Over the last decade, Barcelona has become “Touristlona” . Floods of tourists inundated the old town and hence prices rising and expensive accommodation all year round.
So – what to do when it’s all booked out and you are stuck with a 40EUR a night smelly bunker bed located 45min from the center?
Forget about Barcelona and stay NEAR Barcelona. Get rid of the tourists, cheaper, and with better conditions. Problem solved!
Have a look into these great alternatives:
Wide sandy beach, lively old town, and very LGBT friendly.
While crowded during summer season, Sitges is a fantastic destination on its own, just about 35km/40min South of Barcelona. Easy to reach by train from Sants Estacio and other central train stations.
The city is very lively featuring a compact old-town full of bars, restaurants and some great nightclubs. The city hosts great white beaches well-known for its good surfing during good swells.
The sea-front promenade is one of Catalonia’s most famous – and boasts prime mansions and villas, housing some of the FC Barcelona player’s homes.
Sleep at Babalu Sitges Beach Hostel
Nice place just 1 block away from the beach, just a short pleasant walk from the city center. Very popular with solo travelers – many revisit. Located in a fantastic villa, recently renovated with new beds and lockers. Spacious terrace with barbecue. Good fun!
SANT CUGAT DEL VALLÈS
Green parks, fresh air, sophisticated vibe
Sant Cugat, one of the snobbiest towns near Barcelona, is a very pleasant town about 30min away from the Old Town. Sant Cugat feels certainly fresher and healthier than Barcelona thanks to its proximity to the Collserola Natural Park.
It boasts the fantastic Monastery of Sant Cugat – a Benedictine abbey founded in the 9th century and built until the 12th century, as well as the vintage market Mercantic, and numerous interesting food courts.
Nowadays it hosts a number of international tech companies such as HP, good universities like ESADE. For those who enjoy treks and fresh air, San Cugat is just next to the Collserola Park. Convinced?
Very modern and recently renovated university dorm near ESADE Campus. About 15min walk from Sant Cugat’s Old Town, with direct subway to Pl. Catalunya. Great for those visiting friends on Erasmus or fancying a location near a big park. Features a pool table, wide common areas and even a gym. Ready for it?
Very close to Barcelona, nice beach, decent vibe
Badalona is very well connected to Barcelona by subway, train and bus. Its beach is quite good and has a decent amount of cool local bars and tapas places to offer.
Founded as Baetulo, in 3th century BC, the city has a number of interesting historical sights. Start with the Roman Baths, then you can visit the Santa Maria Church (b. 1112 AD) or the Monastery of Sant Geroni de la Murtra (b. 14th century AD).
Badalona’s beaches are generally in very good condition and much less crowded than Barcelona’s. They are very wide and close to the old town. Their most popular beach is called “Platja dels Patins a Vela”.
Stay at Be Dream Hostel
Basic yet very correct hostel at a good price. Rooms and lockers are secured using a magnetic card. Guests are allowed to use the full kitchen. Free breakfast. Located near Pep Ventura subway station (about 15min to Sagrada Familia). Beach is a 10min walk.
HOSPITALET DE LLOBREGAT
Near Camp Nou, not touristy, modern architecture
L’Hospitalet is the second city in Catalonia – with about 250.000 inhabitants. Apart from a few businessmen attending the congress area, you won’t find many tourists around here.
Some areas in Hospitalet remain pretty wild while its newer hotel developments include world-class architecture landmarks near the Convention Center (La Fira).
It’s also a good location for football enthusiasts, since it is very well connected to the Camp Nou – FC Barcelona’s Stadium.
Finally, the city is full during the Sonar Festival (electronic music, yearly on mid June), as well as the local festivities.
Sleep at Cool & Chic Hostel
Just 150m from a blue-line subway station, this hostel has all you need at a fair price. Supplied with individual lockers and communal kitchen. Football fans, this is your place – FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium is just 10min walk away.
Or, if you want to splurge, stay at the NH Collection Barcelona Tower
Designed by British architect Richard Rogers, this is one of the best hotels in Barcelona Area. A courageously brutal landmark, it is located just steps away from Hospital de Bellvitge subway stop. Best in class – very fine sleep for those that can afford it, but sometimes at very competitive prices.
Sometimes accomodation in Barcelona is heavily overpriced. Even then, there are convenient alternatives nearby.
Staying in Sitges, Sant Cugat, Badalona, or L’Hospitalet might be a good idea to save some money while getting off of the tourist trail.
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