Where to sleep, hotels and accommodation Catalonia
Youth hostels and hostels
We must salute the Catalan Generalitat for the place they give to young people (once is not customary!). In Catalonia, there are more than fifty official youth hostels (alberg juvenil in Catalan). In general, they are large, rarely charming but practical, well-kept and most often located in the vicinity of historic centers.
If there is no age limit, the prices for those over 30 are a little higher (4-5 €). As for the FUAJ card, it is generally not compulsory, but you will pay 2 € per night if you do not have it. Sheets are included, but not towels (rental possible).
It is not possible to book for more than 5 nights, but you can, once installed, stay longer if there is room.
There are also Private AJ, which offer quite honorable standards and conditions of reception, even superior to the classic AJ. The atmosphere and the setting are often warmer; all for substantially equivalent prices.
A number of these private AJs can be found on:
In the Pyrenees, there are also many refugee, which can designate both kinds of AJ more specifically designed for athletes (skiers in particular) as authentic mountain huts. For those located between Puigcerdà and the Aran Valley, reservations can be made on a convenient centralized site: refusonline.com.
Wild camping is prohibited everywhere in Catalonia, beaches included. In addition to the possible environmental damage, the authorities especially fear forest fires. In case of violation, the fines can amount to hundreds of euros!
The categories of official campsites are set by the government. They are generally well equipped, but often without too much privacy, or even enough concentration camps. Around the big cities, Barcelona included, it is often worse. The Spaniards come here not so much to rest as to have fun: swimming pools (rarely open out of season), sports fields, mini-market, games for children, restaurants, bars and even sometimes ... a disco, nothing is too much trouble. missing! On weekends and in summer it is very noisy.
In the hinterland, the campsites are quieter and, with a little luck, more ventilated.
Finally, remember to equip yourself with robust sardines because, in summer, the ground is almost everywhere very dry!
- Prices : on average higher than in France, they must be displayed at the entrance. We pay per parcel (parcel, including a tent and a car) more per occupant, or by adding each element separately: tent (small or large), car, adults, children, electricity ... In the text, we indicate prices based on 2 adults, with tent and car. Count between 20 and 50 € per day, in high season, depending on the region.
- A good plan : most campsites are equipped with various kinds of shelters, bungalows or mobile homes for 2 to 6-8 people. It goes from the wooden mini hut with just room for 2 mattresses, sharing the common sanitary facilities of the campsite, to the really comfortable mini hut with kitchenette, indoor bathroom, air conditioning and terrace. Usually these bungalows are located in quieter areas of the campsite - but beware, they also sometimes overlook the parking lot!
Despite the sometimes high prices in high season, it is still cheaper than the hotel for a family or a group of friends. However, in August, most of them cannot be rented for less than 1 week, unless there is availability.
Rural tourism or agrotourism
The appellation includes both stopover lodges, the rustic bed and breakfasts (casas de pagès or rural casas) that guest rooms. It is an interesting formula to appreciate the soil, because the owners often make table d'hôtes (on reservation), especially in the hinterland or in the mountains.
The price of a double room varies between 60 and 120 € depending on the category and the season, breakfast included.
Sometimes it will be an authentic breeding farm with rustic rooms, sometimes a beautiful old house tastefully renovated, sometimes a building a little too much renovated to the point of making it lose most of its character ... There is everything, at all prices! In any case, don't think that a casa rural will cost you less than a hotel: it is often the opposite.
In addition to the many addresses of this type that you will find in the printed guide, you can obtain complete lists from the tourist offices.
In summer, some guest rooms only take reservations from 2, 3 or even 4 nights.
Pensions, hostels and hotels
The Ministry of Tourism distinguishes hostels ou pensions engines of the hotels, but according to largely technical criteria (presence or not of an elevator, a real reception, corridors of a certain width ...). Distinction not very relevant therefore for the tourist, even if it is true that the pensiones (or hostales) are often more family and simpler accommodation places, sometimes still with shared bathroom (even if it is now rare ), where breakfast is not served.
In the mountains, we also find the appellation xalet.
The hotels are classified from 1 to 5 stars, according to standards a bit more generous than with us. They are generally quite standardized and often do not have too much charm - especially below 3 stars. They are, however, rather well equipped (TV everywhere, hair dryer from 2-3 stars). The older ones often have linoleum floors that are not folichons or floating floors, the financial means not always allowing everything to be renovated at the same time! Decorating efforts are rare, but cleanliness is everywhere! As for wifi, it now works in almost all establishments.
- Les prix, displayed at the reception, often vary according to the divisions of the tourist year: high, medium and low seasons. We remind you that, in principle, the tax (IVA) of 10% must be added. If you speak Spanish (or better, Catalan!), You can try to negotiate a bit ... knowing that anyway, the rates often drop with the length of stay.
- The bedrooms: for a simple one, ask for an individual habitació; for a double, a double habitation. If you want a double bed, specify llit de matrimoni (cama de matrimonio in Spanish). Small Iberian peculiarity: in small traditional establishments (even a little old-fashioned), the cama de matrimonio is sometimes a bed narrower than the classic “140 cm”: 120 or 130 cm; it is, obviously, what allows Spain to remain in love! Hence the interest, sometimes, of preferring a room with 2 beds ... That said, in modern or renovated establishments, 140 cm double beds, or even large format in chic places, are now predominant.
- The tourist offices have a more or less exhaustive list of hotels and hostels with current prices. Some may even call for you.
This choice of accommodation is growing and proving to be economical (especially in Barcelona) for a family, or even a couple, especially as stays can be only 2-3 nights, without constraints of a full week or weekend. Quite a few promotional offers if you book online.
The Paradores, this large network ofexceptional hotel establishments, was created in 1928. Their main originality lies in their setting: fortified castles, manors, old palaces, convents, monasteries ... Please note, some are of recent construction, but they are still located in unique settings - often outside cities.
Prices vary according to 5 categories, but they are relatively high anyway: € 80-280 (extra breakfast: € 17-21), depending on the season and the comfort of the Parador (3 or 4 stars). And some can reach over 300 €! For those who can, it's still cheaper than the Relais & Châteaux they could be compared to - even if the level of service is also lower.
In general, the Paradores have very attractive low season rates, offer weekend packages and various promotions.
If you don't sleep in the Paradores, you can eat there (menus € 25-37, with a snack or tapas menu in some) or have a drink there to enjoy the surroundings.
The breakfast is generally excellent and gargantuan!
In summer and on weekends, it is imperative to book.