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Nikki Jun 9th, 2006 11:11 AM

Barcelona hotels and neighborhoods
I will be staying in Barcelona for a few days next month with a friend and her teenage daughter and am looking into hotels. There is a good rate available at the Tryp Apolo, and there are good comments about it here on Fodors, but there are some very worrying comments about the neighborhood on Tripadvisor. Opinion seems very divided: either the neighborhood is wonderful and convenient, or it is unsafe to visit the local tapas bars and walk the few blocks to Las Ramblas. Any opinions here about the neighborhood?

I am also considering the Hotel H10 Catalunya, which is available at a somewhat higher rate and is apparently in an undisputedly good location.

Anything else I should consider, either specific hotels or neighborhoods to choose or to avoid?

Thanks for all input.

stardust Jun 9th, 2006 11:50 AM

The neighbourhood of the Tryp itself is ok, it's on a big street. The only problem is that the shortest way from the Tryp to Las Ramblas and the gothic center as a whole goes by a street that looks a bit dodgy (Nou de la Rambla). I lived in Barcelona for a year 2 years ago, walked through that street alone at night for a few times and nothing happened (I'm a young woman), but I can imagine other people wouldn't like it. On the other hand: in the middle of that street is a huge student residence, so can it really be that bad?

It used to be a street where there was street prostitution some years ago, but that has all been gone since the revival of the Raval neighbourhood. So I wouldn't focus too much on old reviews.

I must admit though that streets in the Eixample area are nicer and give a safer feel.

DCar Jun 9th, 2006 12:01 PM

I'm going to Barcelona on the 19th of June, so I've been reading postings here for the past few weeks. Can echo what is being said from what I've read. Stardust - since you've been - question for you. I'm staying at the Sol Melia, Melia Barcelona on Avda De Sarria while I'm working. I'm attending a conference at the Hotel Fira Palace in the Montjuic-Sant Antoni area. Any idea where the Sol Melia is and how far it is from the Fira Palace? After work is done, I'm staying over. Currently have reservations at AC Barcelona on Paseo Taulat. Any idea where that is in relation to the other locales, the Eixample, Raval, etc?

pocari Jun 9th, 2006 05:55 PM

I stayed at the Hotel Ciutat de Barcelona, a brand new hotel located in the El Born neighborhood, near Barri Gotic. Found good rates using

chestnut Jun 9th, 2006 06:02 PM

Stayed recently at the Hotel America in the Eixample neighborhood. Hotel and neighborhood were both great. It's a safe area, nice shops and restaurants, with a subway stop around the corner.I think you'd enjoy being in that area.

laclaire Jun 10th, 2006 12:40 AM

stardust- FYI, the Bagdad is still in booming business, and the first floor of my apartment building is home to an illegal but never in trouble brothel. Prostitution is unbeatable in Barcelona, and Raval revival or not, they will always be there.

DCar- for your conference you will probably have to take a cab unless you want to walk down Travessera de les corts to the Les Corts metro stop and take that to Poble Sec (no train changes) which is near the Fira Palace. You could also take the Tramvia from Francesc Macià up to Maria Cristina and change to metro to get to Poble Sec. But if you have an expense account, I suggest a cab.

The AC is in Sant Martí, which is far from pretty much everything, but pretty near the Maresme Forum metro stop (yellow line) which will take you downtown. My dance studio is in that area and from my apartment in the Raval to the studio takes a train change and 45 minutes door to door.

Nikki Jun 10th, 2006 04:13 AM

Thanks everyone. Can't wait to tell all this to my travel companions.

isabel Jun 10th, 2006 04:53 AM

In March we stayed at the Hotel Continental Barcelona and liked it very much. IT's right on las Ramblas. Our rooms, in the back were very quiet but I imagine a room on the front (on las ramblas) might be noisy. But they have a great view, those rooms cost more. We paid €85 for a double, but I just checked their website and it says €105. One of the nicest features is a "breakfast buffet" that is available 24 hours a day. Since it's such a central location it was nice to go back a few times during the day for free coffee, soda, etc. and a snack.

stardust Jun 11th, 2006 02:07 AM

Dcar - laclaire said it right.

Laclaire - I'm quite sure there is still prostitution in Barcelona, I was just talking about street prostitution in Nou de la Rambla. In 2001 I was walking that street on a sunny Sunday afternoon, dressed in very loose clothing and sneakers, there were clearly hookers on the street and a German guy approached ME... seriously ! When I lived there 2003-2004 I saw nothing of that.

By the way: the most 'interesting' sights can be found on the parking behind the Chemistry and Industrial Engineering faculty on the Av. Diagonal... there are travestites all over after dusk !!! Didn't believe my eyes when I passed there by accident one night.

laclaire Jun 11th, 2006 10:50 AM

stardust- I can't believe you mention the upper campus! That is so true! My facultad was at the 3 towers (on Baldiri i Reixac) and classes were out at 8. Walking from there to the metro was always an adventure as there were tons of transvestite hookers (all incredibly tall) and lots of cars slowing down to find one. One night I walked Diagonal all the way up to the University and as I was spacing out, I passed my turnoff. So, I had to take a left onto a sort of abandoned street. Well, walking down I saw a woman and asked where I was and she said "near Collblanc." I think she continued her answer, but just then I noticed a bobbing head behind a nearby bush. It took a second for me to realize that it was a blowjob, and I was so entertained that I kept walking, but stopped at the end of the street and pretended to make a phone call on my cell phone. I watched as the girl and the guy came out of the bush and cracked up when the guy reached over and pulled his bike out from behind the bush. Who rides a bike to pick up a hooker?

Nikki Jun 11th, 2006 03:56 PM

OK, Claire, I think you need to write the screenplay; I just keep picturing a movie with the nudist host family, the apartment over the brothel, and the bikers picking up the transvestite hookers while you walk home from school.

Really makes me look forward to my stay in Barcelona, seeing it through your eyes is so much more entertaining than the guide books.

lincasanova Jun 11th, 2006 04:06 PM

i certainly have missed some posts! nudist host family?

laclaire Jun 11th, 2006 04:33 PM

lincasanova- search "topless sunbathing" and look for my long post. My familia ilicitana were nudists.

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