Catalan delicacies, neo-Gothic structure, sandy seashores, rugged mountains, and a colourful historical past. Did we point out Catalan delicacies? Barcelona, Spain has each cause to be excessive on the checklist for journey bucket lists.
The town is a mix of influences, there may be the general Spanish tradition however tucked alongside proud Catalan tradition. There’s a lengthy historical past of independence claims, civil battle and unrest. Combine this in with an enormous migrant and expat neighborhood and also you discover a mix of cultures, cuisines, languages and kinds.
Possibly you need to keep within the coronary heart of the previous city and Gothic structure, or do you wish to expertise the mix of metropolis and seashore in Barceloneta? It might be that you’re extra of an uptown kinda individual and wish to keep within the coronary heart of Eixample, surrounded by towering buildings, countless purchasing alternatives and Gaudi round what looks as if virtually each nook.
Both manner, now we have the very 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 Electronic mail and Affiliate Advertising Natalie Collins, Barcelona resident, avid metropolis explorer and fellow Cava lover. Take it away, Natalie!
Psst: Searching for extra issues to do in Barcelona throughout your journey? We’ve bought a put up about our favourite food & wine tour in Barcelona, which we extremely suggest. 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 Ideas
Earlier than we dive into the barrio round-up, listed here are a couple of ideas that will help you put together to 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! The most effective months for vacationers are the Spring (late March to early June) and Autumn (late September to early November) months. Temperatures are comfy, and town parks and tree-lined avenues look lovely. 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 primary grasp of Spanish and even some Catalan – don’t simply assume you will get away with English, though most vacationer locations do communicate English!
- Keep secure: Pickpockets are a giant drawback in Barcelona, and the locations I like to recommend avoiding are the worst locations you’re more likely to encounter thieves. Don’t go away your cellphone on a desk, maintain your valuables in a cash belt, don’t journey carrying an expensive-looking watch and maintain 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 plenty of contemporary 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 case you can to expertise it multi function afternoon.
- Don’t name it Barca: Locals and long-term residents get actually sniffy about Barca/Barna. The right abbreviation is Barna; Barca is the soccer workforce. I nonetheless really feel bizarre calling it Barna so simply persist with Barcelona.
- Deliver comfy strolling sneakers: The town is extremely walkable however components of it are hilly and you’ll cowl much more floor than you understand whereas gawking on the structure. So pack respectable sneakers you understand will maintain your toes comfortable and benefit from the stroll! To assist, we’ve bought a Barcelona self-guided walking tour – and we’ve additionally bought recommendations for the very best strolling sneakers for journey. Listed here are our favourite journey sneakers for men and for women.
- Completely different areas even have completely different hyperlinks to different components of town: The metro system is great and pretty simple to navigate however in case you want to keep away from utilizing it or buses then you’ll want to base your self strolling distance to the stuff you wish to see or at the very least 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 remember the place you wish to be in relation to the place you wish to keep.
- Keep away from short-term residence leases: The housing market in Barcelona has been monopolized by vacationer leases, driving costs up a lot increased than is reasonably priced for residents and creating a variety of scams and disparity. Motels had been badly affected by the pandemic in order that they deserve the assist relatively than grasping property homeowners who would relatively go away an residence empty as a substitute of renting it for an inexpensive value to an area. There are even new legal guidelines limiting vacationer licenses and you’re not allowed to hire 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 together with your have to roam the streets and also you want a spot to retailer your luggage, try LuggageHero: This service helps you discover a secure place to maintain your baggage when 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 enchantment. To the uninitiated, it’s possible you’ll battle to know the place to go and what to do, however don’t fear, I bought you coated!
As with many cities, there may be additionally an enormous financial variation. Strolling alongside Passeig de Gràcia you’ll see buyers swinging luggage 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 avenue meals. Barcelona is that sort of place!
This provides to the appeal of town, you’re at all times 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 – all the pieces your coronary heart wishes may be present in Barcelona!
Previous Metropolis: El Born & Gothic
The previous a part of Barcelona is the very first thing that involves thoughts for many vacationers after they consider Barcelona, and it’s true it’s the most charming a part of town. Stuffed with previous winding streets, lovely historic buildings, church buildings, lovable eating places and hidden options round each nook.
That is the place you will discover Barcelona Cathedral, the Picasso Museum, Arc de Triomf, La Rambla, and an entire host of different well-known landmarks. It truly is the very best place to remain in Barcelona for a primary go to.
Nevertheless, you do want to choose rigorously as some streets are just a little shadier than others, some are noisy, and people cute winding streets aren’t as enjoyable to remain in in case you don’t see daylight out of your resort room window.
This barrio has nice transport hyperlinks to the remainder of town and is a brief stroll to the seashore, with components 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 individual.
That is additionally the very best place to base your self in case you are planning on taking our Self-Guided Walking Tour of Barcelona. A lot 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 dear lodges on this space in addition to some critically finances hostels. Under are a few of our favorites:
- Hostal Fernando is a kind of good kinds of hostels with clear, brilliant rooms. It additionally overlooks Església de Sant Jaume, which is a fairly, previous church. Historical past in your windowsill!
- For one thing just a little fancier Barcelona Hotel Colonial is correct within the coronary heart of Gothic in a stupendous colonial constructing, a brief stroll down the road takes you to Port Vell Marina and a visit in another path takes you thru medieval streets.
- If you wish to keep as shut as doable to the eccentric La Rambla then the May Ramblas Hotel is the one for you. It’s situated only some doorways down a aspect avenue from La Rambla and can be the identical avenue you head all the way down to get to the Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi.
Barceloneta / Seaside
For these wanting extra for the seashore vibes then Barceloneta is for you. This barrio is a small space made up of completely aligned streets so it’s virtually unimaginable to get misplaced. To 1 aspect is Port Vell, to the south is the seashore, head north to El Born and east to Villa Olympica, the Olympic village from when Barcelona hosted the 1992 summer season Olympics.
Barceloneta correct is a superb place to really feel you’re staying proper on the seashore with out lacking out on that Barcelona previous metropolis appeal. The buildings aren’t essentially as fairly as different components of town however the seashore ambiance is sort of year-round.
You’ll discover chiringuitos (seashore bars) open from Spring to mid-Autumn and there are at all times individuals skateboarding and curler skating down the cycle paths alongside the entrance, so be careful as you stroll!
The place to Keep in Barceloneta / Seaside
There are a couple of bigger lodges on this space as you’ll count on with it being beachside however the costs are wildly costly. Try the well-known landmark resort The W, lovely and epic views however out of finances for many vacationers! You possibly can nonetheless catch the views at their rooftop cocktail lounge and nightclub, in case 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 direction of the marina. From right here you’ll be able to entry El Born, Gothic and Barceloneta in only a brief stroll.
- Hotel 54 Barceloneta is correct on the entrance overlooking the marina and steps away from the seashore, this may be my choose if going for the seashore resort choice. The rooftop bar can be like just a little backyard paradise, good for resting after a protracted day of exploring.
- For a extra finances room, the Sea Hostel is a superb choose for dorm room-style lodging, it is usually subsequent door to a restaurant, Buenas Migas, that does fairly wonderful pastries. Get up early, seize a espresso and pastry for a dawn stroll alongside the seashore.
Welcome to Eixample, the world that you simply’ll see most in aerial pictures of Barcelona, these good purple sq. blocks and streets aligned to OCD ranges. This a part of 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, apart from the irritating purple gentle cease/begin system which does make visitors heavier right here. However most lodges have respectable sound insulation so you’ll be able to keep away from visitors noise so long as you retain your home windows closed.
This space is charming for its typical Barcelona type 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 maintain stumbling into one other lovely constructing after one other, and in case you get onto a rooftop someplace you’ll see much more.
The purchasing can be unimaginable right here with all the pieces from high-end designer shops, to excessive avenue purchasing, to impartial boutiques. If you wish to store with out having to stroll far to drop your luggage again on the resort, that is the place to do it.
This space can be rather well linked with public transport, the buses run repeatedly and there are a variety 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 is no such thing as a scarcity of lodges in Eixample, from simpler budgets to luxurious high-end lodges. Listed here are some fo the very best ones:
- Once I first arrived in Barcelona I booked into Hostalin Barcelona Gran Via and it’s the place I like to recommend associates to remain for an awesome worth resort. The workers was a dream throughout my keep, the rooms are brilliant 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 worth is just a little increased it’s not eye-watering. You possibly can go all out for a collection with a personal terrace or simply benefit from the rooftop terrace which is equally pretty.
- If you wish to exit your resort to the odor of contemporary bread and pastries then you’ll want to guide Praktik Bakery, with rooms as contemporary because the bread and a brief stroll to Diagonal. Simply make certain to not hang around and go discover (hehehe)!
The place else to remain in Barcelona aside from near the long-lasting Basílica de la Sagrada Família! If that is your principal cause for visiting Barcelona, and no one will choose 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 decisions aren’t the greatest, and aside from the Sagrada itself, the structure isn’t the prettiest in Barcelona, however it’s tremendous near Eixample and simple to get to different components of town.
There’s a nice churro cafe price indulging at and Avinguda Gaudí is ideal for strolling alongside, stopping at cafes and sipping an Aperol spritz beneath the shade of the timber.
The place to Keep in Sagrada Família
In fact, in case you are staying on this space you then 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 lodges price checking into.
- Sensation Sagrada Família has serviced flats with a stupendous shared roof terrace overlooking the long-lasting church. Right here you will get the bonus of a personal residence whereas nonetheless having the chance to take pleasure in a shared house with fellow vacationers.
- For a resort choice, the Sercotel Rosellón has brilliant rooms, an awesome breakfast and a roof terrace with solar loungers pointing at Sagrada, an iconic option to spend a day in case you ask me!
Searching for 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 stylish and filled with impartial retailers, boutiques, and cafes. Plaça de Sol is a central level the place individuals hang around to socialize, drink and indulge within the bakeries and gelato retailers close by.
This space is comparatively near Passeig de Gràcia however appears like a distinct 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 identified for its festivals, historically every neighborhood has its personal mini-festivals however the one in Gràcia is extensively often known as the very best. Streets are lined with decorations and stalls, with some streets working in competitors for the very best decor. Though remember in case you go to in the summertime throughout these festivals you shouldn’t count on any peace and quiet, the events can go on all night time!
The place to Keep in Gràcia
This isn’t a primary selection amongst vacationers so you’ll really feel such as you’ve hit just a little hidden gem, and lodges are typically just a little cheaper too.
- Hotel Ronda Lesseps is a cute resort with a stupendous inside courtyard backyard hooked up to the resort bar. Additionally it is 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 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 exterior the central a part of Gràcia. Rooftop swimming pools in lodges are an actual deal with however they do get busy so bear in mind to order a solar lounger to your afternoon poolside.
Canine-Pleasant Motels in Barcelona
In case you are like the remainder of Workforce Sensible Wanderlust and are a proud canine proprietor you may be happy to listen to that Barcelona is a superb place to journey together with your furry greatest good friend.
Most eating places are accommodating, a variety of retailers have water bowls exterior for passing canines and it isn’t unusual to see canines becoming a member of purchasing journeys. My canine loves coming purchasing, it normally means getting plenty of love from retailer attendants, treats and new locations to smell.
Actually most locations you’ll be able to convey your canine with you, much more so if it’s a smaller canine. Nevertheless, simply remember that in the summertime months (from Might to October) canines aren’t allowed on the principle seashores so you’ll have to discover the dog beach simply exterior the principle metropolis heart.
Once I arrived in Barcelona with my pup I booked right into a dog-friendly resort and I’ve a couple of associates who’ve additionally achieved the identical. Quite a lot of lodges are used to canine companions and accommodate them fairly simply. So in case you journey together with your little good friend these are the very best locations to remain.
- Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella: This resort is correct reverse Ciutadella Park, which is by far the most effective parks for canines within the metropolis. Mornings and evenings are a hub for canine homeowners with pups enjoying on the grass collectively, and there’s a kiosk within the park for human refreshments. The resort can be a brief stroll to the seashore and throughout from El Born, completely positioned for exploring 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 canines, 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 areas 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 really unimaginable. The rooms are clear and spacious, and the workers are wonderful 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 town.
The place To not Keep in Barcelona
Barcelona as an entire is fairly secure and there are few areas to keep away from, these are normally simply sure streets relatively than entire areas and it’s extra of simply being conscious relatively than anticipating to be robbed. You hear horror tales and sure they do occur however in case you are an skilled traveler and maintain your wits about you, you’ll be superb. It helps to remember that Barcelona has a variety of poverty and the common wage completely doesn’t match the price of dwelling and housing right here.
There’s additionally a big impoverished migrant inhabitants and homeless individuals in sure areas, if this offends you then higher to keep away from town solely as nobody space is healthier than others.
Other than that, there are some areas of town which might be simply not price staying in, and I’ll clarify the place and why.
Usually whenever you hear tales of pickpockets, you’re listening to tales of Raval, which is situated to the west aspect of La Rambla.
The realm is charming in its personal manner, however I wouldn’t suggest it for vacationers. There are some nice eating places tucked away and a few actually enjoyable bars however strolling dwelling at midnight shouldn’t be advisable.
- The place to Keep as a substitute: In case you are nonetheless on the lookout for the quirky previous city type that components of Raval have then keep in Gothic as a substitute. You’ll nonetheless have the identical tourist-friendly hustle and bustle and loads of previous 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 town and could be very residential. Housing may be fairly costly right here and the boutiques and cafes cater to a distinct clientele than what most vacationers can be fascinated with.
It’s near the hills of Tibidabo, Barcelona’s highest peak, and the views throughout town may be pretty however transport hyperlinks aren’t nice so it is going to be a protracted stroll or a number of metro and bus stops to get to the place you wish to be.
- The place to Keep as a substitute: Shut by is Eixample, this has the identical metropolis residential vibe however with extra appeal and simpler entry to the remainder of town. Additionally contemplate Gràcia for a similar causes. Praktik Bakery provides you that very same native vibe however in a greater location.
For those who hunt for lodging that’s quick access to the airport then that is the primary neighborhood to take a look at, it is usually near the long-lasting Montjuïc which is fantastic to discover. You may also go see the fountain present at Plaza Espanya.
Nevertheless, to get anyplace you will want to leap on the metro or practice, it’s effectively linked however if you wish to stroll to the remainder of town you’ll 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 principal transport connection level it does are typically actually busy within the stations, which might get overwhelming in case you are determining find out how to get to the place you wish to be.
- The place to Keep as a substitute: For straightforward entry to the airport look near Plaza Catalunya. The metro cease is central so will get you the place you’ll want to be in addition to the Sants cease does. Additionally it is a principal 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 now we have an at a look abstract:
- The Finest Areas to Keep in Barcelona: Go for the Previous Metropolis or Eixample for traditional Barcelona vibes.
- The Finest Motels 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 Motels 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? Briefly, AirBnB and brief time period residence leases have screwed the housing market in Barcelona, in addition to many different cities around the globe. Discovering an precise dwelling within the metropolis is an actual drawback and the costs have been pushed so excessive by vacationer leases that the common individual can not afford them. Legal guidelines have now restricted vacationer licenses however this hasn’t achieved 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 suggest you to be a responsible traveler and select to remain in lodges as a substitute, 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’ll be able to plan the remainder of your journey! While you’re within the starting stage don’t neglect to join our Self-Guided Walking Tour of Barcelona to get a downloadable information to discover 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 under
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Our Prime Journey Ideas & Assets
- Reserving Flights: To attain flight offers, search on Google Flights or Kayak. Cash-saving ideas: fly mid-week or on the weekend; fly carry-on solely on a finances airline; and take red-eyes or early morning flights.
- Lodging: We normally keep in budget-friendly trip leases, boutique lodges or non-public rooms in hostels. We use Booking.com to guide lodges (we love their versatile cancellation coverage) and Hostelworld to guide hostels (low deposit, simple change/cancellation, and wonderful evaluations). For trip leases, we want to guide utilizing VRBO as a result of they have decrease charges and higher assist than Airbnb, and we’re not followers of Airbnb’s unethical monitor document. You may also guide trip leases on Expedia and Hotels.com. We additionally use TrustedHousesitters as each hosts (for our dwelling and our fur-child) and vacationers!
- Journey Insurance coverage: We at all times, at all times, ALWAYS purchase journey insurance coverage for worldwide journeys, and we STRONGLY recommend it – go to our Travel Insurance Guide to seek out out why. We suggest both World Nomads or SafetyWing for worldwide journey insurance coverage. SafetyWing is among the few insurance policies that covers Covid-19, they usually have wonderful month-to-month insurance policies which might be good for Digital Nomads and long run vacationers!
- Journey Credit score Card: We guide all of our journeys on our favourite journey bank card. Not solely can we earn money again that we will spend on extra journey, however the card provides improbable journey perks like journey insurance coverage, journey delay and cancellation protection, misplaced baggage reimbursement, and rental automotive protection, which helps shield us on our travels. Learn more here.
- Vaccines & Meds: We use the journey guides on the CDC website to analysis advisable medicines and vaccines for worldwide journeys. We at all times suggest getting each vaccine advisable by the CDC! You will get them at your main care physician’s workplace or a walk-in pharmacy.
- Excursions: We love reserving guided excursions, particularly meals excursions and strolling excursions, to get an area’s perspective and a historical past lesson whereas sight-seeing! We guide our excursions utilizing Viator and GetYourGuide.
- Transportation: We use Rome2Rio to determine find out how to get from place to position, and guide native transportation on-line utilizing Bookaway wherever we will. Once we guide a rental automotive, we use Kayak to match rental firms and discover the very best deal.
- Baggage Storage: At any time when we’re trying out early or benefiting from a protracted layover, we use LuggageHero to soundly retailer our baggage whereas we’re operating round. Use the code PRACTICALW for two hours of free baggage storage on us.
- VPN Service: A VPN retains your digital info (like web site login particulars, financial institution data, and so forth) secure, even whenever you’re linked to an unsecured community whereas touring. Plus, it allows you to use Netflix & different streaming websites overseas! We use NordVPN. Use the code WANDERLUSTPROMO whenever you join!
- What to Pack: Here are the travel essentials that we convey on each journey. We even have packing lists for hot weather, cold weather, and plenty of extra. Check out all of our packing guides!