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Districts of Barcelona

Are the Best Neighborhoods in Barcelona to Live in in ‘Zona Alta’?

Written by Paula

An innovative, cosmopolitan city that offers countless opportunities, Barcelona has become one of the most popular cities to live in. This article will tell you about some of the best neighborhoods in Barcelona to live in.

Thousands of young people choose the Catalan capital as the location to study because of its many universities, open their own business because of the perfect work climate, or even move in with their families for the city’s characteristics and services…

Still don’t know where to settle down once you have arrived? ShBarcelona share her secret and describes Barcelona’s best neighborhoods to live in.

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Photo via Pexels

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Barcelona’s neighborhoods

As of 1984, the city of Barcelona is divided into 10 districts, which are divided into 73 neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are very different from each other; there are the cool neighborhoods, the student neighborhoods, the beach neighborhoods, the exclusive neighborhoods, and many more, each one with its unique set of characteristics. Do you want to live in one of Barcelona’s nicer areas? Then keep on reading the rest of this article with a guide to Barcelona neighborhoods, and you will find the location that suits your wishes and demands.

Before you read the rest and select a location, check the official Barcelona neighborhood map.

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Is the ‘Zona Alta’ the best area in Barcelona to live in?

Let’s talk about the most select and exclusive districts of Barcelona, which are located in the peripheral area of the city, called Zona Alta. These are, no doubt, the areas with the best neighborhoods to live in, which means they are also the most expensive ones. Without any doubt this is one of the best Barcelona neighborhoods to stay in, whether you are only here temporarily or for a more permanent stay in the city.

The districts known as Zona Alta are the most expensive ones in the city. The districts are Les Corts and Sarria-Sant Gervasi. According to data from Barcelona City Council there were a total number of 233,792 inhabitants in 2020. 

Les Corts District (3 neighborhoods)

barcelona neighborhood map

1. Les Corts

Les Corts is a former municipality that became part of Barcelona, growing as a middle-class residential area.

It is the middle ground between the exclusive “zona alta” and the working class neighborhood of Sants.

Les Corts has a variety of local stores and chain stores, and the commercial zones are mainly located at Avenida Diagonal (with l’Illa Shopping Center as its main attraction).

This area has a number of buildings which are inhabited by the middle and high-class.

Related article: A Walk Through Les Corts District

2. La Maternitat i Sant Ramon

La Maternitat i Sant Ramon is located between the municipality of l’Hospitlet de Llobregat and Pedralbes, and is the result of the expansion of Les Corts towards Llobregat.

Due to its location, it serves as the entry point to the city, which can be accessed via Avenida Diagonal or Calle Collblanc.

This neighborhood is famous for its universities and for being the location of F.C.Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium.

Most stores in La Maternitat i Sant Ramon can be found at Avenida Madrid and Carretera de Collblanc, and you will be able to find many sports facilities, universities and health services here.

3. Pedralbes

Pedralbes is one fo the most select and exclusive residential areas of Barcelona, which also makes it the most expensive. Haven’t you heard about Pedralbes yet? It occupies the occidental peripheral area of Barcelona, going all the way to the urban area of Diagonal.

It is one of the most peaceful areas to live in, located away from the noisy center, with large trees alongside the streets and a calm atmosphere.

The main streets are Avenida Pedralbes and Avenida d’Esplugues. Most of the stores in this neighborhood are located at Calle Doctor Ferran.

The highest part of Pedralbes is where most of the large, luxurious houses and villas with fenced gardens can be found, and these are for the more wealthy among us. In the lower zone there are also luxury flats in separated blocks that are surrounded by private communal facilities. This is the place where mostly rich people live, as it feels like this is one of the most secluded neighborhoods in Barcelona.

District of Sarrià-Sant Gervasi (6 neighborhoods)live barcelona

1. El Putxet i Farró

El Putxet i Farró has two areas: El Putxet on the North and El Farró on the South. 

El Putxet is a small mountain that extends into Sant Gervasi and is located between Vallcarca and Penitents. At El Farró there are small houses with interior patios and twin houses. In the center of this neighborhood you can find the lovely Jardines del Turo del Putget (gardens).

The neighborhood is inhabited by rich, high-class citizens, and that is because in the past this was the area where the bourgeoisie went to spend their summer.

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Photo via Pexels

2. Sarrià

Sarrià is the most expensive neighborhood in Barcelona. Also located on the periphery of Barcelona (on the left side of the Collserola mountain), it was the last municipality to become part of the city. It does, however, still manage to keep its identity and its village atmosphere.

The most lively street in Sarrià is Calle Major, and this could be the best place to live in Barcelona because this is the most vibrant part of the neighborhood. Mainly inhabited by middle-high class, Sarrià is a neighborhood with lots of houses and luxury condos. This is great choice if you are bringing your family to Barcelona to live here.

3. Sant Gervasi – La Bonanova

Sant Gervasi – La Bonanova is the “twin” neighborhood of Sant Gervasi – Galvanywhich is the lower part of Sant Gervasi. La Bonanova is located close to the Collserola mountain, which makes its streets have a high degree of inclination.

The streets with the most number of stores are Mandri and Muntaner. The neighborhood has a variety of teaching facilities, cultural centers, religious places, and social centers.

Move to the district of Sarria-Sant Gervasi

4. Sant Gervasi – Galvany

Sant Gervasi – Galvany is limited by Gràcia and l’Esquerra de l’Eixample, and it is a popular, urban neighborhood with most of the commercial activity in Zona Alta. This is not strange, because the streets are filled with shops.

Here you can find all kind of constructions, from small to large houses and buildings, to luxury apartments and homes that are private for its users.

The inhabitants you will find here diverse, as you will see both the middle class in the center of the neighborhood and those with a very large acquisitive power in the zone on the left.

Related article: Best Neighborhoods for Culture in Barcelona

5. Les Tres Torres

Les Tres Torres is a high-class residential neighborhood with pleasant, tree-filled streets. This neighborhood doesn’t have a strong commercial offer, but it does offer high-quality services. 

6. Vallvidrera, El Tibidabo i Les Planes

Vallvidrera, El Tibidabo i Les Planes is the neighborhood where three urban areas come together in the Catalan Coastal Range, in the Collserola mountain, and it is completely separated from the urbanized territory of Barcelona.

This is an area filled with high-class houses, single-family homes, old villas, but also more recent constructions. There are some small shops as well. The people that live here are middle-high class.

And you? What do you think is Barcelona’s best neighborhood to live in?

About the author


Paula is an experienced content writer, translator and editor.

1 Comment

  • Duh, if you’re rich and have money to afford these neighborhoods. Obviously the writer likes fancy!

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