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Barcelona was voted the 10th best European city by Condé Nast Traveler in 2018. Is this a shock to anyone? This gorgeous Spanish city in the heart of Catalonia has become increasingly popular due to its rise in tourism, impressive gastronomic scene, affordable flights throughout Europe, and a few major events per year, such as the GSMA Barcelona Mobile World Congress. Never been to Barcelona and you're not sure which is the best place to stay? Today we're sharing Where to Stay During MWC - Barcelona by Neighbourhoods, curated by locals to be enjoyed by tourists. Let's get started!
There are few things more glorious than waking up and taking a stroll around the middle of the Gothic Quarter where you can literally walk among buildings and even street signs from the Roman ages. The Gothic Quarter is one the most touristic areas, but by far one of the most exciting neighbourhoods where you should stay during MWC.
- Where to get traditional tapas in the Gothic neighbourhood: For the best tapas in the Gothic area, check out Sensi Restaurant on Carrer Ample! If you're in the mood for traditional Catalan rice dishes and seafood, check out the famous Les Quinze Nits for group dinners. For an unforgettable dining experience, go to the Bar Cañete, one of the best kept secrets of Barcelona.
Photo by @oliviarosebcn at Sensi
- Where to stay during MWC: This is definitely an area where you want to rent an apartment and skip the hotel scene. Though there are a few exceptions, like the Rambla 1898, it's best to experience the nightlife and heart of the city in an apartment here. Be careful when booking and always make sure you use a trusted local source as scams are far too frequent here.
- The best bar in The Gothic: Though this neighbourhood is teeming with bars, clubs, and discotecas, Margarita Blue has gained quite the reputation as being one of the classier joints in the area, with live jazz music on Thursday nights that you don't want to miss. If you had to choose one neighbourhood to do a bar crawl, we'd suggest the Gothic. Be sure to check out Jamboree if you want to listen to 2000 throwback hits and be surrounded by tourists and college students. It's actually quite entertaining.
- How to get to the Fira from El Gótico: Take the green line Drassanes Metro on the Ramblas to Plaza Espanya, switch over to take the L8 all the way to the Fira.
- A Must-See in El Gótico: The Cathedral of Barcelona is absolutely emblematic and impossible to miss. Go for a tour in this famous Gothic church, and be sure to catch some of the impressive live street performers throughout the neighbourhood.
Insider Tip - Barcelona's oldest restaurant is located in this neighbourhood, Restaurant Can Culleretes.
- What the neighbourhood is known for: The Gothic Quarter is famous for its ancient Gothic architecture, its small winding streets and little alleyways, cobblestone streets, and lively bar scene.
El Born is without a doubt one of the most beloved areas in Barcelona because of it's timeless charm. There are buildings and churches that belong to Medieval times, but they managed to live on to share their history. You'll be absolutely enchanted by the ancient infrastructure, the cute cafes, and the great bar scene here.
- Where to get traditional tapas in El Born: Some of the most classic tapas and vermouth bars can be found in the charming Born Neighbourhood. Go have a ridiculously affordable glass of wine and some homemade hummus at El Diset, or snack on some olives and patatas bravas at Bormouth! For the best tapas in the area, go to Orvay, just beside the Santa Maria del Mar.
- The best bar in El Borne: Although it's not the most famous bar in the neighbourhood, it's definitely the best. You have to check out Dr. Stravinksy and their signature cocktails. Not to mention, they are some of the friendliest bartenders you'll meet in town. If you're looking for something a bit more spacious for groups, check out PAX 49 on Carrer del Rec.
- How to get to the Fira from el Borne: Walk to El Liceu Metro, take the L3 to Plaza Espanya and hop on to the L8 to get all the way to La Fira.
- A must-see in El Borne: You have to check out the famous Santa Maria del Mar Basilica. It was constructed by the village people in the 1300s, and is open to the public for free. You also have to check out the gorgeous Picasso Museum! It's completely worth the wait in line.
- What El Borne is known for: It's adorable cafes and bakeries, like Funky Bakers on thePaseo del Borne, or Cafes el Magnifico where you'll get the best coffee in Barcelona! El Borne is a neighbourhood that is almost too beautiful to be real, and is often called "a movie set".
This is one of the best neighbourhoods if you're in the tech industry, and you're attending MWC, then this is your place. Known as the urban district of innovation of Barcelona and locally referred to as the 22@, this neighbourhood has an incredible potential to become the "it" place to live. From the trendy warehouses converted into cafes and co-working spaces, to the incredible amount of start-ups appearing every other week, this is certainly the silicone valley of Spain.
- Where to get traditional tapas in el Poblenou: To do a tasting of some of the most delicious Catalan croquettes, check out Catacroquet. If you're staying in this area, we highly recommend trying out Restaurant Leka or Market Cuina Fresca. They both serve fresh, tasty Mediterranean meals at reasonable prices, and there's a reason we always go back. Be sure to check out their specialty coffee scene, like the Espai Joliu plant concept café.
Photo from barcelonafoodexperience.com
- The best bar in Poblenou: Without a doubt, Madame George Lounge Bar is one of the coolest bars you'll find in the entire city, with carefully prepared cocktails and helpful, friendly service. It's the perfect place to get drinks before going to a MWC networking party or launch party in the start-up district of Barcelona.
- How to get to the Fira from Poblenou: There are a few options that can get you from the Poblenou district, but it's so far away (more than 1 hour by public transportation) that we strongly recommend taking a taxi or a private transfer.
- A must-see in Poblenou: The legendary Torre Agbar is a landmark that you'll see as you fly over Barcelona. Apart from this unique landmark, don't miss out on the Can Framis Museum of Modern Art.
- What Poblenou is known for: The tech scene is taking over Poblenou, but somehow it still maintains a tangible sense of tradition and is even very family-oriented. Be sure to walk along the famous Rambla de Poblenou, as it's one of the most charming streets in the neighbourhood.
- Where to stay during MWC: Although this is more than an hour away by public transport, this neighbourhood is the perfect place to host a party during MWC. Whether you're having a brand awareness party, an app or product launch, or you just simply want to throw a rager because you have the budget, Poblenou is the coolest neighbourhood for your MWC party.
Check out these 10 Barcelona Rooftop Venues where you can host an event!
Looking for something in the city but less than 30 minutes by public transport? This is your spot. Although the neighbourhood has a reputation for being filled with a more rebellious crowd, that's what makes it so bad-ass! From skaters, to punks, to the Pakistani, Arab, and Chinese neighbourhoods, this area is a melting pot of all cultures and ethnicities. El Raval and Sant Antoni are just next to each other, so we decided to share the best of both in one.
- Where to get traditional tapas in Sant Antoni: Go to the famous Bodega 1900 where you'll be treated to some of the most delicious tapas in the city, and is owned by Albert Adrià. If you can't get enough of the Adrià-style cuisine, make a reservation at the famous Michelin star restaurant, Tickets.
- The best bar in El Raval: For years, 33/45 has gained an astonishing reputation as one of the hippest bars in the city. For all of the coolest bars in the Raval, check out Calle Joaquín Costa.
- How to get to the Fira from Sant Antoni: Take the L94 and you'll be at the Fira in 22 minutes!
Insider Tip - Stop at Itacate on your way to the Fira and get a healthy, delicious and beautiful breakfast from the sweetest couple in the city!
- A must-see in El Raval: The MACBA is the most iconic building in the neighbourhood, and is the best place in Barcelona for people watching. The coolest people in the city sit in these outdoor cafes lined up just next to this Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art and watch as skaters practice and perform all day long. The MACBA is one of the most frequently-used venues during MWC for parties and networking events.
- What the neighbourhood is known for: El Raval is known for hosting people from all over the world, and being a very accepting and open area to live. The bohemian lifestyle of El Raval is contagious, liberating, and fascinating all at once. Sant Antoni is known as one of the best areas to live in, and is connected to the city centre, the Paral.lel area, and home to the most "Instagrammable" brunch spots in Barcelona, like Tropico, The Juice House, and El Federal Cafe.
This curious neighbourhood is split into two,Eixample Dreta (right side) and Eixample Esquerra (left side). This two-fold neighbourhood is full of hotels, restaurants, bars, and even some fun latino nightclubs!
- Where to get traditional tapas in the Eixample area (Hold on to this list for dear life)- Vinitus, Mont Bar (Expensive but worth it), Ciudad Condal, Cachitos, ATAPA-IT, El Nacional, Paco Meralgo, La Cuina d’en Garriga Enric Granados, Morro Fi, and L'Olive (great for groups and formal dinners).
- The best bar in L'Eixample: El Velódromo is a must-try if you're in the mood for a traditional Catalan bar scene. If you're looking for something higher-end, check out Boca Chica or Feroz.
- How to get to the Fira from L'Eixample Neighbourhood: It's best to take the Passeig de Gràcia metro L3 to L8, and from there take the train directly to the Fira.
- A must-see in L'Eixample: Ever heard of the famous architect, Antoni Gaudí? His work is splattered all over the city, from the Sagrada Familia to the Casa Batlló and Casa Mila! Be sure to walk along the famous shopping street, el Passeig de Gràcia.
- What the Eixample neighbourhood is known for: Home to some of the best restaurants, bars, and even nightclubs, this residential but vivacious area in Barcelona is one of the best places to live in the city. Eixample is also known to be home to the largest gay community in Barcelona.
Where to stay in L'Eixample during MWC: One of our favourite hotels in the area is The Corner Hotel, where you can cosy up to the fireplace with a glass of wine and a delicious hamburger after a long day of events.
Want to wake up and walk to the beach? This former fisherman neighbourhood has been transformed into one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in Barcelona due to its location by the sea. Wake up to the sound of waves and seagulls in the morning and start your day on the beach!
Insider Tip - Wake up early and go grab some pastries and sandwiches at Baluard - it's the best bakery in Barcelona!
- Where to get traditional tapas in La Barceloneta: La Cova Fumada is one of the most unique restaurants in the Barceloneta, and not to mention, in Barcelona city. For traditional dishes like pescaditos fritos, fried calamaris, or fresh squid, check out Bar Jai-Ca. Expect to wait in a queue during high season in Barcelona.
Photo by George Kedenburg on Unsplash
- The best bar in La Barceloneta: We're going to suggest a place that EVERY tourist must check out in La Barceloneta/Port Olimpic area -La Xampanyeria. You can barely fit in the doors, it's worth the fight to get to the bar, just be patient. This classic bar was founded in the late 1960s, and has been serving people cheap cava out of traditional champagne glasses to wash down greasy fried chorizo sandwiches since then. You just have to see it for yourself.
- How to get to the Fira from La Barceloneta Neighbourhood: Take the bus D20 all the way to the Avinguda Paral.lel stop, then hop off and switch onto the L87 to get to the Fira and the Amadeu Torner stop.
- A must-see in La Barceloneta: The boardwalk, of course! Along this 5km boardwalk, you'll come across some of Barcelona's most famous paella restaurants, such as El Xiringuito Escribà! Another amazing landmark in the Barceloneta area is the History Museum of Catalonia.
- What La Barceloneta is known for: The clubbing scene by the beach! At these beach clubs you'll find some of the most legendary DJs, like Tiesto and Armin Van Buuren, to make you dance your heart out. Some of the most popular beachfront clubs are Pacha, Shoko, Opium, and CDLC. Expect to see tourists here. Lots of them. Not to mention some of the most beautiful venues that Barcelona has to offer!
- Where to stay in La Barceloneta during MWC: If you've got the budget for it, go for the best. The top 3 hotels along the beach that are the apple of everyone's eye? The W Hotel, The Hotel Arts, and the Skipper Pullman Hotel. If you can't get any rooms for you and your group, we'll happily check with our partners for availability and special room rates. Send us an email at [email protected] with your requirements and we'll be back within 24 hours to deliver your proposal, guaranteed.
This classic Barcelona neighbourhood is as close as you can get to the Fira without leaving the city. Because of its prime location and great hotel options, Sants is one of the most convenient places to stay during MWC. Here you'll see a more local crowd, from all different age ranges, and get a taste of what a less-touristy Barcelona looks like.
- Where to get traditional tapas in the neighbourhood: La Mestressa, in the famous Plaça d'Osca to get the tastiest Spanish tapas! If you want to make a night of trying various tapas restaurants, be sure to check out El Petit Pau Restaurant o El Sète Cel.
- The best bar in Sants: LUTE Bar & Bowls, located on Carrer St Medir, doubles as one of the best places to get a drink as well as enjoy some tasty tapas! If you're looking to go clubbing in Sants, we recommend trying out Input - one of the most local discotech clubs in Barcelona, located in the famous venue, el Poble Espanyol, Montjuic Park. The club fills up with local Catalans every weekend, and you'll get a true sense of how people like to party here.
- How to get to the Fira from Sants Neighbourhood: Walk everywhere in Sants, it's the best way to get to know any Barcelona neighbourhood! Not to mention, you'll make more room for an ice cold beer and fried tapas! To get La Fira Barcelona in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, walk to Placa Espanya and take the S8. Click here to see how to get to La Fira Gran Via.
Insider tip- Save a few bucks on your next taxi fare and take the direct train to the airport from Sants Estacio in less than 20 minutes!
- A must-see in Sants: The legendary Camp Nou, Home of FC Barcelona, is located within the Sants neighbourhood for all you football fans! During matches, the streets practically shutdown as they flood with fans from all over the world to watch the celebrated sport. Want to watch a match? Click here to buy your FCB tickets and watch Messi and Piqué dominate the match!
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
- What Sants is known for: In older times, Sants used to be one of the most important industrial neighbourhoods in Barcelona, as it was home to some of the most important clothing factories in the country. Not to mention Sants Street (La Calle de Sants) is the longest commercial street in all of Europe as it hosts more than 300 different shops and stores. What's more, every summer, Sants neighbourhood converts into one of the best places to party!
Where to Stay During MWC in Sants: If you're not interested in staying in a hotel and you'd rather rent out a flat, here's our favourite option.
Can't seem to find a hotel or apartment available? Get in touch with our accommodation specialists to help you get partner room rates and special availability during MWC.
Often overlooked as an actual neighbourhood, this charming area is one of the most desirable places to live due to its central location, charming shops and markets, as well as some of the coolest restaurants and bars in the city.
Insider Tip - The famous Born neighbourhood is actually located within the Sant Pere - Santa Caterina i la Ribera area. Check out the outline below!
- Where to get traditional tapas in Sant Pere: Sant Pere is famous for tapas restaurants! Some of the best in this area are- Casa Lolea, Bar Sant Pere, Bar Quillo, and Elsa y Fred.
- The best bar in Sant Pere: L'Antic Teatre is one of the most unique bars in Barcelona, and is truly one of a kind in the city. It's a local spot to get a cheap beer and enjoy the weather in a courtyard with a huge tree in the middle of it! For great wine in the area, go to Tosca Tapas y Vino!
- How to get to the Fira from Sant Pere: Take the L1 from Arc de Triomf to Plaza Espanya and from there, you know the drill! L8 to the Fira Barcelona Gran Via.
- A must-see in Sant Pere: El Palau de la Musica Nacional is an emblematic landmark in the city, and has hosted some of the greatest musicians and artists in the world. Just looking from the outside you'll be blown away by it's stunning architecture and features. Just a few minutes' walk you'll also find the famous Parc de la Ciutadella, as well as the Arc de Triomf.
- What Sant Pere is known for: This expansive neighbourhood is known for its famous pedestrian streets, such as Sant Pere Més Baix, Sant Pere Més Alt, and El Passatge Sert (you can find the famous Nomad Café hidden here). Be sure to go see the famous Santa Caterina Market.
Tucked away above the dividing Diagonal Avenue, the Vila de Gràcia is filled with pedestrian-only streets, families who have been in Barcelona for centuries, and some of the coolest local shops in the city. Though it's a very local Barcelona neighbourhood, you'll see expats and visitors alike strolling about in the area.
Where to get traditional tapas in Gràcia: If you're looking for a traditional tapas experience, be sure to check out the Restaurante Cal Robert. It's a very local place, offering humble, home cooked food, and the friendliest service. Be sure to try a red vermouth! If you want to try the best croquettes in the city, check out Antúnez!
- The best bar in Gràcia: Into Gin & Tonics? We are too, who isn't? The guys at Bobby Gin are the masters when it comes to preparing a wonderful G&T, so take a few colleagues and head over after a long day of events. Looking for something a little bit more high energy? Check out the famous higher-end nightclub, Sutton.
- How to get to the Fira from Gràcia Neighbourhood: Go to the Fontana metro stop and take L3 to Plaza Espanya. From there, hop off and change to the L8 where you'll be dropped off directly at the Fira Barcelona Gran Via.
- A must-see in Gràcia: Gracia is famous for its calm pedestrian streets, its yellow and orange tinted buildings, and the local life here. Not to mention, just on the outskirts of Gràcia will you find Gaudí's famous Parc Güell! You must see this if you're visiting the city, it's a mandatory stop.
- What Gràcia is known for: The Plaza Virreina,Plaza de la Vila de Gràcia, and the Plaza del Sol are some of the most famous and local squares in Barcelona. If you want to experience casual local nightlife in Barcelona, head up to Gràcia for some cold beers, crisps, olives, and a few good laughs with your colleagues.
Where to stay during MWC: This neighbourhood is full of adorable, quirky apartments, and a few high-end hotels. If you're interested in seeing our group and individual apartments in Gràcia right in the heart of the action, send us an email at [email protected].
Though this isn't a Barcelona neighbourhood, it's still technically a province in Barcelona, and is the closest you'll get to the Fira Barcelona Gran Via. L'Hospitalet is comprised of a few different local neighbourhoods, a few great restaurants, and some of the most famous conferences and trade shows in the world.
- Where to get traditional tapas in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat: In this little village, you can find a few traditional places to enjoy some delicious fried calamari with aioli, patatas bravas, and even a decent plate of paella! Try out La Pepa for some traditional Catalan grub. If you're looking for something more high-end, check out This & That to indulge in some of the tastiest creative cuisine in the area.
- The best bar in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat: After a strenuous day of event attending, there's nothing like a glass of wine to relax. Check out the rooftop and pool at the Renaissance Fira Barcelona Hotel and enjoy your evening with a drink.
- How to get to the Fira from L'Hospitalet de Llobregat: Chances are if you're staying in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, you're staying at one of the hotels near the Fira. The Fira is within walking distance from any of the hotels, and we recommend staying in The Hotel Ayre or The Hotel Porta Fira.
-A must-see in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat: If you're looking to decompress while attending an event but don't necessarily want to go into the city, check out the Can Buxeres Park. It's a nice, quiet and residential place to get lost and collect your thoughts during a busy day.
- What it's known for: L'Hospitalet de Llobregat is famous for being a place where some of the greatest events and shows in Barcelona come to life, such as the GSMA MWC. A few other famous events that this area hosts are the Alimentaria Food Fair, Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, and IBTM.
For more information regarding the upcoming Barcelona events in 2019, where to stay during MWC Barcelona, and the best venues in the city, send us an email at [email protected] and we'll get back within 24 hours.