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Moving in

The Best Areas to Live in Barcelona

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Written by Rachel G

With so many interesting and unique neighborhoods, choosing the best location in Barcelona to live in isn’t always easy. From the mazelike streets and narrow alleyways of the old city to the wide, tree-lined avenues of the Eixample district.

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This article of ShBarcelona will walk you through the perfect option for everyone to enjoy in the Catalan capital.

Related article: Best Areas for Students to Live in Barcelona

Moving to Spain? Barcelona; best city to live in

If you are thinking of moving to Barcelona, it is best to check out before arrival what neighbourhood suits you best. Taking a family with you? Consider nearby schools.

Bringing your dog? Then look for parks and apartments that accept pets. For now, let’s start with a list of areas that are favourite with both temporary and permanent residents.

Stay in Gracia

Gracia might just be the most charming neighborhood in Barcelona. With an incomparable local charm, it feels like a small city tucked away inside the metropolis.

barcelona view

Photo via Pixabay

In fact, Gracia was once considered a separate town just outside of Barcelona until the Eixample district connected Gracia with the old city in the late 1800’s.

Today, the neighborhood is an eclectic mix between a young, alternative and bohemian scene and older Catalan residents who have lived there for generations.

With quiet, charming plazas and tons of local shops, restaurants, and cozy cafés, Gracia is one of the very best places to live in Barcelona.

Only here for a couple of months?

Spend time in Eixample

Lying just north of the old city, the Eixample district is one of the best and most central areas to live in Barcelona. Characterized by its organized grid of streets, this neighborhood is the most modern area of the city.

As it’s well connected to all other neighborhoods, living in Eixample is a great way to be easily accessible to all that Barcelona has to offer.

spanish architecture - live in barcelona

Photo via Pixabay

And because it’s home to some of the city’s best modernist architecture, like Casa Batlló and La Casa Milà, Eixample is a uniquely beautiful district filled with impressive buildings and lovely, tree-lined avenues.

Enjoy cultural El Born

The trendy neighborhood of El Born is the perfect mix of old and new. The beautiful facades of the centuries-old buildings contrast with their updated, twenty-first-century interiors.

plaza in el born barcelona

Photo by Jorge Franganillo via Visualhunt

Apart from its beauty, El Born is also home to many local businesses and designers, making it a great neighborhood to shop for unique treasures.

The narrow, winding streets of El Born are lined with lovely boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and cocktail bars. Located just inside the busy city center and next to the beautiful Parc de la Ciutadella, life in El Born is never boring.

Related article: What is the cost of living in Barcelona?

Move to Poblenou

This laid-back neighborhood is popular for its close proximity to some of Barcelona’s best beaches. This is actually one of the best places to live in Barcelona for families.

beach Poblenou

Photo by corno.fulgur75 via Visualhunt

Although it’s quite close to the city center, the neighborhood of Poblenou boasts a calmer atmosphere and an excellent quality of life.

With less expensive real estate than other neighborhoods, Poblenou is an excellent option for living centrally in Barcelona at an affordable price.

Long term plans for Barcelona

Live in Sarrià – Sant Gervasi

Lying about ten minutes by metro from the center of Barcelona, the district of Sarria – Sant Gervasi offer a local atmosphere without all the noise and tourism of the bustling city center.

This district has a peaceful, small-town vibe that will win over any resident of this unique neighborhood.

With tranquil parks and plenty of great shops and restaurants, Sarria-Sant Gervasi is the perfect area to settle down and enjoy a slower paced lifestyle in Barcelona.

What are good areas  in Barcelona according to your experience? And why?

About the author

Rachel G

Originally from the United States, Rachel has been living in Spain since 2014. After two years in Madrid, she moved to Barcelona in 2016 to pursue her passions in writing and photography. She spends her free time enjoying life in beautiful Barcelona and traveling around Europe as much as possible.


  • I just moved to Barcelona Spain from the United States one day ago and I too pursue photography, writing, and design, having spent years as an accountant/artist (70/30) so now I have the opportunity to pursue my passions 100%, Nice to meet you and maybe we can connect sometime…as I am In temp housing here and looking for a permanent place to move in a month or so.

    • Hi Evangelina,
      Welcome to the city!
      And please feel free to contact our team at ShBarcelona for any assistance during your search for your next apartment.
      We will be happy to help.

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