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 listing 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 warfare and unrest. Combine this in with an enormous migrant and expat neighborhood and also you discover a mix of cultures, cuisines, languages and types.
Perhaps you need to keep within the coronary heart of the outdated city and Gothic structure, or do you wish to expertise the mix of metropolis and seashore in Barceloneta? It may very well be that you’re extra of an uptown kinda particular person and wish to keep within the coronary heart of Eixample, surrounded by towering buildings, infinite buying alternatives and Gaudi round what looks like virtually each nook.
Both means, we now have one of the best of the barrios (neighborhoods) laid out so that you can determine 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: Searching for extra issues to do in Barcelona throughout your journey? We’ve acquired 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 just a few ideas that will help you put together on 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 comfy, and town parks and tree-lined avenues look stunning. Additionally means fewer thick winter layers to pack!
- Put together just a few 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 may get away with English, though most vacationer locations do communicate English!
- Keep protected: Pickpockets are a giant downside in Barcelona, and the locations I like to recommend avoiding are the worst locations you might be more likely to encounter thieves. Don’t depart 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. All the time be vigilant!
- Eat all of the foods and drinks all of the cava: Catalan and Spanish delicacies is scrumptious, with plenty 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 method to eat! Cava can be made within the area so first rate cava prices little or no. Take a food and wine tour in case 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 right abbreviation is Barna; Barca is the soccer group. I nonetheless really feel bizarre calling it Barna so simply follow Barcelona.
- Carry comfy strolling footwear: The town is extremely walkable however components of it are hilly and you’ll cowl way more floor than you understand whereas gawking on the structure. So pack first rate footwear you realize will maintain your ft glad and benefit from the stroll! To assist, we’ve acquired a Barcelona self-guided walking tour – and we’ve additionally acquired options for one of the best strolling footwear for journey. Listed here are our favourite journey footwear for men and for women.
- Totally different areas even have totally different hyperlinks to different components of town: The metro system is great and pretty simple to navigate however in case you choose to keep away from utilizing it or buses then you should base your self strolling distance to the belongings you wish to see or at the least on the identical metro line to keep away from a number of stops and modifications. An space could also be quarter-hour away in a taxi however takes 45 minutes by metro or bus, so be mindful 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 larger than is inexpensive for residents and creating quite a lot of scams and disparity. Resorts had been badly affected by the pandemic so that they deserve the assist slightly than grasping property house owners who would slightly depart an residence empty as a substitute of renting it for an inexpensive value to a neighborhood. There are even new legal guidelines proscribing vacationer licenses and you might be 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 occasions don’t sync up along with your have to roam the streets and also you want a spot to retailer your baggage, take a look at LuggageHero: This service helps you discover a protected 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 enchantment. To the uninitiated, it’s possible you’ll wrestle to know the place to go and what to do, however don’t fear, I acquired you coated!
As with many cities, there’s additionally an enormous financial variation. Strolling alongside Passeig de Gràcia you’ll see consumers swinging baggage from Gucci, Versace and Saint Laurant, after which step down La Rambla simply 10 minutes away and discover quirky low cost hippy outlets promoting handmade crafts, knock-off clothes and avenue meals. Barcelona is that sort of place!
This provides to the allure of town, you might be all the time only a brief stroll or turning a nook away from discovering one thing utterly totally 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 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 town. Filled 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 slightly 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 world can be extra open to vacationers so that you usually tend to discover a place to seize a espresso and a pastry if you’re an early morning kind of particular person.
That is additionally one of the best place to base your self if you’re 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 resorts on this space in addition to some critically finances hostels. Beneath are a few of our favorites:
- Hostal Fernando is a type of good kinds of hostels with clear, shiny rooms. It additionally overlooks Església de Sant Jaume, which is a reasonably, outdated church. Historical past in your windowsill!
- For one thing slightly fancier Barcelona Hotel Colonial is correct within the coronary heart of Gothic in a good looking colonial constructing, a brief stroll down the road takes you to Port Vell Marina and a visit in every other path 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 positioned just a few doorways down a facet 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 / Seashore
For these trying 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 not possible to get misplaced. To 1 facet 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 good place to really feel you might be staying proper on the seashore with out lacking out on that Barcelona outdated metropolis allure. The buildings aren’t essentially as fairly as different components of town however the seashore ambiance is nearly year-round.
You’ll discover chiringuitos (seashore 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 just a few bigger resorts on this space as you’ll anticipate with it being beachside however the costs are wildly costly. Try the well-known landmark resort The W, stunning 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 highway 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 may 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 might be my decide if going for the seashore resort choice. The rooftop bar can be like slightly backyard paradise, excellent for resting after a protracted day of exploring.
- For a extra finances room, the Sea Hostel is a good decide for dorm room-style lodging, additionally it is 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 realm that you simply’ll see most in aerial photographs of Barcelona, these excellent 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 by way of, it’s the place the designer outlets are and can be the bigger of the districts in Barcelona.
The roads are additionally very driveable, other than the irritating purple gentle cease/begin system which does make site visitors heavier right here. However most resorts have first rate sound insulation so you may keep away from site 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 exquisite balconies. You’ll discover Casa Batlo and Casa Mila, Plaza Catalunya to the south, Casa de les Punxes and lots of different architectural beauties. Strolling round this space you’ll simply maintain stumbling into one other stunning constructing after one other, and in case you get onto a rooftop someplace you’ll see much more.
The buying can be unimaginable right here with all the pieces from high-end designer shops, to excessive avenue 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 repeatedly 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 anticipate there isn’t a scarcity of resorts in Eixample, from simpler budgets to luxurious high-end resorts. Listed here 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 mates to remain for an amazing worth resort. The employees was a dream throughout my keep, the rooms are shiny 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 good alternative, and although the value is slightly larger it’s not eye-watering. You would go all out for a collection with a non-public terrace or simply benefit from the rooftop terrace which is equally beautiful.
- If you wish to exit your resort to the odor of recent bread and pastries then you should e-book Praktik Bakery, with rooms as recent because the bread and a brief stroll to Diagonal. Simply ensure 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 most important cause 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 usually gaze on the unimaginable work of Antoni Gaudí.
Admittedly the restaurant selections aren’t the finest, 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 components of town.
The place to Keep in Sagrada Família
After all, if you’re staying on this space you then completely want a resort with views of the basílica, which aren’t the most affordable rooms within the metropolis however there are some well-priced resorts price checking into.
- Sensation Sagrada Família has serviced residences with a good looking shared roof terrace overlooking the enduring church. Right here you may get the bonus of a non-public residence whereas nonetheless having the chance to take pleasure in a shared area with fellow vacationers.
- For a resort choice, the Sercotel Rosellón has shiny rooms, an amazing breakfast and a roof terrace with solar loungers pointing at Sagrada, an iconic method 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 realm is fashionable and filled with impartial outlets, 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 outlets close by.
This space is comparatively near Passeig de Gràcia however seems like a special 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 world can be recognized for its festivals, historically every neighborhood has its personal mini-festivals however the one in Gràcia is broadly often called one of the best. Streets are lined with decorations and stalls, with some streets working in competitors for one of the best decor. Though bear in mind in case you go to in the summertime throughout these festivals you shouldn’t anticipate any peace and quiet, the events can go on all evening!
The place to Keep in Gràcia
This isn’t a primary alternative amongst vacationers so you’ll really feel such as you’ve hit slightly hidden gem, and resorts are usually slightly cheaper too.
- Hotel Ronda Lesseps is a cute resort with a good looking inside courtyard backyard connected to the resort bar. It is usually 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 totally different however it’s barely extra exterior the central a part of Gràcia. Rooftop swimming pools in resorts are an actual deal with however they do get busy so keep in mind to order a solar lounger on your afternoon poolside.
Canine-Pleasant Resorts in Barcelona
In case you are like the remainder of Group Sensible Wanderlust and are a proud canine proprietor you may be happy to listen to that Barcelona is a good place to journey along with your furry finest buddy.
Most eating places are accommodating, quite a lot of outlets have water bowls exterior for passing canines and it isn’t unusual to see canines becoming a member of buying journeys. My canine loves coming buying, it normally means getting plenty of love from retailer attendants, treats and new locations to smell.
Actually most locations you may carry your canine with you, much more so if it’s a smaller canine. Nevertheless, simply bear in mind that in the summertime months (from Could to October) canines aren’t allowed on the primary seashores so you’ll have to discover the dog beach simply exterior the primary metropolis heart.
After I arrived in Barcelona with my pup I booked right into a dog-friendly resort and I’ve just a few mates who’ve additionally performed the identical. Plenty of resorts are used to canine companions and accommodate them fairly simply. So in case you journey along with your little buddy these are one of the 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 house owners 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 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 magnificence, and the bar space is spacious and overlooks the park. There’s additionally a stunning outside space to take pleasure in an aperitif.
- Hotel Balmes: An actual gem of a resort, they really have a particular bundle 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 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 really unimaginable. The rooms are clear and spacious, and the employees are wonderful and really accommodating. The identical vibe can be at their different resort Diputación, each are in Eixample and rather well positioned for accessing the remainder of town.
The place To not Keep in Barcelona
Barcelona as a complete is fairly protected and there are few areas to keep away from, these are normally simply sure streets slightly than complete areas and it’s extra of simply being conscious slightly than anticipating to be robbed. You hear horror tales and sure they do occur however if you’re an skilled traveler and maintain your wits about you, you’ll be positive. It helps to bear in mind 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 town completely as nobody space is healthier than others.
Except for that, there are some areas of town which can be simply not price staying in, and I’ll clarify the place and why.
Usually once you hear tales of pickpockets, you might be listening to tales of Raval, which is positioned to the west facet of La Rambla.
The world is charming in its personal means, 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 just isn’t advisable.
- The place to Keep as a substitute: In case you are nonetheless on the lookout for the quirky outdated city fashion 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 outdated buildings to marvel at however much less of the after-dark issues. May Ramblas Hotel is effectively positioned 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 special clientele than what most vacationers could be thinking about.
It’s near the hills of Tibidabo, Barcelona’s highest peak, and the views throughout town may be beautiful however transport hyperlinks aren’t nice so it will likely 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 allure and simpler entry to the remainder of town. Additionally think about Gràcia for a similar causes. Praktik Bakery provides you that very same native vibe however in a greater location.
In the event you hunt for lodging that’s quick access to the airport then that is the primary neighborhood to have a look at, additionally it is near the enduring Montjuïc which is great to discover. You may also go see the fountain present at Plaza Espanya.
Nevertheless, to get anyplace you’ll need to leap on the metro or practice, it’s effectively related 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 most important transport connection level it does are usually actually busy within the stations, which may get overwhelming if you’re 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 should be in addition to the Sants cease does. It is usually a most important level for the airport shuttle buses to start out from, which is by far the best method to get to the airport fairly cheaply. Praktik Bakery once more is rather well positioned 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 Previous Metropolis or Eixample for traditional Barcelona vibes.
- The Finest Resorts 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 Resorts in Barcelona: Once more one other vote for Hostelin Barcelona Gran By way of and Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella. Can’t beat these for canine lovers!
So why aren’t we recommending any AirBnBs? In brief, AirBnB and brief time period residence leases have screwed the housing market in Barcelona, in addition to many different cities all over the world. Discovering an precise house within the metropolis is an actual downside 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 performed 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 resorts as a substitute, which had been in fact closely affected by the pandemic and deserve all of the vacationer love once more.
That ought to provide the finest concepts of the place to remain so you may plan the remainder of your journey! When you are within the strategy planning stage don’t overlook to enroll in 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 might be most enthusiastic about seeing? Tell us within the feedback beneath
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