Where to Stay in Barcelona: Best Areas & Hotels

Written by Lura Seavey and Carri Wilbanks
Updated May 20, 2021
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Of the major neighborhoods, the best places to stay in Barcelona are Gothic Quarter and La Rambla. This is because of their close proximity to the most popular tourist destinations and high-end shopping.

Although there are plentiful fantastic hotels here, it is well worth considering some of the nearby areas, which have just as much to offer in their own right. El Born (also known as La Ribera) has fascinating labyrinthine streets to explore. It also hosts major sights like the Picasso Museum, the Modern Art Museum, and the Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar.

The modern, trendy Eixample district is still within walking distance to most of the city's old town attractions, and is home to some of its own magnificent sites, like the impressive Basilica de la Sagrada Familia and Gaudi's La Pedrera. Here, you will find hotels like the family-friendly One Barcelona and H10 Casa Mimosa.

Where to Stay in Barcelona for Luxury

Gothic Quarter, Barcelona
Gothic Quarter, Barcelona

If you truly want to relax in the lap of luxury, five-star Hotel The Serras, once the studio of a 15-year-old Pablo Picasso, is the place to be. The hotel's rooftop terrace overlooks the marina Port Vell, with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean, and although there are plenty of restaurants nearby, you will want to stay and savor the on-site Michelin star-rated Chef Restaurant.

Nearby, in the Gothic Quarter, sits the Mercer Hotel Barcelona, which has preserved several original historic features, including a Roman wall and medieval frescoes. Its rooftop pool area has beautiful views of the cathedral and dome of Santa Maria del Mar, and breakfast is served on a quiet patio with orange trees.

The El Raval neighborhood hosts Casa Camper Hotel Barcelona, sitting just a block from La Rambla and a two-minute walk from Plaza Cataluña. Along with the amenities and services typical of a great hotel, this top-notch host treats guests to unlimited complimentary snacks, including pastries, salads, soups, sandwiches, and a full selection of beverages, available all day. The hotel is also family friendly.

Despite its location in the more contemporary Eixample business district, El Palace Hotel truly excels at immersing guests in old-world elegance. Founded by César Ritz in 1917, each room and suite has been fully restored to its former glory. The recent addition of the 1920s-inspired Diana Garden has enhanced the ambience, with fountains, pergolas, and more than 50 species of plants adorning the roof's pool area.

Where to Stay in Barcelona: Mid-Range

La Rambla
La Rambla

Incredibly fun and unique, Room Mate Pau offers chic, modern rooms with bathroom goodies galore and free breakfast. The hotel is centrally located just two blocks from La Rambla, overlooks Plaça de Catalunya, and is only steps from the bus stop to make getting around town a breeze.

Not far from here, also bordering the Gothic Quarter, the sleek Yurbban Trafalgar Hotel offers plenty of services for the multitasking traveler, including a gym, business center, and even self-service laundry in addition to standard dry cleaning. When you are ready to relax, the rooftop pool area is waiting with city-wide views.

The ultra-modern Musik Boutique Hotel is located in quieter La Ribera yet still within walking distance to the main sights and close to the Museu de la Xocolata (yes, that's a chocolate museum).

Where to Stay in Barcelona on a Budget

Eixample district
Eixample district

Cheap hotels in Barcelona are hard to find in prime locations, but somehow Hotel Curious has managed to make it work just two blocks from La Rambla and La Boqueria Market. For those who want to explore, the bus stop is just steps away, or the more adventurous can rent a bicycle from the in-house tour desk. The efficiently situated rooms are simple, modern, and clean, many with charming balconies that overlook a narrow street.

The Hotel Constanza Barcelona in the Eixample district is a great find, just three blocks from Plaça de Tetuan and five blocks from Placa de Catalunya. Most rooms have quaint balconies over a quiet street or the courtyard, and the hotel offers full services, including a tapas restaurant.

Just outside the city center but a stone's throw from La Sagrada Familia, Ibis Barcelona Centro is another budget hotel, with highly rated service staff and a dependable reputation.

Another hidden gem is Hotel Paral-lel, which has small but efficient rooms. This hotel sits on the outer edge of El Raval neighborhood, close to several concert halls and theaters, as well as Barcelona's millennium-old Sant Pau del Camp monastery.

Where to Stay in Barcelona for Couples

Pedestrian area in Barcelona
Pedestrian area in Barcelona

Couples will enjoy a truly memorable experience at the Hotel DO: Placa Reial, where a stay includes a full breakfast delivered to your room until 11am and sweet surprises, like chocolate-covered strawberries. Just steps from La Rambla in the Gothic Quarter's Placa Reial, this small boutique hotel is close enough to the main sights to leave plenty of time for relaxing at the on-site spa and enjoying the locally sourced menu at one of its three restaurants.

If you want to be immersed in history, the Hotel Neri Relais & Chateaux occupies two restored medieval-era buildings only a block from the cathedral. Grand stone staircases and candlelit terraces balance beautifully with modern touches for an idyllic stay.

Hidden outside the city center in the residential neighborhood of Sarria-Sant Gervasi, Hotel Primero Primera is a four-star treasure with large, comfortable rooms. Here, you can cuddle up on a couch in front of the fireplace or enjoy the peaceful garden and pool area.

For those who want even more seclusion for their romantic getaway, ABaC Barcelona is situated at the northern edge of this same neighborhood, overlooking La Tamarita gardens and Kennedy Square. Each room is spacious and exquisitely outfitted with exotic wood flooring and elegant décor, and amenities include large rain showers and Jacuzzis with underwater sunbeds.

Where to Stay in Barcelona for Families

Gaudi's Casa Batlló in the Eixample District
Gaudi's Casa Batlló in the Eixample District

Some of the best family hotels in Barcelona are found in the chic Eixample district, which is home to a few famous Gaudi structures. The H10 Casa Mimosa is one such choice. This boutique property is within walking distance of Casa Milla, as well as some of the city's most exclusive shops and a metro station. Inside a 19th-century building, it has a wonderful rooftop terrace with views across the city. Amenities for children include cots and cribs, and rooms with pullout sofas can be booked. The vibe throughout is bright and modern, and there is a lovely garden area with a swimming pool.

The One Barcelona is also in Eixample and is a five-star property within walking distance of the Passeig de Gracia shopping street. This elegant hotel is done up in old-world style with velvet, gilding, and marble floors. The rooms are extra spacious, making it a good family choice. There are options to move an extra bed into the room to sleep children under 12. Baby cots are also available for free. On-site amenities include a Finnish sauna, 24-hour fitness center, and a rooftop plunge pool.

Also check out The Corner Hotel in Eixample. It is in a renovated 19th-century building with a stylish exterior and a comfortable interior space. The rooms come in a few different sizes, which can accommodate families. They are modern with a white-on-white color scheme with bold pops of color.

The Gallery Hotel is another good family hotel option, about a 15-minute walk from Las Ramblas. It offers modern and comfortable rooms with contemporary art on the walls and ultra posh bathrooms. Don't skip the seasonal, rooftop swimming pool made from graphite. It comes with panoramic city views and sun-loungers surrounding it. There is also a restaurant on-site, but it focuses on fine-dining Mediterranean, so it may not be suitable for younger kids. The location makes it easy to access plenty of city restaurants, however.

Where to Stay in Barcelona near the Airport

Aerial view of Barcelona

Staying near Barcelona Airport (BCN), located southwest of the city center, is a good choice if you have an early morning flight to catch or are arriving late at night and don't want to worry about getting into the city until morning.

The Best Western Plus Hotel Alfa Aeropuerto is one of the closest hotels to the airport, and offers free transport to and from it. The property offers a mix of rooms and suites that are comfortable and modern. Amenities include a restaurant, swimming pool, and workout room.

Also near the airport is the Hotel Barcelona Aeropuerto, affiliated by Melia. This contemporary property provides a free shuttle service 24 hours a day and is also walking distance from a metro station that connects to the city center. It has trendy rooms and suites with comfy beds and a modern vibe. Amenities here include a restaurant, business center and a workout room.

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