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What neighborhood to choose in Barcelona?

Choosing A Neighborhood

Written by Laura

Which neighborhood should you choose in Barcelona?
Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city with a great variety of neighborhoods and numerous places of interest. You will have many opportunities considering all the city has to offer. There are 10 districts and 73 neighborhoods in Barcelona, each with its own charm, history and traditions. If you come to Barcelona and don´t know which neighborhood to stay in, this can give you a clearer idea.

Ciutat Vella district

This is the most ¨well known¨ neighborhood by tourists; the historic heart of the city. It is one of the most popular and multicultural neighborhoods of Barcelona, composed of four sub-districts: the Born, the Gothic, Barceloneta and Raval. In the Born district, you can find traditional buildings surrounded by an active night life, full of restaurants and bars to discover, in addition to the large population of foreigners. The Gothic Neighborhood, also known as the old center of Barcelona, is characterized by its thin medieval alleys and marvelous stone Roman architecture, the only in the city. In addition there are emblematic places such as the Cathedral, Las Ramblas, Plaza Catalunya and much more. La Barceloneta is the maritime neighborhood par excellence, only minutes away from the beach by foot, an old neighborhood of fisherman with a strong cultural footprint. By night, you can enjoy the night life with nightclubs, some of which are more touristic. The Raval is a more controversial neighborhood – although it has much to offer, some say it is inadvisable. The neighborhood has a strong muticultural identity that makes it unique. You will both love it and hate it.
You can also have a look at these neighborhoods with our videos, which you will find in an article dedicated to this neighborhood by clicking here.

Eixample district

Aerial view of Eixample district. Barcelona, Spain 

This is a wide residential zone, whose streets form a perfect grid – Eixample Esquerra (left) and Eixample Dreta (right). It is considered to be one of the most welcoming neighborhoods to live in daily, with all the necessary services and tools and an impressive offering of restaurants. Furthermore, it is the setting of the most emblematic places in Barcelona, from the Sagrada Familia to Casa Batlló, La Pedrera or the Passeig de Gracia. For more details, see our article dedicated to this neighborhood by clicking here.

Gràcia district

Gaudi architecture in the Gracia district / Photo via Pixabay

This is an old agricultural neighborhood, considered today as one of the most lively and bohemian in the city. Here, all generations coexist! This area is known for its close-knit lifestyle, similar to that of a small town. There are many beautiful and lively plazas and emblematic streets. This neighborhood has a strong cultural identity – each year in August, thousands of people travel here to celebrate the annual neighborhood festival, an unmissable event on both the cultural and festival level. Discover more by consulting this article.

Sants-Montjuïc district
Here, you benefit from the double exposure to the water and the greenery. This neighborhood has interesting characteristics like its magnificent views of the city and the ocean, visible from the hills of Montjuïc. It also houses important touristic attractions like the Magic Fountain, the MNAC, exceptional gardens and botanical parks, a castle and the famous Plaza España. With this, one has to mention the emblematic area of Poble Sec. It is in this same neighborhood that we find a street completely dedicated to tapas, another to theaters and restaurants… It serves, without a doubt, as a neighborhood where the Spanish culture is felt most strongly. Historically, it is a district with strong gitana culture as the result of Andalusian immigration. Alongside Sants, there is a more popular and less touristic environment, with many commercial streets. For more information about the Sants Monjuïc neighborhood, click here.

Sàrria-Sant Gervasi district

Photo via Pixabay

This is the most exclusive district in Barcelona, where you will find a very familial environment. In this area, the majority of your neighbors will be people looking to distance themselves from the center of the city, although they claim a true love for it. Often the buildings hide pools or beautiful gardens. Here is also where you find the most beautiful schools and campuses with green spaces. This large neighborhood extends until the Tibidabo Mountain. More information and a video? Click here.

Sant Martí district

This is the business district of the city where you will find an active business zone, as well as new businesses, avant-garde buildings and fancy hotels. This is an old industrial zone that has continued transforming itself from the Olympic Games in 1992. It includes the Poble Nou area with access to the beach, close to the Olympic Port, and is also where many families live. More information about the neighborhood? Click here.

Horta-Guinardo district

This is a calm neighborhood in the northern zone, away from the center of the city and tourists. It maintains its small town atmosphere, its traditions and its identity across the years. You can find places such as the Horta Labyrinth and the Plaça Eivissa, where you´ll notice that although the streets are sloping hills, most of the residents are elderly. However, the scenery and the views offered by this neighborhood are worth seeing. You can learn more by clicking on the following link.

Les Corts district

This is the smallest and least populated district of Barcelona, filled with families including mostly elderly people and students.  This district also houses the famous Camp Nou. This is a lively neighborhood within which exists a large clash between its culture, its social classes that make it up and the environment of the streets. To see a picture, click here.

Our advice
Barcelona is a city that can adapt perfectly to your needs, and ShBarcelona presents you an overview of its characteristics to help you in your search for your apartment (attention, this is a subjective classification but it has been observed by our collaborators).

Type of districts Districts
Family districts Eixample, Sarría-Sant Gervasi, Les Corts, Horta-Guinardó, Sant Martí
Districts to live as a couple Born, Gotico, Eixample, Gràcia
Districts for night life Ciutat Vella, Gràcia, Poble Sec
Cultural districts Born, Gotico, Eixample, Gràcia
Gastronomic districts Ciutat Vella, Eixample, Gràcia, Sants Montjuïc
Touristic districts Ciutat Vella, Eixample, Gràcia
Exclusive districts Sarría-Sant Gervasi, una parte de Les Corts (Pedralbes)




About the author


American journalist living temporarily in Spain. Her passions include news and feature writing, Spanish language and culture and the outdoors.

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