Neighborhoods of Barcelona

What is the best place to live in Barcelona? The answer, of course, will vary according to personal preferences, whether you are coming to Barcelona as a worker, a student, or a tourist. Barcelona has lots of different neighborhoods and areas each with its own charm and atmosphere. Barcelona is divided into ten administrative districts, each one with its own district council. These ten districts are:

  • Ciutat Vella
  • Eixample
  • Gràcia
  • Horta-Guinardó
  • Les Corts
  • Nou Barris
  • Sant Andreu
  • Sant Martí
  • Sants-Montjuïc
  • Sarrià-Sant Gervasi
Barcelona's Districts and Neighborhoods
Barcelona's 10 districts

The ten districts are subdivided into 73 neighborhoods (barris in Catalan, barrios in Spanish). Living in the right area makes a huge difference, though. If you’re looking for the right neighborhood to live in, check out the following areas to find out which is the right one for you.

Eixample

The Eixample (meaning extension, pronounced e-shamp-le) district is by far the largest district in Barcelona made of six different neighborhoods. It is very central and has excellent transport links to the rest of the city. There are many metro lines and buses that go through Eixample. It is well known for its unique and modern buildings, including some of Gaudí’s famous works such as Casa Batlló and Casa Milá (a.k.a. La Pedrera).

Eixample from Above
Eixample from above | Image Source

The biggest feature of Eixample, meaning extension, is its use of blocks and parallel and perpendicular streets making it easy to find your way in the neighborhood.

Pros of living in Eixample

✅ Lots of bars, restaurants and cafes
✅ Fairly quiet and is not as crowded as the areas closer to the beach
✅ Always something going on (festivals, parties, street performances, …)
✅ Well-connected with lots of different metro and bus lines going through it
✅ Easy to navigate since almost the entire area is made of square blocks
✅ Lots of private business schools and offices are in Eixample

Cons of living in Eixample

⚠️ Not a cheap area to live in – the flats are significantly more expensive than the other areas like Poble Sec or Sants
⚠️ Depending on the areas, living on the main streets can get really noisy with all the cars, buses and the motorcycles
⚠️ Some buildings are quiet old and don’t have an elevator

Points of interest in Eixample

👁️ Plaça Universitat
👁️ Casa Battló, La Pedrera and Sagrada Familia
👁️ Passeig de Gràcia
👁️ Mercat de San Antoni
👁️ Private business schools

If you love being in the center of the city in a very dynamic and active area, Eixample is the right place for you.

If you want to read more about Eixample and its points of interest, please read our blog Barcelona’s Barrios: Eixample.

El Raval

Raval is one of the four neighborhoods in the district of Ciutat Vella (meaning the Old City). This area is very vibrant, especially in summer you will find many young people skating and hanging out at the streets and plazas, enjoying life together. It is full of bars and restaurants of all different cultures and music venues.

Rambla de Raval
Rambla de Raval | Image Source

This neighborhood is also known to be a little more dangerous than other parts of the city. Drug use, theft and prostitution in some ministreets of Raval is common although it is said that the situation has improved in the recent years. The area has become full of Airbnb flats as well in the recent years and the government has started a huge campaign to shut down these “tourist flats”.

If you want to live in the center of the city close to La Rambla, Plaça Catalunya and the Port, and don’t mind the noise, Raval would be a good choice for you.

Pros of living in Raval:

✅ Lots and lots of different bars, restaurants, hotels and hostels in the area
✅ The whole area is very dynamic and active
✅ Rent is significantly cheaper than the other areas
✅ Popular among the youngsters especially for the skaters
✅ Minutes away from La Rambla, the Port and Plaça Catalunya

Cons of living in Raval:

⚠️ It can get extremely noisy and dirty especially during the summer
⚠️ Pick-pocketing and having drunk people walking around late at night is very common
⚠️ Not the safest area to live in especially for a young Western female
⚠️ The buildings overall are very old
⚠️ Narrow streets don’t allow much natural light into the buildings and streets
⚠️ Limited public transportation within the entire neighborhood

Points of interest in Raval:

👁️ Palau Güell
👁️ La Boqueria
👁️ Rambla de Raval
👁️ Raval’s graffis and street art
👁️ The Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA)

If you want to be in one of the most dynamic and active parts of Barcelona, Raval is the right location for you.

Poble Sec

If you are looking for a more calm place to live with the possibility of escaping the city into the nature, Poble Sec is a good choice. Located next to the famous Montjuïc, you can enjoy going jogging or taking walks in the parks and botanic gardens of this area.

Poble Sec and Montjuic in the background | Image Source

With the famous Carrer Blai, where you will find the best pinchos, you will have the best option when you are not a fan of cooking after university. Also, it offers a great bar scene and a good connection to public transport. Overall, the prices are more reasonable than Eixample and rent is usually cheaper. If you enjoy living near the nature, Poble Sec is the right place for you.

Pros of living in Poble Sec

✅ Rent and other prices are more reasonable than some other areas like Eixample and Gracia
✅ Montjuic is always a few minutes away
✅ The area is well-connected and the metro lines L2 and L3 connect it to the rest of the city
✅ Poble Sec has its own street shows, farmer markets, and traditional activities
✅ The Parallel Avenue has some of the best restaurants, cafés and bars in Barcelona

Cons of living in Poble Sec

⚠️ The area has witnessed an increase in its crime rate due to its proximity to Raval
⚠️ The area is more residential and less popular among the students
⚠️ There aren’t any major universities or business schools in the area

Points of interest of Poble Sec:

👁️ Montjuic: full of hidden botanical gardens, museums, and breath-taking views
👁️ The Castle of Montjuic
👁️ Parc de los tres Ximenes
👁️ Carrer Blai: A street hidden from the rest of the city with some of the best wine and pinchos in the city
👁️ Apolo Theater

If you want to be in a dynamic area, close to the city center but not in a very noisy area, Poble Sec is the right area for you.

El Gotico

El Barri Gòtic, el Barrio Gòtico, or Gothic Quarter, is a magnet for tourists and locals with its Roman, Medieval and Gothic architecture, narrow, winding streets and intriguing mix of old and new. El Gòtico holds the remnants of Barcelona’s Roman past. With its typical tiny streets, little shops and all sorts and cafés, you will live in a very charming area that invites to endless strolls.

Cathedral of Barcelona
Cathedral of Barcelona in Gòtico | Image Source

Pros of living in el Gòtico

✅ Rent and other prices are more reasonable than some other areas like Eixample and Gracia
✅ There are lots of great restaurants and bars
✅ The area is well-connected and the metro lines L3 and L4 run on the both sides of Gotico
✅ Lots of historical sites and buildings to visit

Cons of living in el Gòtico

⚠️ Robbery, burglary and public urination is common in the narrow dark streets
⚠️ Noise and bad smell is an issue during the day and night especially in the summer
⚠️ A lot of the buildings are old and without an elevator or proper ventilation system

Points of Interest in el Gòtico:

👁️ Cathedral of Barcelona
👁️ Plaça Reial
👁️ Plaça de Sant Jaume
👁️ Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi
👁️ Pont Gotic
👁️ The Gaudí Exhibition Center
👁️ Església de Sant Felip Neri de Barcelona

If you are young and want to be close to the action but don’t mind the noise or the smell, el Gòtico is the right place for you.

Barceloneta

La Barceloneta (the little Barcelona) is the city’s marine quarter located between the port and the beaches. The narrow streets, the working-class atmosphere, the clothes hung out to dry and the sea smell contribute to the genuine character of this neighborhood. The area  is very popular among tourists as it is close to Barcelona beaches and it boasts a wide variety of restaurants and bars offering tapas and fresh seafood.

Barceloneta
Barceloneta | Image Source

Pros of living in Barceloneta:

✅ The sea is always a few minutes away
✅ Lots of tapas bars and burger houses offering great food and drinks
✅ Lots of facilities to work out or relax
✅ WiFi coverage on the beach

Cons of living in Barceloneta:

⚠️ It gets pretty windy and cold during the winter
⚠️ During the summer, the entire area becomes overcrowded and noisy
⚠️ Public urination and vomiting in the streets is not uncommon
⚠️ It’s not very easy to get to the other parts of the city
⚠️ Theft is not uncommon on the beach

Points of Interest in Barceloneta:

👁️ The W Hotel
👁️ The L’estel Ferit sculpture
👁️ The French train station
👁️ Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents
👁️ Outdoor Training spot (Street Workout)

If you love the beach and don’t mind the noise, Barcelona is the right place for you.

Gràcia

Gracia is probably one of the favorite neighborhoods of people living in Barcelona. It is a more quiet area, which is positioned in the northern part of the city. It has the character of a little town within the city. That´s why it is the perfect place for you when you enjoy spending time between families and friends on the many different charming plazas of the district.

Gràcia's residential buildings

It is just off the upper end of Passeig de Gràcia, but it feels like you’re leaving Barcelona and going into a whole different world. Gràcia was in fact an independent village that was absorbed by Barcelona in 1897. It is full of alternative shops and a variety of trendy restaurants which is ideal if you want to have a night out.

Pros of living in Gràcia:

✅ Quieter and safer than the other neighborhoods
✅ Lots of trendy restaurants, bars and cafés
✅ The buildings are more modern than the ones in other neighborhoods like Eixample
✅ Lots of parks and green spaces in the area

Cons of living in Gràcia:

⚠️ The rent prices are usually higher than those in other neighborhoods like Eixample
⚠️ Not a lot of metro or bus lines go through Gracia
⚠️ The whole neighborhood is at the bottom of the mountain making some streets slightly steep

Points of Interest in Gràcia:

👁️ Casa Museu Gaudí
👁️ Plaza de Sol
👁️ La Fontana
👁️ Plaça de John Lennon
👁️ La Rambla de Prat
👁️ La vila de Gràcia
👁️ El Park Güell

If you like living in a trendy and high-class area and don’t mind spending slightly more, Gràcia is the right place for you.

Sant Antoni

San Antoni, one of the six neighborhoods in Eixample, is sandwiched between Poble Sec (Avenue Parallel), Raval and Avenue Gran Vía and it is a very dynamic and active neighborhood. Lots of students and younger people prefer living in San Antoni because of its multi-cultural population and its accessible location.

Avinguda Mistrel in Sant Antoni | Image Source

Sant Antoni was given a new life in 2018 by reopening its local market (Mercado de Sant Antoni) after many years of renovation and restoration and removing lots of the old and outdated flea markets.

Pros of living in Sant Antoni:

✅ Highly active and dynamic neighborhood
✅ Lots of street activities going on on a regular basis
✅ The prices are more manageable than the rest of Eixample
✅ Safer and more attractive than Raval even though it’s right next to it
✅ Very close to Plaça Espanya and Plaça Catalunya making moving around the city very convenient and easy

Cons of living in Sant Antoni:

⚠️ The whole area might seem too noisy and active for those who love it quiet

Points of Interest in Sant Antoni:

👁️ Mercado de Sant Antoni: one of the oldest local markets in Barcelona recently renovated
👁️ Els Tres Tombs: one of the oldest cafés in the neighborhood
👁️ The Moritz Beer Factory: where the Moritz beer is made in barrels

If you want to be in the Eixample area, close to Plaça Espanya and the city center, Sant Antoni is the right place for you.

Poblenou

Poblenou, a neighborhood in the district of San Martí was a traditional industrial area of Barcelona that at the end of the 20th century was full of abandoned factories and empty production premises. The city decided to transform the neighborhood into an innovative district with an attractive place to live and to work. Because of this, Poblenou has turned into a new technological and innovation district as well as a trendy neighborhood for young people and families.

Poblenou
Rambla de Poblenou | Image source

Poblenou is a great place for anyone who is interested in a more laidback lifestyle but at the same time, wants to be close to the city center.

Pros of living in Poblenou:

✅ A very innovative and modern area
✅ The City has recently renovated a lot of the buildings and areas
✅ Lots of trendy restaurants, street markets and co-working spaces
✅ Very well-connected to the rest of the city
✅ The beaches are very close to the neighborhood

Cons of living in Poblenou:

⚠️ The area is residential and not as active or bustling as the other areas like Gracia or Eixample

Points of Interest in Poblenou:

👁️ Palo Market Fest
👁️ Mercat del Poblenou
👁️ Can Ricart
👁️ El parque del Centre del Poblenou
👁️ Rambla de Poblenou

If you want to be close to the beach and in a quiet and trendy neighborhood, Poblenou is the right place for you.

Diagonal Mar

Diagonal Mar is one of the newest and most modern areas of Barcelona built and developed a few decades ago. The buildings are relatively new and the prices are on the higher range. It is more like a business district than the city center.

Diagonal Mar is a highly dynamic and active area during the work hours as there are many offices in the area but rather quiet and dull at night.

Park of Diagonal Mar | Image source

The wide streets and avenues are lined with numerous high-rise apartment buildings. There is a huge designer park with a lake and many playgrounds and recreational facilities. 

Pros of living in Diagonal Mar:

✅ Living in Diagonal Mar feels completely different from living in any other part of Barcelona
✅ There are lots of green spaces where you can go for a walk and relax
✅ The Diagonal Mar shopping center is a great spot for hanging out and shopping arond
✅ The tall buildings offer a great view of the sea and the rest of the city
✅ The area is very well connected and there are tons of stores and shopping centers around

Cons of living in Diagonal Mar:

⚠️ The area is very busy and active during the day but it becomes dull and quiet at night
⚠️ Diagonal Mar’s nightlife isn’t as great as the other parts of the city
⚠️ Rent and prices are more expensive than the other lowers parts of the city
⚠️ Although there are metro and bus lines going through Diagonal Mar, getting to Diagonal Mar especially late at night would not be very easy
⚠️ The area is more well-suited for the international workers rather than students

Points of Interest in Diagonal Mar:

👁️ Museum of Natural Sciences
👁️ El Fòrum
👁️ Diagonal Mar Mall
👁️ Park Diagonal Mar

If you want to live in a modern area far from the city center and don’t mind spending slightly more, Diagonal Mar is the right place for you.

Sarrià and Sant Gervasi

Sarrià and Sant Gervasi are an upscale, village-like neighborhoods at the foot of Tibidabo hill. Sarrià and Sant Gervasi were home to the Catalan bourgeoisie in the 19th century. Sarria-Sant Gervasi is renowned as the most expensive neighborhood in Barcelona, and you get what you pay for. The area is full of green parks, modern villas, shopping areas, residential areas, and quiet streets.

Fun fact: Sarrià was an independent town until 1921, wen it was annexed by Barcelona.

A typical fancy villa in Sarria-Sant Gervasi | Image source

Sarrià-Sant Gervasi is great for families, executives, young professionals and wealthy students. This is an upperclass zone away from the noise of the city center.

Pros of living in Sarrià-Sant Gervasi:

✅ Lots of green areas with fresh air
✅ Tibidabo is always nearby where you can go for a hike
✅ Very quiet and clean from from the city center
✅ Laid-back and tranquilo lifestyle
✅ Some tall building offer a beautiful panoramic view of Barcelona
✅ Excellent location is you are an IESE or ESADE student

Cons of living in Sarrià-Sant Gervasi:

⚠️ Expensive! The area is significantly more expensive than the rest of Barcelona.
⚠️ The district lacks active nightlife
⚠️ If you don’t have a car, moving around would not be very convenient
⚠️ The area is very far from the city center and it’s not very easy to get there

Points of Interest in Sarrià-Sant Gervasi:

👁️ CosmoCaixa Science Museum
👁️ Parc del Castell de l’Oreneta
👁️ Mirador Sarrià
👁️ Bellesguard

If you love being near mountains and live in a very green and clean neighborhood, and don’t mind spending more, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi is the right place for you.

Les Corts

Les Corts is one of the bigger neighborhoods in Barcelona. However, it doesn’t have as many touristic sites or famous landmarks as some of the other neighborhoods. This gives it a more authentic and less touristy atmosphere. Situated in the north-west side of the city between Sants and Sarrià, Les Corts has become one of the most important financial and business districts in Barcelona. 

Les Courts
Les Corts's residential buildings | Image source

Les Corts is a very green, spacious and active area with lots of shopping areas, restaurants, and parks.

Fun fact: Les Corts was an independent town until 1897 when it was incorporated into Barcelona.

Pros of living in Les Corts:

✅ Very quiet and relaxed outside the working hours
✅ There are lots of green spaces and parks
✅ The FC Barcelona stadium Camp Nou is here if you love football
✅ Very well connected to with other areas of Barcelona by metro, bus and tram
✅ The buildings are more modern than some other parts of the city
✅ The shopping center L’illa Diagonal is an amazing shopping center with lots of brands

Cons of living in Les Corts:

⚠️ The nightlife is rather dull and boring
⚠️ Some areas closer to Avenue Diagonal tend to be more expensive than the other areas of Les Corts

Points of Interest in Les Corts:

👁️ Plaza La Concòrdia
👁️ Camp Nou
👁️ L’illa Diagonal
👁️ Los Pabellones de la Finca Güell
👁️ Pedralbes Park

If you love being near mountains and live in a very green and clean neighborhood, and don’t mind spending more, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi is the right place for you.

Now that you are more familiar with some of the most popular neighborhoods in Barcelona, check out our Housing page to find out about our trusted housing partners where you can find good and reasonable flats in different neighborhoods and use our Studentfy discount codes to receive discounts on your agency fee.

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