Where to Stay

La Rambla & Barri Gòtic

For

Great location, close to major sights; perfect area for exploring on foot; good nightlife and dining options

Against

Very touristy; noisy; some rooms are small and lack windows

El Raval

For

Central option, with good local nightlife and access to sights; bohemian vibe with lots of locals

Against

Can be noisy; seedy and run-down in parts; many fleapits best avoided; some streets feel unsafe at night

La Ribera

For

Great restaurant scene and neighbourhood exploring; central; top sights including the Museu Picasso and the Palau de la Música Catalana

Against

Can be noisy; overly crowded; touristy

Barceloneta & the Waterfront

For

Excellent seafood restaurants; easygoing local vibe; handy access to the promenade and beaches

Against

Very few sleeping options; beyond Barceloneta can be far from the action and better suited to business travellers

L'Eixample

For

Wide range of options for all budgets; close to Modernista sights; good restaurants and nightlife; prime LGBTI scene (in 'Gaixample')

Against

Can be very noisy with lots of traffic; some parts are a little far from the old city; not as walkable as the old city

Gràcia

For

Youthful, local scene with lively restaurants and bars

Against

Far from the old city and beaches; few formal options (but lots of rooms for rent)

Pedralbes & La Zona Alta

For

Good nightlife and restaurants in parts

Against

Very far from the action; spread-out area requiring frequent metro travel; geared more towards business travellers

Montjuïc, Poble Sec & Sant Antoni

For

Near the museums, gardens and views of Montjuïc; great bars and restaurants in Sant Antoni and Poble Sec; locations in Poble Sec are also convenient to El Raval

Against

Somewhat out of the way; can be a bit charmless up by Sants train station