I will be traveling to Barcelona for the first time next fall with 2 female friends. I would prefer an apartment, but am not sure what area to be looking in. I know, I know...I can read Rick's book for his recommendations, but I am looking for personal opinions of helpline readers. I would like to know what area you recommend, and why. I think we would like a central location, comparable to the Latin Quarter in Paris as opposed to Rue Cler. If you have a specific apartment that you have stayed in, that would be great information to have too. Our budget would ideally be no more than 125 euros per night. We will probably spend 3 nights in Barcelona. Thanks for your help!!
You might have trouble finding an apartment to rent for less than a week. And is your $125/night for each of you or all of you together?
I was looking on vrbo.com and found quite a few that would sleep 3 people in that price range (total price), and many had a 3 night minimum. We need to be frugal, but I also know from experience that what area we stay in can influence our overall impression of Barcelona. We would be there during the last week of September 2011. I just was unsure about the particular neighborhoods.
The Barri Gothic is considered to be the heart of Barcelona. But it's a large area and some parts can be a bit dodgy. The closer to Las Ramblas you are the better. Also, anywhere near Placa Catalunya is very central, including the parts of Eixample near to it.
Thanks Douglas. That is exactly the kind of information I was looking for.
I stayed in Eixample, right near the Universitat metro stop. It was perfectly safe and convenient and being literally steps from the metro was great. but, I really enjoyed the Barri Gotic and decided immediately that if and when I ever go back, I want to stay there. As for why, I liked the vibe, mostly. Keep in mind, though, that Eixample is huge. Where I stayed was close to Placa Catalunya and convenient. There are defintitely areas in Eixample that wouldn't be that convenient.
We stayed in the Barri Gotic, but in a hotel. We felt it was very similar to our favorite area to stay in Paris, St. Germain. Our hotel was close, but not too close, to Las Ramblas, with plenty of delightful plazas with cafes for sitting, drinking wine, eating tapas and people-watching.
Yes, if you're staying in Eixample make sure you know exactly where it is on the map and that there's a metro stop nearby.
I stayed in the Barri Gotic in a studio. It had a queen size bed, but I don't think it had a foldout so it might be too small for three people. Here is the link to it on VRBO. http://www.vrbo.com/231722 It was 85 euro per night. I cannot say enough about how wonderful staying in the Gothic Quarter is. Well located and neighborhoody. We felt like temporary residents in Barcelona instead of tourists. Enjoy!
Andrea, Las Ramblas is often considered like a "boundary line" for the Barri Gothic. We rented an apartment on a side street just half a block on the OTHER side of Las Ramblas, just a few steps from Gaudi's Guell Palace. We couldn't have asked for better. All this to say that you can get the Barri Gothic feel for just a little cheaper, by looking on the other side of the boulevard...