Where to stay in Barcelona in the center near attractions, the beach, shops, in the thick of club life or in a quiet residential area? Which areas of Barcelona are central, and which are near the center. The best areas of Barcelona on the map, a selection of accommodation options from chic five-star hotels to inexpensive hotels.Barcelona – view of Plaza de España
- Districts in the center
- Old Town
- Sants Montjuïc
- Sant Martí
- Airport hotels
- How to save money
Barcelona is a very popular tourist city, so the prices of hotels here are only growing. Start your home search ahead of time before you have a good choice. The cost of the night depends on the season: from May to October, prices increase by 2 times. We went to Barcelona in early April – the good weather was nicely combined with a small number of tourists and affordable prices.
Areas in the center of Barcelona where it is better for tourists to live
In total, there are 10 districts in Barcelona. Tourists are interested in only 5 districts where it is better to live. These areas are located in the center or close to it, close to attractions or the sea.
- The Old Town – Ciutat Vella (District 1) – is the historic center of Barcelona, where most of the attractions, museums and interesting places are located. On the border of the Old Town and the Eixample in Plaça Catalunya, the Hop on Hop off bus routes and most excursions begin. Ciutat Vella is good to settle for those who come to Barcelona for 2-3 days.
- Eixample – Eixample (District 2) is the modern center of Barcelona, a comfortable and safe area north of the Old Town. Here is the world-famous Sagrada Familia and other works of Gaudí. Eixample is liked equally by all travelers, it is convenient to stay in it for a week or more.
- Sants-Montjuïc (District 3)
- Gracia – Gràcia (District 6)
- Sant Martí (District 10)
Old Town (Ciutat Vella)
Las Ramblas in the center of Barcelona
The center of Barcelona – the Old Town or Ciutat Vella includes 4 blocks.
- Gothic Quarter – Historic Centre
- Barceloneta is the best place to stay by the sea and the beach
- Raval – an inexpensive area in the heart of the city
- El Born – a quiet area in the center
The Gothic Quarter – the historic center of Barcelona
Bridge of Sighs or Lace Bridge (Pont dels Sospirs)
The Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic) is the oldest, fully pedestrian part of Barcelona. Tourists rush here to walk through the labyrinths of narrow streets and explore the historical buildings and squares of the XIV-XV centuries. The main attractions of Barri Gòtic are the Cathedral and the Royal Square.
The area is full of shops, bars, restaurants, museums and galleries. Special lighting in the evening, street musicians and singers, all this creates a unique atmosphere.
Hotels in Barry Gothic are distinguished by a small area of rooms, but there are exceptions.
Hotels in the center of Barcelona in the Gothic Quarter
Michelin-starred restaurant at The Serras Hotel
- The Serras Best 5hotel of the Gothic Quarter has a rooftop infinity pool and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
- Hotel Barcelona Catedral 4butik is located 1 minute’s walk from Barcelona Cathedral, in the historic Gothic Quarter.
- Duquesa Suites Barcelona 4 is a 6-minute walk from the Picasso Museum and barceloneta metro station, swimming pool, sun terrace.
- Regencia Colón 3 row with the Cathedral and Plaça Catalunya.
- Find a hotel in the Gothic Quarter
Attractions in the Gothic Quarter
Royal Square (Plaça Reial)
- Cathedral of the Holy Cross and St. Eulalia
- Remains of the ancient Roman city wall of the II century
- St. James’ Square (Plaça Sant Jaume)
- Royal Square (Plaça Reial)
- Basilica of Santa Maria del Pi
- Historical Museum of Barcelona (Museu d’Història de Barcelona)
- Bridge of Sighs or Lace Bridge (Pont dels Sospirs)
- Jewish Quarter
- Pablo Picasso Museum
Where to go, what to see in the Gothic Quarter
- Admire the neo-Gothic facade of the Cathedral, take the elevator to the observation deck under the dome. Take a look at the monastery courtyard with a fountain and 13 white geese, symbolizing the 13 years of St. Eulalia.
- Take a look at the Royal Square with palm trees, Gaudí lanterns and a fountain in the center.
- Go on a tour of Gothic Barcelona in the evening, listen to the history of witch hunts during the Inquisition and the legends of the gargoyles and executioner of Barcelona.
- Admire classic Spanish flamenco performed by world-class artists in a historic setting.
- Go through the souvenir shops, the prices here are lower than on the Rambla.
- Climb to the top of the monument to Christopher Columbus. The elevator inside the column rises to the observation deck, where from a height of 60 meters a panoramic view of the city, medieval shipyards and the fortress of Montjuïc opens.
- Sample a delicious seafood paella at Café Avinyo10 on Carrer d’avinyo.
- Visit Craft Barcelona with a huge selection of craft beers and delicious tapas, with live music in the evenings.
On the subject: 12 observation decks of Barcelona
Barceloneta is the best place to stay in Barcelona by the sea and the beach
Barcelona Head (La Cabeza de Barcelona)
The area of Barceloneta (La Barceloneta) is located right in front of the sea. Together with the Gothic Quarter, it is part of barcelona’s central Ciutat Vella district. The former abandoned fishing district completely changed its appearance for the 1992 Olympics and became a favorite vacation spot for locals and tourists.
For tourists, there are many interesting things: unusual sculptures, beaches, a beautiful promenade, the Barcelona Aquarium, many fish restaurants, bars and clubs. This is an ideal place for young people, lovers of nightlife and morning jogging.
Turning deep into the quarter into narrow streets with low houses, you can feel the simple original atmosphere of Barceloneta. The best restaurants are located here, and not on the promenade along the sea.
La Barceloneta is the best place to stay in Barcelona. From here it is close to the Rambla, 5 minutes walk to the beach and 20 minutes to the city center. Rooms in local hotels offer beautiful views of the sea and the promenade. In the evening there is a place to stroll, and around is full of restaurants and grocery stores.
Hotels in the center of Barcelona near the beach
Room at the Hotel W Barcelona with stunning sea views
- W Barcelona 5 sails over Barceloneta Beach, offers views of the Mediterranean Sea or the city, rooftop bar, 2 swimming pools. From the hotel you can go directly to the beach with your sun loungers and parasols.
- Duquesa de Cardona 4 opposite the marina, roof terrace with panoramic views, swimming pool and bar.
- 54 Barceloneta 3 modern design hotel, close to the beach and the cable car to Montjuïc.
- Find a hotel in Barceloneta
Attractions in Barceloneta
- Barcelona Aquarium
- Museum of The History of Catalonia
- Barceloneta Beach
- Surreal sculpture Barcelona Head
- Sculpture Smiling Shrimp
- Sculpture by Rebecca Horne Homenatge a la Barceloneta
- Frank Gehry’s 35-Meter Swimming Fish
Where to go, what to see in Barceloneta
Rambla De Mar pedestrian bridge and Maremagnum shopping centre on the left
- Spend time in the shopping center Of Maremagnum, inside there are many boutiques with familiar brands, cafes and restaurants with outdoor terraces.
- Visit the unique Barcelona Aquarium with an online ticket without queuing.
- Go for lunch at the family restaurant La Cova Fumada, try delicious fresh seafood and homemade wine.
- Dine in the non-touristY Pasa Tapas, which serves delicious Spanish dishes: various tapas, paella, meat dishes, seafood, fish and grill.
- Grab a glass of beer with a variety of snacks in the atmospheric El Vaso de Oro beer hall.
- Take a cable car ride to Montjuïc while admiring the breathtaking views of Barcelona along the way.
The Raval is an inexpensive area in the heart of Barcelona
Cat Fernando Botero on Rambla del Raval
The Raval district is not as popular as the Gothic Quarter, located on the other side of the Rambla. Perhaps the reputation of the district contributes to this. Because of its proximity to the port, it was a red-light district. Another name , Barrio Chino or China Town – was given because its bars, clubs and brothels resembled a similar place in New York. Now it is already in the past and rather does not frighten, but attracts tourists.
Since 1988, the Barcelona City Council has launched a program to renovate the area. The MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art was built and the CCCB Center for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona was opened. Rambla del Raval boulevard with palm trees, benches was updated, the statue of the cat Fernando Botero, beloved by tourists, was installed on it.
Today, Raval is a central, creative and safe area of Barcelona. In addition to MACBA, there are many bookstores, designer boutiques and other fashionable places. On Fridays, live concerts are held on the Rambla del Raval, numerous restaurants are full of public, and tourists feed pigeons and parrots.
The central location of Raval makes it an attractive place for tourists, where it is convenient to stay for 4-5 days for sightseeing. From anywhere in Raval, the Gothic Quarter, the Old Port and the seafront promenade can be reached within a 15-minute walk. Prices for hotels in the Raval are pleasantly lower than in other quarters of the Old Town.
Hotels in Raval on La Rambla
Terrace with panoramic views on the roof of the Barceló Raval hotel
- Bagués 5-butik-hotel on The Ramblas, 50 metres from the Boquería Market, ebony furniture, swimming pool and rooftop bar.
- The Barceló Raval 4design hotel next to the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, underground parking, panoramic terrace with swimming pool.
- Hesperia Barcelona Ramblas 3 is a non-expensive hotel a few metres from the pedestrian Rambla with good noise insulation and clean rooms.
Attractions in Raval
- Palau Güell
- Cat Fernando Botero (El Gato de Botero)
- MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art
- Barcelona Centre for Contemporary Culture CCCB
- Old Romanesque Church of Sant Pau del Camp
Where to go, what to see in the Raval
Jamon at boqueria marketFresh Oysters Market Bokeria
- Visit the legendary Boqueria Market. It has everything: fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh juices, smoothies, jamon, cheeses – everything washed, chopped, packed together with forks. Right in front of you will quickly cook steak, shrimp, oysters. Lots of places where the menu is on the Russian.
- Try a variety of cocktails and delicious food in the trendy youth restaurant Marmalade.
- Explore the exposition of the Maritime Museum of Barcelona (Museu Maritim de Barcelona) in the building of the Royal Shipyards of Drassanas. The Spanish galley is one of the most interesting exhibits.
- Check out the popular Mexican bar El Pachuco, try the signature homemade nachos, quesadillas and frozen margaritas.
- Listen to the stories tickling the soul and nerves, go to the “House of the Vampire” and see the mystical Raval on the author’s tour of the Chronicles of Criminal Barcelona.
On the subject: Tapas in Barcelona • Where to go and what to try
El Born – a quiet area in the center of Barcelona
Arc de Triomphe Barcelona
This quarter is correctly called Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera, but is better known as El Born after the old El Born market. Born and Ribera are bordered by the Gothic Quarter, Barceloneta and the Eixample district. This quiet area attracts with its coziness and subtle bourgeois charm.
According to numerous reviews of tourists, El Born from year to year is the best area in the center of Barcelona, where it is most convenient to stay for a few days, including for young people and families with children. El Born is safe day and night. All this makes the area quite expensive to live in.
A walk from El Born to the Gothic Quarter or Barceloneta Beach will take no more than 10 minutes, the same as to Plaça Catalunya (a convenient transport hub).
It is in El Borna that the Picasso Museum, the Arc de Triomphe and one of the most beautiful Gothic churches – Santa Maria del Mar is located. Here is the French Station and the Santa Catarina Market, where products are cheaper than in the famous Boqueria market.
During the day, it is a popular place for fashion lovers and gourmets. Everywhere you can find cafes, galleries, boutiques of designer clothes and cool shoe stores. In the evening, the area comes alive and numerous bars and expensive restaurants fill with visitors.
El Born hotels near Citadel Park
Hotel Banys Orientals with Catalan restaurant in El Born
- K+K Picasso 4-butt-hotel on Passeig de Picasso, opposite the Citadel Park, upscale staff, comfortable rooms, swimming pool.
- Banys Orientals 3 elegant hotel in an XVIII century building, 100 meters from the Church of Santa Maria del Mar by the metro Jaume.
- Palau de la Musica is an inexpensive aparthotel near the concert hall of the same name, from the balcony of the room you can admire the lively streets.
El Born Attractions
- Palace of Catalan Music
- Church of Santa Maria del Mar
- Cultural centre and archaeological site of the old Born Market
- Arc de Triomphe
- Citadel Park (Parc de la Ciutadella) with the monumental Cascada Fountain
Cascada Fountain in Citadel Park
Where to go, what to see in El Born
- Include in the program of a mandatory visit the Picasso Museum in the beautiful city palace of the XV century.
- Book an individual tour with a historical and gastronomic accent of Gothic and El Born: bright facts and delicious pauses.
- Take a walk in the Citation Park, from it you can get to the beautiful zoo.
- Go with your children to the small Chocolate Museum (Museu de la Xocolata), the entrance with the original ticket (chocolate barcode).
- Try delicious and beautiful pastries in the Pastelería Hofmann.
- Have yourself a gastronomic feast in the old bar El Xampanyet, delicious food and homemade cava, there are queues at the entrance.
Comfortable Eixample district – the modern centre of Barcelona
Barcelona’s most populous Eixample district is north of Plaça Catalunya. This large district was built in the 19th and 20th centuries in the modernist style and has a thoughtful layout with octagonal quarters, straight streets and wide avenues.
Leaving the Eixample without inspection simply will not work, because it is here that the world-famous works of Antoni Gaudi are located: the Sagrada Familia, Casa Milà and Casa Batlló. Close attention should be paid to the “Quarter of Discord” on Gracia Avenue, which became the site of a competition of talented Catalan architects of the 20th century. Houses 35, 41 and 43, although built in the style of Catalan modernism, are completely different from each other.
On the subject: 14 masterpieces of Gaudí in Barcelona
Passeig de Gràcia is the most fashionable street in the Eixample, there are fashionable boutiques and expensive restaurants. Parallel to it is another interesting for shopping street Rambla de Cataluña. There are several shopping centers on Diagonal Avenue. Many tourists can be found in the popular department store El Corte Inglés in Plaça Catalunya.Passeig de Gràcia in the Eixample district
Proper development makes the Eixample area amazingly cozy, thanks to it there is a lot of light, trees and air. Away from the main streets you can find many cafes, bakeries and supermarkets. That is why respectable and safe Eixample is a comfortable place to stay for tourists, including families with children. We rented apartments for a week in a quiet residential area of Sant Antoni near the metro and the Sant Antoni market.
Eixample is the modern center of Barcelona and the closest area to the historic center. A walk from any Eixample to Plaça Catalunya on the border with the Old Town will take no more than half an hour, and the trip by public transport will be even faster.
Barcelona hotels near Sagrada Familia
View of the Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudí from the rooftop terrace of the Ayre Hotel Rosellón
- Palace GL 5 luxury hotel near the Arc de Triomphe, spa, outdoor swimming pool.
- Ayre Rosellón 4in 200 meters from the Sagrada Familia with panoramic views of the basilica, underground parking.
- Jazz 3 is a non-expensive hotel 2 minutes’ walk from Plaça Catalunya and El Corte Ingles department store, swimming pool and terrace with city views.
Attractions in Eixample
- Sagrada Familia
- Casa Milà ( La Pedrera)
- Casa Batlló
- Discord Quarter
- Passeig de Gràcia
Where to go, what to see in the Eixample
- Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the city and explore the masterpieces of architecture of Gaudí on a private tour of Barcelona on foot (300+ reviews).
Sants-Montjuïc near Montjuïc
Plaza de España
The Sants-Montjuïc district near Montjuïc was being built up for the 1929 World’s Fair. Here are the Spanish Village, the fortress of Montjuïc, the Botanical Garden, the FC Barcelona stadium. A favorite vacation spot for Barcelonans and visitors. Plaza de España is a transport interchange, from where you can get to any part of Barcelona, to the airport and to the monastery of Montserrat.
Hotels in Sants Montjuïc
- Miramar Barcelona 5hotel in the building of the former palace on Montjuïc with panoramic sea views.
- Grums Barcelona 4 is a 5-minute walk from Barcelona Port, the ferry terminal and the cruise terminal entrance, a spa with a state-of-the-art fitness centre.
- Acta Azul Barcelona is a 3rd low-cost hotel near Plaça Espanya and the Arena shopping centre.
Gracia – a residential area near the center
The typical Catalan district of Gràcia is 1 km north of the centre of Barcelona. It is the most remote from the sea, but with the best restaurants, private villas and Park Güell.
- Casa Fuster G.L Monumento 5 in the famous Building of the Art Nouveau Fuste House at the beginning of passeig de Gracia, sauna, gym, roof terrace with swimming pool.
- Ronda Lesseps 4 in 200 meters from the metro lesseps and 10 minutes walk from Park Güell, family rooms, delicious breakfasts.
- La Casa del Sol is a 3-legged hotel 800 metres from Casa Milà, with a swimming pool and garden views, and guests can rent a bicycle.
Sant Martí is the best area to stay in Barcelona by the sea
Promenade in the Sant Martí district of Barcelona
The new residential area of Sant Martí was built for the 1992 Olympic Games. Port Olimpic is the most prestigious and comfortable quarter on the seashore, here are the Olympic Port, skyscrapers and the best beaches of Barcelona.
Barcelona BeachFront Hotels
- Level at Melia Barcelona Sky 5 excellent service, rooftop and pool bar, 15 minutes to the beach.
- Occidental Atenea Mar 4 hotel for adults only, 150 meters from the beach of Nova Mar Bella, terrace overlooking the sea and infinity pool.
- Holiday Inn Express Barcelona City 22@ 3neprig hotel 300 metres from Llacuna Metro Station, buffet breakfast is included in the room rate.
Barcelona airport hotels
If you are in Barcelona in transit, you have an early departure or a late arrival, then the hotel at El Prat Airport can be convenient. There are budget options and hotels with a free shuttle service to the airport. City buses and trains run to the centre of Barcelona (30-40 minutes).BAH Barcelona Airport Hotel close to the airport
- BAH Barcelona Airport 4 in the immediate vicinity of Barcelona International Airport, seasonal swimming pool, free transfer to and from the airport.
- Ciutat del Prat 4design hotel near the airport, free airport shuttle, a few steps near grocery stores and metro station, to the center of Barcelona 40 minutes by transport.
- The Ibis Budget Barcelona Viladecans is a budget hotel 12 minutes from El Prat Airport and 25 km from the centre of Barcelona, close to McDonald’s and a large supermarket.
- All hotels near Barcelona El Prat Airport
How to save on accommodation in Barcelona?
Where to stay in Barcelona – in the center or choose a hotel farther away and buy a pass? It’s up to you.
Barcelona’s public transport
Barcelona’s single and public transport passes are valid in The Zona 1 fare zone, which includes all of Barcelona, including its tourist areas. The city’s transport network includes:
- bus (TMB)
- Night bus (Nit Bus)
- tram (TRAM)
- funiculars to Montjuïc and Tibidabo mountains
- commuter trains Ferrocarrils (FGC) and Rodalies
Ticket, travel and transport card prices for 2020
- One-time travel – €2.40
- T-casual ticket for 10 trips – €11.35
- Transport card Hola BCN! gives unlimited travel in Barcelona and the province by public transport, including trains to the airport:
- 48 hours — €16.30
- 72 hours – €23.70
- 96 hours — €30.80
- 120 hours — €38.00