What can you expect from a budget hotel in Barcelona? We asked our correspondent Regina W Bryan to guide us through the "cheap hotel scene" in the city. Here's a quick overview:
Barcelona Hotel Overview
There are deals to be had in Barcelona; it's just a matter of knowing where to look. Anything along La Rambla will be pricier (usually €60 and up for doubles) than harder to find, less visible hotels. If you have the time and energy (and a good map), you'll save some cash by booking at a hotel deeper in the Raval or Gòtic, away from the main tourist track.
That said, Barcelona is more expensive than the rest of Spain (save Madrid), and it's not uncommon to pay €70 or more per night for a very average to low-end double in the high season. Fluctuating rates are unavoidable. Depending on the month, season, night and events calendar, room rates yo-yo, sometimes as much as threefold. This is more common in three-star hotels, and can be really frustrating.
Special events and rate spikes aside, most hostals work on a two rate system. During low season (October to May) guests will pay between €40 and €70 for a mid-range double. During high season (May to September) the same rooms will run about 20 percent more, from €60 to €100.
Keep in mind that Barcelona is a popular place. It's a good idea to book ahead of time. That said, if you are just traveling through and enjoying the serendipity of unplanned travel, you can come across a place to stay in Barcelona. However, in the summer months it will be more difficult to find a hotel with good rates in a central location.
Budget Hotels in Barcelona: What to Expect
The majority of Barcelona budget hotels reside in the “hostal” category. Not to be confused with a youth hostel, the hostal is generally a small, boutique property, along the lines of a pension or guesthouse. Don’t expect over-the-top luxury at these places. Perks are often minimal and décor might tend toward the mismatched. That said, hostals are often family run, meaning you’ll find some sweet comfort and the homey atmosphere that is too often missing from larger hotels.
Amenity-wise, it’s a hit-and-miss game in the Barcelona budget hotel world. It’s not uncommon for hotel rooms to lack television, phone and other basic amenities. Wi-Fi is generally available, though many hotels charge for it. And, because the city’s temperatures rarely rise to miserable heights, many hotels opt to provide fans rather than air conditioning. Check before booking if any of these details are important to you.
Also note that, while Barcelona hotels generally offer breakfast, it is not always included and the additional fee is often exorbitant. A general cheapo rule of thumb is to opt for the right hotel, skip the breakfast and pick up a meal at one of myriad delicious coffee shops.
• What to expect from Barcelona's accommodation.
• All Barcelona hotels inspected and reviewed by EuroCheapo.
• Choosing a neighborhood in Barcelona for your upcoming stay.
• When to go: the best seasons to visit Barcelona.
• Our favorite youth hostels in Barcelona.