Where to stay in Barcelona? Neighbourhoods guide.
Where to stay in Barcelona?
Hope you are excited, planning your trip to Barcelona! Today I want to introduce you about Barcelona neighbourhoods so that you can have a better idea before you decide where to stay in Barcelona.
To make it simple, I have a map here, so that you can easily understand what the city looks like:
As you can see, there’s a circle in the middle, that is exactly the centre of Barcelona, Plaça Catalunya. So if you are deciding where to stay in Barcelona now it depends on you if you want to be in the middle of everything, close to main attractions, walking distance from everywhere, surrounded by restaurants, bars, etc or a bit away. And when I say “a bit”, it’s because the city is not as big as you may think. So you will be able get almost everywhere by foot even if you are not staying in the heart of the cityBest neighbourhoods where to stay in Barcelona
Close to the star we have the old city of Barcelona:
- Gothic is where you will find the most ancient streets & wonderful architecture. Barcelona first neighbourhood actually. The narrow, winding streets create a labyrinth. You will definitely need the help of Google maps to find your hotel. Even though the area is full of great restaurants and bars, and it’s the ideal place for shopping, this is the most touristic area and all the tourist traps are here as well, specially at Ramblas.
- El Born has a very good night life as well, the best restaurants and bars. Nowadays this is the trendiest and coolest neighbourhood in town as you can find unique boutiques and artists crafting there.
- El Raval is a controversial area in Barcelona. It’s a very interesting and exciting area however it is
certainly not the safest or the cleanest. You can find great healthy restaurants, vintage shops, the oldest bars, amazing rooftops and lots of pickpockets!
- Barceloneta is the closest neighbourhood to the beach. Popular but away from the hustle and bustle of the heart of the city centre. Full of night life and iconic restaurants.
Be aware that if you are looking for places to stay in Barcelona, those areas are the most crowded and visited by tourists so I would recommend you to read carefully the reviews of your hotel or airbnb as it is also known for complains regarding noise and parties. This is also the oldest part of the city so check if there’s elevator in your building, A/C, etc.
- Eixample is my favourite neighborhood. Actually I live here. It has lots of great bars and restaurants along with modernist architecture. Gaudí’s most famous buildings are here: Sagrada Familia, Casa Milá (La Pedrera) & Casa Batlló. Here’s more quiet and modern but still local and very close to the city centre.
- Despite Gràcia is also one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in town, it is also a traditional barrio with local people and narrow charming streets. It’s very bohemian, full of artists and full of trendy local shops, which makes a great mix. It’s close to Park Güell, it has amazing restaurants and bars all along its pedestrian streets and it’s famous because of its beautiful squares.
- Poble Nou is a traditional district as well with cafes and tapas bars along Rambla de Poblenou boulevard. it’s super charming, quiet and full of artists and IT hubs. In the nearby we have Els Encants flea market and the Torre Agbar skyscraper as the main attractions. You also have the not so crowded beaches right next to it.
- Sants itself doesn’t have any attractions, but you will be close to Plaça Espanya and closer to Camp Nou. It’s a quite residential area however there’s the main international train station so if you arrive or leave Barcelona by train, this can be a great choice.
- Poble Sec & Sant Antoni not much in the way of tourist attractions in this area but you will find that accommodation prices are lower and the heart of the city centre is only a 10 minute ride. It’s very close to Raval, so it may not be the safest area, specially in Poble Sec but there’s a great variety of great local restaurants and bars.
- Montjuïc is characterised by the fabulous views of the city when you get to the top of the mountain. Tourist attractions include the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, Plaça Espanya, MNAC museum, Poble Espanyol & Las Arenas shopping centre. If you are too high, maybe you’ll have to move around by taxi as walking up may be a bit hard. Ask before you book if you are going to be able to catch a bus or metro from your hotel.
Those are the main neighbourhoods in Barcelona, according to nearness to tourist attractions. But of course if you find an amazing hotel or Airbnb in any other not mentioned neighbourhood, as I said at the beginning, make sure you can find a metro station in the nearby or a bus.
Where Should I Stay in Barcelona?
- Gothic & Born: Stay here if you want to be walking distance from attractions, in the middle of the hustle and bustle, nightlife.
- Eixample: Stay here if you want to be walking distance from attractions + in a quiet and modern area with fancy bars.
- Raval: don’t stay here.
- Gracia: Stay here if you want to be in a charming & lively neighbourhood with good nightlife and local vibe, a bit away from the centre.
- Barceloneta: Stay here if you want to be close to the beach and have a lot of options for nightlife.
- Poble Sec, Sant Antoni, Sants, Montjuic: Stay here if you don’t want to spend money. Montjuic is a nice area as well for families that enjoy the mountain.
- Poble Nou: Stay here if you want to be close to the beach but in a quiet area with local vibe, family friendly and a bit away from the centre.
What Are the Safest Areas in Barcelona?
I would say, there’s only one area that is know for robbery and pickpocketing, which is El Raval, close to Ramblas.
The old city in general, gothic & born, are areas crowded with tourist so be aware of robbery and pickpocketing as well.
Hope this has been super useful. If you would like to ask me anything, feel free to leave me comment below!