On one hand, staying in a touristy area of the city makes your trip to Barcelona easier because everything you might need is in close proximity. Need food? Lots of restaurants on La Rambla. Need an ATM? Carrer Ferran is lined with them. Afternoon snack? Gelato shops on every corner in the Gothic Quarter.
But while the center of Barcelona can be fun, with plenty of fascinating sights on offer, the bars, eateries and boutiques here are always a bit more spendy, cashing in on the fact that you don’t know the exchange rate, or the local cost of things.
One way to avoid getting gouged is to stay in parts of the city which are less frequented by tourists. Here are a few hotels that get our stamp of approval for being “off the beaten tourist track”:
Doubles from $80 to $134
Quickly becoming the next “hip” spot in Barcelona, a title that El Raval has had for years, Poble Sec has always been a working-class neighborhood behind Barcelona’s theater district, on the foot of Montjuïc Mountain.
HelloBCN Hostel is a superb 148-bed establishment located right around the corner from Paral-lel Metro stop, the Apolo Club and concert hall, and the countless bars, shops and restaurants in Poble Sec.
The hostel is decorated in red, charcoal and metal tones, with numerous black leather sofas throughout. It’s comfortable, it’s cool. There is always music playing, and the vibe is inviting and festive.
Most of Poble Sec is on a hill, and walking up it can be brutal. However, HelloBCN is right at the beginning of this incline, meaning it’s easy to get to with bags and backpacks in-tow.
Doubles from $94 to $257
You won’t find many tourists here unless they are lost or going to the Astoria Hotel. Though the Astoria is tucked away in the upper Eixample, it’s actually not far from Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona’s main shopping drag where many a Gaudí building are located.
The 114-room Astoria Hotel is a splurge-worthy pamper palace and one of the top three-star hotels we’ve seen, with great extras like a fitness center and rooftop swimming pool.
Girona, 24 1º-1ª
Doubles from $67 to $114
Staying at Hostal Girona means that even though you’re off the tourist track, you’ll still be in the heart of town, with all the benefits that provides. In close proximity, you can find the Gothic Quarter, Plaça Catalunya, the metro, the bus, Parc de la Ciutadella, Gaudí sights, and many restaurants, bars, and cafes.
The hostal has all the perks of being in the center without the excessive noise, pickpockets, and price gouging. The 19-room pension tends toward bare-bones, but it’s spic-and-span and its peak season rates top out at €60 for a standard double.
Do you stay “off the beaten path?”
Have you stayed in a hostel or hotel in Barcelona and loved its non-touristy location? Let us know!