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Accommodation, Tips

Where to stay in Barcelona

08/02/2018, Author: Lucia Segurajauregui

A neighbourhood guide for traveling with children.

 

When traveling with children its essential to choose the accommodation well. In Barcelona you have to take into account the characteristics of the buildings, the noise at night and the neighbourhoods according to our preferences.

The most central districts of the city are Eixample and Ciutat Vella. In the latter, as in Gracia and Barceloneta, the vast majority of buildings date from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, so they don’t usually have an elevator, nor wide entrances and stairs are usually very narrow. Make sure before booking a stay that the building allows you to enter and leave comfortably with a baby stroller

Another thing to keep in mind is the noise. The city experiences a very pleasant climate throughout the year, for this reason, it is usual for people to make a lot of life in the street. So if you like tranquility, chose an accommodation carefully if you plan to stay in the center.

As for the neighborhoods, in recent years the city has grown exponentially and its neighborhoods, previously more defined by their particularities, have been merging homogeneously in a transversal and vertical manner. Still, each zone is characterized by a particular attraction. We highlight these districts and neighborhoods because they are the most popular and those that gather more services for tourists.

Ciutat Vella

The Gothic neighbourhood is a honeycomb of narrow streets with lots of life and shops. It is also where the most tourism is concentrated because of its proximity to the Ramblas. Its narrow and dark streets, are made up of old buildings that keep a historical beauty. While the hustle and bustle predominates, it houses different emblematic places such as the Cathedral, Plaza Real or the Boquería market, among many others..

The neighbourhood of Raval, popularly known as Chinatown until its remodelling in the 90s, was a refuge for bohemians, immigrants from the peninsula, prostitutes and passing sailors, attracted journalists and writers, and was, above all, a very picturesque area. Today its where more foreign immigration is concentrated, and although there is very little of that eclectic past, it still retains some of that eccentricity. The area is very trendy among the skaters who bring life to Plaza del MACBA and hang around the area. There are many bars and shops especially on Joaquin Costa street. The Raval houses MACBA and CCCB museums as well as the Filmoteca de Catalunya. Its located between the Ramblas and the Sant Antoni Market.

The Born area (Sant Pere, Santa Caterina and La Ribera) is a historical center with a lot of charm. In its labyrinthine streets you will find the most exclusive style shops, the Picasso Museum and the Cathedral del Mar. The area is close to the wonderful Ciutadella Park, Barceloneta and Las Ramblas, and is also quite touristy.

The neighbourhood of Barceloneta is at the bottom of the old city center, adjacent to the beach. Its singular and cozy small blocks offer a range of tapas, and seafood restaurants. Due to their proximity to the sea, staying here is pure pleasure for water lovers. During the summer this neighbourhood becomes very crowded, bear in mind that at night it can become very noisy.

l’Eixample

This district arose in the nineteenth century with the expansion of the city after the demolition of the walls, following the plan of the architect Ildefons Cerdà. The area extends horizontally through the city in its distinctive octagonal blocks, reaching the neighborhood of Sagrada Familia and Fort Pienc.

The neighborhood of Sant Antoni, very popular at the moment, is characterized for being a residential area, with small shops and old bars. In recent years has undergone a major transformation with the remodeling of the Mercado de Sant Antoni, accompanied by the rising cost of housing and the opening of stylish premises. It is close to the center of the city, and it is a more peaceful and familiar place.

l’Eixample Esquerra i Dreta (left and right) is characterised by its spectacular modernist buildings. The area is located in the middle of the city so it absorbs a lot of traffic. Its network of shops, restaurants bars, and art galleries keep the area cozy. The neighbourhood houses the beautiful Rambla Catalunya and the famous Paseo de Gracia where you will find two of the most iconic buildings of Gaudi; La Pedrera and Casa Batlló.

Sant Martí

The neighborhood of Poble Nou was an old industrial area with cotton companies, textile factories, metallurgies, tanners and flour mills. Towards 1960 the industrial activity was abandoned and became a territory of warehouses and transport companies.  Currently Barcelona is trying to change the area with the 22@ plan. The 22@ plan is the corporative name given to the urban renewal of this area, its aim is to convert Poblenou into the city’s technological and innovation district, as well as to increase leisure and residential spaces. Centered on Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, it is part of one of Europe’s biggest urban regeneration schemes, begun during the 2000s and still ongoing, spanning 115 blocks. An area of industrial appearance, still in the growth phase, but very trendy.

Gracia

Gracia was an independent territory to the city of Barcelona until its annexation in 1880 when the Cerdà plan was approved.

The neighbourhood has an unparalleled charm. It is full of bars, restaurants, small shops and cozy public squares where people meet at all hours. In addition, it is an area with a lot of history witch includes a long popular tradition of cultural and civic associations where neighbours gather to set up activities and popular parties like the famous Fiestas de Gracia.

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