Until a few years ago there were no rooms to be had at all during the Barcelona Grand Prix, the boat show or the big trade fairs. However, the massive expansion of the Barcelona hotel sector over the last few years means that rooms are now always available; it also means there is a larger choice of hotels and lower prices due to the increased competition.
Where you stay in Barcelona may be dictated by a number of factors, including location, cost and facilities; while many tourists like to stay close to Barcelona’s sights or nightlife, the area around the Fira is popular with business travellers attending conferences and trade fairs.
Choosing a tourist hotel
Popular areas for tourist hotels include the Ramblas, Passeig de Gràçia, the barri gòtic and El Born, which is good for the nightlife.
Depending on your plans during your stay you may find it more convenient if your hotel is close to a metro station. While taxis are cheap compared with many cities, they are often in short supply, particularly at weekends and in August.
If you book online then make sure the website you book from is clear about the location of the hotel. Some hotel booking sites list hotels that are in the province of Barcelona, but miles from the city. If you have any doubt check the postcode of the hotel – Barcelona city postcodes begin with the digits 080 and should have five digits in total, although sometimes the initial zero is omitted.
Recommended hotels on the Ramblas include Hotel Internacional; 5-star Le Meridien; and Hotel 1898. In the barri gòtic the Rialto and Hotel Colon, which is directly opposite the gothic cathedral; Banys Orientals in El Born; and on Passeig de Gràcia you will find the spectacular 5-star Majestic Hotel, with the Claris nearby. Another popular choice at the top end of the market is Hotel Palace on Gran Via. Formerly the Ritz, past guests have included everyone from singer Frank Sinatra to James Bond actors Pierce Brosnan and Roger Moore. Elsewhere, Barceló Sants is directly above Barcelona-Sants station and ideal for the metro and mainline stations.
Hotels ideal for business travellers
If you’re travelling to Barcelona on business you may prefer to choose a hotel close to where you’ll be visiting, or you contacts in Barcelona may offer to arrange your hotel. For this reason the area around the Fira de Barcelona is popular and there are several hotels conveniently close to the Universities.
If you are attending an exhibition or conference then the area around Plaça Espanya is within easy walking distance, including Hotel Plaza. There are also several hotels close to Barcelona-Sants station – including the Barceló Sants (mentioned above), Expo and Grand Torre de Catalunya.
Updated: 25 Jan 2012 by David