Barcelona is the first city I’ve ever visited outside of my country, and it’s hands down one of the most beautiful cities in the world; going there is always a special experience for me, which is why I always want to stay at a special hostel. This time, I chose Gracia City Hostel.
I found the location of the hostel quite good. It’s close to the center of the city, in a quiet and nice area, and you only have some 7 minutes of walking from the subway (metro station: Diagonal). It’s not exactly in walking distance from the Ramblas or the Bari Gothic, so if you want to hang out there in the night, you might want to check out some night buses (there are a couple), or return while the subway/bus is still working (about 23:00). However, if you want some peace and quiet, without the fuss of downtown Barcelona, the location is perfect.
I was walking at night near the hostel, and it seemed pretty safe to me. The building is in a small street which seems a little strange, but I didn’t see anything to make me anxious.
The sleeping conditions were really good. Clean, fluffy beds, big pillows, thick blankets if you’re feeling cold, all is good. If the hostel is full, a little line might form at the bathroom, but that goes for most hostels I’ve been to, it’s not really a problem.
The lounge is at the basement, but that’s the only downside to it (the lack of windows) – it looks really good! I loved the bean bags, which are always comfortable after a day of walking in the city. They also have a nice table, a couch, a TV, games which you can play; all in all, everything you could want in a hostel lounge. Everything looks brand new, is clean, and is very enjoyable.
But for me, the best thing was in the next room – the kitchen. I feel like this is one of the most underrated aspects of any hostel: having a kitchen is amazing! Not only do you save time and money, but you get a lot of freedom – the freedom to just pick up whatever you want from a supermarket and make it there. Personally, I really love hanging out in the kitchen, making some light food, after a full day of urban exploration; even just a tea or coffee in the morning can work wonders. All the facilities are there, including some pots and some basic food you can take (rice, sugar, tea, etc). Really loved the kitchen.
The only thing I found a little strange (though understandable) was that the light goes out at 1AM, for environmental purposes. However, you do have a bed light on every bed, so it’s still possible to read or browse the internet even after that.
The wifi works pretty well, and they also have 2 computers which you can use.
The price was 12 euros (16 dollars) for a night in the common room when I booked it. It’s not the cheapest hostel in Barcelona, but it’s definitely one of the cheapest – and for the conditions they offer, I’d say that it’s more than acceptable.
The staff was really great, quite pleasant to talk to, answering any questions I had, no problem. You can read an interview with Luis, the hostel’s manager, here. He’s a really nice guy, with lots of good insights, so I really recommend reading the interview if you plan on going to Barcelona.
What was interesting about the staff is that they are international. There are two girls from Russia and one from Slovenia, the manager is Mexican, and the cleaning man is a local Catalan – he didn’t speak much English, but he was really fun, and he sings pretty well.
So, a nice chill out location, close to a subway station, nice conditions, low price, friendly people – I enjoyed my stay at Gracia City Hostel in Barcelona a lot. I’d definitely recommend it to other travelers.