Please sign in to post.

where to stay first visit Barcelona

We will be visiting Barcelona for the first time in late April, early May next year. We plan to visit a lot of the main touristy places and like to walk as much as possible. I’m looking for a central-ish location with a budget up to $200 a night, give or take. Preferably with good tapas places and cute boutique type shops in walking vicinity of the hotel.

I’ve done some reading and I’m trying to get a grasp of the neighborhoods. The Gothic Quarter sounds charming but very busy with a lot of tourist trap dining spots. Eixample sounds very nice but possibly a little higher end than what we’re looking for? But then again it’s a large area so perhaps that only applies to parts of the neighborhood. El Born sounds like it could be just right for us with a mix of charm and good places to eat.

Lastly, I’m aware of the protests in Barcelona and while I know that none of us can know what will be happening several months from now, perhaps we should still factor in a “quieter” location in the city with this in consideration?

I’ve found a few hotels that are well-reviewed, in our price range. Most have the best price at a non-refundable rate so I want to make sure we’re booking the best one for us.

My shortlist includes Hotel Jazz, Yurbban Trafalgar, Musik Boutique, Hotel Praktik Bakery. If anyone has stayed in one of these hotels, can you advise of the neighborhood around them? Did you enjoy the restaurants and the vibe around? Appreciate any insight you can give in helping us make our decision! Thank you :)

Posted by
4383 posts

Julie, we were in Barcelona some years ago on a Rick Steves tour, and the group stayed in HC Portal de l'Angel. The location is great - a short walk to the Gothic Quarter, Las Ramblas, or the beach. There's a bus from the airport that stops nearby. The hotel and staff were great, and the breakfast was exceptionally good.

When we were there breakfast was included for the tour (of course,) but also for us before the tour. The letter I had from them indicated anyone using the RS guidebook or on one of the tours would get free breakfast.

I just checked their website for your dates, and the prices range from €120 to €204, (mostly 120 - 130) for a double room. I put in a week and it averaged out to €150 per night.

We would gladly stay there again.

Posted by
1996 posts

I can't comment on hotels, but I can say that El Born is a nice enough area, some of the better tapas bars are located there (including my favorite: Bar Celta), there is a good ambiance there too, especially at night, and well located. As for potential disturbances (I would not worry), the protests have mainly been centered in the wide lanes of the Eixample, El Born is too compact to be useful for the protesters, plus any real violence has significantly subsided these days.

Posted by
2448 posts

Hi Julie,
As a matter of fact we stayed at the lovely Hotel Jazz that is included on your shortlist. It was recommended by a travel agent friend who stayed there. It's tucked away off the main street so it was quiet at night. We loved the vibe of the neighborhood and walked to all the major sights. We did take a taxi to Park Güell and walked back. The hotel has a roof pool, bar and stunning view of the city. A great place to relax after a day of sightseeing. It had the best breakfast we had in Spain. Very comfortable hotel and accommodating staff. We would stay there again.

Posted by
26 posts

Hi Julie,

I am so excited for you because Bacelona is a great place! When I visited BCN for the first time I stayed at the Cotton House Hotel in the Eixample district. Eixample is centrally located -- The hotel is walking distance to many of Gaudi's attractions. (Sagrada Familia is 1 mile away). You are also near Plaça de Catalunya // a great place to get on the Hop on Hop Off Bus. You will be a block away from Passeig de Gràcia -- it's one of the most important avenues in the city -- great place to go on a morning/evening stroll. On the other hand, you will have a plethora of restaurants and tapa joints at your finger tips. I am not sure if Cotton House will be in your budget but I really think you should stay in the Eixample neighborhood -- Just make sure you are closer to the Passeig de Gràcia metro station because it'll get you to other parts of the city like El Born, Barrio Gótico and Barceloneta in minutes.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Posted by
591 posts

Thanks all - I’m still trying to work my way through all the options and pros and cons and figure out the best place for us. Part of the equation is also laundry - I’m checking with our hotel on Mallorca to see if they would be amenable to doing a load for us. If not, we need to find a hotel in Barcelona that will. We prefer having someone do our laundry for us (at a load rate - not the crazy expensive rate by article of clothing). This way we don’t waste time doing laundry in a lavanderia and we can be out and about in Barcelona.

Jane, thanks for the tip on HC Portal de l'Angel! It looks like a very nice place to stay with good location and a great aesthetic. I’ve reached out to them to see what they can offer in terms of laundry.

Carlos, I don’t know if we will end up in El Born / La Ribera or not. There aren’t a lot of hotels in the price point. Yurbban Trafalgar on our list is very close to the area and it has a free laundry machine available on site. So it is still in the running.

Janis, I’ve heard back from Hotel Jazz and they don’t offer any laundry service so I don’t know if we will stay or not. However, I did find another place called Anakena House B&B that is just north of Hotel Jazz. They will do a load of laundry for us for a reasonable price and I am tempted to stay here. It’s a bit more pricey but it does come with complimentary breakfast and the rooms look very nice. I also like how it is situated close to the Universitat and Passeig de Gracia lines. We plan to walk a lot but that proximity is handy.

Raphael, thanks for all the tips! Unfortunately Cotton House isn’t in our budget but it does look very lovely.

Posted by
12 posts

Hi Julie from Wichita
I am going on a Rick Steves Spain tour in March. I am arriving a day before and staying at Hotel Granvia, which is where we will be staying with the tour too. https://www.hotelgranvia.com/en/history/
Julia (grew up SE of Hutchinson and live in KC now)

Posted by
591 posts

Hi Julia! I love seeing another traveler on here from my neck of the woods. :) thanks for the note on the Granvia hotel - it looks great and is in our price range! Too many options.

Posted by
488 posts

i always suggest to rent an apartment. you can spread out and do your laundry any time you want.

we stayed in Eixample area and really loved it. restaurants, access to Metro, shopping

Posted by
276 posts

Hi Julia, we also stayed at Hotel Jazz this past summer upon recommendation from this forum. We absolutely loved the hotel, the area and nearby restaurants. We too walked everywhere except Parc Guell and Sagrada Familia, both were an easy metro ride away. As mentioned above, they have a great breakfast and a wonderful rooftop pool/bar area we we ended most of our evenings. I would not hesitate to stay there again.

Joann

Posted by
591 posts

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful suggestions. I have narrowed in on “the5rooms” B&B for our lodging. They said they will do a load of laundry for us and we get a well-reviewed breakfast included in the rate. The location looks very central (thought it might be a busy location). I’m thinking it’s our winner!

Posted by
2448 posts

Hmmm.... The5Rooms B&B looks very inviting! May need to add this for future reference. Looks like a great location, provided it's quiet. Close to our favorite store: El Cortes Ingles A great view from the roof top "food court" restaurant. The basement has an amazing market. Has everything you need. One stop shopping!