Where To Stay in Barcelona: Top Areas + Places To Avoid!

Where To Stay in Barcelona: Top Areas + Places To Avoid!
Armela Escalona
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Armela is a freelance travel writer for Pilot. Her work has been published in various magazines including Lifehack, Millennial Magazine, and Pick the Brain. When she’s not planning her next travel trip, Armela enjoys watching history documentaries and bush camping in Fortnite.

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Barcelona is a gorgeous seaside city famous for its impressive architecture, unparalleled gastronomic adventures, and thrilling nightlife. For years it has remained a popular travel destination in Europe.

As the capital city of the autonomous community Catalonia in Spain, it is the second-most populous region in the country. While there are only 1.6 million people who call Barcelona their home, this beautiful city attracts millions of tourists to its doorstep each year! 

If this is your first time in Barcelona, you’ll want to find accommodation that suits your needs and lifestyle. In this article, we’ll help you find the best places to stay during your trip to Barcelona. 

Beaches in barcelona
Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash

What are the best areas to stay in Barcelona?

Choosing where to stay in Barcelona can be a tough choice. It’s a charming walkable city with plenty of good accommodation options. Also, many people underestimate how big Barcelona actually is—so choosing the best area is crucial if you want to make every second count during your trip.  

Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter):  Best for First-Timers and Families

Perfect for first-time visitors in Spain, this gorgeous neighborhood is a harmonious mix of old and new Spain. Here you can find ancient buildings right next to newer modern architecture. The area is also filled with narrow winding streets, placas, and posh Barcelona hotels.

For a spacious family apartment, try this 3-bedroom flat located in a charming old building. It’s best for families or a group of friends traveling to Barcelona for the first time. The apartment itself is at the heart of Barri Gotic and close to the famous Las Ramblas. 

If you love balconies with a view, this Airbnb in Gothic Quarter is simply a dream come true. Located in Barcelona’s most popular street, it features a lovely balcony close to the dining area, a full kitchen, and a contemporary interior. Perfect for solo travelers wanting to experience the sunny Gothic Quarter weather!

Cool buildings in barcelona
Photo by Camille Minouflet on Unsplash

El Raval and Eixample: Bars and Nightlife 

If it’s cheap drinks, dance floors, and dining you’re looking for, then head to El Raval and Eixample. These parts of the city are famous for their bustling dance clubs and daytime tapas bars. Here you’ll find lots of music lovers, daring tourists, and some of the most expensive hotels in Barcelona! 

Looking for amazing panoramic terrace views? This modern apartment is just the place for you. It’s perfect for four guests who want to stay in El Raval to experience their beautiful nightlife. It has a large terrace, a fully equipped kitchen, and private parking. If you want a more spacious place to stay, this apartment with a balcony and terrace is a great option! It has three bedrooms with two double beds and one with a single bed. 

Another good option is this sunny studio with a view of Las Ramblas. For just $200 per night, you can stay in this chic accommodation along with your friends or partner. The studio can accommodate 3 guests or one couple. 

tourist hotspot in barcelona
Photo by Dennis van den Worm on Unsplash

Poble Sec: Village Scene and Cheap Accommodations

A modest district with few tourists, Poble Sec is the best place to find the most inexpensive accommodations. Unlike its bordering districts such as Eixample and El Raval, Poble Sec is a district with simple housing and a traditional, inexpensive dining scene. 

If you’ll be staying in Barcelona for a few weeks, this beautiful apartment in Poble Sec might just be the perfect den for you. It’s a duplex home with an independent entrance from the street. On the second floor, you’ll find a large double room with an en-suite bathroom. Another good affordable option is this cool loft apartment in an old building. The apartment is located on the first floor and features a minimalist interior design. It’s complete with Wi-Fi, an air conditioner, heating, and a full kitchen. 

Where should couples stay in Barcelona?

Barcelona is one of the top romantic cities in the world and it’s the perfect destination for you and your significant other. If you’re in the city with your beloved, the best area to stay would be in the Gothic Quarter where all the historic neighborhoods and attractions are located. Some of the best villas and hotels in Barcelona for couples can be found near the top attractions in the city.

If you’re visiting Barcelona with your partner, this private room in a penthouse at the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is the perfect accommodation. It features a huge terrace overlooking plaza Reïal and a bathroom with a jacuzzi. For couples who want to be close to all the restaurants and trendy shops, this private room is the best choice. You can stroll around the historic neighborhood, enjoy traditional cuisine, and experience an amazing local vibe. 

Chic corner of barcelona
Photo by Johan Mouchet on Unsplash

Where should you not stay in Barcelona?

Barcelona is a beautiful city but it’s also plagued with problems. One of them is petty theft which is common in many areas. An area that is often mentioned when talking about pickpockets is the Rambles. It’s basically a set of streets from Colon to Placa Catalunya.

Tourists are encouraged not to visit or stay in this place. And although El Raval is good for nightlife, some parts of it are also prone to crimes. So make sure that you double-check your area before staying. It’s recommended for ladies not to go out alone at night in these areas too. 

What should I avoid in Barcelona?

Just like any tourist destination in the world, Barcelona has its share of no-no's for travelers. Here’s a list of things you should avoid when visiting the city: 

  • Leaving valuable items on the beach or in your restaurant chair/table. Pickpockets are everywhere in Barcelona!
  • Dining in La Ramba. The food here is outrageously expensive. If you want fine dining, try restaurants in Example. 
  • Try to speak English with locals. Locals don’t normally speak English. 

Dreaming of Barcelona? Plan your trip now.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when planning your next trip. Make the planning process as effortless as possible with Pilot’s Travel Planner App. With this useful itinerary planning app, traveling is twice more fun! Now you can keep all your travel plans, ideas, and experiences in one place. For more travel tips and hacks, don’t forget to subscribe to our travel newsletter Flightdeck.  


Disclosure: Pilot is supported by our community. We may earn a small commission fee with affiliate links on our website. All reviews and recommendations are independent and do not reflect the official view of Pilot.

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