When you’re planning a trip, choosing which neighbourhood to stay in can be a daunting task. When your destination is Barcelona and there are seemingly endless interesting, exciting and intriguing neighbourhoods to choose from, the difficulty is only amplified. Read on to discover the upsides and downsides to the most famous districts in Barcelona.
Best suited to: Families and couples. Eixample is safe and quieter than other areas.
Highlights: The architecture. Not only is the Sagrada Familia found here, but there is Casa Batlló and La Pedrera. Barcelona’s most exclusive street, Paseo de Gràcia, also calls Eixample home. There are lots of shops, and myriad restaurants where you can sample traditional tapas in a laid-back, local atmosphere.
Don’t head here if: You like green spaces. Amongst the beautiful architecture there are very few parks and squares.
Best suited to: Those on a short trip – you’ll have all the major sights at your fingertips.
Highlights: Some of the most famous sights are found in Ciutat Vella (which means ‘Old Town’ in Catalan), including Las Ramblas, the Picasso Museum, the Boquería Market and Plaça Reial. As it’s an area popular with tourists, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to cafés, restaurants and bars, and you could spend hours exploring the labyrinth of ancient streets.
Don’t head here if: Crowds make you feel claustrophobic, or if you hate getting lost – the streets are so narrow and windy that maps and GPS are rendered more or less useless.
Best suited to: Bohemian travellers and vegetarians.
Highlights: Park Güell, Gaudí’s incredibly famous and somewhat surreal park, is found in Gràcia. A big part of this neighbourhood’s charm stems from the hippy atmosphere rather than sights, though. Crammed with quirky, one-off shops, you can spend hours exploring. There are plenty of bars and restaurants with a more local vibe than Ciutat Vella, so you won’t be lacking in night-time options.
Don’t head here if: You like to shower twice a day. You’ll stick out like a sore thumb.
Best suited to: Those seeking sun, sea and sand. Flanked by the beach but within easy reach of sights such as Las Ramblas and Ciutadella Park, Barceloneta is the neighbourhood for you if you want to combine city exploration with soaking up some rays.
Highlights: The beach is this neighbourhood’s biggest draw, and in summer crowds flock to the shoreline to top up their tans. Even in the chillier months, it’s a lovely spot for a stroll. Some of the biggest, best and all-round superlative nightclubs are found in Barceloneta. There are lots of top seafood restaurants here too.
Don’t head here if: You burn easily. Or you have a shellfish allergy.
Whichever district you choose, opting to stay in an apartment for your trip to Barcelona means you’ll live like a local and get to know more about your barrio. Check out the apartments in Barcelona and be sure to choose the right neighbourhood for your stay!