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”?
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.
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.
* 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.