I am looking for a place to stay for a week in Barcelona in May that is safe to walk to/from downtown and public transportation and is quiet at night to sleep. I want it to be clean and comfortable but I don't mind rustic or basic because I will use it mostly for sleeping and be out exploring the city during the day. Is the Gotic Quarter the best area? What hotels or B&B's are the best? I do not plan to have a car but to walk and take public transportation. Thanks!
I am doubtful that the Barri Gotic is the best choice. We have some Barcelona experts who'll be able to give better advice, but a side street in the Eixample was my first thought. That would put you in a residential neighborhood, but you'd need to check on whether there are nearby bars. Spain is a very late-night-loving country, with even restaurants open until midnight if not later.
Actually, I don't remember significant street noise in the place where I stayed back in 2016, which was on a little street (Carrer de Santa Anna) not far from the southeast side of Placa de Catalunya. No doubt the silence was due to my room's view of an air shaft. I don't remember encountering vehicles on the street, but I see an arrow on Google Maps, so perhaps it isn't pedestrianized.
That location is convenient to the Barri Gotic, the Gaudi and other modernista buildings in the Eixample and many other sights. If you're flying into or out of Barcelona, it's very handy to the terminus of the Aerobus on Placa de Catalunya. I see three hotels on that street after zooming way in on the map. I think mine was the Hotel Cortes, but I'm traveling now and don't have access to my trip notes. One of the others is the Hostal Excellence. That is not a hostel. In Spain, a hostal-with-an-a is a casual lodging place with individual rooms. The third lodging place on the street is the Hotel Nouvel, a 3-star spot.
In 2019, we loved Praktik Rambla Hotel on Rambla Catalunya in Eixample.
We stayed in the El Born District last year - our apartment was very convenient to exploring Barcelona
I am staying at The Corner Hotel, in Eixample neighborhood, in May. I have stayed before in the same neighborhood, but at a rental apartment. Obviously I loved the neighborhood, because that is where I am returning. I echo acraven's remarks about the bus from the Airport to Placa Catalunya. So easy. One night we ate dinner in the Gothic Quarter and walked up La Ramblas to our apartment, only took about 20 minutes at a strolling pace.
While in Barri Gòtic "quietness" is down to the particular street rather than the neighbourhood in itself, I would agree with Anne that this neighbourhood might have several areas which are not compatible with a silent night. This creates a dilemma in my answer because I'd have to say: "it depends on the particular street where your hotel is located". The narrowness of many of the streets tends to amplify even a regular passers-by conversation.
To play it safe, if quietness is a must, I'd choose a different area, for example, as mentioned earlier, l'Eixample. While it is a district busy with traffic during daytime, at night -from 10-11pm onwards- most of it is pretty quiet. To this, of course, there are a few exceptions, so again, it'll depend on the particular street of your chosen accomodation. Still, with buildings being more 'recent' than Barri Gòtic -mind me!-, the double glaze is normal in most hotels.
Living in the city, and not being related to the tourism industry, I am not really in the loop regarding hotels and B&Bs, but you can have a look at a map I prepared a few years ago on the 'best B&Bs according to posters in the forums'. This was curated by me for users asking like yourself, it's not a commercial blog post. While it might not be up-to-date now, it might serve as a guide to start looking. One of these days I'll update it with more recent information.
Note about hostals: In Catalonia, a 'hostal' is a type of budget accommodation similar to a hostel, but with some differences. A hostal typically offers private rooms with en-suite bathrooms, as well as some basic amenities such as TV and Wi-Fi, but generally does not have the shared dormitory-style rooms that are common in traditional hostels. Hostals are usually family-run establishments and are often found in smaller towns and villages, offering travellers a more authentic and personalized experience. They are typically less expensive than hotels, but more expensive than traditional hostels. Hostals are often a good option for budget-conscious travelers who want a bit more privacy and comfort than a hostel can offer.
HOSTALS, GUESTHOUSES AND B&Bs in BARCELONA, as recommended by frequent visitors of the city at the Barcelona forum at TripAdvisor: http://bit.ly/hostals_and_BBs_in_BCN
Personally, taking into account location and convenience, I'd probably try in this order:
M - B - D - A - K - I - C - J - L - E - G - F - H
I've left F (El Born) and H (La Rambla) for the last because F is not so convenient as per taking the metro and H is located in a place far too rowdy. But again, these are my personal preferences which might not necessarily accommodate all your 'requirements' so to speak, I am afraid I look at this from a different perspective. Also, please note I can't vouch for the places themselves since, as mentioned above, I am only conveying referrals from other people.
We stayed a Hotel Granvia last week. It's ideally located a few blocks from both the Eixample (Gaudi) neighborhood and the Barri Gotic. A bit on the pricey side, but the staff is quite helpful and the public areas are beautiful...and we saved money on cab fares with its easy access to key sites.