“I wrote every day between the ages of 12 and 20 when I stopped because I went to Barcelona, where life was too exciting to write.” - Colm Toibin
With 82 million annual tourists, Barcelona is one of Europe’s most popular destinations. It’s great for a weekend away or a trip with the family as it’s home to many great destinations like art museums, the Ramblas, and the Sagrada Familia.
There are so many things there to see and do. However, you have to find the right place to stay.
So where can you find accommodation in Barcelona?
Here’s Superprof’s guide to staying in Barcelona on any budget.
Which Are the Best Neighbourhoods in Barcelona?
In addition to finding accommodation, you also need to pick the right part of town. Where you’re based will affect how you get to experience Barcelona and what it has to offer.
We’ve picked some of the best areas of the city for visiting tourist attractions, walking around, and enjoying the nightlife.
Some of the best areas to stay in Barcelona include:
- El Born, El Raval, or El Gotico.
Try to stay in the city centre as you’ll want to limit travel time by being next to all the attractions. The central neighbourhoods are usually the best for tourists. After all, there’s a quick and practical mass transport system that can take you all over town.
Sants, for example, is useful if you’re arriving in Barcelona by train. Similarly, you can get the shuttle bus to the airport from here, too.
L’Eixample is effectively the city centre and Plaça Catalunya is a good place to access all the city’s attractions from. It’s a good starting point for a walk and also where you can get on a tourist bus.
If you want to see the cosmopolitan side of Barcelona, neighbours like El Born, El Raval, and El Gotico are useful points to access Ciutadella Park, Barcelona Zoo, the Picasso Museum, or the Palau de la Música Catalana Concert Hall.
Staying in Gracia is a good idea if you love shopping or Catalan Modernism. You can find the famous houses designed by Antoni Gaudi including Casa Batlló and Casa Milà on the Passeig de Gracia.
The Barceloneta is home to many of Barcelona’s beaches and you can also visit Barcelona’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Camp Nou simply by hopping on the metro, train, or bus.
Accommodation in Barcelona for Families
Would you like to visit Barcelona with your family?
Don’t wait until the last minute. A lot of families will look for accommodation and book ahead.
Generally, by travelling as a family, you’ll have fewer suitable options in terms of accommodation. Barceloneta, however, is a great area for families and since it’s close to the beach, you’ll always have something to do. There are also nice parks and it’s away from the busier areas of the city centre.
Aparthotels are also an affordable solution as they bring together the advantages of holiday rents and hotels. You’ll have access to a small kitchen, allowing you to make meals and there are often also parking spaces available for guests. You can find them on sites like Booking.com, Hotels.com, or Expedia.
Generally, holiday flats can be a little calmer and there are also sites like Airbnb if you’d prefer a whole flat to yourselves. The prices, however, will vary a lot depending on the neighbourhood so make sure you compare prices before you book as you can be looking at between €130 and €250 a night.
Looking to see Barcelona on a budget? Would you prefer to save all your money to see the sights and attractions?
Fortunately, there are plenty of budget options for travellers.
Youth hostels are a great idea for younger travellers on a budget. While this is usually the cheapest accommodation available, it certainly isn’t for everyone as with a hostel, you mightn’t get to enjoy much comfort or privacy. On the other hand, it’s also a great way to meet other travellers. In Barcelona, the average price is €30 per night.
Bed and breakfasts are also very common in Barcelona and you could say that B and Bs are a good compromise between hostels and hotels. Generally, you can find them for about half the price of a similar hotel. Usually, they’re managed by a family whereas hotels are normally run by large businesses and chains. You can expect to pay around €60 a night.
While it’s not usually our first thought, camping is another good option for those on a budget. This is particularly useful if you’ve got transport and are looking to visit the areas around Barcelona. Here are some of the best campsites near Barcelona:
- Camping 3 Estrellas by the sea and not too far from the centre of Barcelona.
- Camping Sitges, a peaceful place just 700 metres from the beach.
- Camping Vilanova Park, a 4-star holiday park.
Finally, you could also stay with a local. Sites like Airbnb offer rooms with locals if you don’t fancy paying to have the whole flat to yourself and they're a great way to stay in the city centre without breaking the bank. On average, look to pay around €35 a night.
Ready for a trip to Barcelona?
Finding a Hotel in Barcelona
For those who want quiet and don’t want to share with other guests, hotels are the way to go. Generally, you’ll get the extras like room service, breakfast, parking, etc.
Barcelona is full of plenty of different hotels. Here’s a guide to the typical prices you can expect to pay for hotels in Barcelona:
- 1-Star Hotel: €70.
- 2-Star Hotel: €80.
- 3-Star Hotel: €85.
- 4-Star Hotel: €120.
- 5-Star Hotel: €230.
The most luxurious hotels are the most expensive. If you want to splurge, here are five of the best hotels in Barcelona:
- Hotel Arts Barcelona, Carrer de la Marina, 19-21, €466/night.
- W Barcelona, Plaça Rosa Del Vents, 1, Final, Passeig de Joan de Borbó, €404/night.
- Mandarin Oriental, Barcelone, Passeig de Gràcia, 38-40, €462/night.
- Hotel SOFIA Barcelona, Plaça de Pius XII, 4, €186/night.
- Ohla Barcelona, Via Laietana, 49, €208/night.
Accommodation for Students
Each year, thousands of students look for accommodation for their year abroad. Generally, students are on quite a tight budget which means renting a flat with others is usually their only option.
You can expect to pay between €300 and €400 per month for a room, which is quite a lot for a student, but it's a great opportunity to meet other students.
For those who want to go it alone, there are websites offering student accommodation and studio apartments. For these, they can expect to pay between €800 and €1200 a month. Studying in Barcelona isn’t cheap, after all.
Students will also need to get their paperwork in order and sort out an identification number. You’ll need this identification number, known as the NIE, to do most things like rent a flat, open a bank account, and study at a university.
Now you should know a bit more about finding accommodation, but before you go to Barcelona, you might want to learn some more Spanish or Catalan from one of the many talented and experienced tutors on Superprof. You can get language tutorials face-to-face, online, or in groups and since each type of tutoring comes with its pros and cons, you'll want to think carefully about which is right for you and your budget.
Group tutorials are great for those on a tight budget as you can share the cost of the tutor's time and expertise with the other students. However, you won't get to enjoy tutorials that are fully tailored to you and what you want to learn.
Face-to-face tutorials, on the other hand, allow the tutor to adapt every lesson to the student and their learning objectives. Generally, these tend to cost more than other types of private tutoring but they're also very cost-effective as every minute you pay for is spent teaching you.
If you can't find any private tutors where you live, you can always opt for online tutors. As they don't have to travel to their students, they tend to charge less than face-to-face tutoring and when it comes to language tutoring, online tutoring can be just as effective as any other type of tutoring.
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