The neighbourhood of El Carmel is one of the most popular neighbourhoods of Barcelona, largely thanks to its steep streets and its origin of being a working-class neighbourhood.
El Carmel is located on the slopes of Mount Carmel, and it has managed to become a complete urban zone. Its first inhabitants built many of the buildings, mostly low houses with a patio, with their own hands with a complete lack of urban regulations.
This has created a neighbourhood with diverse, usually simple, properties. The complexity of its streets, almost all on hillsides, made it the residential destiny of people who generally fit the rather young profile, although there is a large number of elderly people still living in the area.
If you are thinking of renting an apartment in the district of Horta-Guinardó, and you are looking for a quiet and affordable neighbourhood, El Carmel is an excellent option.
The neighbourhood of El Carmel is an example of Barcelona having been host to large immigrations of other autonomous communities of Spain to Catalonia, which originated in the mid-twentieth century.
Before this, the area had a mainly rural character, full of areas destined for agriculture and also some parts with summer houses for the Barcelona working class. The change of the neighbourhood began with the migratory process, with an increase of barracks, self-constructed homes, and later, apartment buildings that were destined to meet the growing demand from new residents.
Because of all this, El Carmel has become a working-class neighbourhood, quiet and a little disconnected from the centre of Barcelona. At the end of the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st century, the district underwent another important transformation when a subway line was built.
Now it was connected to other areas of the Catalan capital. Slowly but surely several bus lines were added as well, and this has turned the neighbourhood into one of the most requested neighbourhoods for those looking for an affordable apartment in a cheaper area of Barcelona.
The neighbourhood of El Carmel also has some advantages. Most of the properties have privileged views of the Ciudad Condal and the sea for instance.
In addition, it is one of the least polluted areas of Barcelona, largely because it is elevated above sea level, close to the Collserola mountain and in the heart of Mount Carmel. The apartments that you can find here are modest and simple, of average size or a bit smaller. You can also find single-family buildings, usually with a patio or garden.
One of the sights you must see in the neighbourhood of El Carmel is located in the park of Carmel. It is the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which opened in 1860.
There is also an interesting monument for the International Brigades that fought in the Spanish Civil War, located on the Rambla del Carmelo. It is called David and Goliath.