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Where to stay in Barcelona? A practical guide to show you a list of attractions of each neighborhood so you can choose the best places to stay in Barcelona.
Safety in Barcelona
Overall, Barcelona is a very safe city, but there’s no denying that there is a problem concerning pickpocketing and bag snatching, especially when it comes to tourists.
Many of these thefts occur in broad daylight in crowded places such as the metro, train stations and highly touristic places. Also, near important monuments such as La Rambla, Sagrada Familia or Barceloneta Beach.
It shouldn’t be a problem if you pay special attention to your surroundings when you open your bag or you’re browsing your smartphone.
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Best areas to stay in Barcelona
Click on the red button to find hotels in each area
Barceloneta is an historic and centrally located neighborhood , right next to the beach of the same name. Places like the Barcelona Aquarium, Maremagnum and the Barcelona Zoo are within walking distance.
This neighborhood is quite popular among families and young people who take advantage to the proximity of the coast as well as the city center (La Rambla is just 10 to 15 minutes away).
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This whole area got renovated for the 1992 Olympic Games and completely transformed the beachfront.
Modern, chic, and spacious, finding hotels by the Olympic Port may be a bit more pricey compared to other neighborhoods, but in return you have close access to several beaches, a top of the line location, restaurants and the best electronic parties.
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Poblenou has become one of the trendiest areas in Barcelona. It features a mix of old and brand new structures, located halfway between the beachfront, Glòries square and the ever present Agbar Tower.
The area is plenty of commercial offices, shopping areas, the Forum Park, galleries and a growing offer of restaurants. Many of the new design hostels in Barcelona are settled all over Poblenou, as well as top notch hotel chains as Novotel Barcelona City.
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Location wise, this is definitely the best neighborhood to stay in Barcelona. The Gothic Quarter is the heart of the Old City and many of the places you want to see the most are at walking distance.
To name a few, you have the Barcelona Cathedral, Catalunya Square, Jaume I Square and two of the most busiest avenues of the city for shopping: La Rambla and Portal de l’Angel.
Nothing beats the charm of the narrow old streets, hidden squares and historic landmarks. This neighborhood has every kind of hotel you can think of, like the exclusive Mercer Hotel.
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Located between the Gothic Quarter and the Ciutadella Park, El Born competes with the former in charm, fun, shopping and nightlife.
In this neighborhood you’ll be steps away from Palau de la Música Catalana, Picasso Museum or Santa María del Mar Church. If you choose to stay on the lower side, you’ll be quite close to the beach as well.
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El Raval is certainly a very interesting neighborhood in Barcelona, however it’s not the cleanest or the safest area of the city. However, the fact that you can be very close to La Boquería Market, La Rambla, MACBA and Universitat Square, makes it an interesting choice.
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Discover the Barcelona Pass
The Barcelona Pass is the ultimate key to Barcelona’s biggest attractions. This tourist card, available for 2 or 3 days, includes free entrance to more than 20 top attractions and an optional travelcard for unlimited transportation around the city.
Located along Parallel Avenue, this neighborhood doesn’t have that much to offer touristically speaking. However, it’s well communicated with metro and is quite close to Plaza España, Montjuic and the Old City.
Prices are a bit lower in this neighborhood compared to other parts of Barcelona.
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Montjuic is with plenty of attractions, like the Magic Fountain, the Olympic Stadium and the Montjuic Cable Car. Even so, there are no accommodation options in this area. The closest options are the neighborhood of Sants and Plaza España.
Sants is mostly a residential neighborhood, therefore is a quiet option for couples or families. A big plus is having Sants train station within walking distance. Plaza España on the other side, is very well communicated with the city center and the airport bus line.
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The Eixample district has an infinite range of lodging options. This district is quite balanced regarding shopping areas, public transport and places of interest.
Many of the biggest Modernista buildings by Gaudi are here such as: Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló and La Pedrera– as well as the fancy Passeig de Gràcia. Hotels tend to be a bit more costly but depending on the area, you can also find cheaper options.
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Gràcia has a large concentration of apartments for rent as well as a new generation of hostels. It offers a great mixture between local lifestyle, trendy boutiques and plenty of charmed-filled squares to go for a drink.
By mid august, the Gràcia Festival takes the neighborhood streets by storm and can be very hectic. Biggest attractions nearby: Park Güell and Gaudi Experiencia.
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Plenty of the financial district of Barcelona is located by Les Corts, as well as residential areas, so it’s easy to find accommodation options. Nonetheless, there aren’t that much touristic spots to visit in this zone, except for the Camp Nou Barça Stadium.
Staying close to Diagonal Avenue, you’ll have access to stores like El Corte Inglés and L’Illa Diagonal, but overall is a quiet neighborhood.
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Sarrià-Sant Gervasi is located in the upper part of Barcelona. Not too big on touristic attractions, except for Tibidabo, this elegant neighborhood has a larger range of first-class quality hotels and apartments that you could ever think of.
If you stay close to a FGC railway station, the communication with Catalunya Square is excellent, otherwise taking a taxi is the better choice to get there. Prices in this district are usually higher.
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Accommodation in Barcelona
This city has all the type of accommodations you can think of. If you’re travelling as a couple, there are plenty of romantic hotels Barcelona has to offer. The district of Ciutat Vella, with its winding streets and hidden squares is the perfect setting for a romantic getaway. Places like Hotel The Serras, Hotel Pulitzer or Hotel Neri, share a great location and romantic atmospheres.
On the other hand, if you travel with your family, many hotels offer services such as babysitter, large family suites, pools and activities for youngsters. Take a look at these Barcelona family hotels like the NH Barcelona Calderón, Eurostars Grand Marina or Citadines Rambla Barcelona.
If you still haven’t found best place to stay in Barcelona
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to browse for more options available. Feel free to read the reviews of the hotels we have visited.
Finally, check the following links for more help on where to stay in Barcelona. It will help you optimize your budget and live as a local as much as possible.
The best tours in Barcelona
Join this full day guided tour that includes a brunch and wine tasting at the Torres Cellars in the Penedés region, plus the breathtaking landscape of Montserrat and the stunning city of Sitges.
Admire the most famous monument in Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia through this 1,5 hour guided tour that includes fast track entrance and visit to the towers for extraordinary views of Barcelona.
Enjoy Girona and Figueres, Salvador Dalí’s hometown in this guided full day tour. Walk through the picturesque streets of medieval Girona and visit the Dalí-Theater Museum in Figueres, the biggest collection of the surrealist artist.
Get the best of Gaudí in Barcelona in one single tour. Experience the creative genius of Gaudí with this 4,5 hour guided tour that includes entrance to Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, plus an exterior visit to La Pedrera and Casa Batlló.
Visit one of Barcelona’s most amazing landmarks in this 1,5 hour guided tour of Park Güell. Learn all about this magnificent modernist work by Gaudi, one of the places that make Barcelona a unique city.
Immerse yourself in the magic of Montserrat, one of the most special locations near Barcelona. This morning guided tour invites you to explore this mountain retreat, as well as its monastery, funiculars and mountain paths leading to spectacular views.
Enjoy Barcelona to the fullest with this guided morning tour, featuring the best of Barcelona. Explore the Gothic Quarter, the Gothic Cathedral, Montjuïc, Poble Espanyol and much more.
Experience the magic of the fabulous Girona’s historical center through the scenarios of Game of Thrones. Explore the medieval city, one of the settings of the famous hit TV show, in this 6 hour guided tour from Barcelona.
This 1,5 hour guided tour will give you instant access to Barcelona’s biggest landmark: Sagrada Familia. Enjoy the most impressive architecture and ornaments with a Fast Track entrance, no queues.
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