Deciding where to stay in Barcelona isn’t easy. Accommodation can be quite pricey, with even hostels setting you back around €20 a night for a crowded dorm room with cramped shower facilities.
When you’re spending a decent proportion of your holiday savings on a temporary bed, you want to make sure it’s somewhere great – a place you’ll remember not only for its facilities, but for the people you meet there and the additional services it offers.
That’s why one of the best places to stay in Barcelona is Stoke Kastle.
WHAT IS STOKE KASTLE?
Stoke Kastle is a turreted hostel about 20 minutes’ drive outside the centre of Barcelona. The fact that it’s perched remotely on a hillside means you can enjoy unrivalled views during the day and party to your heart’s content at night without worrying about curfews and noise disturbance.
The building is a rustic country estate complete with hanging bridges, cobbled courtyards and antique decor. Most of the accommodation is in dorm room bunk beds, but private rooms are sometimes available on request. There are loads of chill out rooms to hang out in, as well as a small pool at the front. This place has so much character, you could spend hours just exploring – or even unleashing your inner child with a game of hide and seek!
Join a Stoke Kastle City Break for €60 a night (minimum two nights) and you won’t need to worry about planning anything. All of your needs are taken care of, from your meals and drinks to activities and transfers.
A Stokie staff member will cook up a delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner on a daily basis, and they’ll make sure there’s plenty of entertainment, drinks and games in the evenings. As with any other Stoke Travel tour, you can get unlimited beer and sangria for just €10 a day!
If you can drag yourself away, staying at Stoke Kastle also entitles you to free guest list entry to some of Barcelona’s hottest clubs.
During the day, there are loads of activities to try in and around the city, and the best part is, most of them are included too.
You should give yourself at least two full days if you want to really appreciate the city and its scenic surroundings. Stay a week and you still won’t get bored.
You can hardly visit Barcelona without seeing the city’s most famous sites, and the perfect way to do this is on a free guided walking tour. In conjunction with Stoke Travel, guides set off from Travel Bar in the Gothic Quarter at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm every day. Tours last around two hours and are brimming with interesting facts and anecdotes. If you’d like to leave a token of your appreciation at the end, you can, but it’s not a requirement. The tour doesn’t include famous sights like the Sagrada Familia, Arc de Triomf and Park Güell, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to explore some of the other city highlights independently. Also, note that you should book tickets in advance if you’re keen to see the inside of the Sagrada Familia.
The coast around Barcelona provides a spectacular environment for active adventures, and the Stoke Travel sea kayaking and snorkelling adventure (usually €65) is included in the city break. All equipment is provided, along with a guide, direct transfers, a packed lunch and a beer to round off the day. There’s no better way to explore the Costa Brava.
Of course, if you came to Barcelona to relax, there’s no obligation to pick up a paddle. In 1992, Barcelona imported 2 km of white sandy beach especially for the Olympic Games, and it’s still a huge draw for tourists. Pack your bucket and spade and head to the waterfront for the day. Compared with much of Europe, this part of Spain has decent weather almost all year round, but June to September is the best time for uninterrupted sunshine.
Before making the most of your free club entry, why not join a two-storey catamaran and sail along the Catalonian coast for a couple of hours as the sun sets. You can choose between a BBQ party with included swim stop, a champagne sunset cruise or an original boat tour. Also, look out for one-off events, like the July 4 celebration party and the Halloween special. Tickets start at €40 and include unlimited drinks and live music.
Other optional extras include cooking classes, flamenco shows, tapas tours, cocktail classes, waterpark trips, jet skiing, sailing, rock climbing, paint balling and go-karting, so there really is something for everyone!
WHEN TO STAY
Stoke Kastle is a fantastic option at any time, but it’s particularly popular in the run up to some of the country’s most popular festivals. Gracia Festival takes place mid-August, and the Festival la Merce one month later. At the end of August, why not tag a stay at the towers either side of the huge squashed tomato fight ‘La Tomatina’?!
The address of Stoke Kastle is BV-5011, 6.5 KM, Montcada i Reixac 08110. Before you set off, take a screenshot of where it is on Google Maps (to find it, type in ST Kastle). It’s a remote location and you don’t want to be wandering along the winding hillside roads without a clue where to go. A taxi will probably cost around €30, ranging up to €60 for a higher-end transfer.
From Plaza Catalunya, you could also hop on the regional R4 train heading towards Manresa and get off after six stops at Montcada i Reixac. Then walk six minutes to Pl Lluis Companys, get on the B12 bus towards Can Ruti and get off after five stops.
By far the easiest option is to let the staff know and to coincide your arrival with a shuttle pick up from the centre.
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