Averaging an 85% hotel occupation rate year-round, Barcelona is one of the busiest and most popular tourist destination in Europe – as well as one of the most expensive. From accommodation, food and transport to sightseeing and entertainment, vacation costs can add up to quite a hefty sum here. To reduce travelling expenses, young tourists on a tight budget, backpackers and those travelling with larger groups often opt for hostels during their stay in Barcelona.
A Convenient Accommodation Choice for Budget Travellers
But what's the difference between hostels and hotels? First of all, while both offer a place to stay, hostels are considerably cheaper than hotels and are usually preferred by young people who do not put too much weight on privacy and extra conveniences. At a hotel, guests have their own room and private bathroom, as well as maid services, fresh towels and toiletry items, room service or at least an in-house restaurant where they can order their meals, as well as TV, Internet access and other amenities, depending on the star rating of the facility.
Hostels, on the other hand, provide budget accommodation where travellers can rent a bed in a larger room – a dormitory – and share the bathroom with the other guests. Some do have single or double rooms as well, but at a higher price (still cheaper than a hotel, however). Many hostels provide a communal lounge and kitchen for all guests to share and cook their own meals, while some may offer a hot meal in the accommodation price. The amenities are often minimal and generally don't include any extras, but a good level of comfort is still provided. Moreover, those who like to socialize will have plenty of opportunities to meet new, interesting people in such places.
Where are hostels located?
In Barcelona, hostels are most concentrated in the touristy areas of the city, such as the centre, in Eixample, the Gothic Quarter, near La Rambla and close to the beach. Tourists can also find budget accommodation near Parque Guell or La Sagrada Familia, but the cheapest options can be found further out from the city center. Fortunately, Barcelona benefits from a good public transport system, and therefore visitors will have no issue getting around even if they choose a hostel in the Sants neighbourhood, for instance.