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Cheapo Barcelona tip: Book a hotel in the city center to save time, money and stress

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Hostal Fernando
Hostal Fernando in the Gothic Quarter is one of the best cheapo deals in Barcelona. Photo: Regina W Bryan.

Scan the Internet and you’ll find cheap hotels and hostels in Barcelona with some rockbottom rates. Then look again, and this time pay close attention to the ‘hood the hostel or pension is located in. You may be tempted by these low-priced rooms in areas such as Horta or Besos, but take our advice and pay a bit more to be in a more central location. Barcelona is big, and most of the sights are in the Gothic Quarter or the old part of the city. Staying way out in some obscure ‘barri’ will save you a few more bucks in the short-term, but overall it will cost you.

Hostal Centric

The name says it all at the affordable and highly-rated Hostal Centric. Photo: Regina W Bryan

Save on taxi and transit fare

If you stay out of the center, then public transportation and taxis will be a ball and chain. You won’t be able to stay out past the metro’s closing time (weekdays 12 AM, Fridays 2 AM) without having to pay for a taxi to take you back to your far-away hotel, and that will cost you everything you saved booking there in the first place. There’s also the money spent, however small, on public transportation. If you stay in Barcelona’s downtown, you’ll easily be able to walk to most sights and not have to take the metro or bus. This can save you between €10-30—plenty of money for a few extra vermouths.

Safety in numbers

Secondly, depending on what ‘hood it is, it could be a little uncomfortable late at night. In general, Barcelona is not a dangerous city. Still, it’s best to avoid solo evening rides into questionable ‘hoods if you can. You never know. Staying in more populated, busier areas is always safer, because there are people around. This especially applies to women travelers.

Hostal Noya is a cozy pick that's easy to reach and cheap to boot. Photo: EuroCheapo

Hostal Noya is a cozy pick that’s easy to reach and cheap to boot. Photo: EuroCheapo

3 affordable hotel picks in the city center

Finally, downtown hotels and hostels are usually a bit more spendy, but there are always bargains to be had. Look for deep discounts at these three cheapo picks:

Hostal Centric
L’Eixample: Calle Casanova 13
Read Review

Thanks to great prices in a prime location, this clean and bright hotel appeals to 20-something backpackers and more conservative travelers alike. Doubles around $100.

Hostal Noya
Rambla Canaletas 133
Read Review

Located on the top of La Rambla, this homey stay is not only supercheap, but some rooms have great views and all accommodations come with free Wi-Fi. Doubles from $50. No online booking.

Hostal Fernando
Read Review

With 60 dorm beds and 40 private rooms, this perfectly located gem in the Gothic Quarter has it all including a helpful staff, free breakfast (for private room guests) and a fun atmosphere with a cafe and bar on the property. Double or twin rooms from $100.

A booking at any of these three options will put you where the real action is—within walking distance of Barcelona’s best eateries, bars, sights, nightclubs and museums. For more Barcelona tips, read our Barcelona hotel overview.

About the author

Regina W Bryan

About the author: Regina W.Bryan is a Barcelona-based freelance writer and photographer. When not eating tapas and exploring Europe, she is tending her balcony veggie garden and practicing Catalan. For more of her thoughts on Spain, check: www.regwb.com and www.thespainscoop.com.

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