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Moving in

Discover The 10 Best Areas to Live Near Barcelona

harbour on the maresme coast
Written by Paula

Living in Barcelona comes with many advantages: your proximity to all services, living closer to work/school, a great variety of shops, restaurants, leisure activities, et cetera.

Living in a big city has, without any doubt, also its downsides: the noise, the traffic, the crowds, pollution and little green areas to walk or do sports.

That is why more and more people value a certain level of tranquility, having nature nearby, and above all, enjoying a cheaper way of living (food, housing, …) and therefore decide to move to a smaller town.

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ShBarcelona has come up with a list of best towns to live in around the city of Barcelona, and it will help you figure out what possibilities there are and what your next place of residency could be.

If you are thinking of moving to a place close to Barcelona, but don’t yet know where, then you must read this article.

10 Towns close to Barcelona to live in

At this moment, living in one of the surrounding towns of Barcelona is becoming more and more common than you might think.

One of the determining factors when deciding which town is better, is probably the distance and how well it is connected to Barcelona by transport (both public and private).

We have picked ten villages that are at a maximum of 40 kilometers from the city, and that have both the essential services, as the ability to use transport easily. 


1. El Masnou

beach of el masnou

Photo via Visualhunt

This is one of the best places for living close to the city of Barcelona. It’s a beautiful fishing village and it is part of the Maresme region. There are many stores, supermarkets, schools, businesses in El Masnou, and it has a lovely beach.

Add to this the excellent connection to the city by road or RENFE (train), and there is nothing more to wish for. You can also, if you prefer, take the bus. If there are regular traffic conditions, it will probably take you about 20 minutes to get to Barcelona with your own car or motorcycle.

If you plan on taking the train, it may take around 30 minutes to travel to Barcelona city center. That’s not bad at all, right?

2. Alella

Alella is a charming place to be. It is located in a more mountainous part of the Maresme and on the other side of the C-32 compared to El Masnou.

It is surrounded by over 200 hectares of vineyards, and it’s interesting to know that it has the smallest Denominación de Origen of Catalonia, but at the same time it produces some of the best wines.

Around 10,000 people live in the village of Alella, and it is the ideal location for anyone who prefers living close to both beaches and nature. Families and couples like this part of the Maresme, as it takes about 30 minutes by car to get to Barcelona. There are also plenty of schools, public services and great shopping options.

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3. Teià

Close to Alella is a village called Teià. Its characteristics are quite the same, but it’s smaller, as there are around 6,000 people living in Teià.

If you need some tranquility after living in the big city, then this is a place worth checking out. It is known as a summer village, and although it’s also 30 minutes from Barcelona, public transportation is not as good as the previous locations we have mentioned.

Baix Llobregat/Garraf

4. Castelldefels

Castelldefels is the perfect choice because of its closeness to Barcelona. It is located in the region of Baix Llobregat, and it is only 25 kilometers by car from the capital and takes about 25 minutes by train.

The municipality is divided into several zones, with one of them a more residential area (in the mountains) and the other a more centrally located part of Castelldefels (closer to the beach).

The cost of living here is higher than in the smaller towns on this list, but the overall quality of life is considered very good. There are prestigious schools in Castelldefeels (the British School of Barcelona), and there are many restaurants, shops, malls and cinemas.

5. Sitges

beach of sitges

Photo via Unsplash

Sitges is also one of the better places to stay near Barcelona. It is located in the Garraf, and it’s known for its beauty and its white streets with lots of flowers. If you’re into Horror movies, then it’s good to know that Sitges is the venue for the annual Horror Film Festival, which is well-known on a national and international level.

Quality of life is excellent in Sitges, although you will learn quickly that it’s not one of the cheaper towns. Over the last couple of years it has grown quite a bit, and you will find all key services in town: many shops, schools, cultural happenings and different businesses.

You can travel between Sitges and Barcelona by train and road to Barcelona, and it will take your around 45 minutes.

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6. Sant Pere de Ribes

One of the lesser known villages close to Barcelona is Sant Pere de Ribes. You will be surrounded by nature, vineyards and the Garraf massif here. This explains why it is a splendid location for those who enjoy their peace and quiet.

You can even still see some medieval elements in Sant Pere de Ribes, and this also makes at an attractive village for visitors. You will find every basic facilities, shops and services in this town.

And, for those who like to get their feet in the sand, the beach is only 10 minutes away. Travelling between Sant Pere de Ribes and Barcelona will probably take you 40 minutes by car and 50 minutes by bus, and if you prefer taking the train, you will have to go to Sitges first. 

Related article: Best Beaches of The Costa Dorada

Vallès Oriental

7. La Garriga

The region of the Vallès Oriental is located north of Barcelona, and it stands out for being close to Montseny Natural Park. You can find the town of La Garriga in this region, and we must say this is a place with great charm and a variety of shops and services.

In addition, there are also renowned schools and high-quality restaurants in La Garriga. It is truly a place where both families and young couples feel at home.

The distance between Barcelona and La Garriga is about 40 minutes if you travel by car and around 50 minutes if you take the RENFE train.

church in la gariga

Photo via Visualhunt

8. L’Ametlla del Vallès

When discussing some of the best places to live near the city of Barcelona, one must not forget l’Ametlla del Vallès. This is a town that immediately calms the mind and soul with its beauty. Besides that, you will be able to find every necessary service in the direct proximity of l’Ametlla del Vallès.

It is located 10 minutes from La Garriga, so it’s easy to do your business and shopping here.

Public transport is harder to find, as there is no train station in l’Ametlla del Vallès. It is, however, well-connected to La Garriga and Granollers, where you will find the closest RENFE stations. And from here the train will take you to Barcelona in no more than 45 minutes.


Related article: Places Worth Visiting in Catalonia

Vallès Occidental

9. Sant Cugat del Vallès

Of all the municipalities close to Barcelona, Sant Cugat is one of the favourite ones to live in. It has everything you could possibly wish for: quality shopping, restaurants, prestigious schools (ESADE Business School is located in Sant Cugat), leisure options, playgrounds, et cetera.

The standard of living is high here, and the quality of life is even more impressive. Highlights of Sant Cugat are its distance from Barcelona (15 kilometers), which will take you about 25 minutes by car. 

Public transport is also an option, and although the Ferrocarriles Catalanes (FGC or Catalan Railways) isn’t scheduled as often as other train connections, it does get you to the city very quickly.

10. Cerdanyola del Vallès

church in cerdanyola

Photo via Visualhunt

Cerdanyola is another town located in proximity of Barcelona, and life is good here because of the many services and the larger and quiet residential areas.

This is a traditional town, popular with both families but also younger people, and that is because of the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona being closeby. Connections, either by private car or public transport, are excellent. 

You will reach the city in around 25 minutes, and you will find that it is just as easy to hop on the train and travel to the Ciudad Condal.

Do you know any other interesting towns near Barcelona to live in?

About the author


Paula is an experienced content writer, translator and editor.

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