Our hotels in Barcelona
Points of interest
The proud capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia boasts a historical heritage stretching back to Roman times, a wealth of world-class museums and a calendar bursting with exciting events. Spain's second-largest city manages to blend the dynamism and spirit of innovation that go with its role as a major economic hub with a laid-back appreciation for the good things in life. Its mosaic of neighbourhoods, each with its own distinct charm and personality, offers the curious traveller new discoveries at every turn.
Whether you're in Barcelona on a cultural visit or a business trip, a romantic weekend escape or a seaside holiday with the kids, you'll find the accommodation to suit your needs and your budget from the Accor selection of the best hotels in Barcelona.
Things to do in Barcelona
One of the best places in Barcelona to begin your exploration is its most iconic street, La Rambla, a broad boulevard shaded by plane trees and packed with flower sellers, kiosks and street artists – grab a table at one of the sidewalk cafés and watch the passing parade. The bustling avenue stretches from elegant Plaça de Catalunya, the city's pulsating heart, to the port, where you can get your bearings from the viewing deck atop the 1888 Mirador de Colom, a 60m-high column topped by a statue of Christopher Columbus, who disembarked in Barcelona on his return from America.
La Rambla marks the edge of Barcelona's historic heart and site of the original Roman settlement, the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter). The district is a warren of narrow streets opening onto charming squares, where quaint, venerable shops sit beside cool indie boutiques, global flagship stores and countless bars and cafés. Despite the name, many of the area's landmark buildings actually date from a major restoration project in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Barcelona Cathedral is from the 13th century, apart from its intricate façade, which was added in the 1800s – step inside to admire its soaring interior flooded with light pouring through magnificent stained-glass windows. Palm trees shade Plaça Reial, one of Barcelona's most beautiful squares and a beloved local meeting place, ringed by a harmonious ensemble of arcaded buildings and featuring a fountain of the Three Graces, and ornate lamps designed by a then-unknown Antoni Gaudí.
Across the Rambla, once-gritty El Raval is a frenetic melting pot of multicultural shops and eateries, edgy galleries, and cool bars open until the small hours. The palm-shaded Rambla del Raval, a green oasis amid the dense network of graffiti-daubed streets, centres on a giant sculpture of a whimsically smiling cat by Fernando Botero. The MACBA - Museu Art Contemporani de Barcelona presents contemporary art with a Catalan focus in a striking white building designed by Richard Meier – the wide square it faces is a hub for local skateboarders.
Facing the Barri Gótic across busy Via Laietana, El Born is a delightful maze of lanes fringed by medieval buildings – and today one of Barcelona's most fashionable neighbourhoods. It's crammed full of stylish bars and sleek restaurants serving everything from traditional tapas to contemporary global fusion, and its quirky indie boutiques are perfect if you're on the hunt for a unique addition to your wardrobe. Nightlife spills out from the bars along pretty Passeig del Born, the long plaza that hosted jousting tournaments and religious processions in the Middle Ages. Marking the ends of the square are the airy Catalan Gothic Santa Maria del Mar Basilica, with a spectacular rose window, and the El Born Centre de Cultura i Memòria, hosting cultural events and displaying excavated 1700s remains in a cast-iron 19th-century market hall. Housed in five medieval mansions, the Museu Picasso de Barcelona exhibits a vast collection of the Spanish master's work, with a particular focus on his oeuvre up until his Blue Period (1901–04).
Picasso is memorialised with a quirky monument by Antoni Tàpies, featuring items of furniture in a glass cube over which water cascades, and set in vast Ciutadella Park. Perfect for a relaxing break from sight-seeing, the luxuriant green space peppered with monuments was laid out in the 1880s, and is home to ponds, Barcelona Zoo and the stately seat of the Catalan parliament.
A young Antoni Gaudí contributed to the design of the park's grandiose, classically inspired fountain, the Cascada, and your Barcelona hotel is a perfect base for discovering the inimitable work of the Catalan architect. The city owes its most recognisable landmark to him, the remarkable Basilica de la Sagrada Família, begun in 1882 and expected to be completed in 2026. This vast cathedral, its organic forms inspired by the wonders of nature, will eventually feature 18 spires soaring heavenward – you can climb two of them for panoramic city views. The multi-hued light falling through vivid stained glass into the lofty interior, beneath an ornate ceiling supported by columns like slender trees, is a wonder to behold. Gaudí's playful Park Güell, on a hillside with views stretching over the rooftops of Barcelona to the sea, is a fantasia of rounded shapes and colourful mosaics, and includes a museum to the pioneer of Catalan Modernism in his former home. The first house designed by Gaudí in Barcelona, the elaborate Casa Vicens took inspiration from Moorish and oriental styles – its beautifully restored interior is open for visits. Two more of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed buildings by Gaudí in Barcelona are on the prestigious Passeig de Gràcia avenue: the fantastical Casa Batlló, with balconies resembling masks and a dragon-like roof, and the sinuous Casa Milà, nicknamed "La Pedrera" (the quarry).
The Sagrada Família towers above the rest of the Barcelona skyline when viewed from Montjuïc park, a sprawling hilltop green area that can be reached either via an urban hike or with one of two cable cars: the Telefèric del Port, which soars above the harbour, or the Telefèric de Montjuïc. The hill was the main site of the 1992 Olympic Games, and a curving white tower stands at the centre of the Olympic complex. With 17th-century origins, Montjuïc Castle houses a military museum and affords 360-degree city and sea views. Montjuïc is also home to the Fundació Joan Miró, with a large collection of the Catalan artist's colourful, surrealist-influenced paintings, sculptures and ceramics, and the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, with 1,000 years of Catalan art housed in a monumental building erected for the 1929 International Exposition.
FC Barcelona is one of the world's most-loved football teams, and its motto "més que un club" (more than a club) reflects its status as a pillar of Catalan identity and pride. Joining as many as 99,000 passionate Barça fans waving red-and-yellow Catalan flags for a home game at Camp Nou, Europe's largest stadium, is an unforgettable experience. You can relive epic games and admire decades of trophies and shirts in the interactive club museum, and visit grandstands, the players' tunnel and the hallowed turf on the Camp Nou Experience tour.
Barcelona is blessed with a chain of sandy beaches stretching along its seafront, popular spots for swimming, volleyball and watersports backed by a long coastal promenade. This wasn't always the case: it was long said that Barcelona lived with its "back to the sea", access to the coast blocked by industry and the railway. The beaches were liberated as part of the pre-Olympics urban rejuvenation – today it's impossible to imagine the city without them. Backed by its quaint namesake neighbourhood of narrow streets strung with washing lines, Barceloneta Beach is a family favourite. Lively bars and seafood restaurants overlook the Port Olímpic marina and the series of sandy crescents stretching north to the city limits. If you'd prefer to venture outside the city, there are a string of idyllic beaches lined up and down the coast, and the train ride from Barcelona to Sitges, a charming town with a seafront lined with grand mansions, takes around 40 minutes.
Eating and Drinking in Barcelona
The gastronomy scene in Barcelona is deservedly world-renowned, with a seemingly endless array of choices from relaxed tapas joints and low-key neighbourhood taverns to chic, multi-starred fine-dining establishments and über-cool places serving avant-garde fusion food. Catalan cuisine combines the best of the region's fertile hinterland and the sea. Regional favourites that pop up on the menus of many of the best restaurants in Barcelona include escudella chickpea, cabbage and meat stew, coca de recapte (pastry topped with roast vegetables and sardines) and suquet seafood stew. *Crema catalana (*similar to crème brûlée), marzipan panellet cakes, and long, hollow neula biscuits are among the sweet local delights.
Catalonia is home to 12 Designation of Origin (DO) areas, producing an eclectic array of white, red and rosé wines from a wide variety of grapes, each region's vintages offering their own distinctive character. Cava is the province's take on champagne and fermented using a similar process – you can sample it with an accompaniment of tapas at low-key bars known as xampanyerias.
Given the significance of food and drink to local identity, it's little wonder that Barcelona boasts several dozen vibrant markets, each a riot of colours and fragrances and packed with artisan stalls laden with regional hams, cheeses, seafood and farm produce, as well as stands where you can stop for a quick snack of delectable tapas. An architectural and culinary landmark is the Boqueria Market, with dozens of sellers plying delicacies in an ornate 1860s hall featuring a dramatic, modernista arched entrance.
The Best Hotels in Barcelona
The Accor hotel portfolio offers a selection of the best places to stay in Barcelona, tailored to suit your individual needs. For a romantic weekend in the Catalan capital, there's no better choice than our elegant luxury beach hotel in Barcelona, featuring a rooftop pool, a gourmet tapas bar and breathtaking sea and city views. Flying in for a big Barça match? Book a room or suite at our luxurious 5-star hotel with a pool and spa near Camp Nou stadium. You'll also find a host of more affordable hotel options, ideal if you're looking for family accommodation in Barcelona, all in the city centre or within easy reach of all the best activities, thanks to the fast public transport system. If your visit is a blend of business and pleasure, we have a range of hotels offering facilities for seminars and meetings, as well as coworking space in Barcelona. Arriving late or leaving early? Choose one of our modern airport hotels.