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Barcelona has become one of Spain’s most attractive cities to visit. Wedged between the mountains and the Mediterranean, the capital of Catalonia is perfect for discovering Spain’s culture and landscape. Around Barcelona’s small historic centre, modern neighbourhoods have developed where chic boutiques and contemporary architecture sit alongside Gaudi’s sculptural legacy.

A concentrated, eclectic choice of accommodation

Barcelona’s range of accommodation reflects the city’s intriguing mix of architecture; old buildings are juxtaposed by contemporary design statements, and the excessiveness of several gems such as the MonteCarlo, the 1898 or the W oppose the more modest, functional accommodation on offer. The majority of hotels gravitate around the city’s heart, in Cituat Vella (the Old Town) and near Las Ramblas; Barcelona’s most famous and liveliest areas. Here, visitors can choose from a rich variety of lodgings, both historic and more recent, the best of which are presented in our pick of central hotels.

If your schedule and budget are both tight, HotelHotel has suggestions for cheap accommodation in good locations; a range of small hotels, guesthouses and youth hostels in and around the centre that allow travellers to make the most of city during their short stay.

The festive spirit of Barcelona makes it a popular destination for groups. Whatever the season, the city’s melting-pot of culture draws people together, be it around a plate of tapas, over a mojito, in one of the many museums, at a concert or in front of a football match. Inspired by Barcelona’s sense of community, we decided to put together a list of accommodation for groups.

Barcelona: darling of the jet set

The 1992 Olympic Games were a godsend for Barcelona, bringing about a modernization of public transport networks, a 38%-increase in the total number of hotel rooms and the creation of upmarket, business-oriented hotels. Combined with the city’s rich cultural backdrop and mild climate, these improvements have contributed to the rise of Barcelona as a top destination for conferences and international events.

The local authorities also used the Olympics as an opportunity to improve the seafront, creating a cleaner, more seductive coastline and attracting property developers. As a result, a handful of modern hotels have emerged at the water’s edge, the majority of which have 4 stars and offer ample facilities for rest and relaxation. To find out more, take a look at our Barcelona beach selection.

A few precautions…

The system used in Spain to evaluate hotels can seem generous compared to other European standards. We therefore recommend that, rather than relying solely on the number of stars, travellers should base their choice of hotel on information from an impartial source (such as HotelHotel.com!). Be vigilant while sightseeing: every touristic destination has its share of pickpockets, and they are particularly well-organised in Barcelona. Keep belongings close and valuables out of sight when you’re on the metro or visiting Las Ramblas.

The last inconvenience to note is for drivers: parking is extremely hard in the city centre and those hotels that have their own carparks charge around €20 a day. Luckily, Barcelona’s rich culture, energetic atmosphere and fair weather more than compensate for these minor shortcomings.

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Photo credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/endymion120/4906852849/sizes/z/in/photostream/ by Vincent Desjardins

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