Generator Hostel Barcelona
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A contemporary take on the traditional hostel, Generator offers a range of rooms for all tastes and budgets, from shared dormitories to a private penthouse suite with city views. It’s a place for making new friends and a fantastic base for exploring the city centre and more off-piste areas such as Gràcia.
Not that it were needed, but this venue is certainly proof that we are all travellers now and that the range of accommodations just keeps growing. Generator takes the concept of a low-price place to lay your head and adds on enticing extras to bring their various hostels up to the expectations of today’s tourist. With a largely but not exclusively millennial focus, Generator Barcelona recognises that there are many profiles when it comes to guests. So you can find small, large and women-only dormitories, triple and quad rooms, and, at the top end of the scale, private rooms with terraces and even a penthouse suite that can sleep up to six, making it an ideal space for families. The bedrooms tend towards a clean, contemporary aesthetic while the common areas such as the Fiestas de Gràcia bar (named for the exuberant August festival held in the local Gràcia neighbourhood) are more colourful with an innovative combination of industrial and rustic features. It works as both a practical base for exploring the city and a place to hang out with friends old and new, especially during the daily evening happy hour, thereby carrying on the best traditions of global hostels.
Location: Found on the doorstep of the largely unspoiled and village-like Gràcia, where you can find traditional bars and restaurants, small boutiques and original language cinemas, Generator Hostel is also minutes from Passeig de Gràcia, one of the city’s main shopping boulevards that’s lined with a mix of exclusive luxury brands and familiar high-street chains as well as Modernista landmarks.
Casa de les Punxes: A few minutes’ walk from the hostel is this splendid example of Modernista architecture. Designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, it only opened to the public in 2016. Take a tour of this building (whose official name is Casa Terradas; ‘punxes’ means 'spikes' and the nickname is inspired by the pointy turrets that adorn the building), marvel at the views from the rooftop, then enjoy a glass of something cold in the Vermuteria bar.
Pink Peony: Pamper yourself at this NY-inspired beauty centre that offers manicures, pedicures, massages and facials, among other treatments.
La Pepita: Although frustratingly you can’t reserve at this popular but small tapas spot, if you can go at off-peak times (or are prepared to wait), it’s certainly worth checking out. ‘Pepitas’ are pork cuts and one of the bar's highlights but everything is top-quality there, including the G&Ts and house vermouth.
Xurreria Trébol: A city classic. If you’ve never tried ‘churros’ (or ‘xurros’ in Catalan, pronounced the same way), you’re in for a treat. Deep-fried tubes of pastry, generously sprinkled in sugar and served with a cup of thick hot chocolate – that’s what awaits at this tiny but unmissable place. They also have filled ones (with dulce de leche, for example), chocolate covered ones, and savoury deep-fried nibbles like cod fritters and croquettes.
Good for: Young, hip travellers who want comfort and style on a budget, and to be at the heart of the social and cultural life of the places they visit. With its various private rooms, it can also work for families or couples who want something affordable but with more character than traditional low-cost accommodations.
Amenities: Free WiFi, Bar, Restaurant, Laundry, 24-hour reception.
Time Out tip: If you have a penchant for getting off the beaten track and discovering a less-explored part of the places you visit, head to the tiny C/Venus and the Bicioci Café whose owners, Italians Andrea and Fabrizio, have brought together two of their passions in its creation: bikes and food.