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Barcelona: Which Neighborhood to Stay in?

Barcelona: Which Neighborhood to Stay in?

May 3rd, 2017, 08:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 434
Barcelona: Which Neighborhood to Stay in?


I will be traveling to Spain for the first time next June (2018) with my husband and 11 year old twins. We will spend about 6 days in Barcelona during which time we will want to go to the beach, the amusement park Park d'Atraccions, mountain park of Montjuic, Miro museum, Gaudi apartment, aquarium, Gaudi Basilica, Park Guell, Picasso Museum, Palau de la Musica, La Boqueria (market), and possibly Park de la Ciutadella, and bicycle ride along promenade at beach. I realize we likely will not be able to do all of this, but these are our interests.

The kids love the beach and we will want to go more than one time, so I don't want to have too much trouble getting to the beach. I would like to stay in an area that is not too touristy, that is central OR well connected by public transportation and that has good restaurants within walking distance. We also really enjoy walking through new cities and would love to be in a walkable neighborhood with interesting things to see, places to walk to, etc. But, I am a bit overwhelmed.

So far, the neighborhoods I am looking at are: El Born, Poble Sec, L'Exiample, and Gracia. What can you tell me about the public transportation between these neighborhoods and the major sites and the beach? Any other thoughts?

Thank you!

daria is offline  
May 3rd, 2017, 08:26 PM
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Public transportation in Barcelona works well, but where you stay will depend on your budget more then anything else.
Robert2016 is offline  
May 3rd, 2017, 10:44 PM
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Budget aside, if you want to be near to the beach, then Barceloneta is the area for you. Otherwise, a short walk away (across the main road) is El Born, a really vibrant place with lots of restaurants, hotels etc. Avoid Raval, not a great part of town to stay in.

Many of the places that you want to see are within easy walking distance from these areas and the centre from Casa Mila down to sea is a lovely stroll for an afternoon. Don't miss the musical fountains in the Placa Espana in the evenings:

Rubicund is offline  
May 4th, 2017, 02:44 AM
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Public transportation is very good in Barcelona and it is a very walkable city. The neighborhoods you mention are very different. I love L'Eixample, it's a short walk from the heart of activity on Las Ramblas but still very accessible to everything you mention. It is the most upscale area, think high end shops and hotels, quieter than other areas. El Born is much closer to the beach, older and edgier, more activity. Garcia is more removed from Las Ramblas and the center of a lot of activity. All three areas have great examples of Gaudi architecture. My preference would be in the order I have listed them. The site/activities you mention are spread among the three areas you mention. Considering entertaining 11 year old twins, I would think that your best choice would be El Born. I'm not familiar with Poble Sec so I won't comment on that. I agree with Rubicund, avoid Raval.
bailey123 is offline  
May 4th, 2017, 04:48 AM
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There are plenty of Barcelona street maps online that show where the Metro lines go. The Gracia district is more residential and further from the beach, Placa Catalunya (the center of the city) and the areas that tourists tend to visit including the "Gaudi Apartment" and "Gaudi Basilica" (whatever those are - perhaps you are referring to Casa Batllo or Casa Mila and to La Sagrada Familia?).
BigRuss is offline  
May 4th, 2017, 05:14 AM
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Just got back from Barcelona and I agree with the L'Eixample area as being a great spot to stay, lots of great places to eat and within walking distance of most of the things to see in the central city. The public transportation is great, but beware of the pickpockets.
gpotvin is offline  
May 5th, 2017, 01:30 AM
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Medieval and vibrant El Born is your best bet I think, a cradle of Catalan identity and culture, some of the best tapas bars and restaurants in town, great sights and not very touristy. Ten minutes walk to the Barceloneta beach, and next door to the fun Ciutadella park:
kimhe is offline  
May 5th, 2017, 05:27 AM
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L'Eixample is a fairly large neighborhood, depending on where your hotel is you may or may not be close to the pedestrian areas and sights - I would suggest El Born, at least for a first trip with kids. That said, the attractions are pretty spread out - regardless of where you stay, you may not be able to walk quickly to all the areas. I also found cabs to be relatively inexpensive in Barcelona, so with a family of 4 that may be an option. All the attractions you mention are doable in 6 days. Have you considered adding Montserrat to your list? Park de la Ciutadella is great for people watching.
vipsha is offline  
May 5th, 2017, 10:39 AM
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joannyc is offline  
May 5th, 2017, 08:09 PM
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Thank you all very much. These are great suggestions. I am contemplating!
daria is offline  
May 6th, 2017, 08:13 AM
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A couple of the many interesting things to see in compact El Born.

Narrow Carrer Montcada was the most important street in Barcelona from the 12th century, lined with the palazzos of the then rich and powerful: http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/...-montcada.html

The 14th century Santa Maria del Mar church is one of the finest Gothic buildings anywhere, often called the "Cathedral of the sea" after the best-selling novel about Barcelona and the construction of the church (1329-1384): http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/...a-del-mar.html

The Passeig del Born is one of the most charming places in the city. many outdooor cafés here: http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/...del-born.html?

And in the end of Passeig del Born you have the old Born market, now the Catalan Culture Centre with excavation of Barcelona anno 1714 when the city and the region lost its independence to Spain: http://www.mercatdelborn.org/en/el-b...ltural-center/

Several great tapas bars in the area. El Tapeo del Born was our great food find in Barcelona a couple of years ago, both classical and cutting edge tapas, and the twins would probably love both the veal burger and the roast sausage canneloni. http://www.tapeoborn.cat/tapeo-del-born.html
kimhe is offline  
May 7th, 2017, 07:07 PM
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Thank you kimhe! You are very convincing!
daria is offline  
May 7th, 2017, 11:51 PM
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Hehe, but I also use to stay here on my many trips to Barcelona the past eleven years ;-)
kimhe is offline  

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