Standing as the capital of Catalonia and the cultural center of the Catalan people, Barcelona is a major tourist hub. The history of the city comes with fierce independence and a strong desire to do your own thing. After being under the domain of the Romans and the Franks, the people of Barcelona decided that neither ruling power spoke to them and they set off on being an independent state in the sometimes politically turbulent country of Spain. After hosting the Olympics in 1992, the country underwent a huge boom in tourism that has seemingly continued even 30 years later. While the city itself is centuries old, Barcelona is also a hub of modernity and new design. The incredibly old city contrasts with the modern aesthetic to bring to life a city where nothing is too old or too new but exists somewhere in between.
Sitting on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, Barcelona not only enjoys great weather but also enjoys up to 8 million visitors a year. Because of this, the city is very well equipped when it comes to finding places to stay and sleep. Affordable accommodations are plentiful while even the most luxurious spots in town can be booked for under 200$ USD. If it’s your first time visiting the city, centrally located hotels will probably be your best bet, but every neighborhood in the city has something unique to offer. Staying in areas like Las Ramblas offers proximity to landmarks and public transport, while in La Barceloneta, proximity to the beach is offered. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s somewhere for you, so check out these great places to stay in Barcelona.
Hotel Lloret Ramblas: Located in the heart of Las Ramblas, you won’t get much more centrally located than this. Located right next to the Plaza Catalunya Square, you’d think a hotel this central would cost more than it does, but the Plaza Catalunya Square will run you about 60$ USD a night. Along with 24-hour front desk reception, air-conditioned rooms, and free WiFi, the Plaza Catalunya Square is really the most bang for your buck if you’re someone who plans on getting around. The Catalunya Metro station is less than a minute walk away from the front door, and the modern art museum is also a short stroll away. Rooms are simple but functional and you’ll never feel like you’re missing out on anything with a TV, private bathroom, and balcony included.
Sixties Ramblas: Located right of Las Rambla, Sixties Ramblas is a cool and vibrant hotel right in the middle of the most buzzing part of the city. With its colorful and hip aesthetic, the hotel offers fun communal spaces with a mid-century outlook. Hang out in the lobby and shoot a couple of games of billiards or marvel at the pastel green Fiat 500 in the lobby. Each of the 97 rooms here is individually decorated and includes a flat-screen TV, WiFi, and private bathrooms with complimentary toiletries.
Sunotel Junior: For as low as 60$ USD you can stay at the Sunotel Junior. All rooms here come with some basic decor and amenities such as beds, TV, WiFi, and a private bathroom, but where the Sunotel Junior really stands out is the hotel’s amenities. Hang out on the rooftop terrace and get some sun, or check out the seasonal hot tub and soothe your muscles after a day of exploring. The rooftop lounge also has a pool so you can cool off and a daily breakfast buffet is served every morning. The on-site restaurant “Maya” has a selection of international dishes to order but if you feel like heading out, public transport options are only a two-minute walk away.
La Casa Gran Bed and Breakfast: For a little feeling of home in the affluent and cool L’Eixample area, La Casa Gran B&B has you covered. As the name suggests the accommodation is more of a bed and breakfast type of place and less of a hotel so that means your stay here is more personalized and small. The rooms here are relatively cheap coming in at just over 100$ USD per night but again, you’re getting a less “corporate” experience by staying here. All guest rooms come with complimentary WiFi so you can plan your trip and stay connected, while your private bathroom comes with free toiletries and towels.
The owners live on the property however, there is a concierge service available as well if you need help planning your trip. The communal lounge and patio are great for meeting other guests and make sure to take your breakfast on the patio so you can enjoy your fresh cold cuts, juices, fruits, and bread in the morning sun.
Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona: For the foodies and for those who want to feel like a local, the Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona is a great place to enjoy the city. Located near the University of Barcelona, the Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona is in a pretty busy spot off the Plaça de Catalunya but considering its place near the university, there’s a big emphasis on communal spaces. The rooftop terrace is a prime location in the summer months to hang out, enjoy a cocktail and relax with some live music and professional DJs coming by. But for those looking to indulge in a great meal, the Greenhouse Restaurant serves locally sourced dishes that bring in both locals and visitors to dine-in.
Rooms are wonderfully designed with modern taste and feature amenities such as TV, WiFi access, and Egyptian cotton bed sheets. The bathrooms are adorned with teal tile giving the whole space a bit more color and pop.
Casa Camper Barcelona: Casa Camper Barcelona is the place for people looking for something a little unique and quirky. Located in the once seedier parts of the city in Raval, this aspect of the property just makes it even hipper. Walking through the lobby, you’ll immediately notice the cool and sultry decor. Black and white motifs along with splashes of red combined with the mood lighting make you feel like you’re up to something sinister and subversive. Complimentary snacks can be found on the ground floor with 24/7 access, so pick up something before you head into your room.
Guest rooms come with the same black, white, and red theme and some rooms come with a separate lounge area and views of the hotel’s cool vertical garden area, while others have balconies with street views. The vibe is distinctive but minimalist throughout the room and bathrooms are equipped with wonderful walk-in showers and eco-friendly toiletries. Apart from the free snacks, there is also a rooftop lounge with an honesty bar, so head up and pour yourself a drink and mingle with some guests over a cocktail. Finally, for the hungry, the hotel shares a property with the amazing Michelin-starred Dos Palillos restaurant. Dos Palillos serves Japanese-inspired tapas so you can get a bit of classic Spanish tapas while indulging in fusion flavors.
Roca Rooms & Apartments: Roca is practically the embodiment of Barcelona. While the city itself is modeled on the new and the old, Roca Rooms & Apartments leans on that same mythos. Everything the hotel has to offer can be done from the convenience of your smartphone and while that idea is very modern, the ambiance of the rooms and the property are very retro-chic.
Sitting in two art-nouveau buildings on a leafy green boulevard, the hotel features rooms with air-conditioning, LED TV, complimentary WiFi, and vintage decor. Bathrooms come with gorgeous rainfall showerheads and complimentary toiletries.
Hotel Neri Relais & Chateau: Located in the ancient heart of the city, the Hotel Neri Relais & Chateau is a beautiful and unique hotel. The property is situated in a tiny lane in Barri Gotic, which is the heart of hearts of the old quarter. After walking through the little lane towards the hotel, you’ll come face to face with this 18th-century mansion and adjacent medieval palace.
There are only 22 rooms here and once you get settled into your accommodation, you’ll be immediately struck by the gilded mirrors, exposed stone and brick walls, and lovingly restored antique furniture. The space is minimalist but doesn’t skimp on the luxury. Despite its historic setting, modern amenities are included such as complimentary WiFi, satellite TV, and a bathroom with toiletries. Guests can even rent a phone for their convenience.
The hotel’s position is already pretty tucked away, but if you’re looking for even more privacy and seclusion head up to the solarium and garden where you can lounge and relax or head up to the rooftop pool and cool off. The on-site restaurant serves amazing meals made from locally produced ingredients in a small intimate setting. If you’re looking for a central location and one that is luxurious, the Hotel Neri Relais & Chateau is the spot.
W Barcelona: The W chain of hotels is known worldwide for their quality and W Barcelona absolutely delivers on that. The hotel is known for its stunning floor-to-ceiling windows, views of both the city and the beach, and amazing bathrooms that will have you relaxed and soothed.
The property is almost more of a resort-style location rather than a hotel you’ll be going in and out of. The property is so idyllic you’ll have to force yourself to leave if you’re looking to explore Barcelona. The crowd here is diverse, spanning from younger groups looking to let loose and vacation to honeymooners and business people.
Guestrooms are decked out with massive windows offering both city views and views of the Mediterranean and beyond. If you’re looking to check out the beach, the W Barcelona is right on the water. Control the lights and the blinds right from the switch next to your bed or mix yourself a drink from the minibar stocked with local artisanal gins.
Hang out on the rooftop pool and enjoy even more stellar views, grab a drink or head out to the on-site restaurant Fire and enjoy a Catalan-inspired grill or splurge on a surf and turf dinner with seafood straight from the sea next door.
Mandarin Oriental: When it comes to luxury, Mandarin Oriental does not hold back. There is a reason why booking a room here is expensive. Everything from the lobby doorman to the shimmering lobby is spotless and impeccable. When it comes to the best hotels around, the Mandarin Oriental is not only one of the best in Barcelona but it consistently tops as one of the best in the world.
Even the most affordable rooms start at 500$ a night. And even though that’s the “basic” it’s still beautiful. Creamy beige, soft whites, and cream colors adorn the room that adds an atmosphere of serenity and elegance. The floor-to-ceiling windows add plenty of natural light and every bathroom is individually designed.
Staying at the Mandarin Oriental isn’t just about your room, however. Every guest here will receive access to the state-of-the-art spa and gym. If you’re looking to cool off, head to the rooftop pool and swim in the plunge pool while you take in the sights of the city from the terrace. For your dining convenience, there are several options including the Michelin-starred restaurant Moments, which serves an incredible tasting menu you won’t ever forget. Restaurant Blanc serves dishes made from fresh local produce and the rooftop Peruvian restaurant Terrat is perfect in the summertime for eating, cocktail drinking, and admiring the views.
Our Final Word
Whether you want to head to the beach or visit incredible historical churches, Barcelona seems to have it all. The only problem is that it can tend to be over touristed and crowded in many of the city’s historical sights but do not let that stop you. Go early or later after the busloads of tourists leave and you can experience Barcelona at a slower pace. Also, the Barcelona city pass is a great way to get entry into all of the city highlights as well as the hop on hop off bus. Anyway you do it, we recommend heading to Spain and exploring Barcelona. You will not be disappointed.