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Reviewed on 29 Feb 2020
Reviewed on 17 Mar 2020
Reviewed on 27 Feb 2020
You're sure to know when you've arrived at a hostel in Barcelona. There's a definite buzz and energy to proceedings in these cool urban escapes. They might not be the budget digs you expected – some have country locations, sparkling swimming pools, bougainvillea-blooming gardens or edgy common spaces that brim with antiques. There's almost always somewhere set aside for socialising with fellow backpackers, whether a sun-splashed terrace on the roof or a fully-fledged on-site bar that's fuelled by Spanish craft beers. Location wise, hostels in Barcelona offer all sorts. An escape to the wooded Serra de Collserola? You're on. A retro base between the cobbled lanes of the Gothic Quarter? That's doable. A salt-washed pad facing the waves of happening Barceloneta Beach? That's a possibility, too.
Barcelona is a city with plenty of pizzazz. Its low-cost stays reflect just that, offering interiors that burst with style – think vintage posters, dimly lit bars, scruffy-chic sofas and retro arcade games. They create a perfect setting for getting to know who you're staying with, whether you plan on cooking up paella in the shared kitchen or clinking a cold beer in the rooftop garden. Rooms start with the usual multi-bunk dorms, which might be single sex or mixed. Some of the more stylish design hostels in Barcelona and cutting-edge "poshtels" now also throw in double rooms that are great for city-going couples keen to fuse affordability, seclusion and atmosphere into a single booking.
You might also find that hostels in Barcelona go above and beyond the normal call of duty. Many have their own routine of evening entertainments – pub crawls, beer tasting, quizzes, live music shows and the like. Some have bike rental facilities to get you whizzing up Las Ramblas on two wheels. It's normal for most hostels to have dedicated reception staff on hand to offer insights into the city and its surroundings, too. So, don't be afraid to ask for recommendations on the top tapas bars, the best nightlife areas or where to go for those flamenco lessons.
One of the great things about hostels in Barcelona is just how much fun they can add to that Spanish escape. Take the Safestay Barcelona Sea. It's literally a stone's throw from where the waves of the Mediterranean crash onto Barceloneta Beach, though it offers much more than just a bed by the sands. It's also got in-house booking for Gaudi Tours, nightly tapas tasting and more. The most dedicated sightseers might prefer to be closer to the Gothic Quarter, which is where the compact dorms of Ideal Youth Hostel come in. There's even a rooftop terrace, there, so you can spy out the medieval spires without even leaving. Up in Eixample, the Casa Gracia Barcelona melds art deco styles with noir furnishings to provide something truly sleek near the amazing Sagrada Familia.