Ripoll, 21,, Barcelona, Spain
Doubles from: $68
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
The cozy-cool Itaca Hostel has a sort of “summer camp for adults” feel. Located very near the Cathedral in Barri Gotic, it’s a great pick for backpackers and solo travelers.
Pros: Excellent location. Easy to meet fellow travelers. Kitchen.
Cons: Few amenities. Street noise. Hard to find.
The Itaca Hostel offers four dorm rooms and one private twin room in the main building, with a few more private rooms in another building a couple streets away.
Privates are colorful and fun in a hippie-meets-Ikea sort of way. Dorms are large and sparkling, with bunk beds lining the walls and natural light streaming from old-fashioned windows. We thought it clever that lockers were located outside the rooms (anyone who has ever returned to their hostel at 4 a.m. knows why).
We saw lots of color throughout, from cheery accent walls to bright bedding and funky fresh artwork. Each room has a fan and free Wi-Fi but not much else in the way of amenities. Rooms are all exterior, which means cute balconies and nice views (but also some additional street noise).
Shared bathrooms in both buildings are separate for ladies and gents and have several shower stalls and sinks. They are new, clean and no-nonsense.
The Itaca also offers a couple of apartments housed in nearby buildings. These sleep five or six people and can be an especially good deal for families or groups. Each offers a living area, full kitchen and air conditioning. One also offers a television with DVD player, while the second boasts a roof terrace.
Note that both apartments are located on the upper floors of buildings without elevators.
The sweet and helpful owners, Cristina and Nuria, have created a welcoming communal vibe at the Itaca Hostel. It’s easy to meet fellow travelers while relaxing with free coffee and surround-sound reggae in the dimmed light of the mural-painted lounge.
The larger upstairs common space is furnished with a couple comfy couches and a guitar for guests to strum. The vibe throughout is a bit bohemian and very relaxed, but also spic-and-span and orderly.
Downstairs, there is an Internet station and the centerpiece of this fun hostel: an ample kitchen with two large refrigerators where guests can keep snacks. Other perks? Breakfast is available every morning for the low price of €2.50, a complete steal.
The Itaca Hostel’s unbeatable location on the quiet street Ripoll places travelers out of the hubbub but still near the action. Staying here you’ll be a block from the Cathedral, Roman wall and excellent shopping in the Gothic Quarter.
One of the best tapas joints in all of Barcelona, Cala de Vermut (Carrer de les Magdalenes, 6), is right down the street from the Itaca. (You’ve not truly lived until you’ve had their patatas bravas.) Staying at the Itaca also puts you nearby the Palau de la Música and about a 10- to 15-minute walk from the port and beach.
A tip: Many touristy spots surround the Cathedral, so it’s better to find eateries on the side streets. Nearby bars worth trying include Bliss (Pl Sant Just 4), l’Ascensor (Bellafila 3) and Ginger (Palma de Sant Just 1).
Note: The best way to reach the Itaca is from unmissable Via Laietana. Carrer de les Magdalenes branches off Via Laietana and turns into Ripoll. Make sure you have a map, as the area can be tricky to navigate.
Subway: The Itaca is near the Jaume I and Urquinaona Metro stops, on the Yellow Line/L4 (one of the best lines in the system as far as visiting sights). From either stop it’s an eight-minute (if that) walk to the hostel on Via Laietana.
From the Airport : Take the Areobús to Plaça Catalunya. From there, it's a cheap cab ride, or you can walk to Plaça Urquinaona, then hang a right and walk down Via Laietana to the hostal. You can also take the RENFE Cercanías from T2. Get off at the Passeig de Gracia stop and transfer to Yellow Line/L4 to the Urquinaona or Jaume I stop.
Note: This hotel was visited by a EuroCheapo editor and is recommended based on cleanliness, location, price and overall quality. EuroCheapo did not charge this hotel to be listed.
- Breakfast Included
- Reception: 24-Hour
- Wi-Fi: Free
About the Itaca Hostel neighborhood
A maze of moody, touristy, twisty streets built atop the ancient Roman city of Barcino, the Barri Gòtic, along with La Rambla, comprises the center of town. Charming gift shops, tacky tourist shops, cute cafés, trendy bars and a zillion restaurants line the cobblestoned streets. The Barri Gòtic is also home to Barcelona's 13th-century gothic cathedral.