Sunshine, seafood, siesta and the Sagrada Família, are just a few of many reasons to visit Barcelona and consequently fall in love with it. So much so, you may be thinking about investing in property or perhaps even settling down in the Catalan capital. But with widely different neighbourhoods in the city, which area do you choose to live in? From the labyrinth of cobble-stoned streets and beautifully restored buildings of the old town, to the cool and happening areas that are home to some of the best bars and restaurants, here are our top five areas to buy (and maybe live) in Barcelona.
Just north of the old city is the modern district of Eixample, a safe and residential part of the city which is also known for its vibrant nightlife. Eixample is filled with art galleries, museums, cafés, high-end boutiques, and fantastic architecture. The area is very central in the city and characterised by the organised blocks and tree-lined streets. It’s also home to some of Barcelona’s best modernist architecture, including the likes of Casa Batlló and La Casa Milà.
This area of Barcelona is where the old meets the new; the result of which is a charming blend and juxtaposition of historic buildings fitted out with contemporary interiors. Situated in between the Gothic Quarter and the Ciutadella Park, El Born is in the middle of all the action. It’s also where designers, luxury boutiques, restaurants and cocktail bars are located, making it a fashionable neighbourhood to reside in.
Barcelona’s bohemian neighbourhood of Gracia exudes local charm like no other. There are many little squares to discover in this area, all with different atmospheres, and connected by mesmerising streets. It almost feels like a small city on its own, hidden within the cosmopolitan capital. Residents here comprise of the young and older Catalan residents, and together they enjoy the plazas, local shops, indie boutiques, arthouse cinemas, restaurants and cafés.
Located to the east of the city centre, Poblenou is the old industrial estate turned modern neighbourhood that is often underrated. It’s the quieter, calmer side of town and one of few Barcelona neighbourhoods that has managed to escape gentrification. Parts of Poblenou are also described as Barcelona’s creative heart, where you’ll find converted factories housing design agencies, tech offices and showrooms, along with great coffee shops, bars, and restaurants. It’s also in close proximity to the beaches.
As one of the biggest districts in Barcelona, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi is also the most residential. It is another of the city’s unique neighbourhoods that has managed to remain relax and open, with few urban sections, while being located just ten minutes from the city’s more bustling centre. This peaceful area is for those that enjoy a slower paced lifestyle in Barcelona. The mix of urban tapas bars, designer boutiques, and nearby nature walks also make it a popular neighbourhood to live in.