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All about apartment rentals

5 Tips to Find Your Holiday Rental in Barcelona

holiday rental in barcelona with kitchen and living room
Written by Daniella

Barcelona is, by far, the city in Catalonia that is visited by the most tourists throughout the entire year. The city has many types of accommodation for you to fully enjoy your stay. What is the best option for you? There can only be one: a holiday rental in Barcelona.

  • touristic apartments in barcelona


Although it might seem easy to find a holiday rental in Barcelona at first glance, we can recommend following our 5 tips to find your ideal tourist accommodation. These tips help you to not only find accommodation that meets your expectations, but they also prevent you from encountering some unforeseen problems.

What is a holiday rental?

A rental apartment in Barcelona that is designated as a holiday rental is a licensed property that is officially allowed to be rented out as a tourist accommodation. This type of rental property is suitable for temporary occupants who will only stay in Barcelona for a maximum of 31 days.

Holiday rentals are hugely popular, as tourists staying there can enjoy much more space than in a hotel or guesthouse. They are also often much better priced.

Find your rental in Barcelona here

Tourist apartments with a license

If an apartment wants to obtain a holiday rental license, it must meet a series of legal requirements first. The most important aspect is that Barcelona City Council’s Administration must approve of the property’s tourist license. 

A cédula de habitabilidad (habitation certificate) must also be presented, and this document states the number of occupants that may stay in the holiday rental in Barcelona. This number may under no circumstance be exceeded.

Renting out your property for a couple of days without having arranged the appropriate license may result in severe consequences, with fines ranging from 300 tot 60,000 euros.

Holiday rentals’ characteristics

Tourist accommodation usually has typical qualifications: it must be furnished, it must be clean, and it must be equipped with everything that is necessary to be able to spend time there normally, like having kitchen utensils.

All rental apartments are legally required to offer a 24/7 help desk in case there are any complaints or problems during a stay in Barcelona. Payment of all property taxes (obligatory for every citizen) must also be guaranteed.

Renting holiday accommodation requires making a deposit, which will be returned to you at the end of your stay and as long as you are leaving the property in perfect condition.

large apartment building

Photo via Unsplash

Every entry and exit in the country, but especially in the city of Barcelona, is registered when renting a tourist apartment. The collected data helps to discover tourist trends within the city, and it is also used to help the police locate wanted people.

Best value for your money and how to get it

Now that you have read about the main characteristics of Barcelona’s rentals, we will share with you how to find your ideal accommodation:

1. Book in advance

Barcelona’s tourist properties are in high demand, so we would certainly recommend booking your accommodation well in advance. If possible, try to complete your reservation at least 3 months before arriving in the city.

As a result your holiday rental will be absolutely worth it, and its location can be in the centre of the city or close to the beach. These are the two most favourite parts of the city. When you book well in advance, you will also be able to get a better price.

Research has shown that tourists that who book a week before arrival end up paying 2 to 3 times more than those who book several months before arrival. 

Search for a holiday rental in Barcelona

2. Low season

If you are not bound by school holidays and you can choose any time of the year, we can recommend visiting Barcelona in the off-peak season. This starts in November and ends in early March, but it doesn’t include any of the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Travelling during low season, however, can be up to 50% cheaper than travelling in high season.

What is the best area for a holiday rental in Barcelona?

Once you have chosen the dates for your trip to Barcelona, you must know what type of holiday you are planning in order to find the most convenient location.

3. Choosing a holiday rental that meets your needs and wishes

Finding a short-stay apartment in Barcelona all depends on selecting an area first. Most of Barcelona’s tourist attractions are located in the district of Ciutat Vella, and this is where the streets are mainly pedestrian zones, and where you will be able to walk from one art or architectural marvel to another.

If you prefer spending more time at one of Barcelona’s terrific beaches, then a holiday rental in Barceloneta or Vila Olímpica could be a splendid idea.   

The city’s most famous sites are characterised by modernist art, mainly by Antoni Gaudí, and you will find these in the district of Eixample. This district, together with Ciutat Vella, forms the heart of Barcelona.

And finally, if you are more into a bohemian atmosphere, we can recommend staying in a holiday rental in the district of Gràcia. This area is perfect if you want to dive into the most cultural zone of Barcelona.

towels on bed

Photo via Unsplash

Where can I make reservations for a holiday rental?

4. Specialised companies

One of the problems that can occur when booking a short-term apartment, is that it doesn’t have the relevant approval. It is therefore important to search for such an apartment through profesional companies with a portfolio of licensed properties.

Check out ShBarcelona‘s portfolio, as we are a real estate agency that has specialised in offering rental properties in the tourist sector. Our agents will personally assist you to help you find exactly that one apartment that you are looking for. 

Additionally, all of ShBarcelona’s holiday rentals are registered with the correct tourist license, and our apartments will allow for you to stay in the city comfortably.

5. Double check that the apartment has a tourist license

It is of the utmost importance that the apartment you are styaing in has the necessary license, as tourist taxes are also included in the price you are paying for your stay. These taxes are 3 euros per person per night in the Catalan capital, and these taxes are raised for sustainability purposes and the further development of tourist activities.

Taxes, although charged by the agency you are booking through, will be transferred to Barcelona’s City Council. 

Besides this not paying your tourist taxes, you run the risk of being kept from entering your holiday rental if it doesn’t have the tourist license. This could happen when municipal inspectors suspect illegal activities inside the property, and it could then leave you without having a roof over your head during your holiday. 

What about you? Have you already found your ideal holiday rental in Barcelona?


About the author


Daniella enjoys everything the city of Barcelona has to offer. She writes, translates and loves discovering Catalonia and its beautiful nature.

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