Anyone who’s travelled in their 20s or 30s can probably tell you a few horror stories about staying in hostels. The tiny room that sleeps 18, with three-bed-high bunks. Drab communal spaces with little entertainment. That one guy who stumbles in late at night and mistakes somebody’s Wellington boot for the toilet. Happily, in Barcelona, that doesn’t have to be the case. If you do your research, you can end up in one of the coolest hostels in the city.
Barcelona’s hippest hostels are more than a place to sleep. They’re a refuge from your busy itinerary, where you can relax, socialise and get the lay of the land. Not to mention, they’re decor is as Instagrammable as Gaudí’s architecture. When trying to decide which to book, these trendy and distinctive hostels should be among the first you look into.
Generator Barcelona. Carrer de Còrsega 373.
This modern hostel, with pops of colour here and there, is a great pick for your stay in Barcelona. Generator Barcelona is situated in the laidback, bohemian neighbourhood of Gràcia, brimming with quirky fair trade shops and hidden plazas. Generator pays tribute to the barrio and its annual party, the Festa Major de Gràcia, with its incredible bar design. To recreate the street festivities, the space features 300 colourful lanterns inspired by those used in the celebration, and made from recycled elevator parts. The bar and lounge area also feature ornate Hungarian concrete floor tiles, and earthy raw metals and woods. The rooms aren’t too shabby either. Shared rooms are available (small, large and female-only), but the hostel prides itself on its private rooms with terraces and a penthouse apartment with spectacular panoramic views.
Pars Tailors Hostel. Carrer de Sepúlveda 146.
Located in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Sant Antoni, Pars Tailors Hostel is close to Barcelona’s hub of tourist activity. With a shabby chic style inspired by a Thirties tailor shop, the hostel keeps traces of its unique history on display, such as antique sewing machines, vintage mannequins and colourful fabric wall hangings. Besides these original pieces, the hostel has been furnished with items sourced from local flea markets.
Sticking with the fashion theme, the hostel’s stairway is decorated from floor to ceiling in pieces of fashion history, such as old advertisements, snaps and buttons, and even a few pieces of clothing. Each room is also named after a special type of fabric.
The Pars Teatro Hostel in Poble-sec is its sister hostel, modelled in a theatre theme, if that suits your style more.
Casa Gracia. Pg. de Gràcia 116.
“Our world is one of travellers. We live in it to discover.” This is the mission statement of Casa Gracia, another great accommodation in the Gràcia area. The hostel tries to create a home away from home, where an international crowd can feel comfortable, meet people from all over the world and discover local culture. The building itself is a labyrinth-like mansion, which is pristinely furnished and features a quiet, cosy reading library with big, brown leather chairs, to give it an extra air of prestige. Warm and welcoming, you can also enjoy the rooftop terrace, a self-proclaimed hipster gastrobar and a fantastic wine bar that you have to see to believe: it’s located inside an old bank vault.
Casa Kessler. Carrer d’Enric Granados 30.
Casa Kessler is a boutique hostel that aims to redefine the concept of exclusive accommodations. Located near Plaça de la Universitat, in a charming Art Nouveau building, this newly opened hostel combines restored original floors and ceilings with an integrated modern decor. It’s comparatively small, with six shared bedrooms, two double superior rooms and two junior suites. Each room is unique, with a sophisticated, detail-oriented design.
The philosophy of Casa Kessler is to offer guests a place to stay in Barcelona that provides the elegance, comfort and personalised service that only boutique hostels can achieve. In this vein, the hostel’s staff is incredibly friendly and can advise you on how to get involved in a range of activities inside and outside the city.
Barcelona’s coolest hostels are waiting for you. Which one will you choose?