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Explore Barcelona from this historic building at the very centre of the city, with easy access to unmissable landmarks, great places to eat and drink, and numerous shops.
Art lovers will be fascinated to know that this three-star city-centre hotel is in the same building where renowned Catalan artist Joan Miró was born in 1893. Today, the Rialto is a simple, functional place that serves as a really well-priced base for exploring the centre of the city and beyond. The 205 rooms have wooden floors and traditional style furnishings, and air-conditioning, en-suite bathrooms and free toiletries are among the amenities on offer. The bar-restaurant is decorated with a vaulted stone ceiling, providing a cosy, atmospheric place to enjoy the Mediterranean specialities (both set daily menus and à la carte options are available), and a wide-ranging buffet breakfast is served in the cafeteria each morning. Other services provided by the hotel include a meeting room, vending machines, and the chance to buy tickets to different tourist sights and events, while all guests can enjoy a free tour of the city courtesy of the Rialto. If you’re travelling with your pet, be reassured that they will be welcomed at no extra charge at this charming, centric and comfortable hotel.
Location: This hotel could scarcely be more central if it tried. It's located halfway along the vibrant street of Ferran, which connects La Rambla with Plaça Sant Jaume, the seat of both the city council and the Catalan government. From the Hotel Rialto you can walk to numerous historical landmarks, enticing bars, cafés and restaurants, not to mention an extensive range of shops, both high-street chains on Portal de l’Àngel and Portaferrisa and trendy boutiques in the nearby Born area. Metro stations and bus stops are just minutes away on La Rambla and Via Laietana.
Fonda Espanya: From La Rambla head down the street of Sant Pau to this magnificent modernista restaurant whose gastronomic director is the multi-Michelin-star-winning chef Martin Berasategui. 'Fondes' were traditional Catalan eateries, and Berasategui plays with classic local recipes to give them a contemporary spin. If you book directly through their website, you’ll get benefits including discounts, a free drink on arrival and free WiFi
La Manual Alpargatera: On the lookout for an original souvenir or gift? This is the shop to visit, thanks to its incredible range of espadrilles ('alpargateres'), an enduringly popular form of footwear in Catalonia, traditionally worn by farmers and participants in the national Sardana dance and now seen on the feet of people of all ages. Traditional methods are used to create the shoes sold in this shop that opened in 1941 and was the first place to see the style possibilities of the previously humble 'alpargatera'.
Ocaña: This combination club/restaurant/bar/café pays homage to the flamboyant artist and activist José Pérez Ocaña, a key figure in Barcelona’s alternative movements of the late ’70s and ’80s which focused on La Rambla and Plaça Reial; Ocaña is located in the latter square in a building that dates from 1856. Enjoy the outdoor terrace, choose between Catalan and Mexican cuisine, have a signature cocktail in the Apotheke bar and, at the weekend, round off your evening in the basement club.
Koku Kitchen Ramen: It comes as something as a surprise to know that behind this quality ramen joint are two Irishmen and a Swede. Their noodle soups are rich, filling and, essentially, delicious; in the summer, they make a cold version suitable for consumption when it’s unbearably hot outside. If you go at lunchtime for the set menu, we deem it more or less obligatory to finish your meal with the banoffee pie, if it's on offer.
Palau Güell: While perhaps not one of the more famous Antoni Gaudí creations, this one-time private residence just off La Rambla is absolutely worth seeing. It was the architect’s first major commission and opened to the public in 2011 after a major renovation project. It bears testament both to Gaudí’s creativity and the extreme wealth of his patrons that enabled him to see his imaginings brought to life.
Good for: Art and history aficionados who like to get up close and personal with places associated with famous people from the past. And anybody looking for an affordable hotel with a brilliant location.
Amenities: Restaurant, Bar-café, Free WiFi, Pets accepted free, Free Barcelona tour.
Time Out tip: Just down the road from the Hotel Rialto is Starbucks, while on one side of Plaça Sant Jaume is Costa Coffee. Ignore both of them and head to Carrer de la Llibreteria, the small road that leads off Sant Jaume towards Via Laietana on the left-hand side. Among the traditional, quality coffee places you'll find there are Santa Clara and its fine array of pastries and sandwiches, Bar Brusi, a down-to-earth family-run café where you should try the omelettes for a tasty mid-morning snack, and Tostaderos Bon Mercat, where they roast coffee beans and serve deliciously good coffee.