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.
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.
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.
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:
L’Eixample: Calle Casanova 13
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.
Rambla Canaletas 133
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.
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.