Wondering What is the safest area to stay in Barcelona? Are there areas to avoid in Barcelona? In this post, I will help you to find the Safest areas and neighborhoods to stay in Barcelona for tourists and the best places to stay in each neighborhood.
Barcelona is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city located in northeastern Spain, on the Mediterranean coast. It is the capital of the Catalonia region and is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, cultural diversity, and beautiful beaches.
Barcelona is renowned for its unique and influential architecture, particularly the works of Antoni Gaudí include the Sagrada Família, Park Güell, Casa Batlló, and Casa Milà. These buildings are characterized by their whimsical and organic designs.
The city has a rich cultural heritage, with a history that dates back to Roman times. You can explore the historic Gothic Quarter, visit museums like the Picasso Museum, and enjoy various cultural events throughout the year.
Barcelona is a food lover’s paradise. It’s famous for its tapas, seafood, and Catalan cuisine. You can try dishes like paella, calcots, and crema catalana, among others. The city is also known for its bustling food markets like La Boqueria.
The city boasts several beautiful beaches, including Barceloneta Beach, which is easily accessible from the city center. These beaches offer opportunities for relaxation, water sports, and beachside dining.
Football (soccer) is a major part of the city’s culture, and FC Barcelona, one of the world’s most famous football clubs, is based here. The Camp Nou stadium is a must-visit for football fans.
Barcelona’s nightlife is vibrant and diverse. You can find everything from traditional Spanish taverns to modern clubs and live music venues. The nightlife often starts late and goes on until the early hours of the morning.
The city has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, and a metro system. The city is also known for its iconic cable cars and a well-connected airport.
Is Barcelona safe for tourists?
Yes, Barcelona is overall a safe city for tourists, but like any major urban destination, it’s important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.
Here are some safety tips for tourists in Barcelona:
Barcelona has had issues with pickpocketing, especially in crowded tourist areas like La Rambla, the Gothic Quarter, and public transportation.
Be mindful of your belongings, use a money belt or a secure bag, and keep a close eye on your valuables.
Avoid leaving your belongings unattended in public places, and be cautious when using your smartphone or other electronic devices in public.
Be cautious of scams and people approaching you with unsolicited offers or requests for money. Common scams are the “bird poop” scam, fake petitions for donations, or distraction techniques.
While Barcelona’s nightlife is vibrant and enjoyable, be responsible when consuming alcohol, stick to well-lit and populated areas, avoid walking alone in unfamiliar neighborhoods at night.
If you visit the beaches, don’t leave your belongings unattended while swimming. Use beach lockers or keep your valuables in waterproof pouches.
Use Licensed Taxis:
When taking a taxi, make sure it’s an official, licensed taxi, and ask for an estimated fare before starting your journey. Some unlicensed taxis may overcharge tourists.
Familiarize yourself with the local emergency numbers and the location of the nearest embassy or consulate.
Respect Local Laws and Customs:
Be aware of local laws and customs, such as dress codes for religious sites and regulations regarding public behavior.
Stay in Safe Areas:
Research neighborhoods before booking accommodations. Generally, areas like Eixample, Gracia, and the Gothic Quarter are considered safe for tourists. Avoid staying in or around El Raval, which has a higher crime rate.
You can check with your government’s travel advisory website and read recent reviews from fellow travelers to get the latest information on safety in Barcelona. Additionally, consider taking common-sense precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to this beautiful city.
What is the safest area to stay in Barcelona?
The safest areas to stay in Barcelona for tourists are Eixample, Poble Sec, Poblenou, Gràcia , El Born, Barri Gòtic, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, Pedralbes, and Les Corts.
While these areas are generally safe, it’s always essential to remain vigilant, keeping an eye on your belongings and being cautious in crowded areas.
In general, Barri Gòtic, El Born, Eixample, Poble Sec, Poblenou, Gràcia are the overall best areas to stay in Barcelona for first-time visitors. Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, Pedralbes, and Les Corts are more residential areas with several accommodations for tourists.
Map of Safest areas and neighborhoods in Barcelona for visitors:
The safest areas to stay in Barcelona for tourists are:
Eixample is one of the most popular and safest neighborhoods to stay in Barcelona for tourists. It is located in the heart of Barcelona, making it an excellent base for exploring the city. It’s within walking distance of many major attractions, including La Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, and Casa Milà.
Eixample is known for its grid-like street layout, which makes it easy to navigate. The wide streets and open spaces contribute to a feeling of safety and comfort.
The neighborhood is home to a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and shops, including some of Barcelona’s finest dining establishments. You’ll find plenty of options for both local and international cuisine.
Eixample has its fair share of cultural attractions, including the aforementioned Gaudí-designed masterpieces like Casa Batlló and La Sagrada Família. It’s also home to many art galleries and cultural centers.
While not as vibrant as some other areas like El Born or the Gothic Quarter, Eixample still has a decent nightlife scene with bars and clubs for those who want to enjoy the evening.
Eixample is generally considered a safe neighborhood for tourists. It’s well-patrolled by the police, and the wide, well-lit streets contribute to a sense of security. But, like any tourist destination, it’s essential to be cautious of pickpocketing in crowded areas.
Eixample is well-connected to public transportation, including the metro and buses, making it easy to explore other parts of the city.
When staying in Eixample, you can choose from a variety of accommodations, ranging from luxury hotels to budget-friendly options. It’s a great choice for travelers who want to be centrally located and have easy access to Barcelona’s top attractions while enjoying a relatively safe and upscale atmosphere.
Best places to stay in Barcelona in Eixample:
- Luxury ($$$): Sonder Paseo de Gracia
- Mid-range ($$): HCC St. Moritz
- Budget ($): Mosaic Barcelona by Ona
2. Poble Sec
Poble Sec is generally considered safe, and it’s known for its vibrant arts scene and many theaters. It’s close to Montjuïc, a large park with attractions and beautiful views of the city.
Poble Sec is situated between the popular Montjuïc hill and the Avinguda del Paral·lel, one of Barcelona’s main avenues. Its central location and well-connected to couples of metro stations, makes it relatively easy to access other parts of the city.
The area has a thriving cultural scene, with numerous theaters, art galleries, and performance spaces. It’s known as Barcelona’s “Broadway” due to the concentration of theaters along Avinguda del Paral·lel.
The neighborhood is famous for its tapas bars and restaurants, making it a great place to enjoy traditional Spanish cuisine.
In the evening, Poble Sec comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene, particularly along Carrer de Blai, where you can find many tapas bars and pintxos restaurants.
Poble Sec is generally considered a safe neighborhood for tourists. But, as with any urban area, it’s important to exercise basic safety precautions such as keeping an eye on your belongings to prevent petty theft.
The area has managed to maintain some of its traditional Catalan charm while also embracing modern developments. You can find narrow streets, historic buildings, and a welcoming atmosphere.
Best places to stay in Barcelona in Poble Sec:
- Luxury ($$$): Hotel Miramar Barcelona GL
- Mid-range ($$): INNSiDE by Meliá Barcelona Apolo
- Budget ($): Hotel Barcelona Universal
Poblenou is a trendy and up-and-coming neighborhood with a relaxed vibe. It’s considered safe and offers a mix of accommodations, restaurants, and nightlife options.
Poblenou is located in the Sant Martí district of Barcelona, close to the beach, making it an attractive option for those who enjoy beach activities and waterfront dining.
Poblenou has a creative and artistic atmosphere, with many galleries, studios, and street art murals. The area is often referred to as the “Brooklyn of Barcelona” due to its artistic community.
As a part of Barcelona’s 22@ innovation district, Poblenou has attracted technology companies, startups, and entrepreneurs. This has led to a mix of modern office spaces and residential developments.
At the heart of Poblenou lies Rambla de Poblenou tree-lined avenue that has a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops. It’s a great place to stroll, people-watch, and enjoy local cuisine.
Poblenou has a burgeoning nightlife scene, with numerous bars, clubs, and music venues. It’s known for its electronic music and DJ scene.
While not as dense with historic landmarks as some other neighborhoods, Poblenou has its share of cultural attractions, including the Poblenou Cemetery, which has a unique architectural design.
Poblenou is well-connected to the rest of Barcelona via the metro and bus networks, making it easy to explore other parts of the city.
Overall, Poblenou offers a more contemporary and artistic experience compared to some of the older neighborhoods in Barcelona. It’s a good choice for travelers who want to be close to the beach, enjoy a lively atmosphere, and explore a different side of the city’s culture.
Best places to stay in Barcelona in Poblenou:
- Luxury ($$$): The Level at Melia Barcelona Sky
- Mid-range ($$): Hotel Paxton Barcelona
- Budget ($): Acta Voraport
This charming neighborhood has a relaxed atmosphere and is considered one of the safer areas in Barcelona. It’s known for its bohemian vibe, lively squares, and pedestrian-friendly streets. It’s also well-connected to the city center by public transportation.
At the heart of the neighborhood is the Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia, a central square surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and shops. It’s a popular spot for people-watching and socializing.
Gràcia is famous for its annual Festa Major de Gràcia, a week-long neighborhood festival in August. During this time, the streets are beautifully decorated by the residents, and there are numerous concerts, events, and activities.
The neighborhood offers a range of boutique shops, vintage stores, and artisanal markets. You can find unique and handcrafted items in Gràcia.
While not directly in Gràcia, the famous Park Güell designed by Antoni Gaudí is just a short walk away. It’s one of Barcelona’s most iconic landmarks and worth a visit.
Gràcia is home to several cultural centers, including the Casa Ramos, where you can learn about the neighborhood’s history and culture.
Gràcia offers a diverse nightlife scene, with plenty of bars, cafes, and live music venues. The nightlife here tends to be more low-key compared to some of the more famous party districts in Barcelona.
Gràcia provides a unique and laid-back experience for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of more touristy areas in Barcelona. It’s a great place to explore on foot, enjoy local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the artsy and bohemian ambiance.
Best places to stay in Barcelona in Gràcia :
- Luxury ($$$): Hotel Casa Fuster G.L Monumento
- Mid-range ($$): Hotel Ronda Lesseps
- Budget ($): Aparthotel Silver
5. El Born
Situated in the heart of the old city, El Born is safe and filled with historic charm. It’s close to many of Barcelona’s top attractions and has a vibrant nightlife scene.
El Born is characterized by its narrow medieval streets, historic buildings, and charming squares. It’s one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Barcelona and offers a glimpse into the city’s past.
The neighborhood is home to several cultural attractions, including the Picasso Museum, which boasts a huge collection of artworks by the famous artist. The Palau de la Música Catalana, a modernist concert hall, is also nearby.
Another must-see attraction in El Born is the Santa Maria del Mar, a stunning Gothic church, also known as the “Cathedral of the Sea,” is one of Barcelona’s architectural gems.
El Born is known for its boutique shops, craft stores, and artisan workshops. You can find unique clothing, jewelry, and handmade items here.
The neighborhood is filled with restaurants, tapas bars, and cafes. The streets around Passeig del Born are particularly popular for dining. Mercat de Santa Caterina is also a great place to explore and sample fresh produce, local delicacies, and traditional Catalan dishes.
El Born has a lively nightlife scene, with a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues. It’s a great place to enjoy an evening out.
El Born is adjacent to the Gothic Quarter, making it easy to explore both neighborhoods on foot. The Gothic Quarter is another historic area filled with landmarks and narrow streets.
Best places to stay in Barcelona in El Born:
- Luxury ($$$): Grand Hotel Central, Small Luxury Hotels
- Mid-range ($$): K+K Hotel Picasso El Born
- Budget ($): Park Hotel
6. Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter)
Barri Gòtic, or the Gothic Quarter, is one of the most iconic and historic neighborhoods in Barcelona. While it can be crowded during the day due to its historic significance, it’s generally safe for tourists. Just be mindful of pickpockets in busy areas.
The neighborhood is home to many historic landmarks and cultural attractions, including the Barcelona Cathedral, Plaça Sant Jaume (the seat of the local government), and the Gothic Basilica of Santa Maria del Pi.
It is also home to several museums, including the Barcelona City History Museum (MUHBA), which offers insights into the city’s past through archaeological excavations.
You can find El Call, a historic Jewish quarter to have a glimpse into Barcelona’s Jewish heritage. Also visit the Barcelona History Museum’s Jewish History Museum to learn more.
The neighborhood comes alive at night with a variety of bars, clubs, and music venues. You can enjoy a vibrant nightlife scene in places like Plaça Reial and nearby El Raval.
Plaça Reial is an elegant square known for its palm trees, ornate street lamps, and lively atmosphere. It’s a great place to relax and people-watch.
Barri Gòtic is close to the Mediterranean Sea, making it easy to take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront and enjoy the sea breeze.
Best places to stay in Barcelona in Barri Gòtic:
- Luxury ($$$): Hotel Neri – Relais & Chateaux
- Mid-range ($$): Hotel Gótico
- Budget ($): Aparthotel Arai 4 Superior
7. Sarrià-Sant Gervasi
Located in the upper part of the city, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi is known for its tranquility and safety. It’s a residential area with upscale accommodations and a more peaceful atmosphere. While it’s a bit farther from the city center, it offers a more peaceful retreat.
Sarrià-Sant Gervasi is primarily a residential district, and it offers a quieter and more peaceful environment compared to some of the more bustling neighborhoods in Barcelona. It’s a preferred choice for families and expatriates.
This district is considered one of the safest areas in Barcelona. Its low crime rate, well-patrolled streets, and a strong sense of community contribute to a high level of security.
The area offers easy access to several parks and green spaces, including the beautiful Parc de Monterols, Parc de la Oreneta, and Collserola Natural Park. These parks offer outdoor activities, leisurely walks, hiking and enjoying nature.
While not as bustling as some other neighborhoods, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi has its fair share of boutique shops, upscale restaurants, and local markets.
The district is home to several cultural attractions, including the CosmoCaixa Science Museum, which features interactive exhibits and a planetarium.
While it’s a bit farther from the city center, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi is well-connected to public transportation, including the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat (FGC) train lines.
Best places to stay in Barcelona in Eixample:BEST HOTELS IN EIXAMPLE
This upscale residential area is one of the safest neighborhoods in Barcelona. It’s a bit removed from the city center but offers a peaceful and luxurious atmosphere.
Pedralbes is home to the Royal Monastery of Pedralbes (Monestir de Pedralbes), a Gothic-style monastery that dates back to the 14th century. It now houses a museum and is open to the public.
Pedralbes is home to the beautiful Parc de Cervantes and Parc de l’Oreneta. These parks offer opportunities for leisurely strolls and relaxation.
Best places to stay in Barcelona in Pedralbes:
- Mid-range ($$): Sansi Pedralbes
- Mid-range ($$): Upper Diagonal
- Mid-range ($$): AC Hotel Victoria Suites by Marriott
9. Les Cort
The Les Cort area is home to Camp Nou, the stadium of FC Barcelona, and it’s generally a safe place to stay. It’s a bit farther from the city center but offers a quieter atmosphere.
The district is home to several educational institutions, including the University of Barcelona’s main campus (Diagonal Campus) and various international schools. This makes it a popular choice for students and families with children.
Les Corts features pedestrian-friendly streets, parks, and green spaces such as Parc de la Maternitat, making it a pleasant place for walking and outdoor activities.
You can find a mix of shopping options in Les Corts. L’Illa Diagonal, a shopping center, is a notable shopping destination in the area.
The district is well-connected to metro lines and buses. The L3 metro line runs through Les Corts, providing access to other parts of the city.
Best places to stay in Barcelona in Les Corts:
- Luxury ($$$): Hotel SOFIA Barcelona, in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
- Mid-range ($$): Abba Garden
- Budget ($): NH Barcelona Les Corts
What areas to avoid staying in Barcelona?
Barcelona is generally a safe city for tourists, but like any large city, it has some areas that may be less desirable for visitors due to higher crime rates or other factors.
Here are some areas that you might want to avoid or take precautions in:
The Raval neighborhood has seen significant gentrification in recent years, but it still has some areas with higher crime rates and can be a bit rough around the edges, especially at night. Exercise caution when walking alone here.
Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter):
Barri Gòtic is generally safe and very popular for first-time visitors, just be aware of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas.
While it’s a beautiful and historic area, it can get crowded with tourists during the day and has narrow, winding streets that can be a bit disorienting.
El Besòs i el Maresme:
This district, located to the northeast of the city, has some areas that are less tourist-friendly. While there are nice parts, it’s not typically a top choice for tourists.
La Sagrada Família:
While not inherently unsafe, this area can be crowded with tourists, and you should keep an eye on your belongings to avoid pickpocketing.
Sants-Montjuïc (especially near the train station):
While parts of Sants-Montjuïc are lovely and home to attractions like Montjuïc Park, the area around the train station can be a bit seedy. Exercise caution in this vicinity.
This neighborhood is located on a hill, and some parts can be less accessible and less frequented by tourists. It’s generally safe, but you might want to choose a more central location for easier access to the city’s attractions.
Barcelona’s suburbs are generally residential and less tourist-oriented. While they can be safe, they might not offer the same convenience or atmosphere as more central neighborhoods.
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In conclusion, Eixample, Poble Sec, Poblenou, Gràcia , El Born, Barri Gòtic, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, Pedralbes, and Les Corts are the best and safest places to stay in Barcelona for tourists. It’s always essential to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings no matter where you stay.