top of page

5 Tips for your Trip to Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the most iconic and most visited cities in Europe, which can make looking for advice quite overwhelming. As someone who loves the city so much that I decided to move here, I thought I would put together some quick tips to make your life a little bit easier when doing research for your trip. Here I have come up with five tips to make you that much more of an expert for when you find yourself in this little slice of Catalan paradise.

1. Lay of the Land

Barcelona has many distinct neighborhoods that each contain their own unique vibe. Choosing which neighborhood to stay in or where everything is in relation to one another can be quite a daunting task, but I hope to make it a bit easier with this quick guide.

Gothic Quarter

The windy and historic streets of the Gothic Quarter make this an attractive neighborhood for many tourists when selecting an area to stay in. This bustling barrio contains many of the city's main tourist attractions, like Las Ramblas and Barcelona Cathedral. I definitely suggest taking a guided walking tour of the Gothic Quarter to get the historic run-down of all of the fascinating facts that lurk behind every corner.

El Born

This is one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city and my personal recommended place to stay if you are wanting to stay within the old part of the city (which you can see marked in light yellow on the map above.) El Born is a very "hip" part of town containing many artisan shops, tapas bars, and some of the city's most famous cocktail bars -- such as Paradiso for example. The windy little streets will transport you back in time as you allow yourself to get lost within the maze of this cute barrio.


Eixample (meaning Expansion in Catalan), is the largest and most central part of the city. If you have seen aerial photos of Barcelona, they were most likely taken within this district. The famous grid-lined streets and inner courtyards within the city blocks, make this neighborhood one of the most intentionally designed communities from the 19th century. It was during this time that the Modernist movement in architecture really took off and created some of the city's most emblematic buildings, like Casa Batllo and La Sagrada Familia. Within this area, you will find many beautiful examples of architecture and have easy access to the rest of the city. I definitely recommend staying in this neighborhood if you have the chance due to its beauty, walkability, and central location.


This neighborhood is a bit off the beaten path for most tourists but is actually my personal favorite. This barrio was a small town of its own that was annexed by Barcelona in 1897 after the expansion of Eixample joined it with the old part of the city. Here you will find many beautiful squares lined with restaurants and outdoor seating, as well as many artisan shops and bars along the narrow passageways. One of my favorite activities is to go to one of Gracia's many beautiful squares and just get drinks with friends to enjoy the sunny weather and grade-A people-watching.


The seaside neighborhood of Barceloneta is home to Barcelona's most famous beach named after the neighborhood itself. It is here that you will find the best Paella and other seafood dishes, as this was the part of town where most of the fishermen resided in. Barceloneta was actually built over an old coral reef and island in the 15th century in an attempt to expand the city with the construction of Barcelona's first port. The architecture in this part of town is simple and residential, but its proximity to the beach is unmatched.

Vila Olympica

As the name suggests, this neighborhood was actually created on the site of the 1992 Olympic village. It is where you will find many nightclubs, trendy seaside restaurants, Barcelona's largest casino, and Nova Icaria beach. This part of town definitely has a more of a modern feel to it than the majority of the city and you will spot several skyscrapers and modern sculptures as you explore this side of Barcelona.

El Raval

On the opposite side of Las Ramblas from the Gothic Quarter, you will find the artistic barrio of El Raval. It is here that you will find Barcelona's most famous food market La Boqueria, which is a definite must-see if you are coming to the city. There are also many trendy bars and restaurants around every corner. If you are into vintage shopping, try walking down Carrer dels Tallers, where you will find "Vintage-Kilo" shops lining the streets. While this neighborhood often gets a bad rap, it is definitely worth checking out.

Sant Antoni

Often overlooked by visitors, Sant Antoni is a gem of a neighborhood with bodegas, gin & tonic joints, and casual dining around every turn. Its central location yet lack of touristic fair, make this the perfect neighborhood for taking a peek into the everyday lives of the local people. Sant Antoni is also home to an iconic food market housed within a gorgeous iron structure that was typical of the Modernist markets built towards the end of the 19th century. On Sundays, this market has a large second-hand book seller's event as well, so if you are a book lover, you should add it to your list.

2. Where to Stay

$ - Casa Gracia (45/night)

This hostel has a bit of a special place in my heart because it is not only the first hostel I ever stayed in, but is also the first place I ever stayed in Barcelona, my now home. You should forget all of your previous stereotypes about hostels for this place because it is absolutely gorgeous and has a very high-end feel with a lower-end price tag. The location is also super amazing being right on the border of Gracia and Eixample and at the beginning of one of Barcelona's most iconic streets: Passeig de Gracia.

$$ - BCNGOTIC (125/night)

If you are wanting to stay in the old city and prefer to stay in an apartment rather than a hotel, then this is definitely the place for you. These apartments are located in El Born, right by the famous cathedral Santa Maria del Mar and super close to the metro station Jaume I, making this an incredible location. While Airbnb is the typical choice for travelers looking for apartments, Barcelona has very strict laws around travel rentals and not all of the listings on Airbnb are legal, making it difficult to navigate. This is almost like a hotel/Airbnb hybrid as the entire building is vacation rentals and the service is top-notch. The bonus is that these apartments also have air conditioning!

$$$ - H10 Casa Mimosa (300/night)

For a higher-end option, this is a wonderful hotel in a great location right off of Passeig de Gracia - the Champs-Élysées of Barcelona. From the roof-top terrace and pool, you have a gorgeous view of Casa Mila, one of Antoni Gaudi's most famous architectural marvels. If you are looking for a luxurious option in the center of the city, then look no further.

$$$$ - Hotel Neri Relais & Chateaux (500/night)

While I have not had the chance the stay at this hotel myself, it came very highly recommended by family members of mine. It is in the heart of the Gothic Quarter and transports you to another time with the classic Catalan architecture. It is a very small boutique hotel with only 22 rooms, so it is an exclusive experience. If you want an experience equal in culture and luxury, then this is definitely your best option.

3. Getting Around


Taxis in Barcelona are quite cheap in comparison to the soaring uber prices in the United States. On average for a 15-minute ride, you will pay around 10€. If you have a larger group, this can be quite an economic option and will get you quickly to your destination. All Taxis in Barcelona accept card as well, so no need to worry about carrying cash around for this purpose.

Metro </