed into a luxurious hotel, the property features cozy guestrooms with free Wi-Fi, laptop safe, city/garden view, flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom. Guests can also rent bicycles and iPads for free. Great for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of 6 members.

Las Ramblas (The Ramblas)

Las Ramblas, Barcelona

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Las Ramblas

One of the major tourist hubs in the city of Barcelona, Las Ramblas is a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood in the middle of the city which is packed with a lot of entertainment and activities throughout the entire day. During the morning and afternoons, shop for souvenirs, watch street performers, or walk over Joan Miró‘s circular tile work to grab a bite at one of the many charming cafes. In the evenings, put on your party hat and go club hopping at the many bars and clubs scattered around the neighborhood. Stop every now and then to admire the human statues – they look as good as a real ones.

Good for: Solo travelers and couples, especially the young.
Other Highlights: Museu de l’Erotica, Liceu Theatre, La Boqueria Market, Font de la Portaferrissa, and Centre d’Art Santa Monica.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Hotel 1898 – The colonial-style 19th century building has been beautifully restored to serve as a hotel with spacious guestrooms, a splendid heated rooftop swimming pool, a sun terrace, an elegant Mediterranean restaurant, and an onsite bar. Suitable for couples and small families.
  • Flor Parks – Located next to Liceu Metro Station, Fior Parks offers comfortable air-conditioned guestrooms with satellite TV, soundproofing, minibar, balcony, and hydro-massage baths (in selected rooms). An optional continental breakfast is available daily. Great for solo travelers, couples, and small families.
  • Hotel España Ramblas – A few minutes’ walk from the Liceu Theatre and the Gothic Quarter, the hotel features elegant rooms with flat-screen TV, minibar, safety deposit box, iPod dock, and an ensuite bathroom. Additional amenities include a Mediterranean restaurant, a fully-equipped bar, and an outdoor pool. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.

El Born (Born Neighborhood)

El Born, Barcelona

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El Born

Despite humble beginnings, El Born has grown to be one of the most fashionable areas in the city of Barcelona. Days here are packed with picnickers, café-goers, and dreamers while the nights here include local Spaniards and tourists gathering around Passeig de Born to sample the mean mojitos served by the many bars here. Nightlife exists here shoulder-to-shoulder with plenty of culture. Picasso Museum, Textile Museum, and Santa Maria Del Mar Church are some of the notable attractions here. Its proximity to the beach lets you have a beach holiday and a city break, all at the same time. Parc Ciutadella, a soothing green space, is a great option to enjoy with your kids or go running or simply relax in the afternoon.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Palau de la Música Catalana, El Born Centre Cultural, Museu Europeu d’Art Modern, and Mercat de Santa Caterina.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • H10 Port Vell 4* Sup – Located within a few minutes of Port Vell Harbour, the 4-star hotel offers beautifully designed air-conditioned rooms with minibar, Nespresso coffee machine, flat-screen TV, and ensuite bathroom. Facilities at the hotel include a rooftop terrace and swimming pool, an onsite bar and restaurant, room service, free Wi-Fi, and a 24-hour reception. Suitable for solo travelers and couples.
  • Hotel Banys Orientals – An easy 15 minutes’ stroll from the beach, Hotel Banys Oriental provides its guests with luxurious rooms fitted with air-conditioning, soundproofing, laptop safe, refrigerator, flat-screen TV, and ensuite bathroom. An optional breakfast is available daily at the onsite restaurant. Great for solo travelers, couples, and small families.
  • Hotel Santa Marta – A couple of minutes’ walk from França Railway Station, Hotel Santa Marta is known for its stylish guestrooms which come with air-conditioning, tiled floors, television, and ensuite bathroom with free toiletries. Gothic Quarter and Barceloneta Beach are within a few hundred meters. Great for all kinds of travelers.

Gràcia

Park Guell, Gràcia

Source: Georgios Tsichlis / shutterstock

Park Guell, Gràcia

Just a stop further from Passeig de Gràcia, the Gràcia neighborhood feels like an entirely different world. An independent town until the 19th century, Gràcia has a close-knit community and is frequented by artists. Filled with a bohemian vibe, the district has the highest concentration of international restaurants in Barcelona. The most popularly visited sight in the neighborhood is Plaça de Sol, a tree-lined area famous for its cafés and nightlife. However, the area also has a surprisingly high population of ethnic and elderly residents which add a flavor of intrigue to the mix and makes it apt for elderly travelers and families with children. The 5-day Gràcia Festival held every August is a spectacular experience.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Park Guell, Cine Verdi, Plaça de la Virreina, and Carrer de Verdi.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Aparthotel Silver – Situated in the heart of one of the most popular neighborhoods of Barcelona, Gràcia, Aparthotel Silver features comfy air-conditioned guestrooms with satellite TV, laptop safe, a kitchenette, and an ensuite bathroom. Additional amenities include a garden terrace, a fully-stocked bar, and 24-hour reception. Perfect for solo travelers and couples.
  • Hotel Casa Fuster G.L Monumento – Built in 1908, the Modernist hotel building is not just an icon but a listed Specialty Monument. This elegant, vintage hotel property offers luxurious rooms with satellite TV, minibar, and ensuite bathroom. Other facilities include a fitness center, a sauna, a rooftop terrace with swimming pool, a wonderful restaurant and a stylish jazz bar. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers, even larger groups of up to 5 members.
  • Hotel La Casa del Sol – Strategically located in the bustling Gràcia district, the hotel offers comfortable guestrooms with garden view, soundproofing, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a wardrobe and ensuite bathroom. An optional buffet breakfast is available daily. Guests can also enjoy the onsite swimming pool, the sun terrace, and the in-house restaurant. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.

Barceloneta

Barceloneta, Barcelona

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Barceloneta

Inhabited by fishermen in the 18th century, the waterfront neighborhood of Barceloneta has now transformed into a cosmopolitan, tourist-oriented beach town that is packed with locals and tourists alike. Undoubtedly, Barceloneta beach is the most significant attraction here, packed with hawkers and vendors selling everything from donuts to bikinis to massages. Plenty of beach-side bars line the waterfront area and serve food and beverages with a side of entertaining music. No prizes for guessing, Barceloneta is where you find the best seafood in the city. Plus, the area is literally overflowing with cafés and bars. The neighborhood also has a lot of family-oriented attractions such as Aquarium Barcelona, the largest of its kind in Europe.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Sant Sebastià Beach, the beach of Sant Miquel, Somorrostro beach, Cable Car from La Barceloneta to Montjuïc, The Museum Of Catalan History, Port Vell, and Estació de França.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Hotel 54 Barceloneta – A stone’s throw away from the nearest beach, Hotel 54 Barceloneta features stylish guestrooms with air-conditioning, smart TV, and ensuite bathroom with free toiletries. Extra facilities onsite include a splendid terrace overseeing the harbor, a 24-hour reception, and an onsite bar. Great for solo travelers, couples, and small families.
  • Barcelona Beach Apartments – A few minutes’ walking distance from Barceloneta Beach and Barceloneta Metro Station, the property offers well-appointed beach apartments air-conditioning, flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, tea/coffee maker, kitchenette, and much more. There is a common lounge area for guests. A supermarket is located within a few steps. Great for families and big groups of up to 6 members.
  • Hotel Oasis – Located 10 minutes’ walk from the beach, Hotel Oasis offers well-appointed guestrooms with flat-screen TV with satellite channels, minibar, and ensuite bathroom with free toiletries. Guests can also enjoy the seasonal terrace and outdoor pool. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.

L’Eixample (The Eixample)

L’Eixample District

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L’Eixample

A newer part of Barcelona, L’Eixample is a fine example of indigenous urban planning. The straight lines and block make navigation extremely easy and getting lost extremely difficult. Housing the bulk of Barcelona’s art nouveau masterworks, the neighborhood is characterized by its upscale residential areas and shopping scene. Passeig de Gràcia, in the heart of the neighborhood, divides L’Eixample into two – the right side and the left side. The right side is slightly older and thus has more edifices with remarkable architecture than the left. Though a largely safe and residential area, L’Eixample has plenty of nightlife and a bustling café culture.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Casa Milà (also known as La Pedrera), Casa Batlló, Palau Robert, Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Museu del Modernisme Català, and Fundació Francisca Godia.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Magatzem 128 – Within a short distance of several important landmarks in the neighborhood, Magatzem 128 features well-furnished guestrooms with free Wi-Fi, safety deposit box, closet, flat-screen TV, ensuite bathroom, and city view (in selected rooms). Suitable for solo travelers and couples.
  • Room Mate Pau – A few minutes from Plaza Catalunya, Room Mate Pau offers stylish, modern guestrooms that offer a chic décor, plasma TV, minibar, a safe, and an ensuite bathroom with bathtubs (in selected rooms). A delightful breakfast (at a nominal cost) is available daily. Great for solo travelers, couples, and small families.
  • H10 Metropolitan 4* Sup – A short stroll away from Plaza Catalunya and the neighborhood of Las Ramblas, the hotel features well-appointed rooms with soundproofing, flat-screen TV, minibar, safety deposit box, and an ensuite bathroom with free toiletries. Guests can also enjoy the rooftop bar and swimming pool and the onsite tapas restaurant. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.

Paral.lel/Poble Sec

National Palace, Montjuïc

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National Palace, Montjuïc

Barrios located within the district of Montjuïc, Paral.lel and Poble Sec are two interconnected neighborhoods which are extremely safe and mostly residential, however, there are several attractions and activities in the area that also make these two areas quite a hit among tourists. A great place to stay if you wish to avoid the city crowd yet be near all the happening places, Paral.lel and Poble Sec enables you to visit Montjuïc Castle and Plaça Espanya very conveniently. Several cafés, restaurants, and bars can be found dispersed around the two neighborhoods. Mercat Sant Antoni, near the two neighborhoods, is a huge food market.

Good for: All kinds of travelers, especially those seeking local life.
Other Highlights: Caixa Forum, Archaeology Museum of Catalonia, Poble Espanyol, El Molino, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), and Font Màgica de Montjuïc.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Hotel Brummell – A few minutes’ walk from the lively streets of Las Ramblas, the Miró Foundation, and the MNAC museum, Hotel Brummell offers comfortable accommodation with modern furniture, flat-screen TV, a work desk, safety deposit box, and an ensuite bathroom with free toiletries and hairdryer. Other facilities include a sauna, a garden, an onsite restaurant, and an outdoor swimming pool. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Paral·lel – Set in the beautiful neighborhood of Poble Sec, Paral·lel features well-appointed rooms with air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV, safety deposit box, and ensuite bathroom with free toiletries. Supplementary facilities at the hotel include optional daily breakfast, 24-hour front desk, and laundry and ironing service at an additional charge. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Silken Concordia – Furnished with modern furniture and amenities, the well-furnished rooms at Silken Concordia offers city view, flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, safety deposit box, and ensuite bathroom with free toiletries. Plaza España and the Fira de Barcelona Exhibition Centre are a gentle stroll away. Perfect for solo travelers and couples.

El Raval

El Raval, Barcelona

Source: Philip Lange / shutterstock

El Raval

Easily one of the most controversial yet fascinating neighborhoods of Barcelona, El Raval is a multi-faced area filled with vibrancy, history, culture, and personality. Once a famous red-light district, El Raval now plays host to a wide number of art galleries and studios, museums, shopping avenues, cafés, restaurants, and bars. Of course, the most appealing of all are Museo d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB). Not such a hit among families with children or first-time travelers, El Raval is more for the seasoned visitor with a curious bone. The area is alive throughout the day and night and is known for its nightlife that stretches till the early morning hours. Staying here also means that you are located within two of Barcelona’s most famous food bazaars, La Boqueria and Mercat Sant Antoni.

Good for: Solo travelers and couples. Not for first-timers.
Other Highlights: Gran Teatre del Liceu, Museu Marítim de Barcelona, Rambla del Raval, Palau Güell, and Sant Pau del Camp.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Hotel Casa Camper – Featuring a separate lounge area for every room, Hotel Casa Campers offers flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, seating area, and ensuite bathrooms to every guest. Additional amenities include a complimentary 24-hour buffet, an in-house restaurant, room service, and a fully-stocked bar. Great for solo travelers and couples.
  • Andante Hotel – A few minutes’ gentle stroll from the beach, Andante Hotel features well-appointed guestrooms with laptop safe, flat-screen satellite TV, free Wi-Fi, and ensuite bathroom. A buffet breakfast is available for a nominal charge. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Ciutat Vella – Featuring a rooftop hot tub and terrace lounge, Ciutat Vella offers well-appointed guestrooms with flat-screen TV with satellite channels, safety deposit box, and ensuite bathrooms with bathtub. Additional features include a 24-hour front desk and free Wi-Fi. Great for all kinds of travelers.

Poblenou

Poblenou, Barcelona

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Poblenou

The main industrial area of Barcelona during the 19th century, Poblenou has undergone a massive transformation, replacing the old factories with new office buildings, commercial spaces, and art galleries. A magnificent amalgamation of the old and the new, Poblenou is ever-changing. La Rambla del Poblenou, a street boasting numerous restaurants, cafés, and small shops, is the social epicenter of the neighborhood. Those looking for a beach escapade should head to Bogatell beach. Another notable feature in Poblenou is the Parc Central del Poblenou which house the Well of the World crater.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Cementiri del Poblenou, MUHBA Oliva Artés Museum, Passatge Mas de Roda, Plaça de Prim, and Palo Alto Market.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Sealona Beach Lofts Apartments – Located in the heart of Poblenou and a few minutes’ walking from the beach, the property offers well-furnished, elegant loft apartments with a flat-screen TV, open-plan kitchen, washing machine, dishwasher, and many such features. Pets are allowed free of cost. Suitable for families and big groups of up to 5 members.
  • Hotel SB Icaria Barcelona – Within a walking distance from Nova Icaria Beach, this contemporary hotel offers well-appointed guestrooms, an outdoor pool, a gymnasium, a sauna, free Wi-Fi, a well-stocked bar, an elegant restaurant, and much more. Barcelona Zoo and Ciutadella Park are 10 minutes’ walk away. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Lugaris Rambla – In close proximity to Bogatell Beach and Nova Icaria Beach, Lugaris Rambla offers modern apartments equipped with LCD TV with satellite channels, Nespresso Coffee maker, washing machine, fully-furnished kitchen, ensuite bathroom, and much more. Suitable for all kind of travelers, including big groups of up to 5 members.

Sant Andreu

Sant Andreu, Barcelona

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Sant Andreu

One of the nine main districts of Barcelona, Sant Andreu is an off-the-beaten-path neighborhood that offers respite from the busy streets of the Spanish city yet offers a plethora of things to see and do. Just outside Sant Andreu metro station at Plaça d’Orfila is the grand Sant Andreu church which, with its large dome, stand out amongst the many Gothic churches of Barcelona. A stroll through Calle de Torres i Bages brings you to a massive square with a huge library and a contemporary fountain. Plaça del Mercadal is perhaps the best area to enjoy the old-worldly charm of this charismatic neighborhood.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Fabra i Coats, Sant Pacià Church, Carrer Gran de Sant Andreu, Bac de Roda Bridge, and La Maquinista.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • NH Barcelona La Maquinista – Located nearby La Maquinista Shopping Centre, the elegant hotel offers beautifully decorated guestrooms with air-conditioned rooms, flat-screen TV, work desk, and ensuite bathroom. Other facilities at the hotel include free Wi-Fi, room service, and an onsite restaurant and bar. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Coroleu House Barcelona – Guestrooms at Coroleu House Barcelona come with air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, ensuite bathroom, and balcony (in selected rooms). A shared kitchen and living area is available for guests to enjoy. Bicycles can be rented at the 24-hour reception. Suitable for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 6 members.
  • Apartment Aptucat – Located 200 meters from Maragall Metro Station, Apartment Aptucat offers well-appointment apartments with balcony, free-Wi-Fi, TV, washing machine, tea/coffee maker, wardrobe, kitchenette, refrigerator, ensuite bathroom, and much more. Great for big groups of up to 5 members.
Where to stay: Best Hotels in Barcelona, Spain
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List of Image Sources

Where to Stay in Barcelona – Neighborhoods & Area Guide:

Park Guell, Gràcia

  • Barri Gòtic: nito / shutterstock
  • Las Ramblas: Takashi Images / shutterstock
  • El Born: joan_bautista / shutterstock
  • Park Guell, Gràcia: Georgios Tsichlis / shutterstock
  • Barceloneta: Ingus Kruklitis / shutterstock
  • L’Eixample: alionabirukova / shutterstock
  • National Palace, Montjuïc: Gennady Stetsenko / shutterstock
  • El Raval: Philip Lange / shutterstock
  • Poblenou: Ecuadorpostales / shutterstock
  • Sant Andreu: joan_bautista / shutterstock