Barcelona hotels in the city centre | ForeverBarcelona

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Urban art in the Barcelona city center

Unbeatable Location: Barcelona Hotels In The City Centre

GUIDE TO THE TOP BARCELONA DOWNTON HOTELS

Did you know Tripadvisor, Booking and the other hotel aggregators tell you a hotel is in a central location in Barcelona… when it’s not? Of course they do! They only want you to book and they don’t care know what the city center is. They just use algorithms to decide. But not all the hotels in La Rambla are central, and not all the Eixample hotels are in downton (specially NOT the Eixample hotels: it’s the largest district in town and a hotel in one end of Eixample will definitely not qualify as a “city center hotel” in Barcelona).

So either you spend hours checking Google maps or you trust a local – that is us! We know what locals consider city center and what are the best locations, and we are here to help you out! So what do real Barcelonans consider to be the “City Center”? The answer is simple and everyone here will agree: Plaça Catalunya. That’s the heart of Barcelona and it’s conveniently located half way between the Gothic Quarter and Passeig de Gracia, so you are within walking distance from most top tourist sites.

The concept of Downtown Barcelona is a bit trickier, because Barcelonans don’t use it really. But I guess it’d pretty much coincide with our idea of the Old Town, which englobes Raval, Rambla, Gothic Quarter and Born. However, only the top areas of these quarters are super central, so for the purpose of this post I’ll be centering on hotels that are near Plaça Catalunya, as anything close enough to it can still be considered Downtown even if it’s not technically Old Town.

Luxury 5 star GL city center hotels in Barcelona

5 Star Grand Luxe are the creme de la creme of the 5 star hotels, kind of 6-star hotels. The utmost luxury accomodations you can find. There’s only under a dozen of them in Barcelona. And here you have the ones with the most central location.

1

Le Meridien Barcelona

Placa Catalunya, de center of Barcelona

The closest 5 Star GL hotel to Plaça Catalunya is located only three blocks away, down La Rambla. It is a hotel appeals a variety of clients, from families to cruise passengers to business travelers. Staying there you'll be closest to the Boqueria Market and the Gothic Quarter. Spacious rooms, classic European design and modern amenities. It is also the first hotel in Spain with the BREEAM certificate for sustainable hotels.

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: 5 minutes walk
POOL AND WELLNESS: Spa with sauna and treatment studio, rooftop terrace with plunge pool and hydromassage. Gym.
OTHER PERKS: Private Parking.

2

Almanac

Classy and sophisticated, this luxury hotel has won many awards including the World’s Finest Top 100 Suites by Elite Traveler and Serendipians’ Grand Hotel Champions Certification. One block away from the largest Zara in Barcelona, it’ll be the favorite of your teenage and young adult daughters, but also of any vegetarian traveler. The location is perfect to explore the shops, restaurants and Gaudi sites in Passeig de Gracia.

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: 7 minutes walk
POOL AND WELLNESS: Rooftop pool. Spa with hot and wet sauna and treatment cabins. Fitness room.
OTHER PERKS: Rooftop bar. Gourmet vegetarian restaurant.

3

El Palace

The most classical hotel in Barcelona, with the charm of the early 1900’s, and the luxury of gold and antiques. A refined hotel that has been the favorite of personalities such as Salvador Dali or Woody Allen. Perfect for those who want to really feel they are staying in the Old Continent. In a main street, but away from the tourist crowds. Great location to explore Passeig de Gracia or attend a concert at Palau de la Musica Catalana.

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: 8 minutes walk
POOL AND WELLNESS: Award-winning spa with Temazcal sauna and signature treatments. Fitness room with personal trainer. Rooftop pool.
OTHER PERKS: Rooftop bar. Jazz Club.

4

Mandarin Oriental

The timeless elegance and perfection of the Asian chain. Located in the heart of Passeig the Gracia, you’ll be just one block away from Gaudi’s Casa Batllo, and four blocks from La Pedrera. Luxury fashion boutiques and enticing tapas bars surround the hotel, located in a street that reminds you of the Champs Elysees in Paris.

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: 9 minutes walk
POOL AND WELLNESS: Spa with signature treatments and indoor pool. Rooftop pool.
OTHER PERKS: Michelin star restaurant. Cocktail bar.

Best 5 star hotels in Barcelona city center (Spain)

5

Me Barcelona

Vanguard design and sophisticated style. This modern central hotel is perfect for couples, urban explorers, business travelers and people who can't leave their pet at home. It's probably the most luxurious hotel near Plaça Catalunya, too, but its location on a quieter side street allows you to feel away from the tourist crowds. Set near the begining of Passeig de Gracia you'll be ready to explore its many appealing restaurants and stores and modernist architecture.

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: 3 minutes walk
POOL AND WELLNESS: Vegan organic spa treatments. Rooftop pool. Fitness room. Yoga lessons.
OTHER PERKS: Pets allowed. Rooftop bar. Queer friendly.

6

Ohla Barcelona

The best hotel for gourmets near the Barcelona city centre, they’ll never get enough of its culinary offer, featuring a Michelin star restaurant as well as a trendy tapas bar. The hotel is decorated with quirky pieces of contemporary art (that either you love or hate). Close to the Gothic Quarter and Palau de la Musica Catalana, but easily reachable by car or taxi (unlike many hotels in the Old Town located in alleys too narrow for vehicles).

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: 5 minutes walk
POOL AND WELLNESS: Rooftop glass pool.
OTHER PERKS: Sustainable. Rooftop bar. 

7

NH Collection Gran Hotel Calderon

Recently refurbished, we love the convenient location of this hotel on Rambla Catalunya (not the famous Las Ramblas but its more elegant and slow-paced continuation in Eixample, that runs parallel to Passeig de Gracia). You’ll have fun shops and cafes nearby and will be very close to Passeig de Gracia and Casa Batllo. Best for families and relaxed travelers.

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: 6 minutes walk
POOL AND WELLNESS: Gym. Rooftop pool.
OTHER PERKS: Parking. Sustainable. Pets allowed.

8

Hotel Bagues

If jewels are an important part of your concept of luxury, the Bagues is the best downtown hotel for you in Barcelona, as it’s owned by a prestigious family of jewelers and its mezzanine features a small museum with some of their most iconic creations from the early 1900s up to date. It’s also located only one block away from the famous Boqueria Market, and very close to the Gothic Quarter.

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: 6 minutes walk
POOL AND WELLNESS: Rooftop pool.
OTHER PERKS: Jewelry museum. Rooftop bar.

9

Cotton House

A beautiful colonial hotel for those that make their hotel an extension of their home when they travel: you’ll love lounging at their library and its elegant halls. Its historical feel has received many awards, including the inclusion on the Top-30 best hotels in the world. 

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: 9 minutes walk
POOL AND WELLNESS: Rooftop terrace. Treatment and beauty cabin. 
OTHER PERKS: Social responsibility project. Private tailor.

4 Star Superior hotels in the center of Barcelona

10

Iberostar Selection Passeig de Gracia

On the same corner of Plaça Catalunya where stands the Barcelona Apple Store, this hotel is the most luxurious hotel in Plaça de Catalunya. The views over the square from its rooftop, with the beginning of La Rambla across the square, and Montjuic Hill on the distance, are unbeatable. The hotel is decorated with a combination of neo-classic details and colorful urban art. Fantastic central location.

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: Right on it.
POOL AND WELLNESS: Fitness room. Rooftop pool.
OTHER PERKS: Sustainable hotel. Rooftop bar.

11

Hotel Pulitzer

A urban hotel that combines the greenery of their secret garden, the great views of their lovely rooftop and a casual but classy style that will make you feel you were invited to stay at the house of some cool Barcelona friends. The street where it’s located is right off Plaça Catalunya but away from the crowds.

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: 2 minutes walk
POOL AND WELLNESS: In-room massage services. Personal trainers and private yoga lessons. Access to a local fitness and spa center 10 minutes walk from the hotel.
OTHER PERKS: Rooftop bar. Pet friendly.

12

H10 Metropolitan

The best hotel for swimmers, as it’s one of the very few luxury hotels in the city center with two pools. The decoration is modern and tasteful, and the service is that of one of the most prestigious hotel chains in Spain. Right off Plaça Catalunya, the street where it’s located tends to be sort of crowded as there’s many restaurants along it.

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: 2 minutes walk
POOL AND WELLNESS: Garden outdoor pool. Rooftop pool. 
OTHER PERKS: Meeting rooms.

13

Catalonia Square

Located right off Plaça Catalunya, on a busy street with several taxi stops and right across the street from the Airport Bus stop, which makes it very convenient. You’ll also be right in front of the famous Corte Ingles department store.

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: 2 minutes walk
POOL AND WELLNESS: Salt water oudoor pool. Fitness room. Some suites have a private pool.
OTHER PERKS: Parking. Terrace.

14

Catalonia Ramblas

Despite its name, it’s not located on Las Ramblas, but on Pelai street, a shopping street with all the popular clothing brands: Zara, Mango, C&A, Florencia, Tezenis, Natura… as well as several shoe shops and the city’s Sephora cosmetic store.

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: 3 minutes walk
POOL AND WELLNESS: Salted water outdoor pool (not on rooftop). Spa with water circuit, saunas and treatment cabins.
OTHER PERKS: Rooftop bar. Business center.

15

Other 4 Star Superior downtown hotels in Barcelona

The list of 4 star hotels in Barcelona is never-ending, and I didn’t want this post to be impossibly long. So I decided to cut the 4 star hotels list to the 4 closest ones to Plaça Catalunya, then just give you a quick list of the rest that are under 10 minutes walk.

4 star hotels in Barcelona downtown

16

Hotel Olivia Plaza

There's nothing more central than the Olivia Plaza, located right on Plaça Catalunya, between La Rambla and Portal del Angel, the shopping street that takes you right to the heart of the Gothic Quarter in a few minutes walk. With a garden facing the back of a medieval church, it's the perfect blend of modern and old. It's too bad it doesn't have a rooftop or a pool!

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: Right on it!
POOL AND WELLNESS: Access to a nearby sport and spa center. Some rooms and suite have a private plunge pool.
OTHER PERKS: Garden.

17

Hotel Catalonia Plaza Catalunya

A hotel with a confusing name, make sure to grab a card with the address to show to your taxi drivers so they don’t take you to a wrong location (so many hotels named Catalonia, Plaza or Catalunya!). Other than, it’s a lovely option, modern and clean.

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: 1 minute walk
POOL AND WELLNESS: Outdoor pool. Spa with heated pool and hydromassage, Hamman and treatment rooms. Gym.
OTHER PERKS: Terrace.

18

Hotel Regina

Historical hotel open in 19717, and recently renovated to combine old and new. The best choice for those who appreciate a hotel with personality but don’t really plan to spend much time on it, because exploring Barcelona is their main priority.

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: 2 minutes walk
POOL AND WELLNESS: No.
OTHER PERKS: Breakfast garden.

19

H10 Urquinaona Plaza

As soon as you enter the neoclassical building of the hotel, decorated in tasteful neutral colors, you forget about the traffic and the people on the square where it’s located, and you mind relaxes. You’ll be very close to the Palau de la Musica Catalana, and around the corner from one of our favorite meat restaurants, Asador de Aranda.

DISTANCE FROM PLAÇA CATALUNYA: 4 minutes walk
POOL AND WELLNESS: Rooftop plunge pool.
OTHER PERKS: Vertical garden on the courtyard. Rooftop bar. Sustainable hotel.

20

Other 4 star Barcelona city center hotels

Is the Gran Hotel Central really "central"?

The Gran Hotel Central is one of our favorite 5-star hotels in Barcelona. And its location is quite central, between the Born District and the Gothic Quarter, and walking distance from the Port Vell marina. However, while it’s considered Downtown Barcelona, it doesn’t match the criteria used for the scope of this post because it’s just over 10 minutes walk from Plaça Catalunya, and we’ve only listed here hotels under 10 minutes walk. It’s still however a wonderful location and only one quick subway or taxi ride from the sites, shops and restaurants of Passeig de Gracia.

What are your favorite central hotels in Barcelona?

Marta

Author Marta Laurent Veciana

AUTHOR BIO

Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.

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