So, if you’re backpacking to Barcelona but have no clue about what neighborhoods you should check out, this post has you covered. We’ve handpicked the city’s best neighborhoods for you to enjoy and stay in. Most of them are surrounded by what backpackers love most, be it tapas, locals or the city’s historic buildings. So without further ado, let’s take a look at Barcelona’s hidden gems that’d make your trip unforgettable.
1. The Gothic Quarter
This quarter is also known as the Barri Gòtic. It goes east from the popular Ramblas neighborhood and contributes to the middle of old town. With apartments form the fifteen to the fourteenth centuries, most of the Gothic Quarter is Instagrammable, full of restaurants, galleries, museums, and restaurants. In addition to the exquisite boutique selections, many of the city’s affordable accommodations are situated here. Of course, you still need to be careful when traveling at night time and take good care of your belongings in poorly lit corners.
Eixample is a rare neighborhood that many backpackers won’t be familiar with. It was created on a grid system referred to as super block – some of the best Barcelona’s architects have put their thought into it. It’s a great place to stay if you want to be near some of the gems of Gaudi like La Padrera, Casa Batloo, and Sagrada Familia. Another great thing about Exiample is that it isn’t as crowded as other neighborhoods, as it’s designed with big avenues where you can easily go on foot and discover Barcelona. It’s also close to the center of the city and if you want to explore some of the most gorgeous buildings in the city, this is the spot to check out.
This is a big neighborhood in Barcelona’s south centre. It also connects to the Mediterranean coast. Montjuic is where you’ll come across a range of monuments, museums, natural landscapes and soccer facilities. If you’re looking for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, this museum has stunning views to offer. In short distance is the city center, where you’ll find numerous hostels to stay in. 1992 Barcelona Olympics sites are also present in this neighborhood. Stop and enjoy the flowers in Jardin Botanico de Barcelona or explore Montjuic Castle to enjoy the panoramic views of this gorgeous city on your visit to Montjuic.
The Gracia Village was actually an individual village outside of this city only a 100 years ago. After Eixample came into being, this was annexed to the main city, but the locals of this neighborhood still are loyal to Gracia rather than the Catalonians. The neighborhood would be a paradox for some backpackers – at one extent, you’ll see activities portraying the village life of Catalans, and on the other there are international restaurants, bars and organic food shops that are only found in big cities. It’s an intriguing neighborhood to reside in, and just 40 minutes away from old town. You can also plan a food tour there if you’re traveling with a group.
You may anticipate this beachside neighborhood to portray the luxurious side of Barcelona, but it doesn’t. The seaside quarter of the city came onto the horizon as the quarter of poor fishermen, and is still popular for its worn, tiny apartments where clothes are hung out for drying. With that said, its one of the most community-oriented and cultural places in the city, though it’s being more and more crowded with unmannered tourists impacting the locals. If you go there please show good respect toward the locals, and don’t give them reasons to complain any more than they currently do.
6. El Raval
If you like exploring culture and art, the place to be is El Raval. It is one of the coolest gems of Barcelona and makes the list of best neighborhoods in Barcelona because of its vibrant bar scene, trending restaurants, and bohemian outlets. In a nutshell, it has everything you need to immerse yourself in pop culture. It’s also worth mentioning that this used to be one of the most dangerous districts of Barcelona. And although it has undergone major resurgence in the past decade, you’d still come across or experience instances of pickpockets, and specific places are best to avoid at night. Be vigilant about your personal belongings like purses and wallets to avoid facing a loss.
7. Sant Pere
La Ribera and Sant Pere are two old-town neighborhoods that both have a medieval origin, and are often regarded as a single district, with each having a unique identity. Sant Pere has two astonishing buildings, the Mercat Santa Caterina and Música Catalana. Also worth knowing is that the old artisans’ La Ribera quarter is a big attraction, thanks to the Museu Picasso and the elegant Santa Maria del Mar church.
8. Paral.lel/Ant Antoni/Poble Sec
We’ve grouped these three together, as they cross one another on border and are all quite, central, and secure. They’re situated far enough from touristic spots but are close enough to the main attractions. Also, the beautiful Montjuic is connected to the Poble-Sec neighborhood. You’ll find traditional barrios when you visit this part of town, and though there aren’t many popular monuments here, they’re great for watching the local culture and immersing in local food. There are lots of diverse option if you’ve grown tired of the traditional Catalan meals.
Barcelona is one of the best destinations for backpackers. If you have it on your travel list, do make sure to pay a visit to these neighborhoods. It’s almost a guarantee that you won’t return disappointed.