Barcelona is the coastal capital of the Catalonia region of Spain. As the second largest city in Spain, Barcelona is best known for art, architecture and culture. The Sagrada Familia Church is one of the most famous landmarks in Barcelona, and this is the home of modernist architect Antoni Gaudi.
With history dating back to the third century BC, the city centre today is full of engaging art museums and is home to over 1.6 million residents. Barcelona is a very popular European vacation destination, and visitors will find so many things to do in Barcelona. As a fairly large city center, it can be daunting to decide where to stay in Barcelona, so we’ve rounded up some of the best neighborhoods to choose from.
We will cover off all types of Barcelona accommodation options from Hostels to cheap hotels in Barcelona and luxury Barcelona hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Barcelona, the best Barcelona hotels, best places in Barcelona (to stay and to visit), the best places to stay in Barcelona Spain, the best neighborhoods in Barcelona to stay and many more.
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Table of Contents
El Born – Where to stay in Barcelona first time
El Born is one of Barcelona’s trendiest neighborhoods, with a lively atmosphere both day and at night. Located close to the shore, the neighborhood was once the seaside property of medieval aristocrats. Today, El Born offers dozens of galleries, museums, restaurants, bars and boutiques. While the neighborhood is popular with tourists, there is a distinct bohemian feel, with some of the oldest buildings in the city and a thriving international community. Barcelona visitors who want to stay in the heart of the action should consider staying in El Born.
Best Places to Stay in El Born
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Gothic Quarter – Safest areas to stay in Barcelona
The Gothic Quarter in Barcelona (also known as Barri Gòtic) is the centre of the old city or old town (depending who you speak to) of Barcelona. It offers has medieval narrow streets filled with trendy bars, clubs and restaurants. The Gothic Quarter is in my opinion the best location to stay in Barcelona.
Artisans along these streets near the Cathedral of Barcelona sell everything from leather to jewelry. While flower stalls and street-food vendors fill the busy avenue of La Rambla. The Placa del Pi, named after the Gothic church, often hosts a weekend art market.
Best places to stay in Gothic Quarter
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El Raval – Where to stay in Barcelona for nightlife
For an edgier side of Barcelona, check out El Raval neighborhood. Once the red-light district, El Raval underwent an overhaul in the 1980’s, but still retains a gritty feel in some areas. The bright side of El Raval is being home to some of the best bars and restaurants in Barcelona. The Museum of contemporary art is in El Raval, as is the Palau Guell, a Gaudi mansion from the late 1800’s that can be toured. If you’ve chosen your location in El Raval carefully, you will love this cultural neighborhood of Barcelona.
Best Places to Stay in El Raval
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Barceloneta – Where to stay in Barcelona for beach and nightlife
Beach lovers visiting Barcelona should consider staying in Barceloneta, a seaside neighborhood with the best beaches, ports and marinas of Barcelona. Barceloneta has a laid-back beach vibe, with open-air seafood restaurants, tapas bars and marinas where the posh yachts come to anchor. This is also where you can jump on the Port Cable Car that whisks you up to Montjuic with sweeping views of the city. If you plan to spend time at the beach, or seaside attractions such as the aquarium, then Barceloneta is a great place to stay in Barcelona.
Best Places to Stay in Barceloneta
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Gracia – Best neighborhood to stay in Barcelona
If you are looking for a small village feel in the big city of Barcelona, check out the Gracia neighborhood. This is a great Barcelona neighborhood if you want to feel like a local, and see how Barcelona residents live day to day. Gracia is lined with leafy streets and is very walkable.
Many streets are pedestrian-only, so you can wander from square to square all day long. There are several Metro stops in Gracia, so you can easily access other areas of Barcelona for the days when you want to be a tourist. Despite not having many tourists attractions, there are still plenty of cafes, restaurants and boutiques to check out. This area is the best place to stay with family as its very relaxed and there are a few things to do for the kids.
Best Places to Stay in Gracia
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Poble Sec – Where to stay in Barcelona on a budget
Foodies visiting Barcelona might consider staying in Poble Sec, an up and coming neighborhood in the shadow of Montjuic. This central area is close to everything, but also isolated enough to be a bit quieter than other popular neighborhoods. The Metro will take you anywhere around Barcelona, and adjacent neighborhoods such as El Born are within walking distance from Poble Sec. You can hike up Montjuic and take the Port Cable Car over to the beach. During the day, Poble Sec is a quiet residential area, but truly comes alive at night when the streets come alive with revelers.
Best Places to Stay in Poble Sec
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Sant Antoni -The coolest place to stay Barcelona
Another quiet, but central, neighborhood of Barcelona is Sant Antoni. With a residential feel complimented by quiet streets, Sant Antoni is a hipster heaven. Centered around the Sant Antoni Market which dates back to 1882. This neighborhood is wedged between El Raval and Poble Sec, two other central districts. This is an area for street art, art galleries and hip cafes where young people gather for weekend brunch. If Raval is too edgy, and Poble Sec to busy, consider staying in Sant Antoni when you visit Barcelona.
Best Places to Stay in Sant Antoni
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