Where to Stay in Barcelona - Your Ultimate Guide
Following on from this fantastic 5-day itinerary and city guide for Barcelona, I received more requests for advice on the best places to stay in Barcelona so it seemed fitting and helpful to put together a comprehensive list of the best accommodation in Barcelona. The best thing about this guide on where to stay in Barcelona is that it is comprised of tried and tested hotels and hostels reviewed by real travellers who have stayed in the accommodation recently. Nobody is recommending a Barcelona hostel or hotel without having stayed there or really rating it.
DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links to products, places and services I recommend for you and your family. I make a small commission off any purchases made but they don't cost you anything extra, and often I do a lot of research to find you the best possible deal in the link - yay!
The Best Places to Stay in Barcelona
Knowing which of these best places to stay in Barcelona you should choose depends a lot on what you hope to do while in the city. I would therefore suggest you check out this post suggesting what to do in five days in Barcelona and then look up some of the places you really want to stay in on a map. Then come back to this list and think about which of these Barcelona hotels will give you a good base.
Additionally, you should know that I've also grouped all the listed places to stay in Barcelona by budget or your travel style so you can also factor in what your travel budget or the kind of accommodation you usually stay in.
Best Luxury Hotels in Barcelona
So let's get started with some luxury places to stay in Barcelona. This will be no surprise to anyone who's read this blog for more than a minute as that's the way we like to travel, and we're very fortunate that we can afford luxury accommodation.
W Barcelona on Barceloneta Beach
My first visit to Barcelona was actually a press trip that coincided with the opening of the W Hotel in Barcelona, so yes, I saw it in its finest glory... but I've been fortunate enough to stay in a few other hotels during their openings and I have to say the W Barcelona was much slicker than most. It's hard to miss with it's sail-like architecture perched at the end of Barceloneta Beach and I enjoyed walking along that sand each morning into the city to explore, and likewise heading back that way in the evening (or much later at night!). The views were predictably fantastic - be that looking out across the ocean or towards Barcelona's urban sprawl - and you're very well positioned to get on the Telefèric de Montjuïc cable car for even more views from above (and an easy climb up!). I don't remember using any public transport apart from one taxi out to Parc Guell so I would say if you like walking (but not for miles and miles) this is a great hotel to base yourself at while also being away from the hustle and bustle. Also, you have a beach on your doorstep!
Aside from the stylish interior, beautifully spacious and calmingly decorated rooms (a lot of blue, a huge bathroom (and bath!) and the bed wonderfully positioned in the centre of the room in front of floor to ceiling windows) I was very impressed with W Hotel Barcelona's service and facilities. I loved having a late night cocktail or two up in the rooftop bar where the drinks and music were just as good as the views, and while I did visit in March so it was a little chilly to try out the pool, I loved the look of the deck that surrounded it - it's basically asking for pool parties. I guess that's worth mentioning here; the W Barcelona is more of a luxury hotel for couples or groups of travellers, rather than families though am sure they would accommodate them well. There was just something about the hotel, its style and its sleek service that I know will be appreciated most by adults-only groups of travellers.
Hotel Miramar in Sants-Montjuïc
My second visit to Barcelona saw me taking my partner with me to show him around as he'd never been before and we actually were disappointed to find out that W Hotel was fully booked. So we looked for a similar luxury hotel in the same area of Barcelona... ish. The Hotel Miramar was what we booked in the end and it was a great stay. Housed in a grand mansion building high up on Montjuïc Mountain, Hotel Miramar gives off a sensation of grandness just at sight, and it follows through inside and outside. Despite staying in peak travel season in August, I found the hotel to still feel calm and spacious, even next to the outdoor swimming pool on a hot, hot day (and there is also an indoor pool!).
The location again is excellent as you're stumbling distance from the top of Telefèric de Montjuïc so you can easily get down to the beach. Even walking down to the other side of Barcelona through Parc Montjuïc to the restaurants and sights in surrounding areas of Ciutat Vella, El Raval and even the Gothic Quarter felt very doable. We even walked up it one night after dinner and only got a little bit lost, but that may have had more to do with the sangria than anything else. In fact, I loved the setting of this palatial hotel so much that I used the park as a key location in one of my short story collection, Shy Feet: Short Stories Inspired by Travel (the story is called The Flowers Sleep Tonight, if you have the book!).
Hotel Barcelona Catedral by Victoria Watts Kennedy from Bridges & Balloons
Hotel Barcelona Catedral is a beautifully designed hotel right in the centre of Barcelona's Gothic Quarter. The common areas are the star of the show, including a hip bar and restaurant, a plant-filled purple-hued courtyard, and a rooftop pool surrounded by bright pink walls. All of them are perfectly Instagram-ready.
There are 80 sound-proofed rooms in all, including connecting rooms for families, and little luxuries like a mini bar, iPod station, and super soft bed linens. They’re a pleasure to return to after a long day sightseeing. As the name suggests, the hotel is right next to the cathedral (the gothic one, not the Sagrada Familia) and less than 10-minutes from the Born district, Placa da Catalunya and the Ramblas.
It's also in walking distance of the beach, Passeig da Graca, Raval, and nearly all of Barcelona's main sights. It's the ideal location for exploring the city. The airport bus drops you off less than a five-minute walk away, and if you’re using the metro, you’re close to both Jaume I and Placa da Catalunya. Hotel Barcelona Catedral isn't specifically for families, but we went there with our three-month-old son and they accommodated us perfectly, providing a travel cot and giving him a teddy bear on arrival. It allowed us to travel in style with a baby.
My top tips for the surrounding area are: Cuines Santa Caterina for international food and tapas sourced from the neighbouring market; Rasoterra for high-end vegetarian food; Demasie for the best cinnamon buns in the city (maybe the world); and La Xampanyeria for a raucous cava tasting experience.
The Cotton House Hotel in the Gothic Quarter by David of Show Them The Globe
The Cotton House Hotel is a 5-star luxury hotel located in central Barcelona and is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a unique, luxury hotel perfectly located for exploring the city.
We were lucky enough to stay in the Cotton House in the weeks following its opening and had one of our best hotel experiences we’ve ever had in Europe. The hotel itself is one of the most unique we’ve stayed in. The building is the site of the former headquarters of the Catalan Association of Cotton House Manufacturers and maintains a number of the original features and rooms including the conservatory, the lounges and a library.
The rooms are large and modern and decorated in a simple white-cotton style. Ours had a large balcony with great views across Barcelona and the outdoor terrace on the ground floor. Breakfast, lunch and evening drinks are served in the outdoor terrace located at the back of the hotel and after a long day of sightseeing, one of our favourite memories is relaxing here over a few cocktails. There’s also a lovely rooftop with a small pool and beautiful city views.
The hotel is perfectly located for exploring central Barcelona on foot: with the Santa Caterina Market, Las Ramblas, Plaza Catalunya and everything that central Barcelona has to offer all within a 15 minute walk. We explored all of the central city sights by walking from the hotel and used the metro and bus service, known as the TMB, to explore the rest of the city. The metro/subway stops of Passeig de Gràcia and Tetuan are located very close to the hotel and cover the most popular parts of the city.
Best Mid-Range Hotels in Barcelona
You probably already know that most European hotels are smaller and work for couples but not so much for families. Howevr every now and again you do find a hotel that really gives you everything you need and that was the case with this affordable Barcelona hotel we stayed in called Mercer House Boria.
If you love having some extra room during your stay in Barcelona and also like having it serviced and love big breakfast buffets in the morning, you will definitely like Mercer House Boria. It is located in the El Born – which is in between the Gothic Quarter and the Ciutadella Park and is one of Barcelona's trendiest and most popular neighborhoods. Best of all it was walking distance to the Picasso Museum where you can see some of his early works.
Based on our stay, I can assure you it is one of the best family hotels in Barcelona. We had a two bedroom suite and ample space to spread around after our sightseeing and day trips around Barcelona. They had a nice library with a great collection of books. The breakfast buffet spread was nicely stocked with fresh juices, cheese, breads, you can even order custom made omelets and of course, they had some ham or jamon as they like to call it in these parts.
El Born is more homey compared to the touristy Gothic quarter, lined with cafes and flats where locals live, it was interesting to see every life in Barcelona. One morning when the rest of the family was still sleeping I took my book about Gaudi that I borrowed from the hotel and our dirty laundry to a laundromat near by. It is easy to get lost in the narrow labyrinth and side streets, I had to take a photo of the laundromat so I could find my way back! So yes, staying at Mercer House Boria is not only comfortable and accommodating but also a bit of an adventure!
If you hope to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Barcelona, the SB Diagonal Zero is a wonderful option. This four-star hotel is located near Platja de Llevant and the water, so sun worshippers will enjoy this property as their base.
Rooms are wonderful sunny and airy, with many facing the seaside or mountains in the distance. They have extra amenities not always found in Europe, including a swimming pool, microwaves and free WiFi. Some of the larger rooms have suite-style lounge spaces and even jacuzzis inside the bedrooms.
To cool off, there’s a small yet lively pool scene on the 17th floor with great views and cocktail service. Mingle there with international travelers, enjoying Barcelona for both business and pleasure. There’s an upscale restaurant onsite too that offers fresh Mediterranean-style dishes. Look for grilled octopus and iberico ham.
It’s worth the splurge for the executive lounge access on the 15th floor. Guests can indulge in endless fruity sangria while they watch the sun go down from the exclusive lounge. More relaxation can be found in the morning, as a smaller more intimate breakfast is served in the lounge, complete with fresh squeeze juices. Alongside this is the luxurious urban spa, complete with hot-and-cold soaking baths and hydromassage beds. Complete the day with a choice of Turkish bath, hammam or Finnish-style sauna room.
The SB Diagonal Zero in Barcelona works well for vacationing couples, friends or family who like a little urban pampering near the scenic seaside.
For our couples trip in Barcelona we had chosen the Acta Atrium Palace. To get there, you can take the shuttle bus from the airport as it arrives at Placa de Catalunya square, just a short seven-minute walk from the hotel. This distance is easy to walk with your backpack or suitcase, however, it was crowded on board so be aware of your belongings.
For the price range, we found the Acta Atrium Palace to be very affordable for what they were providing and happily stayed here for a long weekend. This four star choice for us was perfect based on only 10 minutes walking from the city center and the famous Les Rambles. The hotel provided peace and quiet from the busy city, including free WiFi and a very comfy bed. For breakfast, they are catering to all visitors with dietary needs with delicious fresh options. The hotel had very high cleaning standards and the most welcoming and helpful staff during our stay.
The best thing we enjoyed was the good working air con, perfect for the hot evenings in summer! The hotel also went above and beyond to help when my partner got sick too. Close to the hotel is the city center, as well as an easy walk to the top attractions. Such as the indoor market la Boqueria, the Parc de la Ciutadella and even a little further to the beach! And not to mention close to many delicious tapas and cosy restaurants in the area.
With the hotel Acta Atrium Palace being so central, it was perfect location to reach the further away attractions too such as Montjuïc Castle and Park Güell.
The Four Points by Sheraton Barcelona Diagonal made for the perfect base for our three days exploring Barcelona and day trip to Andorra. From our hotel room, we could see the iconic Sagrada Familia rising above the Barcelona skyline. Centrally located for the main attractions in Barcelona, we often walked and occasionally took an Uber/taxi or a bus.
The walk to Sagrada Familia is about 1.2 miles (1.9 km). Park de la Ciutadella and the Arc de Triomf are about the same distance. If you do not want to walk or plan to visit some of the places a little further out, Ubers and taxis are constantly in the area. There are several bus stops and two metro stops within easy walking distance of the hotel as well.
You can also find plenty of places to eat in the area which was convenient. We found bakeries down the street and an entire shopping center with lots of restaurants less than a 5 minute walk away. The hotel also has a restaurant that we enjoyed. The ice cream and desserts there are especially good. The hotel is clean and up to date with a welcoming lobby area. For anyone who would like to work out, there is a fitness center with a view of the city that is open 24 hours a day.
The staff is extremely kind and helpful as well. They gave us recommendations for food and even for where to find a hair straightener when I left mine on the plane. If you are planning to stay in Barcelona as a couple or as a family, Four Points by Sheraton Barcelona Diagonal could be the perfect fit for you too.
Best Budget Hotels in Barcelona
IBIS Style Casteldefells is a beautiful property of the IBIS chain located just outside the Barcelona city. We were glad that we chose this location because it is far from all the frenzy of the great tourist city that Barcelona can be at peak times. At the same time, it is at a walkable distance from the RENFE station from where you can take a train and reach Barcelona within 25 minutes. It is also within the radius of free public transport offered by the Barcelona card that we bought online at 45 Euros for 96 hours.
I loved the spacious rooms, great food and the upscale locality where the hotel was located. It is located opposite to a shopping and entertainment complex with many restaurants. It is five minutes away from a Carrefour outlet which has huge discounts all the time. After hopping around the whole day in Barcelona we would return and walk to the beach that is 1.5 km away.
Casteldefells itself is also a gorgeous city famous for being home to Barcelona football stars like Messi and Suarez. So you can easily include this in your Barcelona itinerary. We saw the shacks and parties on the beach in Barcelona, but we would rather walk away and enjoy the calm. Something you may not get in Barcelona. Besides, you can also visit the castle of Casteldefells, and the Olympic canal. I felt it was a great value for money. The rooms and the bathroom were much bigger than the IBIS budget hotels in the city center but it was actually priced lower. We loved it as a couple, but I think it would also be greatly suited for families with kids.
The Eco Boutique Hostel Grau is located only one street of Las Ramblas but doesn't come with the hefty price tag you'd expect for such a prime location. For my 2 night stay in November, I paid 205€ which is an absolute bargain if you consider what you're getting.
What I loved most about the Eco Boutique Hostel Grau was its location, near the Ramblas. With metro stop Plaça de Catalunya only 2 minutes walk away, you have Barcelona on your doorstep. Although in the center of town, the hotel is located in a quiet side-street and I didn’t hear a thing, which is perfect for a good night’s rest. It is near many smaller eateries for a late evening dinner or you can hit the town only 5 minutes from the hotel.
Besides the location, I really loved the family-run hotel and their Eco-friendly mission station. The rooms are not big but feel airy and bright. The hotel has amazingly comfortable beds with organic bed linen which I enjoyed very much. They recycle a lot and have Eco-friendly features like energy efficient lighting features, water recycling and environmentally friendly designs. You can find this in the organic furniture and material in the rooms, as well as organic products in the bathroom.
This eco hotel is your top-pick if you want to limit your carbon footprint when traveling to Barcelona. Besides their comfortable rooms and welcoming staff, they also have a very inviting common room. You can hang out here, eat free cake and take organic tea whenever you want. All in all, the Eco Boutique Hostel Grau felt like a warm welcome in Barcelona and I 100% recommend this as one of the best places to stay in Barcelona.
And Naomi really is a Barcelona travel expert, in fact she is the fantastic author of my five day itinerary for Barcelona here!
Hotel Silken Sant Gervasi by Debbie of Simply Saulay
Opened in 1999, Hotel Silken Sant Gervasi is a 3-star boutique hotel located in the Sant Gervasi district. It’s found in a quiet neighborhood away from the city. This boutique hotel has five floors and I would say that the standard room is slightly bigger than average. Most importantly the property is clean, modern, and has everything you need.
The hotel also serves continental breakfast served in the restaurant. You can easily get to Tibidabo since it is closer to the hotel than from the city center. Parc Guell is only 4.3km away and that means it's only a 15-minute walk. I highly recommend dining at La Balsa and Casa Jordi nearby for an upscale dining experience.
There is also a Japanese restaurant, Restaurant Fujiyama, right next to the hotel. You can also go for a walk at the beautiful Parc del Turo del Putxet for a nice view of Barcelona. What I love about this hotel is its simplicity. It had the best value (around $100 a night) with everything I needed. I honestly think it's the best hotel that gives you the most bang for your buck. Although the hotel is a little far from the city, the closest metro station is only a 2-minute walk from the property and the metro ride takes 10-15 minutes to the city center.
The hotel is within walking distance of public transportation and is easily accessible to many attractions in Barcelona. I loved how quiet the neighborhood was since it was in a residential neighborhood and I felt very safe walking around at night.
Best Hostels in Barcelona
If staying in a hostel is your glass of sangria, then you're in luck as these two experienced travellers have great recommendations for you so you know that these two Barcelona hostels are a safe (and cheap!) choice for your trip.
Famous for its large marketing campaigns such as those that allowed to reserve a bed for € 1 on specific dates, for its design and events (especially the big opening parties with live music or DJs) and for being located in the main cities of Europe, the Generator Hostels chain should not be missed in the Vila de Gràcia neighborhood if you're looking for an exciting and fun place to stay.
Less than 10 minutes away from its location you can find the jewels of Catalan modernism such as Casa Milá - by architect Antoni Gaudi - so they can all be easily visited on foot from the hostel. If you want to go further, several subway and bus stops surround the building. We slept in one of the shared bedrooms four years ago. There were comfortable bunk beds with privacy curtains, individual reading light, ample storage space under lock for each one, and the possibility of reserving one of its suites or design apartments for privacy makes it an ideal place for those looking for comfort and good price in the city of Barcelona; always crowded with tourists.
In addition the details of the hostel are still very carefully thought out. Especially the design. It has an annex restaurant with a wide menu if hunger comes in. It also has a well-stocked library, female-only dorms, a self-service laundry, a game room, a billiards and the possibility of buying breakfast separately among many other things. Generator Barcelona, as long as you are aware of the hostel etiquette rules, is a great choice!
I've been to Barcelona numerous times, and I still can't get enough of the city. Throughout my various trips, I've stayed in a lot of places, from Airbnbs to hostels. That was until I found the St. Christopher's Hostel there and it's now my best place to stay in Barcelona. Now, I exclusively stay at this hostel, and there's a myriad of reasons why it has become, not only my top choice of hostels in Barcelona, but also one of my favorite hostels in Europe.
First, let's look at the hostel itself. Stenciled on the wall in reception are big, bold letters, that read "Live Your Life." This sums up the vibe of the hostel as the atmosphere lets you be whatever kind of traveler you are feeling at the moment. Want to be social? Hang out at the bar. Feeling more like an introvert? Then hide away at an empty table with your headphones on. You'll find no pressure here.
Everything down from the design to the location of the hostel is all about giving you choices. And while we are on the subject, let's talk about the location. You couldn't ask for a better base for your stay in Barcelona. The hostel is on Carrer de Bergara, which puts you right downtown and right in the center of the action. Las Ramblas is just a short walk away. But even closer is one of the major metro stations - which also has bus stops. This gives you easy access to get to places like Bunker El Carmen, or La Sagrada Familia. The beach is close enough you can bike or bus.
The location let's easily whip around the city, taking in all the crazy architecture. St. Christopher's Barcelona has a modern design and everything from the bar to the rooms are well kept. The dorms are extremely clean; each bed has a privacy curtain, a locker, and outlets. It is a social hostel and there is a nice bar downstairs, as well as, both an indoor and outdoor common areas. Everything in the hostel seems relaxed, keeping with the atmosphere of Barcelona. The bar offers food and drink specials, and creates a friendly atmosphere to meet other travelers. I love this hostel and I wouldn't stay anywhere else in Barcelona.
Best Self-Catering Accommodation in Barcelona
In 2018 I was visiting Barcelona with my lovely wife. We were there for one week and we stayed in the Cosmo Apartments located close to Marina Auditori. We got there from the airport by Uber which cost us 35 EUR. You can easily get to the city using the public transport – the Metro works perfect in this city but because of our flight time we chose an Uber so we didn't arrive too late at night.
We weren't sure what to expect from our Barcelona accommodation, but as it turned out Cosmo Apartments was a great choice for us. They actually offer several locations in Barcelona, and the fact that they were a well established company was reassuring. Many of the locations are in very popular parts of the city. Ours was in located on the street Carrer d’Ausiàs Marc in the city center, just 500 meters away from both the Monumental and the Marina Metro stations. Additionally we had grocery shop located at the corner of the street right in front of the apartment, which was very conveninent, and we also discovered that bike rental was in the same building.
La Rambla, Barceloneta Beach and other city points of interest were all under 30 minutes walk away which was was great for us as we like to walk around a lot. The only disadvantage was that we had to pick the keys from the main building of the Cosmopolitan company located five kilometers from our apartment, next to the Barcelona Sants railway station. We had to return keys also to the same place, sow e found that was a little bit annoying. On the other hand apartments were really comfortable, everything felt clean and modern and the rooms were really spacious, well maintained and fully equipped - certainly better value than most hotels in the same area!
Read more about the places Lucas and his wife visited in Barcelona here. And you can also find the best available rates for staying at Cosmo Apartments on Booking.
We absolutely loved staying in the BCN Gotic Apartments during our visit to Barcelona!
My sister stayed in these apartments a year prior to our visit and recommended them to us after her family of four stayed there. She actually proclaimed them to be the “best location” of any place they’ve ever vacationed. After our visit to Barcelona we have to say that we completely agree and we now recommend them to anyone looking for a little (actually a lot!) more space than a hotel room would provide in Barcelona!
Our family of four was able to rent a four-bedroom apartment with full kitchen, laundry, and private patio for the same price as a hotel would’ve cost. We felt completely safe as the building had a locked entrance. The company was very easy to work with during check in and check out and was available to help with any of our needs.
Most of all, we felt like we got an authentic Barcelona experience. We felt like we were part of the neighborhood. Located in the El Born District, the BCN Gotic Apartments are close to the metro, major tourist sites like La Rambla, and a ton of great restaurants and bakeries. El Born is the second oldest neighborhood in Barcelona with so much to see and do; it is the perfect place to wander. We truthfully loved being able to walk to so many trendy shops, museums, and restaurants. We were literally steps from Santa Maria del Mar, the Picasso Museum, and some amazing tapas! Everyone we encountered was super friendly and made us feel right at home. In addition, were able to easily take the metro or a cab to some of the larger tourist attractions like La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell.
We’d book the BCN Gotic Apartments again without hesitation!
Read what visiting Barcelona was like from a kid's perspective on Julie's blog. And you can find BCN Gotic Apartments in Barcelona on TripAdvisor or Booking.
Remember to check out this Barcelona city guide and five-day itinerary before you go on your trip, and you can save this post by pinning any of the images below:
Frances M. Thompson
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