WHAT IS THE BEST AREA TO STAY IN BARCELONA FOR YOU?
If you are wondering this, we get you covered! We’ve discussed districts of Barcelona where to stay before, but today we are focusing on the particular needs of different types of visitors. Are you traveling with family? Do you have walking issues?
Districts of Barcelona where to stay depending on your trip:
Where to stay in Barcelona before a cruise
You’ll think that if you’ll be taking a cruise you should be staying somewhere near the port. And sure, that’s an option but it’s not really that necessary and there’s things to consider to avoid big issues. And I mean issues as big as your cruise luggage! Because the pier is close to the Gothic Quarter and the Born District, but many of the streets there are pedestrians and often taxis cannot drop you off by the door of your hotel or apartment. Can you picture yourself dragging your luggage down the alleys? No way! So before booking your accommodation, make sure to check it’s in a wide avenue such as Passeig de Colom, Via Laietana or even Passeig de Joan de Borbó.
What’s your other alternatives? Hotels by the beach (Olympic Village or Diagonal Mar) are also a short taxi ride from the cruise piers, but they are sort of far from the top sites. My other go-to area is Eixample District, specially Passeig de Gracia and its surrounding streets.
Where to stay in Barcelona if you have walking issues
As I mentioned in the previous point, taxi drivers aren't always able to drop you off by your hotel or apartment in the Old Town. When you are researching apartments to rent in Barcelona, you should avoid Raval, Gothic Quarter and Born district if you have walking issues.
You’ll want to be close enough to main sites such as Casa Batllo and Casa Mila (La Pedrera), and have dinner options available nearby, and be able to find a taxi easily to visit other areas in town. This is why Eixample District is the best option for you, if you have walking issues. The closest to Passeig de Gracia, the better.
Where to stay in Barcelona with kids
First and foremost: avoid the Raval district. I usually don’t recommend this district because it gives me mixed feelings: I love its cultural diversity, but there’s also places that aren’t right. Drug addicts, prostitutes and street fights are something you don’t want to cross during your holidays (or your normal life), but that’s specially true when traveling with kids. So stay away from Raval.
The other areas of the Old Town are safe, but there’s not many options for playgrounds – and young kids need that after following you around sightseeing for an entire day. So it might be a good idea to find a place in the Born district to be close to the Ciutadella Park, the largest park in Barcelona, for your kids to play freely at some point.
If you like the idea of being further away from the city center and don’t mind a 10 minute subway ride, the area around the Avinguda Tibidabo Station is lovely, safe, and the secluded Tamarita park is frequented by local kids after school. Finding a place near Park Guell isn’t such a great idea despite the playgrounds there because the steep hills (San Francisco-like) and because the surrounding district is not as lively. Although an exception would be if you could stay around Plaça Lesseps.
It has 4 playgrounds: one in the lower part of the square, with stuff for toddlers as well as older kids, one more close to the Church of Josepets for older kids, another for toddlers in front of the Jaume Fuster library, and if you walk from there up Vallcarca Avenue you’ll find one more playground for kids of all ages. BONUS: the library is public, so you are welcome to enter it with your kids and browse the books of the Children section in the ground floor. There’s some shelves with books in English! Only members can take books home, though.
Where to stay in Barcelona for foodies
If you are a foodie and are planning to rent an apartment where you can cook... there no doubt here! You definitely need to stay near the Boqueria Market! Somewhere either along La Rambla or in the Gothic Quarter, maybe close to the church of Santa Maria del Pi.
Best districts for long term rentals
Are you coming to Barcelona for over a week? Maybe a month? Longer? Lucky you! You’ll have more time to explore the top local sites, but also to get a taste of the local life. You won’t feel the pressure to take the most out of your “short” time in the city… well, because it won’t be actually short. And that’s when you can broaden your scope and look for accommodations that are not that centrally located: the extra ten or twenty minutes ride to the center won’t matter that much.
So what are my favorite districts to stay for Barcelona monthly rentals? Gracia, for instance – not “Passeig de Gracia”, but the neighborhood at the top of it. I love its plazas, its lively atmosphere, its unique local stores… Sometimes it can be noisy at night, because there’s lots of bars and restaurants that attract young crowds after dark, though. To stay away from it, you might want to check the left hand side of Major de Gracia, near the Mercat de la Llibertat, which is quieter.
Sarrià is another of my favorite districts for mid and long term stays. It is connected with the city center via the FFCC trains – just like the subway, but run by the Catalan government instead of the City Council. Sarrià is safe and quaint, and it feels a lot like a little village (because it WAS a village over 100 years ago, before the city incorporated it). It is also more upscale than Gracia, and if you love shopping, you’ll be 15 minutes walk from where the well-off Barcelonans shop: the department store Corte Ingles in Diagonal Av. and l’Illa Diagonal mall.
Finally, a bit further away and less expensive, the Poblenou district is another village-like area with an atmosphere that might remind you of Gracia, with the bonus of being close to the beach.
So who shoud stay in Gothic Quarter besides foodies?
Where should a young couple stay in Barcelona
The Gothic Quarter and the Born district are great for young and mid-aged couples. It's an area with a lot of charm, full of romanticism. If you are of an age where navigating narrow streets is fascinating rather than a problem, and you packed light so carrying luggage from a couple of blocks away is not a big deal, staying in the Old Town will be the perfect move.
What is the best area to stay in Barcelona for you?
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