Catalan delicacies, neo-Gothic structure, sandy seashores, rugged mountains, and a colourful historical past. Did we point out Catalan delicacies? Barcelona, Spain has each purpose to be excessive on the record for journey bucket lists.
The town is a mix of influences, there may be the general Spanish tradition however tucked alongside proud Catalan tradition. There’s a lengthy historical past of independence claims, civil warfare and unrest. Combine this in with an enormous migrant and expat neighborhood and also you discover a mix of cultures, cuisines, languages and types.
Possibly you need to keep within the coronary heart of the previous city and Gothic structure, or do you wish to expertise the mix of metropolis and seashore in Barceloneta? It could possibly be that you’re extra of an uptown kinda individual and wish to keep within the coronary heart of Eixample, surrounded by towering buildings, infinite purchasing alternatives and Gaudi round what looks like nearly each nook.
Both approach, now we have one of the best of the barrios (neighborhoods) laid out so that you can resolve for your self!
This information was written by Sensible Wanderlust’s Head of Electronic mail and Affiliate Advertising and marketing Natalie Collins, Barcelona resident, avid metropolis explorer and fellow Cava lover. Take it away, Natalie!
Psst: Searching for extra issues to do in Barcelona throughout your journey? We’ve bought a submit about our favourite meals & wine tour in Barcelona, which we extremely suggest. We even have extra posts on journey in Europe.
Psst: Obtain the strolling tour to search out all of the hidden spots from a Barcelona resident!
Barcelona Journey Ideas
Earlier than we dive into the barrio round-up, listed below are a couple of suggestions that can assist you put together in your journey to Barcelona.
- Be aware of the season: Barcelona splendidly experiences all 4 seasons, so don’t assume it’s heat year-round. Winter will get chilly and damp! The perfect months for vacationers are the Spring (late March to early June) and Autumn (late September to early November) months. Temperatures are comfy, and the town parks and tree-lined avenues look lovely. Additionally means fewer thick winter layers to pack!
- Put together a couple of Spanish phrases: Barcelona is in Catalonia, a Spanish area with a historical past of independence claims from the Spanish state. True Barcelona locals are sometimes fiercely Catalan, with Catalan as their first language, Spanish second and English coming someplace after that if wanted. So you’ll do higher with both a fundamental grasp of Spanish and even some Catalan – don’t simply assume you may get away with English, though most vacationer locations do converse English!
- Keep protected: Pickpockets are a giant drawback in Barcelona, and the locations I like to recommend avoiding are the worst locations you’re prone to encounter thieves. Don’t depart your cellphone on a desk, preserve your valuables in a cash belt, don’t journey sporting an expensive-looking watch and preserve your bag both tied to your chair or in your knee. All the time be vigilant!
- Eat all of the foods and drinks all of the cava: Catalan and Spanish delicacies is scrumptious, with a lot of recent hearty substances, good olive oils and little tapas plates. There may be additionally the Basque affect with some nice pintxo eating places, which is my favourite method to eat! Cava can be made within the area so first rate cava prices little or no. Take a meals and wine tour when you can to expertise it multi functional afternoon.
- Don’t name it Barca: Locals and long-term residents get actually sniffy about Barca/Barna. The proper abbreviation is Barna; Barca is the soccer crew. I nonetheless really feel bizarre calling it Barna so simply stick to Barcelona.
- Convey comfy strolling sneakers: The town is extremely walkable however elements of it are hilly and you’ll cowl way more floor than you understand whereas gawking on the structure. So pack first rate sneakers you realize will preserve your toes pleased and benefit from the stroll! To assist, we’ve bought a Barcelona self-guided strolling tour – and we’ve additionally bought options for one of the best strolling sneakers for journey. Listed below are our favourite journey sneakers for males and for girls.
- Completely different areas even have completely different hyperlinks to different elements of the town: The metro system is great and pretty simple to navigate however when you want to keep away from utilizing it or buses then it is advisable to base your self strolling distance to the belongings you wish to see or at the least on the identical metro line to keep away from a number of stops and adjustments. An space could also be quarter-hour away in a taxi however takes 45 minutes by metro or bus, so have in mind the place you wish to be in relation to the place you wish to keep.
- Keep away from short-term condo leases: The housing market in Barcelona has been monopolized by vacationer leases, driving costs up a lot increased than is inexpensive for residents and creating loads of scams and disparity. Resorts had been badly affected by the pandemic in order that they deserve the assist reasonably than grasping property house owners who would reasonably depart an condo empty as an alternative of renting it for an affordable worth to an area. There are even new legal guidelines proscribing vacationer licenses and you’re not allowed to hire a room short-term, so don’t contribute to the housing disaster, be a accountable vacationer, and keep in a resort!
- In case your check-in and check-out instances don’t sync up together with your must roam the streets and also you want a spot to retailer your luggage, take a look at LuggageHero: This service helps you discover a protected place to maintain your baggage when you’re working round so that you don’t stand out like a blatant vacationer! Use the code PRACTICALW for two hours of free baggage storage on us.
The place to Keep in Barcelona
Barcelona is damaged up into separate neighborhoods known as barrios, every with its personal distinct character, vibe and enchantment. To the uninitiated, you might battle to know the place to go and what to do, however don’t fear, I bought you coated!
As with many cities, there may be additionally an enormous financial variation. Strolling alongside Passeig de Gràcia you’ll see customers swinging luggage from Gucci, Versace and Saint Laurant, after which step down La Rambla simply 10 minutes away and discover quirky low cost hippy retailers promoting handmade crafts, knock-off clothes and avenue meals. Barcelona is that form of place!
This provides to the appeal of the town, you’re at all times only a brief stroll or turning a nook away from discovering one thing fully completely different and discovering a hidden gem. Which does make searching down meals and souvenirs actually enjoyable – every part your coronary heart wishes might be present in Barcelona!
Outdated Metropolis: El Born & Gothic
The previous a part of Barcelona is the very first thing that involves thoughts for many vacationers after they consider Barcelona, and it’s true it’s the most charming a part of the town. Filled with previous winding streets, lovely historic buildings, church buildings, lovable eating places and hidden options round each nook.
That is the place you can find Barcelona Cathedral, the Picasso Museum, Arc de Triomf, La Rambla, and a complete host of different well-known landmarks. It truly is one of the best place to remain in Barcelona for a primary go to.
Nonetheless, you do want to select fastidiously as some streets are slightly shadier than others, some are noisy, and people cute winding streets aren’t as enjoyable to remain in when you don’t see daylight out of your resort room window.
This barrio has nice transport hyperlinks to the remainder of the town and is a brief stroll to the seashore, with elements of it opening out onto the marina at Port Vell so that you get views of the blue Mediterranean Sea. The realm can be extra open to vacationers so that you usually tend to discover a place to seize a espresso and a pastry if you’re an early morning sort of individual.
That is additionally one of the best place to base your self if you’re planning on taking our Self-Guided Strolling Tour of Barcelona. A lot of the tour covers this space and can be the place you end so you’re a brief stroll again to your resort afterward.
The place to Keep in El Born & Gothic
There are a mix of dear accommodations on this space in addition to some significantly finances hostels. Beneath are a few of our favorites:
- Hostal Fernando is a type of good types of hostels with clear, vivid rooms. It additionally overlooks Església de Sant Jaume, which is a reasonably, previous church. Historical past in your windowsill!
- For one thing slightly fancier Barcelona Lodge Colonial is true within the coronary heart of Gothic in a gorgeous colonial constructing, a brief stroll down the road takes you to Port Vell Marina and a visit in another route takes you thru medieval streets.
- If you wish to keep as shut as potential to the eccentric La Rambla then the Might Ramblas Lodge is the one for you. It’s positioned only some doorways down a aspect avenue from La Rambla and can be the identical avenue you head all the way down to get to the Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi.
Barceloneta / Seaside
For these trying extra for the seashore vibes then Barceloneta is for you. This barrio is a small space made up of completely aligned streets so it’s nearly unimaginable to get misplaced. To 1 aspect is Port Vell, to the south is the seashore, head north to El Born and east to Villa Olympica, the Olympic village from when Barcelona hosted the 1992 summer time Olympics.
Barceloneta correct is a good place to really feel you’re staying proper on the seashore with out lacking out on that Barcelona previous metropolis appeal. The buildings aren’t essentially as fairly as different elements of the town however the seashore ambiance is nearly year-round.
You’ll discover chiringuitos (seashore bars) open from Spring to mid-Autumn and there are at all times individuals skateboarding and curler skating down the cycle paths alongside the entrance, so be careful as you stroll!
The place to Keep in Barceloneta / Seaside
There are a couple of bigger accommodations on this space as you’d anticipate with it being beachside however the costs are wildly costly. Try the well-known landmark resort The W, lovely and epic views however out of finances for many vacationers! You possibly can nonetheless catch the views at their rooftop cocktail lounge and nightclub, when you can snag a desk!
- Whereas technically not in Barceloneta it’s simply throughout the highway from the place the barrio begins, the Lodge Oasis has a tremendous rooftop pool and terrace and appears out in direction of the marina. From right here you may entry El Born, Gothic and Barceloneta in only a brief stroll.
- Lodge 54 Barceloneta is true on the entrance overlooking the marina and steps away from the seashore, this is able to be my choose if going for the seashore resort possibility. The rooftop bar can be like slightly backyard paradise, good for resting after an extended day of exploring.
- For a extra finances room, the Sea Hostel is a good choose for dorm room-style lodging, it is usually subsequent door to a restaurant, Buenas Migas, that does fairly superb pastries. Get up early, seize a espresso and pastry for a dawn stroll alongside the seashore.
Welcome to Eixample, the realm that you just’ll see most in aerial pictures of Barcelona, these good purple sq. blocks and streets aligned to OCD ranges. This a part of the town is the place the well-known avenues of Diagonal and Passeig de Gracia run by means of, it’s the place the designer retailers are and can be the bigger of the districts in Barcelona.
The roads are additionally very driveable, other than the irritating purple gentle cease/begin system which does make site visitors heavier right here. However most accommodations have first rate sound insulation so you may keep away from site visitors noise so long as you retain your home windows closed.
This space is charming for its typical Barcelona type with lengthy avenues, Guadi’s spectacular buildings, and exquisite balconies. You’ll discover Casa Batlo and Casa Mila, Plaza Catalunya to the south, Casa de les Punxes and lots of different architectural beauties. Strolling round this space you’ll simply preserve stumbling into one other lovely constructing after one other, and when you get onto a rooftop someplace you’ll see much more.
The purchasing can be unbelievable right here with every part from high-end designer shops, to excessive avenue purchasing, to impartial boutiques. If you wish to store with out having to stroll far to drop your luggage again on the resort, that is the place to do it.
This space can be very well related with public transport, the buses run frequently and there are loads of metro stations in addition to practice stations at each Passeig de Gràcia and at Plaza Catalunya.
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The place to Keep in Eixample
As you’d anticipate there isn’t a scarcity of accommodations in Eixample, from simpler budgets to luxurious high-end accommodations. Listed below are some fo one of the best ones:
- After I first arrived in Barcelona I booked into Hostalin Barcelona Gran By way of and it’s the place I like to recommend mates to remain for an incredible worth resort. The workers was a dream throughout my keep, the rooms are vivid and comfy and it’s canine pleasant!
- For bougie fanciness proper on Passeig de Gràcia with the views to match the Lodge Royal Passeig de Gràcia is a good selection, and although the worth is slightly increased it’s not eye-watering. You may go all out for a collection with a non-public terrace or simply benefit from the rooftop terrace which is equally beautiful.
- If you wish to exit your resort to the scent of recent bread and pastries then it is advisable to e book Praktik Bakery, with rooms as recent because the bread and a brief stroll to Diagonal. Simply ensure to not hang around and go discover (hehehe)!
The place else to remain in Barcelona aside from near the enduring Basílica de la Sagrada Família! If that is your fundamental purpose for visiting Barcelona, and no person will choose you whether it is then that is the place to remain. You possibly can meander across the cafes within the space, sit in parks surrounding the basílica and customarily gaze on the unbelievable work of Antoni Gaudí.
Admittedly the restaurant selections aren’t the greatest, and aside from the Sagrada itself, the structure isn’t the prettiest in Barcelona, however it’s tremendous near Eixample and straightforward to get to different elements of the town.
The place to Keep in Sagrada Família
In fact, if you’re staying on this space you then completely want a resort with views of the basílica, which aren’t the most cost effective rooms within the metropolis however there are some well-priced accommodations price checking into.
- Sensation Sagrada Família has serviced flats with a gorgeous shared roof terrace overlooking the enduring church. Right here you may get the bonus of a non-public condo whereas nonetheless having the chance to get pleasure from a shared area with fellow vacationers.
- For a resort possibility, the Sercotel Rosellón has vivid rooms, an incredible breakfast and a roof terrace with solar loungers pointing at Sagrada, an iconic method to spend a day when you ask me!
Searching for a hidden boho artist vibe? Then Gràcia is your spot. Till the nineteenth century, this was an impartial city and residents are sometimes long-term locals and pleased with their neighborhood.
Now the realm is fashionable and stuffed with impartial retailers, boutiques, and cafes. Plaça de Sol is a central level the place individuals hang around to socialize, drink and indulge within the bakeries and gelato retailers close by.
This space is comparatively near Passeig de Gràcia however seems like a unique world to the designer shops and busy avenue. The streets are largely pedestrianized and there’s a extra eclectic combine of individuals strolling the streets.
The realm can be identified for its festivals, historically every neighborhood has its personal mini-festivals however the one in Gràcia is broadly referred to as one of the best. Streets are lined with decorations and stalls, with some streets working in competitors for one of the best decor. Though remember when you go to in the summertime throughout these festivals you shouldn’t anticipate any peace and quiet, the events can go on all evening!
The place to Keep in Gràcia
This isn’t a primary selection amongst vacationers so you’ll really feel such as you’ve hit slightly hidden gem, and accommodations are typically slightly cheaper too.
- Lodge Ronda Lesseps is a cute resort with a gorgeous inside courtyard backyard hooked up to the resort bar. It is usually only a 15-minute stroll to a different of Gaudí’s iconic designs, Parc Güell. Benefit from the peace hidden away from the bustle of the town on this little oasis.
- A extra upmarket possibility with a rooftop pool is the Catalonia Park Güell resort, costs aren’t vastly completely different however it’s barely extra exterior the central a part of Gràcia. Rooftop swimming pools in accommodations are an actual deal with however they do get busy so keep in mind to order a solar lounger in your afternoon poolside.
Canine-Pleasant Resorts in Barcelona
If you’re like the remainder of Group Sensible Wanderlust and are a proud canine proprietor you may be happy to listen to that Barcelona is a good place to journey together with your furry greatest buddy.
Most eating places are accommodating, loads of retailers have water bowls exterior for passing canine and it isn’t unusual to see canine becoming a member of purchasing journeys. My canine loves coming purchasing, it normally means getting a lot of love from retailer attendants, treats and new locations to smell.
Actually most locations you may convey your canine with you, much more so if it’s a smaller canine. Nonetheless, simply remember that in the summertime months (from Might to October) canine aren’t allowed on the principle seashores so you’ll have to discover the canine seashore simply exterior the principle metropolis heart.
After I arrived in Barcelona with my pup I booked right into a dog-friendly resort and I’ve a couple of mates who’ve additionally performed the identical. Quite a lot of accommodations are used to canine companions and accommodate them fairly simply. So when you journey together with your little buddy these are one of the best locations to remain.
- Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella: This resort is true reverse Ciutadella Park, which is by far top-of-the-line parks for canine within the metropolis. Mornings and evenings are a hub for canine house owners with pups enjoying on the grass collectively, and there’s a kiosk within the park for human refreshments. The resort can be a brief stroll to the seashore and throughout from El Born, completely positioned for exploring the town. The resort itself is gorgeous, it’s designed to merge nature with native structure and elegance, and the bar space is spacious and overlooks the park. There may be additionally a beautiful outside space to get pleasure from an aperitif.
- Lodge Balmes: An actual gem of a resort, they really have a particular package deal for canine, Keep & Canine. This treats your pup as a particular visitor with its personal mattress, meals and water bowls, treats and snacks and toys, and housekeeping can be delicate to their particular guests. There may be additionally an African artwork assortment all through the resort, a backyard and a pool.
- Hostalin Barcelona Gran By way of: This resort has 2 areas not too removed from one another, as talked about once I arrived in Barcelona I stayed on the Gran By way of resort and it was actually unbelievable. The rooms are clear and spacious, and the workers are superb and really accommodating. The identical vibe can be at their different resort Diputación, each are in Eixample and very well positioned for accessing the remainder of the town.
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The place To not Keep in Barcelona
Barcelona as a complete is fairly protected and there are few areas to keep away from, these are normally simply sure streets reasonably than entire areas and it’s extra of simply being conscious reasonably than anticipating to be robbed. You hear horror tales and sure they do occur however if you’re an skilled traveler and preserve your wits about you, you’ll be nice. It helps to remember that Barcelona has loads of poverty and the common wage completely doesn’t match the price of residing and housing right here.
There may be additionally a big impoverished migrant inhabitants and homeless individuals in sure areas, if this offends you then higher to keep away from the town solely as nobody space is healthier than others.
Except for that, there are some areas of the town which can be simply not price staying in, and I’ll clarify the place and why.
Usually once you hear tales of pickpockets, you’re listening to tales of Raval, which is positioned to the west aspect of La Rambla.
The realm is charming in its personal approach, however I wouldn’t suggest it for vacationers. There are some nice eating places tucked away and a few actually enjoyable bars however strolling dwelling at midnight shouldn’t be advisable.
- The place to Keep as an alternative: If you’re nonetheless in search of the quirky previous city type that elements of Raval have then keep in Gothic as an alternative. You’ll nonetheless have the identical tourist-friendly hustle and bustle and loads of previous buildings to marvel at however much less of the after-dark considerations. Might Ramblas Lodge is effectively positioned for La Rambla with out the night security challenges.
Sant Gervasi-Galvany is up within the hills of the town and may be very residential. Housing might be fairly costly right here and the boutiques and cafes cater to a unique clientele than what most vacationers could be thinking about.
It’s near the hills of Tibidabo, Barcelona’s highest peak, and the views throughout the town might be beautiful however transport hyperlinks aren’t nice so will probably be an extended stroll or a number of metro and bus stops to get to the place you wish to be.
- The place to Keep as an alternative: Shut by is Eixample, this has the identical metropolis residential vibe however with extra appeal and simpler entry to the remainder of the town. Additionally think about Gràcia for a similar causes. Praktik Bakery offers you that very same native vibe however in a greater location.
For those who hunt for lodging that’s easy accessibility to the airport then that is the primary neighborhood to take a look at, it is usually near the enduring Montjuïc which is great to discover. You may as well go see the fountain present at Plaza Espanya.
Nonetheless, to get anyplace you have to to leap on the metro or practice, it’s effectively related however if you wish to stroll to the remainder of the town you’ll have fairly an extended stroll. It’s a quieter space to remain in however the fixed want to make use of the metro can sluggish you down.
Additionally as it’s a fundamental transport connection level it does are typically actually busy within the stations, which might get overwhelming if you’re determining tips on how to get to the place you wish to be.
- The place to Keep as an alternative: For straightforward entry to the airport look near Plaza Catalunya. The metro cease is central so will get you the place it is advisable to be in addition to the Sants cease does. It is usually a fundamental level for the airport shuttle buses to start out from, which is by far the best method to get to the airport fairly cheaply. Praktik Bakery once more is very well positioned for ease to journey.
The place to Keep in Barcelona: Abstract
That’s numerous info! So to wrap it up right into a bite-size piece, right here now we have an at a look abstract:
- The Finest Areas to Keep in Barcelona: Go for the Outdated Metropolis or Eixample for traditional Barcelona vibes.
- The Finest Resorts in Barcelona: Finest choices are Barcelona Lodge Colonial, Hostelin Barcelona Gran By way of and Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella, any of these will make your keep iconic.
- The Finest Canine-Pleasant Resorts in Barcelona: Once more one other vote for Hostelin Barcelona Gran By way of and Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella. Can not beat these for canine lovers!
So why aren’t we recommending any AirBnBs? In brief, AirBnB and brief time period condo leases have screwed the housing market in Barcelona, in addition to many different cities around the globe. Discovering an precise dwelling within the metropolis is an actual drawback and the costs have been pushed so excessive by vacationer leases that the common individual can’t afford them. Legal guidelines have now restricted vacationer licenses however this hasn’t performed a lot to cease the issue that was already created. So that you don’t contribute to the very actual housing disaster within the metropolis, we suggest you to be a accountable traveler and select to remain in accommodations as an alternative, which had been in fact closely affected by the pandemic and deserve all of the vacationer love once more.
That ought to provide the greatest concepts of the place to remain so you may plan the remainder of your journey! When you are within the strategy planning stage don’t neglect to enroll in our Self-Guided Strolling Tour of Barcelona to get a downloadable information to discover the town!
Which space would you want to remain in? Is there a sure a part of Barcelona you’re most enthusiastic about seeing? Tell us within the feedback beneath
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