10 TIPS FOR ACCOMMODATION IN BARCELONA (CENTRAL, BEACHFRONT, WITH KIDS)
Barcelona is one of Europe’s most popular cities. Thanks to this, there is a wide range of accommodation – from hotels to apartments. However, the price does not always correspond to the quality of accommodation, as in other cities. In our guide, we’ll cover tips and practical information if you’re looking for accommodation in Barcelona. We’ll also show you the best areas to stay in Barcelona, whether you’re planning to visit Barcelona as a couple or with children, or just to stay in the city. planning to spend your holiday on the beach or, on the contrary, to explore the most beautiful places in Barcelona.
Updated 2. 9. 2022
The best hotels in Barcelona – a quick overview
- The best accommodation in Barcelona: Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella, Hotel ibis Styles, Hotel Acta Voraport, Hotel Ronda House
- Best family-friendly accommodation: Hotel ibis Styles, Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella, Hotel Acta Voraport
- Best central Barcelona accommodation: the Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella, Hotel Ronda House
- Best beachfront accommodation: Hotel Acta Voraport, Hotel Hesperia Barcelona Del Mar, Hotel Occidental Atenea Mar, Residencia Universitaria Campus del Mar
- Best budget accommodation: Hotel River
Tips before choosing accommodation in Barcelona
If you’re choosing accommodation in Barcelona, it’s best to check in advance that the hotel meets a few basic requirements. This is not always the case in Barcelona. Accommodation in the Catalan capital isn’t the cheapest, but the prices don’t always correspond with that, as they do in London or Berlin, for example.
How are the prices for accommodation and hotels in Barcelona?
A room for a couple near the centre is most often in the range of CZK 2,500-4,000. In the low season you can get a room from CZK 1,500 and in the May-September season it is three times more expensive. If you are planning to visit Barcelona in the summer, you will find it cheaper to book a hotel in August compared to July when prices are highest. However, there are siestas in Barcelona in August and some restaurants and shops may be closed. Still, there are plenty of places to eat and there are fewer tourists than in the busiest July (but still plenty).
You will find the best deals in the winter season from January to March. This is also the best time to explore Barcelona, unless you plan to swim in the sea. Winters here are mild and temperatures are sometimes spring-like. The perfect time to explore the city.
Barcelona is a popular city where crowds of tourists flock. For this reason, it is better to book several months in advance – the best time to book is 3 months in advance, when accommodation is at its best. Sometimes there are good last-minute deals to fill vacant rooms in hotels.
What to look out for when booking a hotel and accommodation in Barcelona?
- Air conditioning – summers are hot in Barcelona, so air conditioning in the room is more than welcome.
- Heating – not all accommodation has central heating. You won’t use the heater most of the year, but it can sometimes come in handy in winter. Check that your chosen accommodation has central heating and not just supplementary heating.
- Soundproofing – if you’re looking for a hotel in central Barcelona and would like to sleep soundly at night, check if the hotel has soundproofing. Barcelona is really alive late into the night, and even more so in the centre around La Rambla.
- Luggage storage and 24-hour reception – many hotels in Barcelona offer luggage storage and 24-hour reception if you arrive early in the morning or late in the evening. You can leave your luggage at the hotel after you check out until your departure time, usually free of charge. The same applies if you arrive before your room is available.
Barcelona beachfront accommodation
Construction in Barcelona is subject to a decree that allows hotels and other buildings to be built at least 100 metres from the sea. As a result, Barcelona has no accommodation directly by the sea. Except for the iconic W Hotel. It was built on land that was formerly considered part of the harbour and not subject to the city ordinance.
Barcelona may be the only major European city with such good access to the sea. Finding beachfront accommodation here is not a problem at all. Moreover, the beaches are publicly accessible.
The best accommodation and hotels in Barcelona
1. Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella – Best value for money
El Born district – air conditioning – 24h front desk – luggage storage
Motel One is one of the best hotels in Barcelona. It is right next to Ciutadella Park and the Arc de Triomphe in El Born, a neighbourhood known for its atmosphere and great restaurants and tapas bars. Many famous sites are within easy walking distance, including the Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló and the Gothic Quarter. It’s also close to the beach. The hotel has a rooftop terrace with a bar and views of the beach and Barcelona. Arc de Triofh Metro Station is just 400 metres from the hotel. – Check price and availability
2. Hotel ibis Styles – a good choice for families with children
Sant Martí district – air conditioning – 24h reception – luggage storage
Hotel ibis Styles is a popular chain of affordable hotels. The hotel is a short walk from Bogatell Metro Station, which offers easy access to the entire city. It has an outdoor pool with sun loungers and the rooms are decorated in a modern style with private bathrooms. It is also a short walk to the beach and Ciutadella Park. Families with children can make use of the children’s playroom and stroller rental. – Check price and availability
3. Hotel River – cheap accommodation in the centre
La Rambla – 24hr front desk – luggage storage
Hotel River is centrally located just off La Rambla and Liceu Metro Station. From here you can walk to most places in Barcelona, and you can eat at the market right on La Rambla. The rooms are simple but clean. It can be noisier at night and lacks air conditioning, but on the other hand the price is unbeatable given the location. – Check price and availability
4. Hotel Acta Voraport – beachfront accommodation in Barcelona
Sant Martí district – air conditioning – 24h reception – luggage storage – restaurant
Hotel Acta Voraport is a short walk from the beautiful Bogatell Beach. It also has an outdoor pool with views of Barcelona and the sea. Llacuna Metro Stop is just a 5-minute walk away, so you’re in the centre of Barcelona in minutes. The rooms are modern and cosy, including full amenities. – Check price and availability
5. Hotel Medicis – accommodation in the centre near the Sagrada Familia
Eixample district – Air conditioning – 24h reception – Luggage storage
Hotel Medicis is next to the beautiful Art Nouveau Sant Pau Hospital and just 5 minutes from the Sagrada Familia Basilica. There are plenty of places to eat in the street (lunch and breakfast at the bakery). The hotel is a short walk from Sant Pau Metro Station. It has clean, smaller rooms and an outdoor terrace. – Check price and availability
6. Hotel Arya Stadium – Camp Nou accommodation
Camp Nou Stadium – air conditioning – 24h reception – luggage storage – restaurant
Arya Stadium Hotel is a modern hotel near Camp Nou Stadium. The airport stop is just a few minutes walk away as is the metro, which takes you to the centre in 15 minutes. In season, you can cool off in the outdoor pool. – Check price and availability
7. Hotel Ronda House – accommodation in the centre of Barcelona
Ciutat Vella district – air conditioning – 24h reception – luggage storage
Hotel Ronda House is right in the city centre and just 10 minutes from La Rambla. It has modern, clean rooms and soundproofing, so you can sleep well at night. It’s a short walk to Plaza Catalunya, the Sagrada Familia Basilica and Sant Antoni Metro Station. – Check price and availability
8. Hotel Occidental Atenea Mar – beachfront accommodation
Sant Martí district – air conditioning – 24h reception – luggage storage – restaurant
The sustainable Occidental Atenea Mar is just 5 minutes from the beach. The rooms are modern and decorated in bright colours with private bathrooms including a bathtub. It features an infinity outdoor pool with hydromassage beds, a terrace with sea views and a Mediterranean restaurant. There are plenty of other places to eat nearby. The metro is just a few minutes away. – Check price and availability
9. Hotel Hesperia Barcelona Del Mar – beachfront accommodation in Barcelona
Sant Martí district – air conditioning – 24h reception – luggage storage – restaurant
Hotel Hesperia Barcelona del Mar is just 3 minutes from the beach. Rooms are decorated in a clean, simple style and have a garden view (some overlooking the sea). There are plenty of places to eat nearby, from seafood and tapas bars to vegan restaurants. The city centre is easily accessible by metro. – Check price and availability
10. Residencia Universitaria Campus del Mar – beachfront accommodation
La Barcelonata district – air conditioning – 24-hour reception – luggage storage – kitchenette
Residencia Universitaria Campus del Mar is just minutes from La Barcelonata Beach. You can choose between rooms and apartments with a kitchenette and private bathroom. Accommodation is suitable for couples and families with children. There is a common room, billiards and table tennis. – Check price and availability
The Best Places in Barcelona – Where to Stay?
Barcelona is a large city divided into 10 districts. These further branch out into smaller quarters (barri). Each neighbourhood or area has its own specific atmosphere. Barcelona can be imagined as 10 separate villages that form a single unit, connected by a well-developed infrastructure. Choosing the right neighbourhood is therefore important. If you are planning to visit Barcelona for 3 days or have similarly limited time, it is a good idea to plan your accommodation in Barcelona strategically.
A family with children will choose a different area in Barcelona than the youngsters who want to enjoy the exuberant nightlife. The same if you plan to spend time mainly on the beach or, on the contrary, plan to visit the most famous sights in Barcelona.
Best hotels in Ciutat Vella
Ciutat Vella is one of the best parts of Barcelona for tourists planning to visit Barcelona for the first time. Most of the city’s main attractions and sights are within walking distance. The more distant ones are well connected by public transport and are no more than a few metro stops away. Ciutat Vella also has a number of great places to eat. Or you can go shopping here, as you’ll find big chains and smaller boutiques with local designers.
Ciutat Vella translates to Old Town and consists of 4 districts, each of which is completely different: Barri Gotic, El Raval, La Barcelonata and Santa Caterina, Sant Pere i la Ribera. We will now take a closer look at the individual neighbourhoods:
– Barri Gotic: the best area for sights and culture
The Barri Gotic, or Gothic Quarter, is the historic centre of Barcelona, where the city of Barcina was located during Roman rule. Today, you can see its remains underground in the MUHBA Museum in Plaça del Rei. The Gothic Quarter is literally a labyrinth of old, narrow and cobbled streets, mainly for pedestrians. You can just walk around, soak up the atmosphere and, like in Rome, keep getting lost and rediscovered.
Barri Gotic has many historic corners, small squares with gardens and is also home to one of the most beautiful buildings in Barcelona – Barcelona Cathedral. In addition, there are several excellent restaurants and shops, and the town hall is located here. Don’t miss the Gothic Quarter in the morning, when everyone is still asleep and the streets are empty. Barri Gotic is flanked on the left by the pedestrianised La Rambla with the famous La Boqueria market (I recommend avoiding the other restaurants on La Rambla – not much music on your plate for a lot of money). Barri Gotic has a great starting position, but be prepared for it to be crowded with tourists during the day.
– El Raval: the best area for nightlife
If the Barri Gotic has the reputation of being the most historic district in Barcelona, El Raval has the reputation of being the roughest. There was a time when El Raval was a red-light district (like Amsterdam) and drug dealers used to congregate here. Even today, at its southern end, you’ll run into prostitutes at night. Yet it is a safe neighbourhood that has changed significantly for the better over the last twenty years.
El Raval is nicknamed Chinatown because there are many Asian immigrants here. And not just Asian ones. The East mixes with the West, giving El Raval a great multicultural atmosphere. Independent bars, boutiques and authentic restaurants. These are the main magnets why El Raval is one of the most popular neighbourhoods in Barcelona, especially for the more experienced traveller. El Raval is located in the Old Town to the left of La Rambla and is home to the Palau de Güell and the MACBA (Museu d’Art Contemporani).
– La Barcelonata: the best area for a seaside holiday
La Barcelonata was formerly a fishing village, but during the 1992 Olympics it was completely rebuilt. It was also the time when Barcelona’s most popular beach, La Barcelonata, was created and is packed with locals and tourists day and night. However, the tradition of the fishing village has remained to this day. If you want to enjoy seafood, make sure you head here. The streets in La Barcelonata are regular and very similar at first glance, so it can be quite easy for someone with a poor sense of direction to get lost.
La Barcelonata is a little off the beaten track from the city centre. It is adjacent to Santa Caterina, Sant Pere i la Ribera (unofficially El Born). Barcelona’s narrowest centre, around the cathedral, is also within walking distance. In La Barcelonata, you will find mainly apartments. The area is an ideal base for those planning to spend their holidays in Barcelona by the sea on the beach.
– El Born: the best area with the right atmosphere
El Born is the unofficial name for the neighbourhood of Santa Caterina, Sant Pere i la Ribera. El Born is one of the best places to stay in Barcelona. It has romantic medieval streets that invite you to take a stroll. The streets are lined with boutiques featuring the work of independent designers and great restaurants and tapas bars.
El Born is adjacent to the Gothic Quarter on the left and Barcelona’s most popular park, Parc de la Ciutadella, with the Arc de Triomphe, is just to the right. From the Arc de Triomphe, it’s a short walk to the Sagrada Familia. The district is home to several beautiful monuments and museums, including the magnificent Palau de la Música Catalana concert hall, the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar and the Picasso Museum. If swimming in the sea appeals to you, the beach is a quarter of an hour away.
Accommodation in the centre of Barcelona
- Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella – one of the best hotels in Barcelona and at a good price; strategic location near the Arc de Triomphe and Ciutadella Park
- Residencia Universitaria Campus del Mar – apartments including a kitchenette a short walk from La Barcelonata beach
- Hotel River – cheap hotel a short walk from La Rambla
- Hotel Ronda House – cosy and modern hotel with good quality service and just 10 minutes from La Rambla
Best hotels in Eixample
The Eixample is a sprawling neighbourhood where you’ll find some of Antoni Gaudí’s best modernist buildings, including the famous Sagrada Familia. The construction of local houses began in the 19th century. century, when the old city walls around Ciutat Vella were torn down to allow Barcelona to grow. The houses are laid out in a grid with open streets that breathe. Eixample is the complete opposite of the Old Town.
Through the quarter runs Barcelona’s main commercial thoroughfare – Passeig de Gràcia. Right on it are two other Gaudí buildings – Casa Milà – La Pedrera and the even more famous Casa Batlló, which shines from afar with its colours and stained glass windows. Passeig de Gràcia ends with Plaça de Catalunya, which is the centre of Barcelona. The airport bus stops here, and there are many connections to other parts of Barcelona. Plaça de Catalunya separates the Eixample district from Ciutat Vella. Eixample has a variety of great restaurants and shopping options including some of the most luxurious boutiques in Barcelona.
Accommodation in Eixample
- Hotel Medicis – cosy hotel next to the Art Nouveau Sant Pau Hospital and 5 minutes from the Sagrada Familia
Best hotels in Sant Martí
Sant Martí is a large district to the north-east of the centre, divided into 10 smaller sub-districts. The most popular of these are Poblenou and La Vila Olímpica de Poblenou, which are characterised by promenades, beaches, tapas bars and nightlife. Poblenou is known as the Manchester of Catalonia. It used to be an industrial area and gradually transformed into a district with design buildings and showrooms.
Sant Martí is a modern, elegant and flat neighbourhood. If you are looking for an area outside the tourist centre and with good access to the sea, Sant Martí is a great choice. The metro takes 20 minutes to reach the Sagrada Familia (about half an hour on foot) and you’re in the Old Town in 15 minutes.
Accommodation in Sant Martí
- Hotel ibis Styles great value for money; ideal accommodation for couples and families with children (family rooms and children’s play area)
- Hotel Acta Voraport – modern and newly furnished hotel a short walk from Bogatell beach
- Hotel Occidental Atenea Mar – adults-only hotel a short walk from the beach, with an infinity pool and sea views
- Hotel Hesperia Barcelona Del Mar – fully equipped beachfront hotel ideal for families with children and with good access to the centre
Other great areas to stay in Barcelona
The above areas – Ciutat Vella, Eixample and Sant Martí are some of the best areas to stay in Barcelona. One of the best places to stay is the Gràcia district on the hill north of Eixample. Gràcia is home to Park Güell and Gaudí’s first building , Casa Vicens. It’s a popular residential area with a local atmosphere that is avoided by the tourist crowds. The centre is further away, but if you’re looking for a more authentic area outside the centre, Gràcia is a good choice.
To the left of El Raval is the Poble Sec neighbourhood. It’s a good base for those who want to explore the Montjüic hill on the left from Poble Sec and the historic part of Barcelona to the right.
- Hotel Arya Stadium – Clean and modern hotel with an outdoor pool a short walk from Camp Nou Stadium
As for Airbnb, the city has been fighting it for a couple of years. In recent months, it seems that Airbnb in Barcelona will be heavily regulated. Airbnb is also disapproved of by locals who complain that it raises rental prices unreasonably.
Barcelona accommodation: map
HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map of accommodation in Barcelona. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the “Barcelona Accommodation” guide. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.
- Barcelona Admission and Opening Hours
- Accommodation in Barcelona
- What to Visit in Barcelona
- How to Save in Barcelona
- Barcelona with children
- Barcelona Guide
- Barcelona in 3 days
- Sagrada Família guide
Frequently asked questions
Each neighbourhood in Barcelona has its own specific atmosphere. You can enjoy the nightlife around La Rambla and in El Raval, spend your days on the beach in La Barcelonata or soak up the history and architecture in Barri Gotic or Eixample.
One of the best hotels in Barcelona is the Motel One by the Arc de Triomphe – great service at a good price and a short walk to the beach and sights. Other great hotels in the centre include the Ronda House Hotel and the River Hotel.
Hotel Acta Voraport has great service at fine prices, plus a pool with great views. Other good alternatives are the Hesperia Barcelona Del Mar or the Occidental Atenea Mar, which is adults-only. The Residencia Universitaria Campus del Mar is a good option if you are looking for accommodation with a kitchenette where you can cook for yourself.