For those who are not familiar with the term, a “digital nomad” is usually someone whose main tool is his or her computer and who can work from anywhere in the world. Digital nomads are usually people who work remotely, which means they can have a fair amount of independence when choosing where to live and where they prefer to work from. Of course, this all depends on the agreements made between each individual nomad and their employer but, in general, it is a way of life the allows a lot of moving around.
First of all: why should a digital nomad choose to live in Barcelona?
Barcelona is an amazing city with lots to offer those who visit and those who choose to make it their home. The city is rich in gorgeous architecture, delicious food from everywhere around the globe, an array of cultural centers, and a non-stop rhythm with a variety of events taking place every single month of the year. The warm, sunny weather is another factor of appeal, which has been transforming visitors into expats for ages. The cost of living in Barcelona is not the cheapest in Europe, but it is relatively cheap when compared to other important cities such as Paris or London. Finally, living in Barcelona gives people the opportunity to make friends from many different nationalities, since a great part of the population is made of foreigners.
Intrigued? Are you starting to consider moving to Barcelona to work as a digital nomad? Then keep reading to find out which are the best areas for digital nomads to live in Barcelona.
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Sant Martí is famously known among the younger crowds as the district of innovation. It is basically a business hub for a number of technology startups, with 22@ as its epicenter. This district is also home to Barcelona Activa, an entity that promotes economic growth, helps people find jobs, helps businesses get off the ground and promotes local commerce.
Sant Martí is also an area with a variety of coworking spaces, which not every digital nomad finds appealing but that can be very useful in minimizing the feeling of isolation that sometimes comes with this style of life. Valkiria Hub Space is one of the most interesting venues in the area. It offers 1.500 square meters of coworking space, while also offering mentoring and events organization services. Their objective is to create a community of innovators, regardless of them being companies, organizations, freelancers or entrepreneurs. They have both private and shared workspaces, eight meeting rooms, a large room for events, and a restaurant.
If you have a computer with a long-lasting battery and you like working outdoors, Sant Martí will really appeal to you. This district has five different beaches and at least 3 large parks where one can sit in the shade and work, enjoying a nice, fresh breeze and hearing the birds sing sweet and chipper melodies.
Sant Martí also has a couple of neighborhoods that are located further from the center, like Poblenou and Diagonal Mar i el Front Marítim del Poblenou which are more peaceful areas to work and live in, especially for those who can’t stand the constant rumbling of traffic.
Gràcia is a district which has been growing in popularity for the past couple of years. It is increasingly becoming a hip area, where all of the trendiest shops, cafes, and restaurants are located. It has a mixture of an older population, who has been living there for decades, and a young, more dynamic population who is helping to inject new life into area, particularly in the neighborhood of Vila de Gràcia.
Depending on the neighborhood in Gràcia where you choose to live, it will be much cheaper for you to rent a full apartment with one or two rooms than it is in the districts of Eixample or Ciutat Vella. This district is also home to Gaudì’s famous Parc Güell and Parc Creueta del Coll which, again, if you are an outdoorsy person, offer you plenty of space to work or simply spend some time outdoors.
Being the hip and forward-thinking area it now is, Gràcia also has very interesting offers in the coworking spaces department. Betahaus, one of Barcelona’s most famous coworking spaces, is located in Carrer de Vilafranca, only a couple of minutes away from a kitschy venue that serves excellent brunches called Timeline Bar.
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Eixample is probably one of the most glamorous district in the city, if you don’t count Sarrià-Sant Gervasi and Les Corts, which are usually reserved for people with particularly high incomes. Several of the most important touristic attractions are located in this district, including Casa Batlló and the world-renowned Sagrada Família. You may think that doesn’t count for much since you will be working rather than visiting touristic sites, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to live in an area with gorgeous architecture created by some of the most inspired minds of the past few eras.
Eixample has an abundance of high-quality shops, restaurants and services available, which doesn’t mean you can’t also find a good bargain in the area. The district has a combination of pricey and affordable neighborhoods, which means that anyone can find a good place to live. It also has great coworking spaces such as MOB – Makers of Barcelona, a 1000 square meter venue located in a former textile factory in the Dreta de l’Eixample neighborhood.
This area also has a variety of cafes where you can work from. The Pudding Bar, for example, is a great place to work if you feel like you need to escape the monotony of white walls and boring interior design. Serving a variety of sandwiches, cakes, and other snacks, The Pudding Bar looks like the spot where Alice would stop for her afternoon tea, if this place was located in Wonderland. Galeria Cosmo is another cool space for a bite and some typing, located in the art gallery-ridden street of Enric Granados.
Almost every area in Barcelona is a good area for a digital nomad to live in. Why? Because Barcelona is a city that has an excellent public transportation system, which means that you can get anywhere in the city relatively quickly, and a variety of places that welcome visitors who come with their laptops in hand. Not all cafes in the city have wifi but that shouldn’t represent a major issue since most neighborhoods have large, well-equipped libraries with free internet where one can spend a long couple of hours working alone but also in the company of others. If coworking is more of your style, there are many places to choose from, with prices that can fit a variety of budgets. The city is also a great place to do some networking, as there are dozens of events for freelancers, digital nomads and entrepreneurs happening around the city every single month.
Do you need any more reasons to come and work as a digital nomad in Barcelona?
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