The Ultimate Gay Travel Guide
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Most gay travelers opt for hotels in Barcelona’s city center around the gayborhood of Eixample. From here you can walk to most of Barcelona’s gay nightlife and also the city’s main tourist sites.
Accommodation in Barcelona corresponds to standard European prices, meaning it is relatively pricey for Spain. Hotels near Passeig de Gracia and the waterfront will tend to be more expensive and luxurious, perfect if you are looking to treat yourself. Budget and mid-range options are plentiful across all areas of the city, most of them comfortable and well-designed. Cheaper hostels and hotels are grouped in peripheral areas like Poble Sec and Gracia, but are easily reached from the city center through the Metro and bus systems.
All accommodation is gay-friendly in Barcelona, and gay visitors will be unlikely to raise any eyebrows.
The most famous and most booked gay hotel (HetroFriendly) is Axel Hotel in Gaixample, which is part of an international chain of gay hotels with locations in Berlin, Madrid, and Ibiza. It has all the comfort of a modern, design-led chain hotel, as well as a rooftop pool and bar which have become gay hotspots in themselves. They have a second location nearby called Two Hotel, with the same comforts.
Barcelona’s main gay area is in the neighborhood known as the Eixample, given the affection nickname Gaixample.
The Gaixample area is rich in gay nightlife, with dozens of bars, clubs, saunas, and shops to choose from. You have hardcore fetish cruising bars, low-key pubs, dancey clubs, and everything in between – in short, this area is the reason why Barcelona is rated as one of Europe’s best gay cities.
Gaixample also happens to be very close to most of Barcelona’s main sights, such as Gaudi’s architecture, the Ramblas, and the old town. This makes it a favorite area for gay travelers, however, it’s not the only option. El Raval, a slightly sketchy neighborhood that sits behind the Ramblas, is slowly becoming a trendy and edgy place for Barcelona nightlife, including gay options. However, few tourists choose to stay here as it remains overall not the best area in the city.
Many gay visitors also take advantage of Barcelona’s city beaches (and in particular its gay nudist beaches) and stay closer to the sea. The W Barcelona and the Pullman Barcelona Skipper Hotel are two popular luxury hotels sitting right on the beachfront.
♥ Stunning sea views from most areas of the hotel (and most rooms)
♥ Three rooftop and infinity pools
♥ Varied, stylish, and buzzing bars and restaurants
♥ One of the best honeymoon beachfront hotels in Barcelona
Gay-favorite hotel chain W Hotels always prides itself on its cutting-edge design, fun and fresh facilities, and exceptional service. W Barcelona is, of course, no different. The hotel is designed by famous architect Ricardo Bofill, who has created the unique sail-shaped building that sits iconically at the very edge of Barcelona’s seafront. Unsurprisingly W Barcelona is one of the most booked luxury gay-friendly hotels in Barcelona.
Inside, the rooms are designed to highlight the exceptional location. Because of the hotel’s position, large windows look onto the sea from almost every room, and the color scheme is considered to match beautifully with the vivid blue of the Mediterranean. Even the smallest room, the Cozy, features a stunning floor-to-ceiling window with exceptional views, and it just gets more luxurious the further up you go in the room categories (the Presidential suite includes a balcony jacuzzi and your own sun loungers).
W Barcelona also shines in its drinking and dining. The in-house restaurant, Bravo24, is led by a Michelin-star winning Catalan chef, SALT beach club offers delicious food and cocktails with your feet in the sand, and Eclipse club lets you party in style without ever leaving your hotel. WET Deck, a rooftop poolside bar that is somewhat of a signature of W Hotels, is a great place to relax during the day and party at night.
The FIT Fitness Center will be a particular draw for gym addicts, featuring 300 square metres of state-of-the-art equipment directly overlooking the sea. For pool lovers, the hotel features not one, not two, but three swimming pools: two outdoor pools and one relaxing indoor one. There is also dedicated hotel access to Platja San Sebastia, a popular local beach with gay sunbathers.
Sant Jordi Hostel Rock Palace is an awesome party hostel in the heart of Gaixample. All of the area’s gay bars, clubs, shops, and saunas are within a 15-minute walk. However, if you can’t be bothered walking that long, BELIEVE Club is just 2 minutes down the road, and both Arena clubs are just a little bit further.
The hotel itself is relatively new, and it shows. Everything is modern, stylish, and carefully designed, from the rooms to the common areas. The rooms are all dorm-style, ranging from 2-person to 10-person, which means there is something for every size of a group. All beds come with a security locker, individual reading light, charging point, and a headboard cubby for your stuff.
The rooftop pool is, of course, the main attraction. During the summer, all hotel guests drink, splash, and mingle on the terrace, which features great views of the city. The downstairs bar is always busy and all the common areas revolve around a rock’n’roll theme, honoring iconic venues and clubs. There is something going on almost every night, from communal meals, to drinking games and bar crawls with free entry to nearby clubs. The guest kitchen is huge and fully-equipped, so you can always make your own meals.
Generator Hostel Barcelona is part of the well-established Generator brand, which specializes in stylish hostels across Europe. The Barcelona one is very well located where Gracia meets Eixample, meaning it is walking distance from cultural highlights like Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, the Ramblas, and the Sagrada Familia.
The gay nightlife of the Eixample lies a little further but is also easy to walk to – 20 minutes to the closer bars and up to half an hour to Metro club. New CHAPS, a popular fetish cruise bar, is very close to the hostel, as is Sauna Barcelona.
This TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner has everything you could want from a first-rate hostel: a lively and fabulous bar (that stays open until 2:30 am), gorgeous common areas for meeting people, and a good selection of bright, comfortable rooms.
You can choose between a shared dorm room with 6 or 8 beds or a private room for up to 4 people. The Penthouse with Terrace houses up to six people and is an amazing option for a group of friends looking for a party pad – it even comes with spectacular views of Barcelona.
H10 Metropolitan has an excellent location on Rambla de Cataluña, exactly where most tourists want to be in the city. The central square is a few steps away, and there are two metro stations within close walking distance (Universitat, L1 and 2, and Urquinaona, L1 and 4). Popular Sunday night club and cruise night, The Black Room @ Club City Hall, is just across the street, and both Arena clubs are just 5 minutes away. Most of the Gaixample’s nightlife is also walking distance.
The hotel itself maintains the high standard of H10 hotels in the city. It is relatively new (opened in 2014) and has been carefully decorated by a local designer to reflect the history and culture of the city. Indeed, the decor blends cutting-edge contemporary design with modernist and art deco motifs, creating a result that is uniquely Barcelona. The rooms are bright and spacious, all featuring comforts like Rituals amenities, Nespresso coffee machine, bathrobe and slippers, and an incredible shower.
There are two pools, one on the swanky 6th-floor terrace and one in the delightful Eden Terrace downstairs – the latter features a beautiful vertical garden and a small cocktail bar. There are basic gym facilities for those who want to squeeze in a workout, and an excellent buffet breakfast.
H10 Metropolitan has earned several awards, including Best City Hotel in Spain 2016 by Conde Nast Traveler and a 2018 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. It is also one of the best-rated 4-star hotels in Barcelona on Booking.com and a popular option with gay travelers.
This gay-favorite hotel in the Eixample is a 10-minute walk from most of the bars, clubs, and shops of the Gaixample. It is also a quick 2-minute walk to Provença train and metro station (lines 7 and 6), and a 10 minutes to Barcelona must-sees like Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, and Rambla de Cataluña.
As the name implies, the hotel is dedicated to contemporary art, with original pieces decorating every space, including some by world-famous Catalan artists like Joan Miró and Miquel Barceló. The result is creative, colorful, and energizing – fans of art will particularly appreciate the fact that each floor is dedicated to a particular artist, with every room featuring nods to their unique styles. In order to highlight the art, the rest of the decor remains soothingly neutral.
The rooms are compact but extremely comfortable, with some of them featuring a furnished balcony overlooking classic Eixample architecture. There is a complimentary Nespresso machine in every room as well as both hot and cold air conditioning.
The gay-friendly hotel also includes a modern art-themed restaurant, a sleek and stylish lobby bar, a stunning outdoor bar with plunge pool, and L’Olivera Terrace, an exceptionally pleasant courtyard with a century-old olive tree at its center.
Hotel Cram is a gay-friendly boutique hotel in Barcelona, perfectly located for gay nightlife. There are loads of gay bars, clubs, and shops in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, including Gingin Gay bar just a few doors down. Metro Disco, the biggest gay club in the city, is under 10 minutes away, as is most of the Gaixample nightlife. Avinguda Diagonal, one of Barcelona’s main shopping streets, and Plaza de Cataluña are also very close.
Hotel Cram features simple minimalist design, relying on a calming color palette of neutral tones in all of their rooms. The Standard rooms are good value for money, all featuring their own balcony (and some of them a terrace). All rooms also come with a 40” TV, air-conditioning, mood lighting, and high-speed WiFi. However, it is worth noting that while all the rooms are comfortable, some do look tired in places.
Their in-house Angle Restaurant has a Michelin star and is well worth getting a reservation for. Meanwhile, Ànemos Terrace Bar has incredible city views and is a great spot for al fresco breakfast, lunch, or dinner, with a menu created by famous Catalan chef Jordi Cruz. The terrace also features a small pool that is perfect for cooling down after a sweltering day in the city.
TOC Hostel Barcelona is part of a popular chain of modern, trendy hostels across Spain. This particular location boasts glossy contemporary design and a gorgeous rooftop terrace, as well as a great range of room sizes and styles. This is particularly useful for groups of friends: a group of four could share a private room with a terrace or a full 4-person dorm room, depending on their individual budgets. There are also 6-person and 8-person rooms available, perfect for larger groups.
The hostel is extremely tech-forward, with fingerprint access to rooms, and also has exceptionally good drinking and dining facilities for a hostel. The kitchen they use for breakfast is open to guests, meaning you get access to a large, fully-equipped space to make your own meals. That said, the continental breakfast is delicious and varied, and there is even brunch at the hostel every Saturday and Sunday, with a special menu, cocktails, yoga, and music.
And chances are you’ll be needing a good brunch, given the incredible location at the heart of the Gaixample. A 5-minute walk in any direction will take you to dozens of gay bars, clubs, shops and saunas – Metro, the biggest gay club in town, is literally just down the street. This is quite possibly one of the best party locations on this list, and for hostel prices.
TOC Hostel Barcelona has a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and is one of the most booked budget gay hotels in Barcelona.
Acevi Villarroel is a great boutique 4-star hotel in the heart of the Gaixample. Several gay Barcelona institutions are less than 5 minutes away, including El Cangrejo, Boysbar BCN, Nightbarcelona, Ambarito, Bacon Bear Bar, and Sauna Casanova. Beyond this, most of Barcelona’s gay nightlife is easily reached in a 15-minute walk, as is the Rambla, Plaza de Cataluña, and the Gaudi houses on Passeig de Gracia. Urgell metro station (Line 1) is just a 5-minute walk away.
The hotel features minimalist, elegant design, with lots of polished wood and marble in the bathrooms. All the rooms are quite spacious and similarly decorated, with a few particularly appealing options: the Jacuzzi Junior Suite comes with the perk of your own jacuzzi hot tub, while the Duplex Room has the bed on a separate level from the living area for an apartment feel.
Acevi Villarroel excels in its facilities, which are very good for a mid-range 4-star hotel. The rooftop pool area is lush, refreshing, and quiet, the gym is small but well-stocked with both cardio and weights equipment, and the Kunu’u Spa is exceptional. The in-house restaurant is simple but high-quality, and the buffet breakfast is varied and fresh.
This gay-friendly luxury hotel in Barcelona was voted “Best Urban Hotel in Barcelona” by Conde Nast Traveler, is within the top 10 hotels in the entire city on TripAdvisor, and has a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. So, why is it consistently ranked as one of the best 5-star hotels in the city?
Well, simply put, everything is well done. The rooms are beautifully designed in neutral tones with rich materials, managing to be luxurious and unassuming at the same time. Large windows allow Barcelona’s almost constant sunshine to illuminate everything in cheerful, natural light, with some rooms even offering a gorgeous private balcony on the top floor.
The hotel facilities are equally beautifully designed and perfectly executed. There is a restaurant and cocktail bar, a rooftop bar in the summer, and the Despacio Spa, which includes a stunning black marble “experience pool” as well as high-end celebrity treatments and packages. The gym is well-equipped and open 24h to guests of the hotel.
The hotel is located at the edge of the Eixample, which means that most of Barcelona’s gay bars, clubs, and shops are about 20 minutes away. If that seems like too much for you (and if leather is your thing), there is a fetish cruising bar, New CHAPS, just around the block. Diagonal metro station (Lines 3 and 5) is under 5 minutes away, conveniently connecting you to the rest of the city. Due to it’s location, H10 The One Barcelona is one of the most booked luxury gay hotels in Barcelona.
This is the premium gay hotel in Barcelona, part of the extremely popular European chain of gay Axel hotels. This “hetero-friendly” option is, of course, located in the Gaixample, just around the corner from various gay hotspots including ATAME, Gingin Gay Bar, Punto BCN, La Chapelle, and Priscilla Cafe. However, it is also a gay destination in itself, with rooftop Sky Bar especially being a popular party spot for gay locals and visitors alike.
Axel Hotels always pride themselves in their impeccable taste and design. Axel Barcelona reflects this with elegant rooms that put comfort as their central focus. The suites are particularly attractive, with extra-large beds, iPod station, and a private furnished terrace and solarium. The hotel also knows exactly what its core demographic wants in terms of facilities: the gym is large and extremely well-equipped, and the adjacent Wellness club is the ideal way to wind down after a workout (or a particularly heavy night of partying).
One of the best things about staying at an Axel Hotel is the friendly and knowledgeable staff. They are the best people to ask about all things gay happening in the city, and are perfectly positioned to help you make your most of gay Barcelona.
Axel Hotel Barcelona has a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and is (obviously) one of the most popular hotels in Barcelona for gay visitors. Axel Barcelona is the most booked gay hotel in Barcelona.