My girlfriend and I are like chalk and cheese when it comes to what we want from a holiday. She loves the beach, whiling away her days soaking up the sun and snorkelling in the sea, and I’m a city boy who loves hustle, bustle and sightseeing. But if there was ever a place that facilitated both our tastes, it’s Catalan capital, Barcelona.
Mixing world-class architecture, fascinating history, a renowned football team and coastal charm, it would be the perfect couples’ getaway for us – although we have never been there together, only separately.
If you’re thinking of doing the same and heading to Spain’s second city, here are a few ideas of where you could stay and what type of travellers they suit best.
Hostel One Ramblas – Great for backpackers and solo travellers
I visited Barcelona in August 2017. I’d stayed in shared dorms before, but the mate I was travelling with was losing his hostel virginity. We settled on booking a place called Hostel One Ramblas. Part of the Hostel One chain, it had recently opened and its location just a couple of minutes from the famous Las Ramblas street made it a no brainer.
It was the best hostel I’ve ever stayed in, and what I loved about it was that you walked right into the common area upon arrival. It’s decorated like a living room making you feel right at home, and the staff are really welcoming and friendly, too. It’s great for those travelling solo as the hostel runs a programme of free activities such as an evening hike up to Bunkers del Carmel, bar crawls and communal cooking. It makes meeting people super-easy and a lot of fun.
The beds were great and came with a privacy curtain and well-positioned plug sockets, and there was quality air conditioning in all the rooms – a welcome respite from the outside humidity.
Kabul Party Hostel – Great for groups
If you’re travelling with a few friends and you want to capitalise on Barcelona’s favourite nightlife without a hefty price tag, then Kabul Party Hostel – Barcelona’s first-ever hostel – is the way to go. Another hostel sat in the Gothic Quarter just paces from the Las Ramblas strip, all the quintessential sights and sounds of the city are within walking distance.
Much like Hostel One, Kabul hosts a range of inclusive activities for guests including barbecue and paella nights, complimentary walking tours and, living up to its name, pub crawls where you’ll be treated to free shots, drink discounts and free entry to the biggest clubs in Barca. Before you go out, however, you’ll want to sample the in-hostel offering, with its neon-lit lobby containing pool and foosball, live music and a bar in addition to a rooftop patio where you can sip Estrella to the backdrop of beautiful views.
Although the dorms aren’t quite as nice and private as Hostel One, this hostel is more aimed at those who want to enjoy the city after dark.
Iberostar Paseo de Gracia – Great for city explorers
Just off the Plaça de Catalunya in central Barcelona, Iberostar Paseo de Gracia is one of the newest hotels in central Barcelona and is in easy reach of all the city’s must-sees, making it the perfect base from which to explore. Stylish rooms and impeccable service are the hallmarks of this fine hotel, and after a long day of traversing Barcelona, you can retire to its roof terrace and bar for a swim and a cool cocktail.
Grand Hotel Central Barcelona – Great for couples
If you’re heading to Barcelona with your partner, why not try Grand Hotel Central Barcelona? Also located in accommodation hotspot the Gothic Quarter, its rooms and suites are gorgeous, super-comfortable and will feel like a home away from home.
Though the best thing about this hotel is its rooftop terrible and infinity pool, confirming its standout location with enviable panoramic views. Whether you want to paddle the day away while soaking up a beautiful skyline, enjoy an evening meal in a prime location or want to get that perfect Instagram shot – this is the place for you.
W Barcelona – Great for an extra-special stay
If you’re in Barcelona because you’re celebrating a special occasion, you love your luxury travel or you just want to splash out on the best of the best, W Barcelona is for you. One of the city’s top hotels, W Barcelona occupies a prime beachfront location and is renowned for its iconic exterior.
Rooms and its private infinity pool offer jaw-dropping views across the city and Mediterranean Sea, and if you want to get into the groove of things head to the rooftop ECLIPSE bar, or the W LOUNGE where you can wind down in an evening with an exquisite cocktail.