In this section:

Which area to stay in


Types of accommodation


Our guide to getting the best deal


First things first: staying in Barcelona should not
cost you an arm and a leg unless – and this can be a biggie – unless there is a big local event in the offing, when local hotels and apartments mark up their prices accordingly.  Events can include one of the local fiestas (especially La Merce in September) or a big sports event, particularly the Barcelona Grand Prix.

Check the update section on our home page for upcoming events that might affect this.

Outside of these times, you should be able to get a good deal on local accommodation.  At Barcelona Update we do not provide reviews of accommodation for two reasons:

  • The prices of hotels are purely based on availability and vary enormously, so categorising them is difficult.  See the tips below for getting best deals
  • All of our contributors are based in Barcelona (it’s the only way we can provide such great up-to- the minute reviews) so don’t go to hotels here too often!

That said, we provide the following advice for finding a place to lay your head.

Which area to stay in

Our general recommendation, particularly for those who are coming for the first time, is to go for somewhere in the Barri Gotic or El Born Area.  Both provide great access to the central Restaurants and Bars, as well as the Gothic architecture of the old town, but are also easily walkable (or a cheap cab or metro-able) to the sights of Eixample and the beaches at Barceloneta and the Port Olimpic.

Eixample, particularly around Plaza Catalunya, is also worth considering.

Our view is still that the El Raval area should be avoided as a place to stay, where possible.  While the “edgy” North African style can be great for the groovy bars, clubs and restaurants there and despite the big improvement over the last few years, for us it remains the least safe of the central areas.

One tip :  Being close to La Rambla is a good thing – you will be right in the thick of things.  Being on La Rambla is a different matter altogether – unless you pay top dollar, you are likely to get anything worth staying in and certainly not much sleep.

Type of accomodation

Ultra budget:  The Barcelona Hostel

There are a set of amazing value hostels mostly centred around Plaza Reial, La Rambla and Plaza Catalunya.  These provide a reasonable room, usually with shared bathroom facilities.  Needless to say the prices rarely include breakfast or food and most don’t even stretch to a communal area.

Beware the difference between Hostals and Hostels.  Hostals are backpacker heaven – ultra cheap, but you will be sharing, often bunk bed style, with others, usually young and out for a good time.  Hostels are more likely to provide you with your own room and are often described as “no star” or “one star” hotels.


As you might expect, the hotels in Barcelona range from downright fleapits to some of the top hotels in Europe.  The * guide system is generally pretty accurate, but do check out user comments where you can.


Often overlooked as a possibility, the centre of Barcelona is positively awash with recently renovated apartments.  Available for anything from a weekend to a month, they can often provide you with a cheaper alternative to a hotel, often in more luxury and with more freedom.

A few of our favourites sites for apartment rental are:

Or for longer term rentals (1 month+):

Getting the best deal on accommodation: Our Guide

For those of you who are willing to spend some time and effort when you arrive there can be great deals to be had by just rocking up to hotels and asking for rooms there and then – if hotels have vacancies they will often be willing to give great deals to fill the hotel.  Be prepared to barter and walk away if they don’t come up with the goods.

For most of us, though, who want the security of knowing where we are going to stay before we get on the plane, our advice is follow these steps.

1. Open the Barcelona Update area maps page.  You will be looking for a place central, around Barri Gotic, El Born or Eixample Derecho (check out the area guide if you are unsure which area will be best for you). 

2. Go to some hotel or apartment comparison sites.  For apartments, see above;  for hotels there is actually little to choose between the mass of sites:  they all offer similar deals.  If in doubt go to or search for “Barcelona Hotels” and you will have more options than you know what to do with. 

3. Find some hotels in your price bracket that have availability when you want to come – watch out for the area by putting the address into the Google search (or even the hotel name usually works) in the Barcelona Update Areas guide to make sure it’s not too far out.

4. Search for the hotel’s home page or give them a call – you can sometimes get it cheaper direct.

5. Choose the best deal and book up!

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