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Barcelona is a city of contrasts, and a beautiful one at that. Travelers have access to history, culture, architecture, food, and those who love nature can experience both the mountains and the sea! And, with 280 days of sunshine, there is almost never a bad time to visit; the city boasts a friendly atmosphere and sunny climate all year round.  Best accommodation in Barcelona

People traveling to Barcelona are starting to prioritize planning their travels independently; choosing their own tours and accommodation instead of having everything organized through package holidays. But when you go to investigate a new city or place, you’ll generally find yourself trying to digest a lot of information in a short amount of time. How to book Barcelona hotels

To reduce your time spent searching for searching for the best place to stay, here are some tips on how to choose the best accommodation in Barcelona.

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All images by Moyan Brenn.

Research Your Location to Select the Right Area

Barcelona is a large city, and there are many neighborhoods and districts which offer accommodation and hospitality exchanges. Selecting the right area for your stay is crucial to an enjoyable trip. Where to stay in barcelona

Research the city and figure out which location is best for the type of trip you have planned. Pull up a guide to the neighborhoods to ensure that your accommodation is in a good area, and that you will have easy access to transport links which service the main sites across the city. 

If you’re looking to sort through the tourist fluff and discover the city from a local’s perspective, there are a number of lesser known quarters which could be a fantastic location for your stay. Best accommodation in barcelona

It’s easy to organize a taxi from the airport to any location, regardless of whether you’re looking for a Barcelona airport – city center, or staying in a lesser known quarter.

Be Prepared to be Lost in Choice

Travelling to Barcelona, you’re likely to find yourself lost in choice when it comes to narrowing down where to stay. Most choose to spend more than 24 hours in Barcelona, so it will make your like easier to base yourself in section of the city within walking distance from the main attractions. Fortunately, Barcelona is arranged in such a way that allows you to reach any spot in the city in under 30 minutes.

With that said, many find it preferable to book accommodation in the heart of the city. Accommodation in the centre of Barcelona can be found in the following areas: Gothic Quarter, Raval, Eixample, Vila Olimpica, and Born.

Of course, let’s not forget about other great areas outside the city centre, like the authentic Gracia, beautiful Sarria, Sants for fans of football, and wonderful Tibidabo where you can see a stunning panorama of the city.

Apartments vs Hotel

Hotels used to be the primary choice of accommodation for travelers to Spain, but these have become overly crowded as tourism has taken off, and can also be very expensive, especially for those traveling as a group.

Regardless of whether you’re exploring Barcelona by yourself, or with a group, apartments are a fantastic choice for accommodation as they offer a more authentic experience of the city. Holiday apartment rentals are similar in price to hotels, and usually offer better quality accommodation than similar hotels within the same price range. How to book accommodation in Barcelona

Choosing an apartment often means access to a wider range of amenities and facilities, like a laundry and kitchen, and the ability to shop at local markets and cook your own meals is one of the best ways to travel on a budget and save. Eating out in Barcelona can be an expensive experience, especially if you’re spending more than a few days. Find an apartment in Barcelona

A typical Bar de Tapas in Barcelona

Prepare Yourself For the Lack of an Elevator

Most buildings in Barcelona don’t have elevators, so make sure you travel prepared for this, and request a ground floor room if you require an accessible room. What is the best accommodation in Barcelona? Cheap Barcelona apartments

Some of the more historic hotels have been designed to be attached to more modern buildings, meaning that you can stay in an Art Nouveau building, with large windows and stunning staircases, and at least have access to a tiny “box” which will get you up there (a so-called elevator). It has its charms though! Check the website of the property you’re planning to book before you make a deposit if this is a deal breaker. Best Barcelona hotels

If you’re looking for a more modern building, you can find new and modern high-rise buildings with proper elevators and minimalist styles in the district of Poble Nou, which literally means “New Village”.

Be Prepared for Lack of Heating

Barcelona is a historic city, and back in the day, older buildings were designed without heating. They were designed in a way which kept the house cool and fresh during summer, though there is nothing in place for dealing with winter once the sea breeze blows through. Cheap Barcelona Apartments

While Barcelona is sunny virtually all year round, winter here can get chilly still, mostly due to the fresh sea breezes coming in from the Mediterranean. It’s recommended to check before you book if there is any heating, whether it’s in the form of a portable heater or central heating.

These days, people have added heating, but there is always the possibility that the apartment you choose to stay in lacks it. It’s always good to check!

This Won’t Be Your Only Trip

And a miscellaneous tips; if you are travelling to Barcelona for the first time you should be prepared to leave your heart there! Cheap Barcelona hotels

Many people (and there are surveys that back this up!!) leave Barcelona with a determined mindset to return, and they often do find themselves revisiting this magical city time and time again. Find accommodation in Barcelona


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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.


  1. Especial thanks for the accessible tip! Great advice – much appreciated!

    • You’re welcome! Glad that you found the post helpful :) Happy travels!

  2. The lack of heating is very interesting – very important as I begin planning for my trip in 2016. I hope new hoses have heating now.

    • Definitely something to check before you book if you’re traveling through in winter. Summer it’s not really a problem, but we do highly recommend making sure before you go if hitting up Barcelona in the winter months :)

      Have a fantastic trip! It’s a magical city and I’ve only ever known people to completely fall in love!

  3. We visited Barcelona in the summer of this year. We plan to return in the winter next time. We stayed just off la Rambla last time. I like to be central in places I have never been before with access to everything especially with kids in tow. Next time I would love, stay by water in Barceloneta if possible.
    cheers mark

    • Happy to hear you had a great time – la Rambla is very central indeed, and I agree that central locations are worthwhile, especially if you have kids.

      We used to stay in the cheapest accommodation possible no matter whether it was in the center or 50 minutes out. The hassle and money you spend on transport everywhere outweighs the extra cost of a room in a central location! Learnt that quite quickly!

  4. With Barcelona being such a large city it can be overwhelming deciding where to stay. I would definitely go for an apartment in the city center so I can stop by the glorious markets and make use of my kitchen.

    • Absolutely – best way to save on food costs and enjoy a more immersive experience is by staying in an apartment. I’ve found apartments really make you feel as though you’re living like a local, regardless of whether your stay is for 2 weeks or 2 days.

  5. Good article, if staying over a week, apartment is the way to go and with wider range of amenities, being able cook and wash clothes, great advice!

    • Absolutely – it’s so much more relaxing to be able to do your own cooking, and have access to laundry facilities etc for your dirty clothes. Apartments make travel much more stress free!

  6. Personally I like the Eixample neighborhood to stay in. Easy walking distance to most places and the metro. Despite being where most of the Gaudi architecture is situated it’s not hugely touristy. The other thing with Barcelona hotels is that the public areas can be very grand while the rooms are very plain, and the rooms at the front of hotels on the main streets can be very noisy – I learned the hard way!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience and tips Jo – really good to note about hotels on the main streets having noisy rooms. And great tip on the Eixample neighborhood – I’ll have to book there on our next trip through :)

      Happy travels!

  7. VERY true what you say about heat and elevators – I’ve never had a place with an elevator here!

    I’ve run the gambit in BCN as far as accommodation, and my favorite neighborhoods are those a little further out of the city center. As a touristic city, it’s easy to get caught up in the prices and hustle. The mayor of BCN is trying to eradicate tourists, so who knows what trends might come up this year!

    • It’ll be really interesting to see what happens with the plan to eradicate tourists, especially since it’s such a hub for tourism right now!

      Thanks for sharing your experience re enjoying neighborhoods further out of the city. Definitely a much better idea for a more immersive experience which allows you to get the feel of local life :)

  8. Apartments can definitely be a good alternative to hotels (especially is the pricing is about the same). Great tips to prepare for a trip to Barcelona!

    • Absolutely – and that’s the thing people often don’t realize – that the pricing can usually be the same. So many benefits to it but people just assume that it’s an expensive option. Not always the case!

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