Barcelona districts: best places to buy property
Barcelona, the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia, is a developed city with great history and culture. More than 7.5 million tourists visit the city every year and many buy property in Barcelona for holidays and permanent residency.
Average prices for residential property in Barcelona started at €3,200 per sq m in Q2 2015, but can reach €5,400 in some districts. Most overseas buyers are from France, Germany, Italy, China, the UK and Russia.
Barcelona is divided into 10 districts divided into tourist, business, residential, coastal and luxury areas. With so much choice, foreign citizens have trouble deciding the best place to look for a home. To find out which is the best district for you, check out this Tranio guide to Barcelona property.
Districts in Barcelona:
The Old City
Good for: investment
Average price: €3,400/sq m
The Old City (Ciutat Vella) has most of Barcelona tourist attractions: La Rambla boulevard,
El Raval is a historically poor district with bad reputation that is slowly changing nowadays. Traditionally El Raval is a harbour for the underprivileged but is slowly gaining a name for the bohemian lifestyle and great food, particularly around the Boqueria Market. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that this area has the strongest police presence in the city. Architectural attractions include Gaudi’s Palau Güell (undergoing restoration), Liceu Theatre (Barcelona’s Opera House), the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) as well as several monasteries and convents.
Barcelona’s Gothic quarter is one of the city’s main attractions. Most buildings were built in
Sant Pere — Santa Caterina i la Ribera
Parallel to the Gothic quarter and leading towards the sea is Sant Pere — Santa Caterina i la Ribera. El Born, an area of this district, is the closest to the waterline and
La Barceloneta has a wide and beautiful seafront with many restaurants, offering fresh seafood, and wide golden sand beaches almost 7 km long. Once populated by fishermen and dock workers, it has kept the architectural heritage of its past. Despite renovated property close to the coast, most residential property is rundown and not particularly in demand. Floor space rarely exceeds 40 sq m and spacious renovated apartments are very rare.
Good for: residential property
The biggest district in Barcelona is Eixample, which is divided in La Dreta de l'Eixample (Eixample East), Sagrada Família, Sant Antoni, Fort Pienc and Esquerra de l'Eixample (Eixample West), including Old Eixample (L'Antiga Esquerra de l'Eixample) and New Eixample (La Nova Esquerra de l'Eixample).
Eixample East has hundreds of shops, cafes, restaurants, schools and gyms as well as markets and tourist attractions. Transport is efficient, making any part of the city easily accessible. This area is separated from Eixample West by Barcelona’s main shopping street, Passeig de Gràcia, and to the north by another main artery, Avinguda Diagonal.
Streets in Eixample are perpendicular, but buildings have eight external corners which affects the planning and often the bedroom size. Average property prices are about €4,000 per square metre. Famous artists and architects such as Antoni Gaudí, Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Josep Puig i Cadafalch and turned this area into their ‘battlefield’, turning Eixample East into a wonderfully mismatched masterpiece. Sadly, the area lacks in greenery and parks.
Many old buildings in Eixample have high
Eixample West is a vivid area, brought to life by the University of Barcelona and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, as well as countless cafes, bars and discos. Most restaurants and bars are on Enrique Granados and Aribau streets. Eixample West ends at Plaça d’Espanya, where the Parc de Joan Miro and Las Arenas mall are located.
Real estate in Left Eixample
The Sagrada Família quarter is located to the
The neighbourhood of El Poble Sec is located at the foot of Montjuïc. Its excellent transport links make it very attractive to property buyers. Once the cultural heart of Barcelona, now dozens of theatres still remain. Most residential property is in old buildings that need a facelift at the least. The authorities are not planning to develop the area, so it is unlikely that there will be new property there any time soon. Average property prices are €2,500 per sq m.
Several streets are inhabited by gypsies and immigrants from Pakistan and Latin America, so buyers should pay special attention when choosing property here.
Good for: upmarket residential,
Les Corts consists of three areas: Les Corts, La Maternitat i Sant Ramon and Pedralbes.
Les Corts is both an upmarket residential area and a financial centre with residential buildings and offices
La Maternitat i Sant Ramon
The main landmark of the Les Corts is the FC Barcelona Stadium (Camp Nou) in La Maternitat i Sant Ramon. Accommodating 100,000 spectators of this
The most expensive property in Barcelona is found in Pedralbes as well as areas of
ESADE and IESE business school campuses are located in Pedralbes as are the best international schools, such as the British Kensington School, Saint Peter’s School, American Benjamin Franklin School, Lycée Français de Barcelona (French Lyceum).
Good for: luxury property
Mount Tibidabo, the highest peak of the Collserola mountain range, is in the northern part of the district with stunning views from the Expiatori del Sagrat Cor (Church of Holy Heart) at the top.
The main shopping streets of
Good for: relaxed residential
Gràcia is often called the Montmartre of Barcelona. Active, bright bohemian young people live here: students, artists and poets from all over the world. There are not many tourists in Gràcia but there are always events going on like exhibitions, parties, concerts on squares and café terraces, particularly around Plaça del Sol and Carrer Verdi Street. There are no chain supermarkets in Gràcia, only farm markets and small shops run by locals. Gràcia also hosts one of the most famous movie festivals in Barcelona: La Festa Major. The main landmark of Gràcia is Gaudi’s fairy tale Parc Güell.
Gràcia is one of the best places to live in Barcelona. It is not swamped with tourists but is close to the city centre (10 min by public transport). Demand for property is higher than supply and good homes sell quickly, which are mostly small apartments in old buildings. Flats in renovated buildings are very rare and cost about €5,000 per sq m. The most popular area is La Vila de Gràcia. Vallcarca and La Salut areas are popular among foreign buyers for their proximity to Parc Güell.
Good for: family homes
Horta Guinard district is located in the
Horta Guinard is one of the greenest areas in Barcelona thanks to its three large parks, one of which is 22 times bigger than Central Park in New York. It is also the area with the most hills so many houses have fantastic views over the city.
The majority of residents are families with children and retired people. There are few new construction projects, making it cheaper than the city average. The best area is El Guinardo, where prices are about €2,500 per square metre. The main landmark of El Guinardo — Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau — is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Nou Barris and Sant Andreu
Good for: cheap homes
The central and northern part of Nou Barris district consists mainly of featureless houses built in
Best areas of Nou Barris are Vilapicina i la Torre Llobeta, Porta, El Turó de la Peira, Can Peguera and La Guineueta where city authorities have invested to make them more attractive. There are many shops, cafes, community centres and libraries. The Nou Barris Central Park won the International Urban Landscape Award (IULA) in 2007.
Development in this district is chaotic: a mixture of high buildings and
Good for: proximity of the sea
Sant Martí is one of the most popular areas in Barcelona as it occupies most of the city’s coastline. The area is divided into 10 neighbourhoods, but only La Vila Olímpica del Poblenou and Diagonal Mar i el Front Marítim del Poblenou have access to the sea.
The Olympic Village (La Vila Olímpica del Poblenou)
The first coastline development of Barcelona started in La Villa Olímpica area. Thanks to the 1992 Olympics, this neighbourhood now has everything to make residents comfortable: entertainment, restaurants, medical facilities and sports amenities.
The average property price is €3,500 per sq m. While the buildings are not brand new, they are comfortable and well planned. Marina Street has modern
Poblenou was the main industrial area in Barcelona during the XIX century but for one decade already it has been the target of redevelopment and innovative planning. The 22@Barcelona project was launched in 2000, developing 200 ha into residential and commercial property, with landscaping and new transport links to the city centre and airport. Currently the neighbourhood is composed of both modern residential buildings and office centres as well as construction sites and industrial areas. However, with the end of the 22@Barcelona project already in sight (2020), property prices are expected to rise. Spacious apartments overlooking the sea of over 100 sq m have prices starting at
Diagonal Mar i el Front Marítim
El Front Marítim area comprises several blocks of residential property just 200 metres from the sea. Buildings are modern, the quality of construction is high, apartments are big and bright and the beach is only minutes away. New buildings on Avinguda Diagonal are worth considering as well. Further into the area, houses are older but undergoing renovation.
Directly behind El Front Marítim is the most modern coastal area of Barcelona: Diagonal Mar. All building here were built over the last
So if you’re choosing your future home in Barcelona, here’s a brief review of where to go and why:
- upmarket neighbourhoods: Pedralbes,
- young people: Gràcia, Eixample, Sant Pere — Santa Caterina i la Ribera
- sea views: Sant Martí, Diagonal Mar i el Front Marítim, La Vila Olímpica del Poblenou, (areas of) La Barceloneta
- families with children: Horta Guinard, Les Corts, (areas of) Nou Barris,
- central and steeped in history: Gothic Quarter
- cheap property: Nou Barris, Sant Andreu
- bohemian lifestyle: Eixample West, Gracia, El Raval
Julia Gushchina, Tranio