Catalan delicacies, neo-Gothic structure, sandy seashores, rugged mountains, and a colourful historical past. Did we point out Catalan delicacies? Barcelona, Spain has each motive to be excessive on the listing for journey bucket lists.
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 battle and unrest. Combine this in with an enormous migrant and expat group and also you discover a mix of cultures, cuisines, languages and types.
Possibly you wish to keep within the coronary heart of the previous city and Gothic structure, or do you wish to expertise the mix of metropolis and seaside in Barceloneta? It could possibly 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 approach, we now have the most effective 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 and marketing 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 submit about our favourite food & wine tour in Barcelona, which we extremely advocate. We even have extra posts on travel in Europe.
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Barcelona Journey Ideas
Earlier than we dive into the barrio round-up, listed below are just a few ideas that will help 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 lovely. 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 fundamental 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 prone to encounter thieves. Don’t depart your telephone 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 a lot of recent hearty components, good olive oils and little tapas plates. There may be additionally the Basque affect with some nice pintxo eating places, which is my favourite method to eat! Cava can also be made within the area so respectable cava prices little or no. Take a food and wine tour if you happen to 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 follow Barcelona.
- Convey snug strolling footwear: Town is extremely walkable however elements of it are hilly and you’ll cowl way more floor than you notice whereas gawking on the structure. So pack respectable footwear you recognize will maintain your ft comfortable and benefit from the stroll! To assist, we’ve obtained a Barcelona self-guided walking tour – and we’ve additionally obtained options for the most effective strolling footwear for journey. Listed here are our favourite journey footwear for men and for women.
- Totally different areas even have completely different hyperlinks to different elements of the town: The metro system is superb and pretty simple to navigate however if you happen to want to keep away from utilizing it or buses then it’s essential to base your self strolling distance to the stuff 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 consider 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 greater than is inexpensive for residents and creating a variety of scams and disparity. Lodges had been badly affected by the pandemic so that they deserve the help somewhat than grasping property homeowners who would somewhat depart an residence empty as an alternative of renting it for an affordable value to a neighborhood. 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 lodge!
- In case your check-in and check-out instances don’t sync up together with your must roam the streets and also you want a spot to retailer your luggage, take a look at LuggageHero: This service helps you discover a secure place to maintain your baggage whilst you’re working 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, you could wrestle to know the place to go and what to do, however don’t fear, I obtained you lined!
As with many cities, there’s 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 road meals. Barcelona is that sort of place!
This provides to the attraction of the town, you’re at all times only a quick stroll or turning a nook away from discovering one thing fully completely different and discovering a hidden gem. Which does make searching down meals and souvenirs actually enjoyable – every part your coronary heart needs might 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 the town. Filled with previous winding streets, lovely historic buildings, church buildings, lovable eating places and hidden options round each nook.
That is the place one can find Barcelona Cathedral, the Picasso Museum, Arc de Triomf, La Rambla, and a complete host of different well-known landmarks. It truly is the most effective place to remain in Barcelona for a primary go to.
Nevertheless, you do want to choose rigorously as some streets are a bit shadier than others, some are noisy, and people cute winding streets aren’t as enjoyable to remain in if you happen to don’t see daylight out of your lodge 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 also 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 sort of individual.
That is additionally the most effective 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 also be the place you end so you’re a quick stroll again to your lodge 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 kind of good kinds of hostels with clear, brilliant rooms. It additionally overlooks Església de Sant Jaume, which is a reasonably, previous church. Historical past in your windowsill!
- For one thing a bit fancier Barcelona Hotel Colonial is true within the coronary heart of Gothic in an exquisite colonial constructing, a brief stroll down the road takes you to Port Vell Marina and a visit in some other 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 positioned only some doorways down a aspect road from La Rambla and can also be the identical road you head all the way down to get to the Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi.
Barceloneta / Seashore
For these trying 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 virtually not possible to get misplaced. To 1 aspect 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 good place to really feel you’re staying proper on the seaside with out lacking out on that Barcelona previous 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 at all times 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’d count on with it being beachside however the costs are wildly costly. Try the well-known landmark lodge The W, lovely and epic views however out of finances for many vacationers! You may nonetheless catch the views at their rooftop cocktail lounge and nightclub, if you happen to 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 may entry El Born, Gothic and Barceloneta in only a quick stroll.
- Hotel 54 Barceloneta is true on the entrance overlooking the marina and steps away from the seaside, this might be my choose if going for the seaside lodge possibility. The rooftop bar can also be like a bit backyard paradise, excellent for resting after an extended day of exploring.
- For a extra finances room, the Sea Hostel is a good choose for dorm room-style lodging, it’s also 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 seaside.
Welcome to Eixample, the realm that you just’ll see most in aerial photographs of Barcelona, these excellent purple 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 by, it’s the place the designer retailers are and can also be the bigger of the districts in Barcelona.
The roads are additionally very driveable, apart from the irritating purple mild cease/begin system which does make site visitors heavier right here. However most resorts have respectable 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 model 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 lots of different architectural beauties. Strolling round this space you’ll simply maintain stumbling into one other lovely constructing after one other, and if you happen to get onto a rooftop someplace you’ll see much more.
The purchasing can also be unimaginable right here with every part from high-end designer shops, to excessive road purchasing, to unbiased boutiques. If you wish to store with out having to stroll far to drop your luggage again on the lodge, that is the place to do it.
This space can also 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’d count on there isn’t any scarcity of resorts in Eixample, from simpler budgets to luxurious high-end resorts. Listed here are some fo the most effective ones:
- After I first arrived in Barcelona I booked into Hostalin Barcelona Gran Via and it’s the place I like to recommend buddies to remain for a terrific worth lodge. The workers was a dream throughout my keep, the rooms are brilliant and comfy 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 worth is a bit greater it’s not eye-watering. You possibly can go all out for a set with a personal terrace or simply benefit from the rooftop terrace which is equally pretty.
- If you wish to exit your lodge to the odor of recent bread and pastries then it’s essential 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 aside from near the enduring Basílica de la Sagrada Família! If that is your predominant motive for visiting Barcelona, and no person will choose you whether it is then that is the place to remain. You may 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 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 straightforward to get to different elements of the town.
The place to Keep in Sagrada Família
After all, if you’re staying on this space you then completely want a lodge with views of the basílica, which aren’t the most affordable rooms within the metropolis however there are some well-priced resorts value checking into.
- Sensation Sagrada Família has serviced flats with an exquisite shared roof terrace overlooking the enduring church. Right here you will get the bonus of a personal residence whereas nonetheless having the chance to get pleasure from a shared area with fellow vacationers.
- For a lodge possibility, the Sercotel Rosellón has brilliant rooms, a terrific breakfast and a roof terrace with solar loungers pointing at Sagrada, an iconic method to spend a day if you happen to ask me!
In search of a hidden boho artist vibe? Then Gràcia is your spot. Till the nineteenth century, this was an unbiased city and residents are sometimes long-term locals and pleased with their neighborhood.
Now the realm is fashionable and stuffed with unbiased 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 seems like a unique world to the designer shops and busy avenue. The streets are principally pedestrianized and there’s a extra eclectic combine of individuals strolling the streets.
The realm can also be recognized for its festivals, historically every neighborhood has its personal mini-festivals however the one in Gràcia is extensively often known as the most effective. Streets are lined with decorations and stalls, with some streets working in competitors for the most effective decor. Though bear in mind if you happen to 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 alternative amongst vacationers so you’ll really feel such as you’ve hit a bit hidden gem, and resorts are typically a bit cheaper too.
- Hotel Ronda Lesseps is a cute lodge with an exquisite inside courtyard backyard connected to the lodge 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 the town on this little oasis.
- A extra upmarket possibility with a rooftop pool is the Catalonia Park Güell lodge, costs aren’t vastly completely 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 in your afternoon poolside.
Canine-Pleasant Lodges in Barcelona
If you’re like the remainder of Staff Sensible Wanderlust and are a proud canine proprietor you can be happy to listen to that Barcelona is a good place to journey together with your furry greatest pal.
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 a lot of love from retailer attendants, treats and new locations to smell.
Actually most locations you may convey 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 principle seashores so you’ll have to discover the dog beach simply exterior the principle metropolis heart.
After I arrived in Barcelona with my pup I booked right into a dog-friendly lodge and I’ve just a few buddies who’ve additionally performed the identical. A number of resorts are used to canine companions and accommodate them fairly simply. So if you happen to journey together with your little pal these are the most effective locations to remain.
- Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella: This lodge is true reverse Ciutadella Park, which is by far among the finest 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 lodge can also be a brief stroll to the seaside and throughout from El Born, completely positioned for exploring the town. The lodge 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 may be additionally a stunning outside space to get pleasure from an aperitif.
- Hotel Balmes: An actual gem of a lodge, 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 also be delicate to their particular guests. There may be additionally an African artwork assortment all through the lodge, a backyard and a pool.
- Hostalin Barcelona Gran Via: This lodge has 2 areas not too removed from one another, as talked about after I arrived in Barcelona I stayed on the Gran Through lodge and it was actually unimaginable. The rooms are clear and spacious, and the workers are wonderful and really accommodating. The identical vibe can also be at their different lodge Diputación, each are in Eixample and rather well positioned 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 normally simply sure streets somewhat than entire areas and it’s extra of simply being conscious somewhat 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 superb. It helps to bear in mind that Barcelona has a variety of poverty and the common wage completely doesn’t match the price of dwelling and housing right here.
There may be additionally a big impoverished migrant inhabitants and homeless folks in sure areas, if this offends you then higher to keep away from the town fully as nobody space is healthier than others.
Apart from that, there are some areas of the town which are simply not value staying in, and I’ll clarify the place and why.
Usually if you hear tales of pickpockets, you’re listening to tales of Raval, which is positioned to the west aspect 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 nighttime isn’t advisable.
- The place to Keep as an alternative: If you’re nonetheless in search of the quirky previous city model 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 previous buildings to marvel at however much less of the after-dark considerations. May Ramblas Hotel is effectively positioned 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 might be fairly costly right here and the boutiques and cafes cater to a unique clientele than what most vacationers can be excited about.
It’s near the hills of Tibidabo, Barcelona’s highest peak, and the views throughout the town might be pretty however transport hyperlinks aren’t nice so it will likely be an extended stroll or a number of metro and bus stops to get to the place you wish 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 contemplate Gràcia for a similar causes. Praktik Bakery provides you that very same native vibe however in a greater location.
Should you hunt for lodging that’s quick access 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 can even 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 linked however if you wish to stroll to the remainder of the town you’ll have fairly an extended 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 predominant transport connection level it does are typically actually busy within the stations, which may get overwhelming if you’re determining how you can get to the place you wish to be.
- The place to Keep as an alternative: For simple entry to the airport look near Plaza Catalunya. The metro cease is central so will get you the place it’s essential to be in addition to the Sants cease does. Additionally it is a predominant level for the airport shuttle buses to begin 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 data! 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 Lodges 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 Lodges in Barcelona: Once more one other vote for Hostelin Barcelona Gran Through and Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella. Can not beat these for canine lovers!
So why aren’t we recommending any AirBnBs? Briefly, AirBnB and quick time period residence leases have screwed the housing market in Barcelona, in addition to many different cities around the globe. Discovering an precise house 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 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 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 may plan the remainder of your journey! While you’re within the strategy planning 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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