Ask the Cheapos: Frequently asked questions about visiting Barcelona


Breakfast in Barcelona is usually cheaper at a cafe than in the hotel. Photo: Lander
Breakfast in Barcelona is usually cheaper at a cafe than in the hotel. Photo: Lander

We recently asked our Barcelona correspondent, Regina W. Bryan, to answer some questions that we hear repeatedly by travelers heading to Barcelona. Some were of the hum-drum variety (“Do hotels have elevators?”), but others were a bit more interesting.

Below are a few that popped out at us. To read the entire list, check out our article, “Frequently Asked Questions about Barcelona.”

1. Are hotels in Barcelona safe?

Generally speaking, Barcelona is a safe city, and that extends to the hotels. Tourists, however, should beware of the con games and thievery that take place in certain neighborhoods, including El Raval and the Gothic Quarter. The safest neighborhood, in Regina’s opinion, is the Eixample. (Read more)

2. Is breakfast included? What’s for breakfast?

Most hotels, pensions and hostals do not include breakfast in their room rates. Hotels will most likely offer breakfast, for a price, and, in the case of two- and three-star hotels, it will most likely be a breakfast buffet that costs at least €10. Cheaper pensions and hostals might offer kitchen access to guests, while this will most likely be the case in any youth hostel.

A cheaper option is usually to head off to a nearby cafe or bar to have breakfast with the locals. For much more on this, read Regina’s article on what’s for breakfast in Barcelona.

3. Do hotels have cable TVs?

While most hotels in Barcelona have TVs in their rooms, some small hotels, hostals and pensions (and most youth hostels) do not. This often has less to do with the cost of providing a TV and more to do with noise. In small guesthouses, one room blasting “The Simpsons” at midnight can be incredibly disruptive to the other guests on the floor.

4. Do most hotel bathrooms have showers or tubs?

Bathrooms in small hotels in Barcelona are more likely to be equipped with showers than bathtubs. The reason for this is space. The city doesn’t have much of it—which translates into smaller restaurants, shops, apartments and yes, hotels. Rooms and bathrooms tend to be pretty tight, and thus showers make more sense.

5. What’s your favorite neighborhood in Barcelona?

Can I choose three? I’d go with Gracia, La Ribera and La Barceloneta—and well, even though I wouldn’t want to live there, the Gothic Quarter. (To read her explanation for each of these neighborhoods, see the post.)

Read more

To read much more, read all of the Frequently Asked Questions about Barcelona.

About the author

Tom Meyers

About the author: Tom Meyers created and launched EuroCheapo from his Berlin apartment in 2001. He returned to New York in 2002, set up office, and has led the EuroCheapo team from the Big Apple ever since. He travels to Europe several times a year to update EuroCheapo's hotel reviews. Tom is also a co-host of the New York City history podcast, The Bowery Boys. Email Tom. [Find Tom on Google Plus]

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