Spain’s most visited city, Barcelona, is an excellent destination for solo female travel. With mind-blowing architecture at every corner, you don’t need any distractions while exploring the city, so being alone here can be a blast. And this solo female guide to Barcelona covers all the practical tips and tricks to make your trip to the city as comfortable as it can get.
How safe is Barcelona as a solo female travel destination?
Generally, Barcelona is a safe city. The main issue here is the theft and robbery that happens mostly in tourist-heavy places. You need to be cautious throughout the city, especially in the metro, crowded places, and outdoor seats of cafes, to name a few. Even early mornings, such as 7 to 8 a.m., are not a safe bet from pickpockets if you want to see famous landmarks without the crowds.
Practice common-sense precautions as you would elsewhere in the world. Don’t bring your most fancy jewelry, keep your expensive camera gear close by, and don’t leave things unattended, or flash cash anywhere. It’s always best to have your belongings in front of you. When sitting at the outdoor cafe, put your bag under the table or chair; putting it on the chair next to you enables a passerby to grab it quickly.
Needless to say, don’t wander dark alleys or non-touristy places late at night.
If you are a black female traveler visiting Barcelona alone, avoid being out late at night. Many black women are working on Las Ramblas as prostitutes, and there have been frequent incidents where men assume, incorrectly, that any black woman walking down Las Ramblas is a prostitute. So either avoid the area at night, join a group, or take a taxi back to your accommodation if you go out and stay up late.
What are the neighborhoods in Barcelona for solo female travelers?
Each neighborhood in Barcelona has its unique charm and suits different female travel styles. For example, Barceloneta, a former fishing village of the 18th century and now a residential district, is for those who’d love to spend most of their time in Barcelona at its beaches but at the same time be within a few metro-stops to the main sights.
Gothic Quarter, the central and most touristic area of the city, is for those who want to be in the heart of the hustle and bustle Barcelona has to offer; be it the sights, night life, or dining scene.
Its adjoining El Born district is still central but less crowded, boasting Barcelona’s artsy and boho scene.
Eixample is ideal if you are on a budget but want to be within walking distance from the city center. Some of the best hostels and accommodations options for solo female travelers are located here.
For a local experience, make sure to explore the Gracia neighborhood. Its elegant wide boulevards and pedestrian streets adorned with galleries, boutiques, excellent wine bars, and Catalan bistros won’t disappoint you.
See the true magic of Barcelona’s vibrant barrios at Barcelona: A City of Gold and Stone
Where to stay in Barcelona as a solo female traveler?
Barcelona offers a wide variety of accommodation options for any budget. Depending on your financial situation and preferences, you can easily find a nice hotel, hostel, or apartment.
Suppose you are a social person and want to meet other people, opt for a hostel. If you want some alone time, try booking a boutique hotel. And if you are after a local experience, you might consider renting an apartment and asking your hosts for the best restaurants and non-touristy things to do in Barcelona.
Sant Jordi Hostels Rock Palace is one of the best hostels to consider staying in as a solo female traveler in Barcelona with its lively social vibe. For a low-key and quieter place, check out Yeah Barcelona or Bed & Bike Barcelona.
Hotel Brummel and H10 Montcada are excellent choices for boutique hotels if you want to be within walking distance of the prominent landmarks and top museums.
Other essential solo female travel tips for visiting Barcelona
Eating out alone: Avoid peak time when dining alone in Barcelona. Restaurants in Barcelona get quite busy during rush hours, so you might encounter slower service as a solo diner. Don’t forget that locals dine pretty late at night compared to the rest of Europe, so going to the restaurant at 6 to 7 p.m. should be fine.
Try various tapas bars with communal tables or bar stools if you don’t want to sit by yourself in a restaurant. Alternatively, you can try the famous tapas bars in the La Boqueria market or join a food tour.
Best time to visit: Since Barcelona is a top-rated destination, to avoid big crowds and enjoy warm weather, late spring or early summer (May and June) are two of the best times to visit the city. At this period, the daytime temperatures range between 69 to 77°F (21 to 24°C), while at night, it lowers to 54 to 60°F (12 to 16°C).
What to pack: Your packing list for Barcelona in spring should include one pair of jeans and a light jacket, cardigan, or hoodie. Bring a couple of dresses for warmer, sunny days. And don’t forget a good pair of shoes that are suited for walking the whole day.
How to get around in Barcelona
Barcelona’s public transportation system consists of the subway, buses, trams, and trains.
Even though the major sites are situated around the city center and easily explored on foot, you’ll need to take public transport for some other attractions.
To save money on public transportation, you can purchase a Barcelona Card giving you access to all the public transport for free as well as free entrance and discounts to some of its museums.
Alternatively, suppose you’ll be using public transport a lot during your stay in Barcelona. In that case, you can buy Hola Barcelona Transport Pass, allowing you unlimited use of the transportation within the given timeframe.
If you need no more than ten journeys by public transport, you can purchase a T-10 ticket.
Looking to explore beyond the Catalan capital? Consider Tasting the Culture of Sevilla, Spain.