Hostels in Barcelona, Spain

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Get to know Barcelona (no more "I wish I knew this before")

This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Barcelona. To help you make friends with Barcelona before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!

 Hostels in Barcelona, Catalonia

There are a few things you should know about hostels in Barcelona and the city in general. Besides comparing the best and cheapest hostels in Barcelona for you, we also highlight what we have liked, disliked and things to look out for.

First of all, I would love to solve all your doubts about hostels in Barcelona. After that, I will give you some recommendations and tips for Barcelona and how to make the most of your time in the city. If you want to skip directly to the Barcelona recommendations click here.

Hostels in Barcelona

Let's dip in to the most important hostel questions:

1. Are hostels safe in Barcelona?

Hostels, in general, are safe. Nevertheless, it will also depend on you, the people who stay at the hostel and the behavior of all these people all together. If you leave your wallet open in the sofa, it might be lost, or maybe the person who finds it will give it directly to the receptionist...

We never know how other people will react in this situations, right? People who stay at hostels are backpackers, like you, like me.

Read: Are Hostels Safe? 11 safety tips for hostel travel.

The stories about having someting stolen at hostel are very few, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, you should always use the lockers on the room to put all your valuables. And use a good padlock to lock it.

Another good thing to look at is to check that the hostel has reception 24/7. The receptionist on the desk always has an eye on people going in and out and will be checking that nobody who is not staying in the hostel enters.

Next time, if the receptionist asks you which is your room number, remember it is good as it is a security issue. For Barcelona hostels, you should make sure the hostel is not in a bad neighborhood so you feel safe also and good when you go in and out.

For solo-female travelers specially, avoid staying at el Raval. This area is a bit sketchy nowadays. You won't feel good walking alone at night after a party.

2. Where should I stay in Barcelona?

There are many nice and good areas in Barcelona. It is a big city so it will depend what you are looking for. Nevertheless, think about these 2 facts before choosing your hostel:

a) Barcelona is big, so the more central you stay, the less time you will be commuting. The most central areas are: Sant Antoni, Gothic Quarter, Las Ramblas, Passeig de Gràcia.

Nevertheless, Barcelona is a well connected city, so as long as you are near a metro stop, you will be ok. Try and find a hostel that's just a few minutes walk from a metro.

b) When having a specific request, try to stay in an area that accomplishes that request. E.g:

Sant Jordi hostels are big in Barcelona - there are 3 located in different areas of the city! The best one has to be Sant Jordi Hostel Gracia.

Looking for a hostel located in a quiet area? Eixample is the place. If you prefer a quiet rest, we suggest booking your stay at Barcelona Central Garden Hostel.

These are just some of the best hostels in Barcelona!

Use the filters to make sure the hostel has what you are looking for. When a cheap hostel is your priority, select sort by price, and the system will order the hostels by price.

Remember to add your travel dates, as prices change during the year. You can find a hostel under 15€/ night in January, but most probably not in August.

You can also check the cheap hostels page, where we collected a graphic which displays prices per month.

What about hostels in Barcelona Spain near airport? Barcelona International Airport is only 20-minutes from the city centre. So really, it doesn't matter too much which hostel you stay in as they are all within easy reach.

Which are some cute neighborhoods to stay?

I love Barcelona and know a lot about the city, so I could argue that most of the neighborhoods offer a unique stay in a different way. But I have many friends that came to Barcelona from abroad to visit, so I noticed their reactions to the different places.

The most loved districts, where you can also spend time because they have cool vibes, are:

  • Gràcia,
  • Sant Antoni
  • Gothic Quarter in the city centre

As mentioned, if you want to stay in any other area go for it. As far as you are near a metro stop, you will be well connected in Barcelona. Metro runs daily until 12 at night. That means Barcelona central is never far away.

On Fridays you have metro from 5am until 2am and on Saturdays there is metro all night long.

Barcelona Hostel Reviews

A good way to check the hostel you like is what you are looking for is also to read the reviews.

People talk about if they liked the activities (a way to discover if the hostel organizes activities regularly), will describe if the hostel was clean or not so you will detect if it meets your high cleaning standards or not... and so on.

Check out the reviews of the #1 rated hostel in Barcelona: Hostel One Paralelo - it has a rating of +9.5 from over 6,000 reviews. Wow. It's also in the perfect location.

Cool Amenities Hostels Barcelona offer

Just quickly, here are some things we've seen are commonly included at hostels in Barcelona:

  1. Fully equipped kitchen (save money)
  2. Key card access to rooms (extra safety)
  3. Free WiFi (always appreciated)
  4. Free breakfast (yes please!)
  5. Laundry facilities (great for long-term travellers)
  6. Fun, memorable staff

Backpacking Barcelona

Let's reveal what you will find in this marvelous city. I could tell you Barcelona has it all: culture, beach, party, tasty food, happy people... and talk about it for hours and hours.

But let's get straight to the point and see what you should see, eat, and expect.

Also what you should avoid - this city is not perfect.

In this section you will find:

1. What to see in Barcelona

2. What to eat in Barcelona

3. Things to prepare before your trip

4. Let's have fun: nightlife tips

1. What to see in Barcelona

There are plenty of things you can see in Barcelona, but there is a top 5 Barcelona essentials you should not miss:

2 Days in Barcelona

1.1 Sagrada familia

This majestic church (yes, it is a church) is a Gaudí masterpiece. It has not been finished yet, so it is also interesting to see the evolution of it. For those willing to see the interior - it is worth it - I recommend you to purchase the tickets in advance.

Having the tickets beforehand you won't have to queue. I saw queues as long as 1-3 hours... The best moment to enter Sagrada familia is around 1 hour before sunset. The color changing inside the church adds even more beauty to the experience.

Not willing to enter? Make sure you go at least to watch it from the outside.

1.2 Park Güell

Another Gaudí masterpiece. The park offers also nice views of the city, so you have 2x1 here. Kindly note that in order to enter the most beautiful area in the Güell Park you need a ticket.

This ticket must be bought beforehand, you cannot just show up there and expect to get inside instantly, as the area has a limited amount of people per hour. In the best case scenario, if tickets are available, you would be able to enter in around 20-30 minutes.

Therefore, it is much better if you buy your entry beforehand. You will get a slot time where you can enter the closed area and enjoy it. At the park, there is still an area which is free, and it is Ok. You still have the views. And you might get to experience some street artist shows that are around that area. The ticket entry to the main area is totally worth it.

Tip: If you want to enter to the main area for free - and leagally - No wall squalling necessary! - go to there before/after the opening times. The park schedule is from 7.30 to 21.30.

1.3 Walk Passeig de Gracia and Las Ramblas

There are still free activities around Barcelona, at least, if you just wanna appreciate the beauty of the buildings from the outside. In Passeig de Gracia you will find also 2 more Gaudí Buildings:

Both require an ticket to enter, so if you already invested your budget on Sagrada Familia and Park Guell (I think these 2 are the must-go-in) then just walk Passeig the Gracia and observe them from the outside.

Of course, if you love Gaudí and your budget allows it, you could go in. Las Ramblas is one of the most famous walk areas in the city. You will find many artists in Las Ramblas offering "their shows".

Please be aware there are many pick-pockets in this area. Pay attention to your belongings!

1.4 Get lost in the Gothic Quarter

Narrow streets, beautiful arches, medieval feelings... The gothic quarter is that romantic area that detaches history. There are some cathedrals, many restaurants and it is one of the oldest parts of the city. If you want to know things about history, locals, architecture... join a free tour.

They normally give lots of information about the city. In the Gothic quarter, go to Felip Neri square (my favorite square). One of the most energetic places around Gothic quarter. There are many hidden alleys and cute corners in this neighborhood, that is why I recommend you to get lost in it. You can comment below your favorite place and share it with all of us - I just shared with you mine.

1.5 Enjoy the beach vibes

One of the coolest things of Barcelona is that it has also a beach. It is not the most beautiful beach in the world but it is a beach. Get some drinks in the supermarket and some snacks, and go to the beach to get your vitamin D of the day. Or to enjoy the sunset vibes.

There are many restaurants on the beach, the so called "chiringuitos", but drinks there are a bit expensive. Save your money for some tapas! Relaxing a bit - on the beach or in a bar - is part of the Barcelona culture.

Many locals do go to the beach after work, or go to the bar to drink with their friends...

That is part of joining the Barcelona way of living.

EXTRA: tapas, tapas, tapas!

Enjoy your time in the city eating like a king! There are many places to eat tapas all around the city.

The restaurants where I bring my friends are: Taller de tapas, Quimet i Quimet, Bodega 1900, La Plata, and Xampanyet. You cannot go wrong in any of these places.

What to do in Barcelona

For those having more than 2-3 days in Barcelona, the list continues! Places you should see in Barcelona:

1.6 Parc de la ciutadella

Perfect place to relax, enjoy your time, you could even consider going to the Zoo which is nearby.

1.7 Arc de Triomf

Just next to Parc de la Ciutadella, there is Arc de Triomph. It is called a Triomph Arch but it has nothing to do with war. This monument was building for an exposition.

1.8 Barcelona Cathedral

Barcelona Cathedral is quite stunning, and you can go on the top of it and get a birds view! This is something that you can do since a couple of years and it is totally worth it.

The terrace opens only from 11am to 12pm. There is an entrance fee

1.9 Magic Fountain

Located in Plaça de Espanya you will find the Magic Fountain. A free show made with the fountain lights and water. Check the schedules here, as they change from season to season.

1.10 Camp Nou

The Barcelona football team is worldwide recognized. The best moment to go to the stadium is for watching a match, but if there is no match going on you can always go to the Stadium and museum and learn about their history, fun facts, and see the (empty) stadium.

Note: only recommended for football lovers.

1.11 Boqueria Market

This market has it all! Tasty food to take away or food-to-go, smoothies, tasty ingredients to cook or even some foodie souvenirs. It has also some famous restaurants inside, like Pinotxo, a famous restaurant loved by locals and tourists.

1.12 Picasso Museum

The famous Picasso artist spent much time in Barcelona. Lots of his paintings are in Barcelona, in the Picasso Museum. It is a busy Museum, so I do totally recommend you to buy the tickets in advance.

Tip: this museum offers free entrances Thursday after 18:00 and the first Sunday of each month. You have to book the free entry here (it can be booked 4 days in advance).

1.13 Music Palace

A modernist building from Lluís Domenech i Muntaner. Concerts inside this building are just a visual and auditive org****. The combination of your favorite music in this music hall, which is impressive, won't deceive you.

As there are not many concerts, you can visit the Music Palace and learn about it, see it, and visit the hall. There will be an orchestra in the hall so you can feel also how it would be to enjoy a concert there.

2. Where to eat in Barcelona

Barcelona is full of good-quality restaurants, as well as crappy restaurants, it is a big city! Sometimes is challenging to find a good restaurant to satisfy your needs, but worry not.

Ask around in your hostel, other travelers, and they will point you to some great places. You should try tapas, that's for sure! Tapas are small dishes.

The best way to try as many tapas as you can is to share food with other friends. So pack your new hostel friends, and bring them to these places. They will love you!

2.1 Taller de tapas

This local chain (they have 4-5 restaurants in the city) is a good established restaurant that offer tasty tapas with local products.

The first Taller de tapas opened 15 years ago, and they did it so well that they have been adding more restaurants to their list.

The original one is in Gothic Quarter, and my favorite in Carrer Argentería.

2.2 Quimet i Quimet

This restaurant started adding some olives and sardine preserves to the beer orders they received. That's how they developed their slogan "The art of combining preserves".

Quimet i Quimet offers more than 500 varieties of wine, and tasty tapas. It is a small (familiar) and busy bar, so do not come here expecting to be alone.

2.3 Bodega 1900

An upscaled tapas bar part of the Ferran Adria (worldwide recognized chef) properties. At Bodega 1900 they try to combine tradition with innovation. It is mandatory to book a table.

2.4 La Plata

An authentic bar with a small tapas selection. La plata is very traditional place full of charm and tasty food!

2.5 Xampanyet

One of the most popular tapas place all around the city. The environment at Xampanyet is one of the best to taste tapas with your new friends.

This one is my favorite of all the bars I mentioned.

Places to get Cheap Food in Barcelona

For those looking to save money and eat cheap, worry not, Barcelona has also cheap food.

2.6 Rekons

This place offers tasty Argentina-style empanadas, sandwiches, salads and some tapas. It is really aforrdable - you can find empanadas at 2,10/piece.

2.7 Bacoa

Burgers always satisfy my stomach (veggie burgers in my case) and they are normally full-filling if you order some chips with them. Bacoa is a burger chain with one restaurant near Barceloneta beach. I totally recommend you to choose a table on the terrace and enjoy the sun.

2.8 Wok-to-walk

The concept of take away is not so accepted in the spanish culture. People like to sit and eat, enjoy the meal and chat with their friends. But you can always take the sir-fry noodles to the park and enjoy them there, right?

2.9 Conesa

The best sandwiches in the city center of the city. Bocadillos (Spanish sandwiches) are the cheapest meal and very satisfying for your stomach. This is the thing all students will buy for their lunch, the sandwich is your life-saver after a night out. Well, you will find bocadillos in most bars, but if you want the best ones in the city, go to Conesa, near the city hall.

The cheapest meal in Barcelona

If you want to eat really cheap in Barcelona, just buy some pasta in the supermarket and go to the hostel to cook. The "student way of traveling" consists of:

  • enjoy the breakfast at the hostel,
  • eat a sandwich for lunch,
  • come "early" to the hostel so you can cook your dinner,
  • invest all the money you saved in more traveling (the reality is that it is spent in going-out and alcohol, right?)

3. How to prepare for Barcelona?

You might think the only thing you need to prepare before coming to Barcelona is to pack your suitcase... that worked many many years ago, when there was no internet and not so many people where traveling around the world.

3.1 Book Sagrada familia ahead of time

Nowadays, if you want to enjoy your Barcelona trip, you should at least book entries to:

3.2 Watch your purse

It is also important that you explore the city in a relaxed way but avoiding pick-pocketing. There are many pick-pockets all around the city, and that is a pity, but it is a reality.

Therefore, make sure you bring a daily backpack with you but you do not have your valuables in there, or you carry your bag in front of you so nobody can open it while you are walking.

Do not carry the cell phone on your trouser's back pocket. Be aware to maintain distances in places like Las Ramblas, the metro.... all these places are hot spots for pick-pockets.

I would recommend you also to leave the valuables you do not need at your hostel locker and bring with you only the necessary items to explore the city.

You won't experience violence if you are robbed, but pick-pocketing is also annoying, so try to avoid it.

3.3 Be aware of festivals dates

There are many festival and concerts in Barcelona. some of them are free and will add really cool stuff to your list if you are in Barcelona those dates, like Gracia neighborhood festival.

Some concerts (with an admission fee) will just make that the prices of the accommodation increase, so try to avoid them. Before choosing a date, make sure you know if there is a concert or festival going on. And if they offer free activities... make sure you join them!

3.4 Take advantage of the freebies

Inform yourself about the free things to do in Barcelona. There are many of things you can do for free!

There are also some days where some museums are free - you can take advantage of this if you plan accordingly and save some money.

3.5 Barcelona might differ with your Spanish stereotypes

Barcelona has some cultural differences from Madrid or Seville. While you might think flamenco is the official dance here, it is not.

The traditional dance in this region is Sardanas. That does not mean you won't find any flamenco show, there are some around the city. But not as many as in Seville or south of Spain. Also, bullfighting is forbidden in Barcelona.

The bullfight rings have been converted to shopping malls or concert halls.

3.6 Specific dining times

The schedule in restaurants and bars are very different from other places in Europe.

People eat lunch around 2:30pm and dinner no earlier than 9pm. That means restaurants will start offering lunch menus at 12 until 4pm and dinners from 7pm to 11:30pm.

3.7 Barça is not Barcelona

The term Barça is used only for the football team in Barcelona, not the city. If you want a nickname to the city, use Barna. That is the local term.

I know it is not as easy to pronunce as Barça, but that's how things are.

3.8 Drinking alcohol on the streets is forbidden

Even though you will see the city full of vendors selling "Cerveza, Beer, cola, Agua" technically, the whole transaction is not legal. It is as well forbidden to walk with your friends with a cold beer on the hand and partying loud.

That is what police will call: botellón. Normally, policemen are very loose and would ignore that you have a beer on your hand, but it will be better if you hide your beer.

Las Ramblas is expensive. As you walk through las ramblas you will see there are many restaurants and bars. All those bars are overpriced, with no expception. It is the price you pay to get the "people-show". Just go one or 2 streets behind and you will cheaper prices for the same (or bigger) dishes.

3.9 Sundays are not fun-days

You will notice on Sundays many shops are closed. Also local markets, and even restaurants. This is a tradition that remains from the Catholicism, as Sunday was the day that people went to church. Worry not, if you go out on Saturday night, this is the perfect day to do a recover-day.

There is also lots of activity at the pre-lunch hour, from 12 to 2pm, where people gather to drink a Vermut and eat some tapas before they all go to have lunch with their family members. Also, many clubs started to throw some parties on Sunday night - and these clubs tend to be cheaper on Sunday.

3.10 Sangria is not the local drink

I know I know... that is a bummer. But just because you did not try cava! Cava is similar to champaigne, and you will find it in different colors: white cava, rosé... Give it a try.

A very traditional drink is also vermut, similar to campari, but this is a Sunday pre-lunch drink, if you order it in the club people will look at you strangely.

Note: you can still order sangria, try the Cava Sangria and be carefull, it goes to your head faster than the traditional one.

3.11 The sights are spread out throughout the city

Barcelona has so many beautiful sights that they are not all together. Worry not, the public transportation is good, so that won't be a problem.

4. Barcelona Nightlife

You might have heard...the nightlife in Barcelona is awesome. And I guarantee it! This city is one of the easiest places in Spain to end your party night at 6am with a "Chocolate con churros" filling your stomach before going to sleep.

Nevertheless, you have to plan a bit, as going to a club might be expensive. Let's go through the perfect plan together. This is a Barcelona travel guide for students that want to party hard (a mastered plan after many years of partying Barcelona with friends).

4.1 People go out late

While in some countries clubs end at 3am, this is the moment where the clubs in Barcelona start getting full. Bear in mind clubs open at 12am, but there won't be many people until 2am.

4.2 Free entry to the club

Nevertheless, you will learn that in order to save the entry fee, you have to be in the queue at 1am. Most guest lists will give you free entry only until 1:30, and if you arrive at 1:20, you will be at the entry later than the free deadline.

4.3 Drinks at clubs are expensive

The drinks at the clubs are very expensive. Even a beer is marked at 6-7€, so make sure you get to a bar earlier and have some drinks with your friends there first.

4.4 Pub crawls

To meet other people while traveling solo I do totally recommend you join a pub crawl. It is the easier way to meet other solo-travelers that want to party hard. Remember to ask your "guide" which club shall you go next before the pub crawl ends!

4.5 The cheapest drinks

The cheapest drinks are always in the supermarket, but supermarkets are only allowed to sell alcohol until 23h. Make sure you do the last round before that time.

4.6 Safe streets

As mentioned before, Barcelona is a safe city, but full of pick-pockets. There is a saying in Spanish "At night, all cats are brown". Meaning, it is more difficult at night to distinguish due to the darnkess.

At night, pick-pockets have 2 advantages: less light and drunk people. Make sure you don't get too wasted, as you will be the perfect victim. Plan your night, and get the taxi telephone number on your phone in case you are too drunk to get the metro.

Nevertheless, bear in mind you cannot act dunk, as many taxis won't stop if they notice that you are too drunk. Walking back to your hostel shall be no problem, nevertheless, try to walk in main streets and when taking the metro make sure you go in a cabin where more people go in.

4.7 Time to party

If you want some names for clubs to party hard, here you've got a local selection for having fun. I will separate them in 3 types:

"Upscale" clubs: these clubs are where you should wear fancy clothes to get in easily. Fashion in Barcelona is very loose, so you will be able to bring your sport shoes here, but the security at the door can be a bit harsh and do not let you go if you are too loose.

  • Pacha
  • Catwalk
  • Bling Bling

Normal Clubs: clubs where you don't have to be so dressed up to get in, with good music and great parties.

  • Razzmatazz
  • Otto Sutz
  • Apollo

Fun clubs: these clubs where you go to have fun, not to show-off. Me and my friends, when we were very young students and could not get in the other clubs, went to these ones. These are less-known clubs among the tourist, but full of locals. They offer very fun nights.

  • Paltaforma
  • Macarena
  • Almo2bar

Remember these clubs will start to fill up around 1:30-2 am. If they offer a guest list, just use google to find out, the guest list to enter for free will be opened 1-1:30. Nevertheless, it is worth it, as the entry fee might be around 15€.

4.8 Bars to go before the club

As i told you, the good time to get in the club is around 1.30pm. Normally, local people go to dinner at 22-22:30 and they finish dinner around 12, so they just go for a drink before entering the club. where can you go for a drink?

There are many bars around the city that offers music, cocktails, and great environment. These are also perfect places for those who just want to go out and have a drink, but do not want to join the club.

  • Coco Vail
  • Ovella Negra
  • Kahiki
  • Bar Marsella
  • Lolita

You can also find bars to have a drink nearby the clubs you want to go, do some research in Google and read the comments before you decide which is a great place to go drinking. Some of them are just regular bars where people go to have a sandwich or do not offer a wide range of alcoholic drinks.

Summary Backpacking Barcelona

As you can see, you can travel to Barcelona on a budget with no problems. Transport in Barcelona is not expensive - buy travel cards instead of single rides - and many places are reachable within walking distance. when touring in Barcelona on your own, make sure you pay attention to your belongings.

Remember, if you want to swim at the beach, you should go with somebody that can take care of your belongings while you are in the water - if you go with your friends group one must stay watching the belongings while the others swim.

I know, that is not ideal, but please, please, avoid pick-pockets! I do not like to hear stories of pick-pocketing in my beloved city. I hope you found all the information you needed for your Barcelona trip. If you are traveling to Spain, check our backpacking Spain information site.

Happy travels!

Written by local enthusiast for Barcelona hostels

Written by local enthusiast for Barcelona hostels Mona

FAQ about Barcelona Hostels

There are plenty of frequently asked questions about hostels in Barcelona. We've collected the most common questions and doubts when it comes to picking your preferred accommodation in Barcelona. The more you know, the better you can plan with confidence and ease, right?

A hostel in Barcelona costs on average $32 for a dorm. A hostel in Barcelona with private rooms costs on average $148. shows all 103 Hostels in Barcelona. Simply filter by neighborhood and price to find your perfect budget place to stay.
Fabrizzio's Petit is the best hostel in Barcelona for couples. compares prices for 103 hostels in Barcelona, Spain. We list for you other cheap places to stay in Barcelona such as
  • 46 hotels
  • 107 guesthouses
  • 60 apartments

This makes this very website the best place to find cheap accommodation in Barcelona.

Hostel One Paralelo is the best rated hostel for partying in Barcelona.

Your Packing List for Barcelona

Your Packing List for Barcelona

Pack smart, not hard

Hostel? Check! Now let's have at your hostel packing list for Barcelona and Spain.

You may wonder what to pack when staying in hostels? There is a few absolute basics you always have to pick. Other items are more optional and depend more on your location. Here is the must-packing items when staying in hostels:

These are the basics, yet there is more. We wrote a big, detailed guide on what to pack, tech gear and things you won't need.

Get your full Packing List here

Barcelona Hostel Cheatsheet

Above we list every single hostel there is in the city. Let us take a broader look at what you can expect - and what not. We created this cheatsheet for you to get a more complete picture of the hostel quality in Barcelona, average prices and types of hostels to choose from.
103 Total number of hostels
$32 Average dorm price
$148 Average private room price
$19 Cheapest hostel in Barcelona
In & Out Hostel is the cheapest
24 Party hostels in Barcelona
Hostel One Paralelo is the best rated
Most Barcelona hostels are located in
Eixample, Poble Sec, Gràcia
7.3 Average rating of all hostels

Other Nearby Cities

El Prat de Llobregat (9 Km / 5 mi.)
Badalona (10 Km / 6 mi.)
Cerdanyola del Vallès (11 Km / 7 mi.)
Castelldefels (20 Km / 12 mi.)
Mataro (29 Km / 18 mi.)
Sitges (34 Km / 21 mi.)
Monistrol de Montserrat (36 Km / 22 mi.)

Travel Tips for Barcelona - from the Community

Hey fam! Here are a few more tips from the community, from them to you, and you to them. This space is dedicated for travellers to share their best tips on backpacking Barcelona. Have a closer look - the Hostelz community share real hidden gems, insider knowledge and overall impressions of Barcelona. Everyone is welcome to add something useful, funny, unexpected and the "absolutely necessary to know before you go" - share, share and then share a little more!

It is a cool city! Do not miss out by enjoying the bar scene, it is epic!


Barcelona is a great city, but be aware of the amount of tourists there are, especially during summer. I would say the best time to visit Barcelona is during Spring and Autumn. There are plenty of activities and going to "Montjuic" is a must. It is a mountain with a castle and there are views of the whole city.

mariona helena

I love Barcelona! Such a fascinating culture and ambiance. If you are looking to travel in the peak season (July-August) make sure you pre-book at least a month in advance! Otherwise your selection will be very small. Avoid hostels on La Rambla if you are on a budget as they are muchore expensive than one on the side streets. Look at hostels in Born if you love the bohemian lifestyle and nightlife. It is also very close the the beach (10 min walk). The Gothic region (Area between La Rambla and Via Laietana) is also very expensive as it is the most touristy area however it is definitely the most lively if you can afford it. If you are planning on visiting the Sagrada Familia make sure you book online in advance for a good time slot. Enjoy!


Once you arrived to Barcelona you will relized what an amazing city you have landed. Under my opinion, is one of the best city in the world, I love the sparky live that you can breath in the city, lovely food, architecture, sun & beach, people, nightlife in the harbour… I will go back again


I visited Barcelona years ago. What I like most is D Ramblas. It was full of people. The Ramblas offers variety of tourist likings but watch your belongings as they were many thieves around. By the way, the city is beautiful with old buildings, plazas, trees, and monuments.


Look after your bags! There are many many thieves lingering in the metro stations and kind of push up against you and try and steal your things in your bags. So be cautious and hold on tight to your valuables. Barcelona is amazing though! The architecture and beach and sights and people are all fantastic. I suppose like in any place you have to be careful. It's also very easy to get lost in the laneways. And at nighttime there are many drug deals and dodgy people out that will try and sell you anything!

Amelia, NZ

It's an amazing city, one of the most interesting I've ever been to. It's not nearly as bad as people say -- especially La Rambla. Our apartment was on a side street right off La Rambla and we had no problems at all. Of course if you go there looking for a nice, peaceful evening, that's not gonna happen, and I wouldn't wander the side streets alone late at night, but all in all I didn't feel in danger at any point. Barcelona reminded me a lot of Rome -- there's just too much to see in a short time span, and it gives the appearance of being dangerous when it really isn't. I'll be going back.


It's so interesting there.


Barcelona is beautiful city! If you are thinking about Barcelona -- do not think, just go!


I did not find the city threatening. Of course you should look after your belongings, but I did not take any more precautions than I would in my hometown. There are many excellent bars and cafes -- I could think of nothing better than spending the day sightseeing (Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell), and the evenings barhopping.


While I enjoyed my stay in Barcelona, I would not rate it as a great city. I agree about the "criminal" feel to the city -- lots of cons trying to rip you off there. We visited in early May, and it seemed that there were hardly any natives at all! Granted, I am a tourist as well, but the city didn't seem to hold an authentic feel like a lot of other places I visited. I felt like I had to watch my back at all times while walking around day or night.


It has so many fascinating sites. I loved it. Anyone and everyone should consider visiting this wondrous city.

Breanna Burrell

There aren't many Catalans/Spaniards in central Barcelona. A tip from a local -- avoid summer at all costs. Barcelona is much better any other time of the year.


I just returned to New York from a my first European vacation and Barcelona was my favorite part. I loved the energy of this intense city. I do not speak Spanish but managed to meet some really amazing people. I think Barcelona is the kind of place that you either love or you hate. I loved it and hope to return one day.


Yeah, it smells a bit but if you're going around all the cool narrow streets and small pubs which never shut (3 a.m. bar crawl) and having fun instead of sulking then it rocks. If you really want to enjoy it, go in the winter months -- it's much quieter and you have to learn Spanish fast. There's barely any tourists, and three Spanish birds to a bloke in the pub. And check out the Cathedral!


If you are a girl and going to a club late at night, it's safer to go with male company can you can trust! You may get trouble with drunk people at night so stay with a group to be safer.


I just got back from a five-day trip to Barcelona. I must say it was overall a huge disappointment. First the good. There are many things to see there during the day into the early evening hours. The metro system is fairly good overall so it does not take long to get to where you want to go. Taxi cabs fares are also fairly cheap compared to any other place I have been to and should be taken advantage of when you are pressed for time. At night many of the places that were closed or seemed shut down open up and several neighborhoods become lively. Now for the bad. The city has a horrendous stench that actually gets worse when you are not in a heavy tourist area. I have found that locals take their dogs for walks and allow them to pee and poop right on the sidewalk. I have also seen locals and tourists doing the same, including vomitting. So if you are wondering where the stench was coming from, now you know. In the tourist areas the Catalan people are mixed in how they treat you, however in the non-tourist areas you can forget about it. Even if you are of Spanish descent like me and can communicate with them effectively, they treat you poorly overall. At first I thought it was because I was a tourist, but I found a nice Venezuelan shop owner who (without me asking) began to tell me about the cold Catalan people and how much she hates the city (she's been there eight years). Though I did not get anything stolen from me nor did I witness any thefts, I was told horror stories by family who I went there with as well as folks I met there. I never felt safe in the city at all, and I haven't felt that way about any city since New York in the '80s. All in all I would likely never go there again. I would recommend never going, but then again there are some really nice classic sites to visit.


We had no problems in Barcelona. Everyone was friendly enough and those who didn't speak English were very patient with my pseudo-Spanish-Italian! Gorgeous cathedrals, fun art galleries, and the magic fountain is a spectacle in itself! Getting to Neucamp was an adventure (we ended up at the end of the line where no one had seen lost, pale Scottish people before) but once we were there it was easy enough to get back! Everything public oriented was in at least three languages and the streets were like most other cities. You just need to keep your eyes open for weirdos, a couple had their bag nicked as we were talking with them, but not much harm was done. I've been in cities where you'd be stabbed over a bag!


Barcelona was the most disappointing city of all the cities we visited during our four-week vacation to Europe. It was just another large city, very smelly, fairly unfriendly, and we had the worst hostel!


Barcelona was really just a big city. It has some really amazing sites and a very pretty beach but it isn't a beautiful coastal city like those in France at all. The streets do not feel safe and the men were absolutely awful. From what I heard traveling it has a lot to do with blonde hair, but when in Las Ramblas and the surrounding area strangers and especially the shop owners harrassed me. They would literally not leave me alone and would follow me out of the stores trying to make me say I would date them and they would offer me huge discounts but not my friend. It was so bad we ended up leaving the area and going back to the hostel.


There are many restaraunts owned by the same people that own Quinze Nits on Placa Reial... pick up some of their business cards at the front desk of the different places they own so you won't have to wait for hours... (I recommend Crema Canela on Placa's SOO good!)

Erin C

Barcelona is great! There is SO much to do. If you are bored you must be dead or not trying, because there is something for everyone. Try and visit early in the summer or late spring. The weather will be warm but not hot and the crowds will be smaller. You MUST eat at Quinze Nits in Placa Real. But be warned there will be a line up that starts an hour before they open (8ish) and will remain until after 12. Also, try to go to the Chocolate Museum.


Be careful with your things! My friend's wallet got stolen on the underground and the thief could just walk away since we had no real proof! And at the beach I actually saw a guy steal a bag from a girl who was sunbathing, pretty sad because I went over to tell her and she started crying, saying it was the second bag that week. ALWAYS keep an eye on your stuff and never put it just in your pocket or backpack, hang it around your body with those special little bags and then lock those up! It's the only way to be sure! Great city besides that.


Please watch your bags and personal belongings. We were warned but my friend set her bag down at an internet cafe, right next to her foot, and it was stolen within a couple minutes. I've heard dozens of theft stories from other Barcelona visitors. Please never put your things down and be aware! Have fun... oh yeah, and Dino's Gelato is amazing!


It took me 5 minutes to fall in love with Barcelona! There is so much to see and do, and the nightlife is amazing. Great shopping, great dining, and beautiful beaches. Perhaps the best thing about this city is the people ... they have a real lust for life.


PEE-U! This city STINKS!!!! Smelliest city I've ever been too. It's just generally cramped, crowded, dirty, and filthy. I was really excited to be going to Barcelona, after having so many people tell me how great it was, but totally dissappointed after having spent 6 days there. I thought it would be a bright, open, airy, mediterranean city with a great climate and interesting people. It was the total opposite. I've never seen so many ugly people! And the humidity made New York seem like a paradise. I'll take Madrid any day over Barcelona. Though I was never robbed, a surprising number of people told me they had their pockets picked. Yes the Sagrada Famillia is magnificent, and ok, I had a GREAT time hanging out in park Ciutadella on Sunday, but overall I wouldn't go back.


Paella and wine is the best thing ever. Barcelona is awesome. Sangreia is cool. After you are done here, go to San Sebastian. It's even better.


I would not go back to Barcelona. The whole city seems to have a sewerage smell about it which is very unpleasant. The back streets also don't feel very safe. It seems like a fairly poor city. It also takes a lot of walking around to get from one sight to another. Having said all that, the old palace (now an art gallery) is utterly magnificent and provides a commanding view of the city. Gaudi's cathedral is also an impressive spectacle of engineering. Some of the more busy streets become beautiful and very pleasant at night, but plain by day. The city is worth stopping by if you're in or near the region but I wouldn't plan a holiday specially to Barcelona.


I love this city, the architecture and culture are so amazing. I met my boyfriend here two years ago and we are coming back to celebrate!

Ly Anh Dang

Barcelona is, without a doubt, my favourite city in Europe, it's hot, seasoned, rich, fun, exciting and very cheap!! Lots of interesting artists doing their thing on the streets, in the parks and of course on the beach. The atmosphere is more than chilled in this sizzling hot environment... you must go to the sonar festival and enjoy sitting under the palm trees as the early morning sun gradually heats up yet another glorious day. PS -- Rent a car if you can.


Party at Danzatoria in Tibidabo and eat at Quinze Nits just off La Rambla in Placa Reial! Barcelona is an amazing city!!!


I love this city, this wine is cheap the food is good and the locals are friendly.


If you're looking for a good free map of Barcelona, don't use the one the tourist office gives you for the Bus Turistic. Instead, ask them for a brochure from City Tour by ALSAtouring. This brochure includes a map that actually details all of Barcelona's streets, especially the confusing ones in Barri Gotic and Ribera. This is essential to finding your way around.


If you visit the Sagrada Familia make sure you climb the towers. But take the stairs, they are free and you have many more vantage points. Make sure you are not afraid of heights!


Be warned if you're travelling in Barcelona during August - I arrived in late August expecting to easily get into one of the many hostels - it took 5 hours on the telephone before we found one.....SO BOOK!


The fountains are accompanied by music on Sunday nights at 9 pm. Drink at Schilling, eat at Oolong, chill at Parc Guell, visit La Perdera and watch out for pickpockets, especially if you're carrying a rucksack. A wonderful city. Oh, and do try and speak the language, they appreciate it, even if you are speaking Spanish instead of Catalan!!


This is the best city in Western Europe. You will definitely have fun here, either wandering the alleys, hanging out at the beach or partying at night/dawn. Gaudi's architecture is phenomenal. And for some reason, they have really excellent chicken dishes here. Be careful late at night in the alleys though.


While you're in Barcelona in the evening, grab some new friends from the hostel and go check out the "Magic Fountains" nighttime fountains/lights show (ask your hostel front desk person for directions).


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