Hostal? Hostel? Hotel? Understanding Barcelona’s accommodation options

The Hostal Fashion House is NOT a hostel. Photo by Regina W Bryan
The Hostal Fashion House is NOT a hostel. Photo by Regina W Bryan

Most budget travelers probably understand the difference between a hostel and a hotel. One offers shared dorm rooms and a youngish vibe, while the other offers, well, hotel rooms. But a “hostal”?

Getting hostal

Hostals are a budget-friendly type of accommodation found throughout Spain (and Central and South America) that offer private rooms, usually with private bath, without some of the other services commonly offered by hotels. They may not serve breakfast, and reception hours will probably be limited. Furthermore, they tend to be small, family-run affairs.

For these reason, hostals are generally cheaper than hotels, and make a great option for Cheapos. In our guides to Barcelona and Madrid, we recommend and review as many hostals as hotels.

Comparing options

Our Barcelona-based correspondent Regina recently penned a lengthy article outlining the many accommodation options in the city. She includes what to expect in the rooms, and how much you should expect to pay.

These include:

* Hotels: €70 and up – 24-hour reception, private rooms and bath, breakfast served.

* Hostals and pensions: €40 and up – smaller operations, limited reception, private rooms and usually private bath.

* Hostels: €20 and up – dorms and private rooms, usually shared bath, breakfast (and often other meals) available.

* Apartments: €90 and up – furnished flats with kitchen.

For much more on this subject, including her favorite examples of each, read Regina’s introduction to Barcelona’s hotels, hostels, and hotels.

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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