Where To Stay In Barcelona

Barcelona, is a region full of passion and pride, with locals insisting it has a certain hypnotic charm. A city known for its beautiful modern architecture, monuments and vibrant energy, it also has areas with a more relaxed atmosphere. Barcelona benefits from 250 days of sun a year so you can enjoy a holiday on one of its beaches alongside exploring the city. 
Discover where to stay in Barcelona through our guide and explore neighbourhood by neighbourhood to find your perfect holiday destination within Barcelona city. From family-friendly areas near the main attractions to districts that capture the iconic nightlife of Barcelona. 
Antiguo Hospital San Pau - Barcelona

Where To Stay In Barcelona In The Old Town

Roman walls embrace the old town of Barcino at the heart of the city, which existed from the 1st century BC up until the start of the middle ages. Nowadays, it is known as 'Ciutat Vella' and most of the walls have been destroyed. In their place, we can find streets such as Las Ramblas where the essence of its historical past is still alive and thriving. 
The oldest district in Barcelona is the Gothic area, extending from the sea to Plaza de Cataluña through a maze of cobbled streets. Here you will see century-old buildings, Roman monuments and many attractions such as the Cathedral of Barcelona, the Temple of Augusto, Plaza del Rey and many more. Find your holiday home in the Gothic quarter and experience the old town's romantic atmosphere, artisan shops as well as many bars and restaurants. Travel back in time and visit MUHBA, explore underground and uncover the Roman ruins of Barcino. 
Centro de Barcelona
On the other side of the city is the medieval quarter of El Born. Much like the Gothic district, there are plenty of charming squares, pedestrianised streets as well as countless restaurants and bars to discover. A must-see in this area is Santa María del Mar and the Palau de la Música Catalana. El Born is also home to the Picasso Museum, Chocolate Museum and the Museum of World Cultures. Bordering the Arc del Triomf and park of the Ciutadella, this area is full of musicians and street artists providing a pleasant atmosphere for a stroll around one of the best neighbourhoods in Barcelona. 
If we cross the narrow gorges in the Gothic quarter we enter into Raval, the most culturally diverse neighbourhood in Barcelona. In this neighbourhood, visit the garden of the Old San Pau hospital and the newly renovated modern market of Sant Antoni. This area has a cool combination of history and 21st-century art. For example in The Centre of Contemporary Culture (CCCB) as well as the MACBA which is a magnet for modern art lovers from all over the world. The entire area of Ciutat Vella is well-connected by public transport, making it a convenient location to stay in the centre of Barcelona for sightseeing and visiting the old town. 
Catedral de Barcelona

Where To Stay In Barcelona For Sightseeing

Many places of interest in Barcelona city are situated outside of the old town such as Eixample, this is one of the best neighbourhoods for sightseeing. In the heart of Eixample stands the great work of Gaudí and the iconic image of Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia, expected to be finished in 2030. Although incomplete, the Sagrada Familia has become an obligatory visit in Barcelona city, dare to climb the towers and unearth secrets by taking a guided tour. Look beyond the beauty of the architecture and discover the symbolic meanings of the structure, figures, ornamental details and colours in the stain glass windows. 

Continuing in Eixample and a short distance from the Sagrada Familia is a lesser-known monument but equally as beautiful, the Hospital San Pau I de la Santa Creu, the main 'modernista' site in the world. Also in this area and worth a visit is Casa Batlló and La Pedrera located in the centre of Passeig de Gracia. Plaza España is a popular spot for visitors where you can see the light and dancing water display at the Magic Fountain located near to Montjuïc Hill. Stay in the area of Plaza España to be close to some of the main attractions in Barcelona and experience the tranquillity of Montjuïc Hill overlooking the bustling city.

Recinto del hospital Sant Pau i Santa Creu
Another main attraction is Parc Güell, designed by Gaudí and inspired by the aristocracy of Barcelona, Gaudí himself had a home in this area. From the terraces, you can see the Mediterranean sea, walk under the amazing columns with decorative motifs and admire the staircase featuring the famous Salamander, a symbol of the city. Located near Parc Güell are the bunkers of Barcelona, recently renovated, you can enjoy fantastic views of the city. If you stay in the centre you can get here easily via the metro and if you are staying in the neighbourhood of Gracia you can visit on foot. 
Another one of the most visited places in Barcelona is the Barça stadium 'Camp Nou'. Not as easy to get to as other attractions in the city but is easily accessible by the metro. If you are a football fan why not stay in Camp Nou, home to one of the most famous stadiums in the world. 
Playas de Barcelona

Where To Stay In Barcelona Near The Beach

Few cities can offer the combination of a cosmopolitan atmosphere alongside more than 4 km of sandy beaches, where you can experience the charm of the Mediterranean. 

The beaches of Barcelona are located near the heart of the city, which makes them well connected and easy to access. You can also stroll from one beach to another along the promenade that runs parallel to the coast. A neighbourhood many people choose to stay in Barcelona near the beach is Barceloneta. Located in the old fisherman's district, it is the city's favourite sun and beach destination. Imagine staying in Barceloneta where you can get out of bed and step straight on to the beach. 

Poble Nou is another one of the best neighbourhoods close to the beach in Barcelona. Poble Nou is a bit quieter and has become a fashionable spot thanks to its restaurants, bars and the charm of the main boulevard, which leads directly on to the beach.

 En bicicleta por el paseo de la Barceloneta

Where To Stay In Barcelona With A Family

Barcelona is a great destination for families and those travelling with children. With pedestrian zones, squares, museums and a large number of parks in Barcelona.

Gracia is a fantastic neighbourhood for families staying in Barcelona. Gracia has maintained the atmosphere of a small town, with little houses, cobblestones streets and craft markets, a place where you can find more locals than tourists. If you choose a holiday home in Gracia you will be central to all the attractions in the city and be staying in one of the most fashionable neighbourhoods, with many ecological stores, supermarkets, pedestrianised streets and international restaurants. 

Músico en el Parc Guell
The best area to stay in Barcelona for children is Eixample, this is a big neighbourhood with beautiful architecture from the 19th-century. With wide streets and parks, children can walk around and explore this neighbourhood in a safe environment. Eixample has an array of interesting modern architecture and these buildings are some of the main art attractions themselves, with their shapes, high ceilings, balconies and stained glass windows.  
Eixample is full of restaurants and bars but is a slightly quieter neighbourhood than El Born and the Gothic quarter. For entertainment, discover the best ideas for families with children in Barcelona and don't miss the gardens of the old Universitat, a tranquil oasis in the centre of this district. 
El Gato de Botero en El Raval

Where To Stay In Barcelona On A Budget

In Barcelona, you can find accommodation for all budgets. If you want to avoid the pricier holiday rentals, keep away from the main streets near locations such as Las Ramblas and the main squares of the Gothic quarter and El Born and discover some of the cheaper restaurants in Barcelona too. 

To find cheaper holiday homes in Barcelona, you may want to consider staying slightly outside of the city centre, for example in Nou Barris. This neighbourhood is located at the foot of the Serra de Collserola Natural Park and is a less touristy area. Holiday homes in Nou Barris are well-connected to the city centre making it an ideal location to stay and save money. 

Another option for cheaper holiday homes in Barcelona is to stay in Hospitalet de Llobregat and other areas surrounding the city as the connections to the centre are also well-established.

El Nacional Barcelona

Where To Stay For A Luxury Holiday In Barcelona

Barcelona city offers many places to stay for a luxury holiday. Famous for its cuisine, Barcelona has more than 30 Michelin star restaurants. All of them boast internationally known chefs such as Martín Berasategui (Restaurant Lasarte) and Albert Adrià (Restaurant Pakta), to get a table, make sure you book in advance. 

Passeig de Gracia has become a catwalk showcasing the latest international fashion trends. Here you will find all the luxury international brands, from Chanel and Burberry to Valentino and Manolo Blahnik. For a luxury dining experience, visit El Nacional and savour the taste of the best national dishes. Enjoy a cocktail and aperitif with views of the entire city on one of the roof terraces on Paseo de Gracia such as La Dolce Vista, La Blue View and Alaire Terrace Bar.

Terraza con vistas desde el Passeig de Gràcia
At night, there is nothing better than reserving a VIP area in one of the most exclusive clubs in Barcelona. The private terrace of Shoko has access to the beach and is located near accommodation in the Olympic village in Barcelona. Visit the Carpe Diem Lounge Club, with Arabic inspired decoration, Bali-style beds and silk cushions. This is one of the best places to experience luxury in Barcelona where you can choose from an incomparable international cocktail menu.

Where To Stay In Barcelona For Nightlife

Some of the best nightlife in Barcelona can be found in the port area, in the Olympic Village. Shoko is an Asian inspired restaurant and lounge club, with DJs playing the best house music, funk and hip-hop. Opium and Catwalk are some other popular venues with different rooms for different music genre tastes. 

The Gothic quarter also has many bars and nightclubs such as Sidecar and Jamboree where you can pick up entry discount and drink offers from promoters near Las Ramblas. 

The nightlife in El Born is synonymous with tapas culture, many people choose to go here for a few drinks and enjoy the local 'tapes'. Among the classics are Champañería, Rubí Bar and Princesa 23. There are no shortage of clubs in the vicinity, party at the Magic Club or the Cactus Born Bar. For a bohemian vibe, pubs such as Marseille and the Big Bang Bar in Raval are places to go for jazz and soul sessions and if you like Indie music, the best place to go is Bar Manchester. Stay in Raval and enjoy the trendy, bohemian, vibrant atmosphere of this neighbourhood. 

Sala Apolo

The Best Gay Neighbourhoods In Barcelona

Thanks to the large number of parties, clubs and LGBT events that take place in the city, Barcelona has become one of the most popular gay holiday destinations in the world.

To stay in a gay neighbourhood in Barcelona, consider 'Gaixample' located in Old Esquerra del Eixample. This neighbourhood is famous for its lively atmosphere that can be found in the streets of Balmes, Comte d'Urgell, Gran Via de Les Corts and Carrer d'Aragó with many gay bars, clubs and pubs offering fun for everyone visiting the city. 

As a city proud to promote its diverse society and the LGBT capital of Spain, you will see the rainbow flag flying throughout Barcelona. Raval has an established gay scene and hosts a free party called 'Churros con Chocolate', celebrated every month on a Sunday afternoon at Sala Apolo. Raval is also where the Circuit Festival takes place, one of the main gay festivals in Europe. 

Concierto acústico en El Born

The Safest Places To Stay In Barcelona

In general, Barcelona is a very safe city but as a big city, it can be difficult to find information on where the safest areas in Barcelona are to stay. Predominately, travellers can explore the city on foot or by public transport at any time of the day. However, as it is the case in many cities around the world, just be aware of your personal belongings. On the metro and in busy tourist areas, it is advisable to wear your bag close to you and put your backpack on the front of your body to avoid being targeted by pickpocketers. 

Barcelona prides itself on being a safe and welcoming city, the centre is considered to be safe with minor altercations occasionally, usually associated with alcohol. If you prefer to be away from the hustle and bustle of the festivities but still in the heart of the city, the best option is to stay in Eixample or Gracia, as they are considered to be the safest neighbourhoods in Barcelona.  

Another quieter and safe neighbourhood is Sarrià-Sant Gervasi. This area is where the bourgeoisie families of Barcelona built their modernist houses to spend their holidays near Collserola and Tibidabo Natural Park with an amusement park and temple insideThis area used to be an independent town of Barcelona, however, now part of the city the holiday homes in Sarriá-Sant Gervasi are well-connected to the centre. 
Parque de la Tamarita

Where Not To Stay In Barcelona

As a safe city, there are not necessarily whole neighbourhoods to avoid in Barcelona and almost all of the lesser safe areas are located on the outskirts of the city. 

Barcelona is no exception when it comes to having less affluent neighbourhoods with a higher crime rate much like many other large cities. For example, Ciutat Meridiana, Vallbona, Zona Franca or Torre Baró could be considered to be less safe as there are fewer security cameras and less of a police presence. However, this does not mean that if you should venture into these areas anything is likely to happen. It is recommended that you avoid Montjuic Park at night since it is dark and there are no surveillance or security cameras.

Nearby in Hospitalet de Llobregat, it is not recommended to stay in the neighbourhood of Sant Cosme as it is an area with a high rate of night crime, however, security is increasing in this area. 

Where To Stay In Barcelona For Couples

As a multifaceted city, Barcelona is a popular holiday destination for couples and those on their honeymoon. There is nothing more romantic than strolling through the Gothic Quarter or El Born at dusk, discovering its secret and hidden bars. The best sunset can be seen from the Tibidabo, or from the roofs of the National Museum of Art of Catalonia. With panoramic views of the city it is one of the most romantic places in Barcelona, sit here and enjoy the surroundings with a glass of wine in hand. 

If you are looking for places to go as a couple in Barcelona, take a walk through the harbour, with the light of the moon reflecting on the sea. Visit Monastery of Pedralbes, a hidden gem of the city, located in one of the best neighbourhoods in Barcelona.

For a romantic break or honeymoon in Barcelona, consider staying in the neighbourhood of El Born. With streets and squares full of medieval charm and restaurants with live music, El Born connotes an idyllic ambience for couples. This district is also located a step away from the beach, the beautiful Parc de la Ciutadella and the Arc del Triomf. 

Azotea oeste del Palacio Nacional de Arte de Catalunya

There are many options when choosing where to stay in Barcelona city. Whether you are seeking a neighbourhood suitable for a family holiday, where to stay for a romantic break or a district where you can party the night away in some of the best clubs in Europe. Whichever neighbourhood you choose to stay in Barcelona you will fall in love with the vibrancy, culture and quirks of the city.