Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations, but knowing where to stay in Spain can be tricky. Don’t fear; when it comes to places to stay in this European nation, we’ve got you covered.
So, you have an idea of the best cities to visit in Spain. Now, you want to know the best places to stay for an extended vacation. This Spain insider guide will help you figure out what you want in terms of accommodation, and lists some of the nicest places to stay.
Finding the Best Place to Stay in Spain For You
When looking for a place to stay in Spain, you should ask yourself what you want out of your time in the country. Do you want to be near the city center? Perhaps close to the tourist hotspots? Or do you want to be away from the crowds? Here are some helpful tips to guide you in your decision.
Learn About Spain’s Accommodation Structure
Spain offers a wide range of lodging options. This means you have a choice from luxurious hotels to backpackers’ hostels. A downside is that you’re unlikely to find many promotional rates, especially during peak seasons like Easter and summertime.
Accommodation choices in Spain follow three principal trends. The first trend is the emergence of boutique or luxury hotels. Although these places generally have higher rates, they are below those of other popular European countries.
The second trend is the increased budget accommodations in Spain like albergues (hostels). So if you want cheap places to stay, Spain has that too. You might be required to share a room with other people, but private rooms are available at a higher price.
There is an increase in tourist apartments and private houses on offer. These types of accommodations are perfect options if you want a more intimate stay in Spain.
Search For Good Opportunities
Depending on where you want to stay in Spain, the rates for the same type of accommodation will vary depending on the destination. You may find better rates for a boutique hotel than for more basic accommodation options.
It’s not uncommon to find a hostel with higher rates than a 4-star hotel, so don’t assume that their prices will be much lower because something is a modest lodging.
The bottom line is not to obsess over how many stars the hotel has or what category it falls under. You want to compare prices and look for a chance to upgrade to a better accommodation type or room — while sticking within your budget.
Pick Your Dates Well
Like with other countries, Spain’s accommodation prices can vary throughout the year. These variations also depend on the type of accommodation and the season you plan to visit.
You should research and find essential holidays in the area and when high season is expected. Find out if any big Spanish festivals or cultural activities occur during the times you want to visit.
Most major cities experience their low season between November and February. If you want an urban tourist experience, July and August are also quiet months. This is when most people vacate the cities and head to the coast.
Alternatively, if you want a beach vacation, then remember that prices are high from June to September. The peak of this is usually from mid-July to mid-August.
Try to book as early as possible, as your chances of getting a good deal are higher. If you are planning an extended trip, there are many accommodations offering places to stay for a month.
Research Your Location
Always research your location, regardless of the destination. You should consider a few factors when choosing the right place: neighborhood, transport, and noise.
When looking for neighborhoods, you should ensure that your accommodation is in the right location for your needs. Look up the area on a map and assess its convenience. Depending on your wants, you need to see if it is close to restaurants, shops, and specific sites you want to visit.
Transport is also an important factor to consider when choosing your lodging. The golden rule, especially in major cities, is to be as close to the metro station as possible. Although most tourist attractions are located in one general area, having a metro station nearby makes moving around easier.
It is also important to consider noise levels in certain areas. Some popular locations are noisy. Traffic, pedestrians, and local eateries can sometimes be incredibly annoying.
Quick Tip: A central location doesn’t always mean a place is noisy, as some hotels provide good isolation. Always read a couple of reviews from other guests to help you make your decision.
Best Places to Stay in Spain
There are various options for places to stay in Spain. Whether you want somewhere close to the coast, somewhere with a great art scene, or an authentic Spanish experience. Below is a list of some of the coolest regions to visit in Spain.
Madrid is, by far, one of the best cities to stay in Spain. With its beautiful streets, bustling street life, and stunning architecture, you will surely fall in love with its energy. You could spend the day exploring an arbitrary boulevard or visiting the Plaza Mayor.
There is so much to do and see in Madrid. You can tour the Royal Palace of Madrid or visit the Museo National del Prado. If you want something more adventurous, you can take a Madrid bike tour or a boat ride through the lake in El Retiro Park.
Due to its central location, there are also plenty of day trips from Madrid that you can take. Whatever you choose, there’s never a dull day in Madrid.
The Sterling Hotel offers affordable and spacious rooms. This hotel is the gem of Madrid, and most rooms have a terrace and a balcony so you can bask in the views of the city.
Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Madrid
- Salamanca – This is the best neighborhood if you like luxury. Salamanca is brimming with fancy restaurants, world-class hotels, and trendy boutiques.
- Lavapiés – If you are traveling on a budget, this is the best neighborhood for you.
- Retiro – This is the best area in Madrid to stay in if you are traveling with your family. It is located close to El Retiro Park and playgrounds to ensure tons of fun for the kids.
- Centro – If you are a first-time traveler, this is the best neighborhood for you. It is located in the city’s heart and close to many tourist attractions.
This coastal city is the best place to live in Spain with a family. It is also one of the most breathtaking areas in Spain, with its stunning coastal views and delightful Mediterranean climate.
A fun little fact about Costa Brava is that it is the birthplace of famous surrealist artist, Salvador Dalí. So, if you’re staying in the city, you can expect to visit some of the best Dalí museums in Spain.
Dazzle the kids by taking them to see his eccentric artwork on a guided tour. As an added bonus, you can visit his summer home in Portlligat, which is sure to delight the little ones.
Costa Brava is known for its amazing and quiet beaches. This is the perfect place to stay if you want an area with secluded beaches. If you are staying in Costa Brava for a while, we recommend renting a car so you can see all the little towns and hidden gems along the coastline.
We suggest staying at the El Petit Convent. It is located in Begur and has a unique aesthetic that invites you in. The hotel is conveniently located near many beaches and coves around Begur.
Best Towns in Costa Brava
- Lloret de Mar – This is the best town for expats and people who aren’t well-versed in the Spanish language.
- Begur – If you love the beach, this is the best town for you. The area has plenty of fun beaches to visit like Plage de Sa Tune or Playa Fonda.
- Figueres – This is a fantastic place if you consider yourself a xenophile as the area is rich in culture.
- Palafrugell – For those who want to experience an authentic Catalonian lifestyle, this is the best town for you. It has fewer expats and is a smaller town, with more traditional values.
If you are looking for Spain’s heartbeat, Barcelona is the place for you. Apart from the obvious things to do in Barcelona, like touring the Sagrada Familia or wandering down La Ramblas, Barcelona has a lot to offer.
In the summer, you can attend the live music event at Sant Pau Nouveau Site. Or, if you want to catch a glimpse of the city during sunset, hike up to the Bunkers del Carmel lookout point.
Due to its centrality, Barcelona is a perfect place to explore the rest of the Catalan region and there are many day trips to different parts. If you ever want to experience some of Spain’s rich history, a Montserrat tour is a great option.
A fantastic hotel option in Barcelona is Casa Bella Gracia. This eco-friendly boutique hotel boasts only 12 rooms, all decorated with contemporary art. The hotel is neatly situated in Barcelona’s Gracia neighborhood and surrounded by a range of stylish cafes and bars.
Best Neighborhoods in Barcelona
- La Barceloneta – This is the best neighborhood for first-time travelers as it is located in a central area.
- Gracia – This quiet neighborhood is perfect if you are traveling with your family.
- El Born – If you consider yourself creative this is a fantastic neighborhood for you. The area is home to many museums like the Picasso Museum, the Museum of World Cultures, and the European Museum of Modern Art.
- Barri Gotic – This is the best neighborhood for history and architecture lovers. It features some of the oldest buildings in the city like La Catedral and La Llotja de Mar.
Toledo is one of the most interesting places to stay in Spain. Perched atop a hill in Castilla-La Mancha, this ancient city has a rich culture and history. The city has many breathtaking Arab, Christian, and Jewish monuments to explore.
Make sure you explore the Monasterio de San Juan de Los Reyes. The church is a delightfully aesthetic experience with its interesting cloisters. Another place of wonder is Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada de Toledo which is a breathtaking piece of gothic architecture.
Toledo is a rich melting pot of different cultures, and what makes it special is that it’s overflowing with historical landmarks. From Puerta de Alfonso to the Alcazar fortress, there are many places to explore in Toledo. If you are a foodie, the Mercado de San Agustin should be on your list of places to visit.
One of the best hotels in Toledo is Domus Toledo. Itl is located near the Cathedral and Casa-Museo de El Greco where you can enjoy a hike.
Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Toledo
- The Jewish Quarter – This is a great neighborhood if you enjoy sightseeing as it is near some interesting monuments like the Santa Maria la Blanca synagogue.
- Around the Alcazar – If you want views of the city, this is the best area because of its location on top of the highest hill in Toledo.
- Central-North District – Contemporary travelers enjoy their stays here as it has some more modern architecture.
- Near Toledo Train Station – This is the best area for travelers visiting other parts of Spain.
This capital of Spain’s Andalusia region is one of the best places to go in Spain for couples. Known for its flamenco dancing and the stunning Alcazar castle complex, it is a fantastic city for a romantic getaway.
Seville is a great place if you want to experience more of Spain’s arts and culture scene. It’s also a foodie’s dream and has some of the best dishes in the Andalusia region.
There is also plenty to do in Seville, like trekking to the top of Giralda tower to experience the views of the city. Or you could visit the Plaza de Espaná which is one of the most famous plazas in Spain due to its semi-circular design.
If you’re staying in Seville it is best to stay as close to the city center as you can, because this is where most of the sites are. Hotel Murillo is the best option as it is situated close to everything important. It is a revamped historical building with all the old-school charm to match.
Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Seville
- Barrio Santa Cruz – This is a great neighborhood for a romantic stay. It is known as the historic heart of Seville and is home to some of Seville’s most well-known sites like La Giralda and the Museo del Baile Flamenco.
- El Centro – Its central location allows you to explore more of the city. Some notable sites here include the city’s town hall and the Iglesia Colegial del Divino Salvador.
- La Alameda de Hercules – If you are looking for nightlife, this is the best neighborhood. Popular amongst Seville’s student and LGBTQ communities, this neighborhood is brimming with live music clubs and bars.
This beautiful port city on Spain’s southeastern coast is the perfect blend of old and new. Known for its arts and sciences, Valencia boasts many futuristic-style structures. At the center of the city sits the Arts and Sciences complex, which is surrounded by Gothic structures, giant squares, and traditional Spanish markets.
The city also has several beaches and a wetlands reserve, Albufera Park, with walking trails and a lake. This natural park is an urban oasis and a great way to connect with nature. Also, Albufera is notable for being the place where paella was invented.
When it comes to where to stay in Valencia, we liked Hotel Malcom and Barret, which is located in one of the quieter neighborhoods. Restaurants and bars surround it, so there’s always something to do. The City of Arts and Sciences is also a five-minute drive away. This is also a great hotel if you want cheap places to stay in Spain.
Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Valencia
- North Ciutat Vella – If you want to experience all the major sights like the Arts and Science complex, North Ciutat Vella is for you.
- South Ciutat Vella – This is the perfect area for the foodies as it has some of the best cuisines in the region. Enjoy a hot plate of all i pebre or horchata and fartons.
- Russafa – This is the best neighborhood if you want bustling nightlife as it has lots of trendy clubs and bars.
A Footnote on Places To Stay in Spain
Spain is a beautiful country with a fantastic culture. No matter where you go, you will be greeted by warm smiles and a comfortable Mediterranean climate.
Whether you’re a beach lover, a wannabe historian, or want to explore more of Spain’s culture, there is a place perfect for you. If you’re moving to Spain for work, check out this guide on Spain’s working visa.