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Best Neighborhood to Stay

Washington, DC
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Best Neighborhood to Stay

I realize that the neighborhoods are described in the Top questions about Barcelona link and that this question has been asked many times, but we are still having trouble deciding on a neighborhood and time is running short (we will be there the second week of September). So, I am begging for some more opinions.

For background, we are an older couple and will be arriving by train from southern France, then leaving by plane to return to the States. We like to walk as much as possible rather than rely on public transportation though the occasional cab or bus is fine. We would like to see both cathedrals, of course, and a few of the museums but tend to take things slow, that is, maybe one museum and/or church in a day with the rest of the time spent relaxing and people watching. If budget matters as far as neighborhoods are concerned, we would like to keep the cost to 200 euro or under a night.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated. I have made so many decisions for this trip that this one seems to be overwhelming.

Barcelona, Spain
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for Barcelona, Catalonia
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1. Re: Best Neighborhood to Stay

1.) There are no two cathedrals in Barcelona, only one: La Catedral de Santa Eulàlia, located in the old town.

2.) Since this question gets asked a lot... this is my sort of standard response ;)

For a visual response to your question: http://oi44.tinypic.com/20r5nd3.jpg Note that the red zones don't mean "no stay", they just mean (to me) that are not convenient for a short stay in the city, either too far or too rowdy or a bit seedy, but by all means one has to visit them as all have their own charm. Keep in mind though that this is a very personal response, other members will surely recommend different things and probably equally good (or better!)

Just for info I include links to three videos showing the areas of l'Eixample, Gràcia and El Born -as per the above map- so you can have a glimpse on what they look like as I feel any of those three would meet your criteria:

L'EIXAMPLE: infocatalonia.eu/w/…

EL BORN: www.infocatalonia.eu/w/2013/12/01/el-born/

GRÀCIA: infocatalonia.eu/w/…

L'Eixample is classy and elegant, a large district with wide streets and avenues

El Born is historical with little streets and alleys, may get a bit rowdy at times

Gràcia is like a homy little town within the city with a life of its own, slightly farther (15' by metro) but worth considering.

Malaga, Spain
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for Malaga, Andalucia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Seville
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2. Re: Best Neighborhood to Stay

Jack:

Downtown Barcelona is the Plaza de Catalunya. A good place to stay is the Eixample, the modern barrio of the city built in the 19th and 20th centuries, with a square grid of streets. This includes modernist buildings built by Gaudi like the Sagrada Familia Basilica, Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. There are other notable modernist buildings here by other famous architects. The Paseo de Gracia is the most elegant avenue, with upscale stores. Use expedia.com to screen hotels in the area, a very good area to stay in.

Read the top questions in the Barcelona forum about the Sagrada Familia Basilica, Park Guell, and the Palau de la Musica Catalana because these sites need prebooking. A day trip to Montserrat is suggested.

Washington, DC
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3. Re: Best Neighborhood to Stay

Enric, thank you very much. The map and especially the videos are so helpful. I will get my husband to view them, see if he is leaning in the same direction that I am and then we will decide.

Washington, DC
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4. Re: Best Neighborhood to Stay

Benny, thanks for the recommendation. And thanks for the tip about pre-booking the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and Palau de la Musical Catalana. It's about time we started thinking about those details.

buenos aires...
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5. Re: Best Neighborhood to Stay

The second week of September should be a great time to visit Barcelona. As has been said, L'Eixample is the best area in which to stay. I'd suggest staying at a hotel between Gran Via, Diagonal, Girona and Aribau, with hotels on or just off Rambla Catalunya as the best location.

For safety reasons I would not stay in the Borne and Gotic areas. Older folk, who like to walk, should not stay in the hilly Gracia. Regardless, do yourselves a favor and don't stay on or off the Rambles.

.

Barcelona, Spain
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for Barcelona, Catalonia
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6. Re: Best Neighborhood to Stay

XchocolateX, (1) there are no unsafe areas in Barcelona, (2) Gràcia, as in the hear of the district, isn't hilly at all, it's flat!

7. Re: Best Neighborhood to Stay

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