Barcelona's Old City Has Some of the Chicest Hotels

Ciutat Vella, otherwise known as Barcelona's Old Town, and historic core, has some of the most unique, charming and architecturally stunning hotels. Whether you're looking to stay in the heart of the action in the Gothic Quarter, the chicer El Born district or the edgier Raval neighborhood, there is an abundance of hotels ranging from extremely high-end to very affordable. There is something for everyone, including boutique, commercial, mom 'n pop hotels, Bed and Breakfasts and pensions (higher-end hostels).

Some key hotels can be found on La Rambla, including the beautiful Hotel 1898 with it's gorgeous rooftop terrace that gives way onto 360 degree city views. Other hotels can be found overlooking plazas, such as Hotel Colon which has a direct view of the Cathedral and Hotel Neri, which is tucked away in Plaza Sant Felip Neri and has a charming garden patio as well as a cozy rooftop terrace.

The further you get into the downtown core, the smaller some of the hotels become as there is less space. If you're looking for something on a grander scale, some of the hotels on Passeig De Gracia and by the water are still very central, yet slightly bigger. The Arts and W hotels are quite large with gorgeous sea views and the Mandarin on Passeig de Gracia has all the amenities you could wish for. 


Hotel Colon Barcelona
Photo courtesy of Sam Mednick

It--s hard to believe there is a hotel located directly across from such a visage; Barcelona--s famous Cathedral. Try to request one of the Superior Double rooms or Junior Suites and you--ll be able to walk out onto your private terrace every morning and stare directly at this incredible masterpiece. It's a romantic getaway, right in the center of the city's most historic neighborhood, the Gothic Quarter. The Colon is a small, intimate and quiet getaway, from the typical loud and noisy atmosphere found on Barcelona--s busy downtown streets in Ciutat Vella (Old City). It's a stone's throw from excellent bars and restaurants and easy to walk to the Born, Plaza Catalunya, the Raval as well as the beach.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Hotels because: One of the best views in Ciutat Vella overlooking the Cathedral

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Port Vell-old Town
Casa Camper Barcelona

This is a hip and trendy hotel in the city center. Casa Camper is an comfortable, classy yet affordable accommodation with a young, energetic vibe. It's romantic in that it's small and personable and in one of the Old City's less 'chartered' neighborhoods, the Raval. This is an assuming hotel, with a lot of charm and character. It's ideal for couples allowing for both a quiet and relaxed vacation, while also providing for the opportunity to bar hop and club until the early hours of the morning, if the need arises. Rambla del Raval is just a stone's throw away with excellent dining options as well.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Hotels because: A cool hotel in the edgier, Raval neighoborhood, affordable and stylish

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Hotel Banys Orientals is slightly farther from the port, yet still an easy stroll. It's Born location provides for a chic and elegant stay and the Banys Orientals Spa adjacent to the hotel is a welcome after tour-time activity or afternoon relaxation 'retreat'. This is a high-end hotel that is moderately priced and if you want to stay in one of the 'posher' areas of the Old City, then this is a great option. It's unassuming yet at the same time it caters perfectly to those looking for an upscale experience in Ciutat Vella. It's a stone's throw from Passeig Del Born, which is the epi-center of the Old City.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Hotels because: A designer hotel with built in oriental baths. Located on the edge of the Born near the Park

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A quaint and unassuming hotel in the city center, Chic and Basic is for the romantic trendsetters, and hipsters. Located in the chic, Born neighborhood, Chic & Basic has a mix of apartments and hotels throughout the city. The one in the Born is particularly romantic as it's in the center of charming boutique shops and one of a kind stores, featuring beautiful clothing and accessories. It's also near some great wine bars and restaurants and has an over air of romance as you stroll through the streets. Chic & Basic is a small hotel with few rooms so be sure to book in advance.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Hotels because: A charming hotel and apartment complex in the trendy Born neighborhood.

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Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona

It's hard to beat the Majestic's location; situated on Barcelona's trendy Passeig De Gracia, surrounded by modernist masterpieces, including Casa Batllo and La Pedrera and a short stroll to Gracia and Plaza Catalunya, the Majestic is a luxurious and high quality hotel with a killer spa. They also have a large terrace with excellent city views which is open to the public. The Majestic has both apartments for large groups or families who want to stay together, or the hotel. Both are wonderful and have excellent service. They also have conference rooms for business meetings if you choose to stay there for professional reasons.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Hotels because: A stunning hotel not far from the downtown core. Gorgeous rooms and a nice terrace

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This is not the cheapest of the bunch, however the hotel has excellent deals and special rates throughout the year. It's perfectly situated between the Gothic Quarter and Barceloneta neighborhoods and it has a small but quaint and relaxing rooftop patio, perfect for dining or having a few aperitifs while overlooking the port. The Duquesa is a quaint hotel, small but full of all the amenities you'd need to make your stay a wonderful experience. It's a close walk to the port as well as the Gothic Quarter and the beaches of Barceloneta. From the terrace you have excellent city views.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Hotels because: A quaint hotel on the edge of Ciutat Vella close to the water

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If you're looking to stay slightly outside of the city center, yet still want to be close and within walking distance of great shopping and major attractions, then the Alma is a great choice. It's incredibly romantic, with the outdoor garden and rooftop terrace with 360 degree views of the entire city. The rooms are large and fully equipped, ideal for a honeymoon vacation or one where you'd rather spend more time in the room than out of it. The hotel restaurant is quaint and elegant and if you'd like to eat out there are plenty of classy and intimate places to dine around the Passeig de Gracia area and the Eixample neighborhood.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Hotels because: A beautiful, minimalist hotel just up from Plaza Catalunya with a great garden

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Old Town
Hotel Neri
Photo courtesy of Sam Mednick

One of the Gothic Quarter's most charming and elegant hotels, this boutique accommodation caters to those who want to mix culture with luxury. It's a tiny hotel, with a small staff and the rooms aren't huge, however they're very tastefully decorated and quite classy. The restaurant downstairs is an intimate and relaxing place to dine and in the summer the outdoor patio is perfect for a few drinks, while overlooking the Plaza Sant Felip Neri. There is also a quiet and hidden rooftop terrace where you can nap under the trees or sit in the hammock and read a book.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Hotels because: A high-end, boutique hotel off one of Barcelona's most charming Plazas

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Hotel Arts Barcelona

The Hotel Arts embodies the terms class and luxury. Overlooking the Mediterranean and Frank Gehry--s famous flying fish, the Arts is a slight stroll from the city center, yet ideally located along the beach and just a short walk from most of the action. The hotel--s, Club Rooms, come with their own private butler and if you want an even more personalized service, try staying at one of their 27 apartments with your own personal concierge. Their outdoor garden oasis with hammocks and a whirlpool is perfect for relaxing after a long day of sightseeing and it's right beside the outdoor pool and beach bar.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Hotels because: A beautiful hotel overlooking the water and not too far from the city core

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Hotel 1898
Photo courtesy of Hotel 1898

The 1898--s rooftop terrace is next to unbeatable. Boasting 360-degree views of the entire city, with its medium sized pool and plenty of deck space it's an ideal spot for family meals at their outdoor restaurant or just fun to laze around, soak up the sun and enjoy the pool together. Coupled with the terrace, the other main selling point for this hotel is location. Walk out the main entrance (there are two entrances) and you--re on the famous, La Rambla or dine at their downstairs restaurant adjacent to the lobby, while watching the street performers entertain the tourists directly across the way.

Recommended for Ciutat Vella's Best Hotels because: One of the nicest hotels in the city center, amazing rooftop terrace and stylish rooms

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Meet Sam Mednick

Sam’s passion for the sea and mountains makes Barcelona the optimal living destination. 

Sam's love for traveling has taken her to Africa, the Middle East, Europe and South America. Before...  More About Sam