where to stay in barcelona

Where to stay in Barcelona: Neighborhood Guide, 2020

Are you wondering where to stay in Barcelona? Maybe you just want to learn about the various neighbourhoods throughout the city? Perhaps you recently booked a flight and are feeling overwhelmed?

One of the things that makes Barcelona so special is that every neighborhood is very different and has its own charm. Of course all of the big hotels are in the city center, but there is so much more to Barcelona than just Plaça Catalunya and Las Ramblas.

So, we’d love to help you out with a neighborhood guide of Barcelona that will help you decide on where to stay during your holidays or even longer term. Are you ready to discover Barcelona?

Barcelona Neighbourhood Map - Where to Stay in Barcelona

Meet downtown Barcelona, La Ciutat Vella (Raval)

El Raval is on the other side of Les Rambles and the El Gòtic neighborhood. The Raval is known for its combination of avant-garde art, an indomitable atmosphere, and its vivid street life.

In the past, it was famous for its decadent night scene but today it is an important cultural area of the city, some of the old cabarets have become museums and its home to the Contemporary art Museum of Barcelona.

What can you find here?

Great public transportation, vivid nightlife, shopping, art, and museums.


From industry to design, Poblenou (Sant Martí)

Before the 1992 Olympics, Poblenou had the atmosphere and appearance of an almost abandoned industrial zone. With the reforms of the city, the neighborhood became full of life: restaurants, bars and all kinds of tourist attractions now adhere to its lively beaches. Since the Olympics, this area is constantly changing and growing, becoming one of the most active and dynamic neighborhoods of the city.

TIP: it’s great to ride bikes in Poblenou because it is very flat and close to the beach. There are many places throughout the district where you can rent them.

What can you find here?

Nightlife, shopping, great transportation, green areas, close to beach.


The relaxed atmosphere of Sants-Montjuic

Despite being one of the largest neighborhoods in the city, Sants-Montjuïc is off the tourist map. Residents of the area can enjoy their fantastic art museum and its innumerable bars and restaurants, as well as having a great connection to the public transport network.
Although, it offers a great variety of activities, its streets maintain a calm atmosphere. Characteristic of the suburban zones.

What can you find here?

Shopping centers, art and museums, green areas, great public transportation.


Get to know the enchanting streets of Gràcia

Gràcia enchants its visitors with its lively squares, warm bars and fantastic views of Barcelona. Bohemian residents and cosmopolitan professionals get up early and go to sleep late to enjoy its streets full of life.

The squares and terraces offer space for placid conversations and as a plus point: it is very near the center of the city.

What can you find here?

Food, vivid nightlife, loved by locals, cute small shops, great transportation, alternative atmosphere, Gaudí monuments.


The El Born in Old Town is worth a closer look

If you want to stay right in the heart of the city, nothing quite compares to immersing yourself in the local culture and splendor. El Born is one of those places that has to be seen to be believed, and offers you something new and exciting around every corner. Good news for those of you who really want to get to know your new home away from home before you jump on the plane.

What can you find here?

Incredible nightlife, authentic architecture and local culture, plus the beach and zoo are just a short walk from your door.


Sarrià-Sant Gervasi offers a little something for everyone

Away from the hustle and bustle of the city and cheering of the Camp Nou, the district around Tibidabo is something of a nature retreat for those of you looking to get away from it. It’s so much quieter, calmer and tranquil than the center, and that’s more than enough reasons to make it your new base for the week. The views from the hilltops are something that you have to see to believe, especially at sunrise and sunset. Perfect for book-ending your day as you make memories to last a lifetime.

What can you find here?

A relaxing setting, spa style hotels and plenty of walking routes. Perfect for nature lovers and those looking to take a break from city living.


Introduce yourself to the luxury of Barceloneta

Never heard the name before? Don’t recognize the spelling? Barceloneta is the beach area of the city, and a place that will welcome you in with open arms. It’s somewhere that’s wholesome and relaxing for the family in the daytime, and vibrant and outgoing for those of you looking to have fun at nighttime. The area is known for live music, bars and all the tourist trappings that you’ve been looking for. And when you want to take a break and indulge in a little culture, the Arc de Triomf is only a short walk away.


What can you find here?

Plenty of places to eat, drink and dance the night away. Classic tourist attractions, beaches and gift shops. A whole host of waterfront activities for the whole family.


Take a walk through Poble Sec and immerse yourself in local traditions.

If you want to really get to know a new city, you need to start living like the locals do. That’s the reason the largely residential area of Poble Sec has made it onto our list. The streets twist and turn with a variety of different architectural styles on every corner. This only adds to the sense of charm the neighborhood has to offer.

When you’re ready to take a seat and relax in the sunshine, you’ll find eateries, a couple of bars and even a local theatre. Perfect for enjoying your evening just like one of the locals.

What can you find here?

Affluent living, welcoming locals, well lit streets and backstreets, not to mention a variety of cuisine that’s ready and waiting for you to take a taste.


Get to know the charm of Sant Antoni

This is one of those little corners of the main city that can be so easily overlooked by its noisier neighbors. The charm of Sant Antoni is that it offers the perfect balance of eateries and outdoor parks so that you can rest and relax all day long.

Metro links to the rest of the city are only ever a short walk away, and the renowned Gothic Quarter is just around the corner. The Mossen and Joan Miro city gardens are also just the other side of the Poble Sec neighborhood. This makes it the ideal place to base yourself if you want to make sure that there’s never an excuse to sleep in and miss out on the charm the city has to offer.

What can you find here?

Restaurants, small parks, a simple road layout and a little bit of quiet compared to the rest of the city center.


Last but not least, enjoy the space of Eixample

The largest neighborhood in all of Barcelona has space in abundance which gives it a calm, relaxing feel that you’ll instantly connect with. The streets are based around simple squares, and the feel is very much that of a middle-class residential area that’s within walking distance of the city’s main squares and attractions.

What can you find here?

A break from the main city, a chance to meet the locals and see how they live, and a couple of eateries tucked away if you know where to look.

Barcelona is such an enchanting, interesting place to stay no matter how long you’re here for. Now that you’ve learned everything you need to know about some of its most incredible areas, all you have to do is choose the one that feels like home. Sounds like the perfect problem to have, doesn’t it?

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