Barcelona is a pretty popular spot for tourists, the city is vibrant, full of history and activities to do. I was born and raised there so I was always able to enjoy this beautiful city. When I first met my boyfriend in Ireland three years ago, one of the things people asked me constantly when they found out I was from Barcelona was when was the best time to go and where to stay. That just got me thinking that there is not enough information about those topics out there from people that have actually lived there all their lives.
If you ask any other tourists, I am sure they will recommend “Les Rambles” to stay around there, if you ask a local… they probably tell you to stay away from that area accommodation wise.
I decided I would share my knowledge of accommodation around the city so I can make your decision easier.
I always recommend these two areas because they are nice to walk around and also have great public transport connection so is easy to have access to the rest of the city.
Gràcia. This neighbourhood is one of my favourites, it used to be a village back in the day, but as the city grew, it eventually became part of it. I like it because it still feels like you are walking around a village, it is the neighbourhood with the most squares, and they always have great terraces with lovely food.
It is starting to become more and more popular, but I still think that it is far from the super touristy vibe of the Gothic Quarter. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great area and the richest history wise, but if you want to run away from all the tourist hot spots and pricey food and drink, Gràcia is a better option.
Eixample. The second area I wanted to recommend to stay, it is the neighbourhood where I grew up in. But it is also my favourite, not because I grew up here, but because of its location and activities available right at your door step.
It is the area of iconic places like Passeig de Gràcia, Rambla Catalunya, and the spot of La Pedrera, la Casa Batlló and La Sagrada Família. It is a very stylish neighbourhood full of shops and restaurants and it is lovely to walk around and get the vibe of the city.
Now that you know my preferred areas, it is time to focus on accommodation. We all know there are plenty of options available, from hotels, hostels, Airbnb… So I am going to share with you my options from different price points. I have been working in the hospitality industry for 4 years now and also studied hospitality management focusing on marketing as my major, so I have gathered knowledge about different hotels and how they treat their employees and just wanted to share my favourites with you.
Generator. generator Hostels is a brand of hostels around Europe (and I think they have started expanding to the USA), with hostels in cities such as Amsterdam, London, Paris, Dublin, Stockholm amongst others, it is a great way to stay in capitals without paying an excessive price.
Great for younger people as you can share rooms and meet people from around the world. I usually stay in hostels when I travel by myself because it is so easy to meet new people, a lot of other guests also travel alone and are also looking for the same thing.
The place itself is very new and rustic looking, and I am not going to lie, it is great for pictures, I am guilty of going there to take some shots for my Instagram… best part, they are completely fine with it!
Casa Gràcia. As you probably guessed, this hostel is in Gràcia, and it is absolutely beautiful, the entrance looks like you are walking in a fancy house or hotel and you’ll have someone coming to you calling you sir and madame, when in reality it is a hostel.
If you saw the ad Hostelworld did with Mariah Carey, this was the hostel that was being shown (if you didn’t see it, here it is).
The inside is modern and bright and it is perfect for people who want to explore the city through this beautiful neighbourhood.
Hotel Condes de Barcelona. This hotel is located in the middle of Passeig de Gràcia, this four star hotel occupies the 19th century palace of Casa Daurella. It was renovated so the hotel could have a modern and functional aesthetic with unique historical elements.
The hotel has a solarium, a pool and a little gym where guests can enjoy a little workout before or after starting their day. The hotel itself is absolutely stunning and I personally love it. They have a terrace on top of the hotel where you can enjoy amazing views, I am guilty myself of going with my friends sometimes.Alexandra (Curio Collection by Hilton). This hotel is located nearby Rambla de Catalunya. It is a modern newly renovated 4 star hotel from the Curio Collection by Hilton. Guests can enjoy a little terrace on the ground floor to enjoy the typical Eixample patios and a pool to cool off during the summer months.
The rooms are absolutely gorgeous because it combines vintage aspects with newer ones. Most rooms have the original tiles from the original building but it gives a fresh vibe with the furniture and decoration.Gallery Hotel. This 4 star hotel it is a boutique hotel located in l’Eixample. It is known for its restaurant and their gourmet options. Their restaurant has a lovely terrace that connects to el Palau Robert, a little park with a big palace where it is full of exhibitions, sometimes art or photography, but it is really interesting most times and touch on important topics.
They recently renovated and now it is incredibly bright and spacious. The rooms are simple yet sophisticated. They are bright and adapted for the millennial traveller that is in constant use of technology. I did a walk around a few months ago after the renovation and loved it.Hotel Murmuri. Another 4 star hotel located in the stunning Rambla Catalunya. What this hotel has a bit differently is that you have the option to stay either in a room like conventional hotels, or in an apartment. The rooms are mostly neutral coloured with a highly sophisticated design.
H10 Casa Mimosa. One of the newest additions on the Spanish based chain H10 Hotels, Casa Mimosa is located in the same block as la Pedrera, being able to see it from the rooftop of the hotel. This hotel is a four star superior.
The rooms are very bright in comparison of other hotels that I am going to mention and they are also pretty simple, no over the top decoration.Ohla Barcelona. An urban boutique hotel located in l’Eixample. Just five minutes away from main tourist attractions like la Pedrera, Casa Batlló, Passeig de Gràcia, and nearby loads of fantastic restaurants. The hotel itself counts with 94 rooms (a few of them which have a bathtub in the balcony! Yes you read that right 🙂
If you don’t really want to be bothered finding a restaurant nearby, the hotel has a Michelin star restaurant on site.Monument. A pre-modernist hotel located on the very own Passeig de Gràcia. The building itself is absolutely stunning and the service is impeccable. Most of the rooms have exposed original brick walls and the hotel counts with services such as fitness room and even a florist. So these are my recommendations on where to stay in the city. If you use any of these places or discover new please let me know, I always get super excited when people tell me about their experiences in my home city!