The 5 best neighbourhoods to live in Barcelona
The 5 best neighbourhoods to live in Barcelona
The great climate, good quality of life and a huge choice of stunning properties make Barcelona an attractive destination for families and single professionals alike. We look at
what the Catalan capital’s most desirable neighbourhoods offer for international residents, where families live in Barcelona and what type of real estate you can find here.
1: Ciutat Vella
Sandwiched between Plaça de Catalunya and the port and divided by the historic street of Las Ramblas, the ‘Old Town’ encompasses the Barrio Gótico, Raval, Borne, and Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera neighbourhoods. This former walled medieval city is the place to be if you want to immerse yourself in the history and spirit of Barcelona and have everything right on your doorstep. Browse the high street shops on Avinguda Portal de l’Àngel or discover chic boutiques tucked away down the winding streets. Stop for refreshment at a café or trendy bar and continue to explore iconic museums, galleries, theatres and concert halls, all walking distance from the beach. Here, you’ll find sunken Roman ruins side by side with imposing Gothic structures like the Cathedral or modernist masterpieces like La Boqueria market. The only thing the area doesn’t have is a lot of green space, but it makes up for it with charming historic squares like Plaça Reial and Plaça de Sant Felip Neri, which still bears the scars of
the Civil War.
Home to a diverse, multicultural community and with lively street and nightlife, Ciutat Vella is a great choice for singles, young couples or a second home. The distance to international schools and the difficulties of navigating the narrow streets by car mean families tend to prefer the more residential neighbourhoods uptown.
Barcelona properties for sale in Ciutat Vella range from 40 m 2 studios for 150,000€ to spacious, high-ceilinged modernist apartments starting at 400,000 € and stunning former palaces for 3-4€ million.
2. The Eixample
Bisected by the avenues of Diagonal and Passiege de Gràcia, this 19 th century residential and business district is characterised by wide, tree-lined streets arranged in a grid pattern pioneered by Ildefons Cerdà. The large, octagonal blocks feature elegant modernist apartment buildings, newbuilds and everything in between. Among other architectural gems, the Eixample is home to Gaudí’s signature works, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló and the Sagrada
With a bustling, downtown feel, it’s dynamic and alive but more spacious and liveable than the Old Town, with all amenities in easy reach. Here, you’ll find everything from tiny cafés and family-run stores to upscale eateries like Tragaluz or exclusive brands on Passiege de Gràcia. Transport links are excellent and the area has some good schools, like Pérez Iborra and Barcelona High School, with others close by uptown. At first glance, green space appears scarce but the Eixample has many surprises in store including numerous mini-parks nestling between the blocks.
This varied and extensive area is home to everyone from caretakers to captains of industry and is popular with international residents, including stars like Ronnie Wood. Sought-after homes are high-ceilinged and spacious (100-1,000 m 2 ) with pricing between 300,000€ and 20€ million. The area also boasts some stunning Barcelona penthouses with views over the city as well as ground floors with lush gardens.
3. Sant Gervasi-Galvany
Uptown in all senses of the word, Sant Gervasi sits between Diagonal and Passiege de la Bonanova. It’s got all the shops, services and eateries you could want but is quieter and more residential than downtown, making it a favourite with singles, couples and families. Some of Barcelona’s top schools are here, including the Swiss School, Benjamin Franklin, Oak House and Col-legi Teresianes. Also close by, excellent sports clubs, the Cosmo Caixa science museum and top medical centres like Teknon and Quirón Dexeus. The area is blessed with numerous green oases and historic parks like Turó del Putxet and Jardins de La Tamarita, and Collserola national park and the Carretera de les Aigües are within easy reach. Transport isn’t as abundant as other areas but proximity to the ring roads makes it easy to get around and out of town.
Residents tend to be both international and local, a mix of educated professionals (doctors, lawyers, etc.) and well-respected Catalan families. Homes may be modern or modernist and the area boasts many architectural gems overlooked by the tourists like Galvany market, La Rotonda and the stunning historic homes on Avinguda Tibidabo.
Barcelona apartments for sale in Sant Gervasi-Galvany range from mid-sized to large (100-300 m 2 ) apartments with pricing from 500,000€ to 4€ million.
4. Turó Park
Quiet and calm but with all the conveniences of the city, Turó Park is one of Barcelona’s most desirable and upmarket neighbourhoods. Located just off upper Diagonal, shops,
services and business offices are within easy reach, as are Barcelona’s best schools and hospitals. Don’t want to leave the neighbourhood? No problem. Turó Park also offers upscale healthcare, boutiques and eateries like the Luzio concept store and the historic Café Turó.
As the name suggests, neighbourhood life revolves around the 100-year-old Parc del Turó. A peaceful urban oasis filled with plants and sculptures, it’s perfect for relaxing and getting to know the neighbours, who may be anything from distinguished Catalan patriarchs to the head of a global corporation to famous artists.Turó Park offers some prime Barcelona real estate such as spacious 300-1,000 m 2 apartments starting from 1€ million.
This leafy, exclusive residential neighbourhood is located between upper Diagonal and the Ronda de Dalt. It has fewer shops and services than other areas, but Diagonal, Sarrià and the Eixample are all in easy reach. And while the choice of local restaurants may be more limited, Pedralbes does boast some of Barcelona’s most exclusive eateries, like Jardí de la Abadessa set in delightful gardens close to the historic Pedralbes Monastery.
The area is a favourite with families, not least for proximity to some of Barcelona’s best international schools like the American School, St Paul’s and the Liceu Francès, as well as renowned international business schools Esade and IESE. It’s also easy to access Collserola, top sports centres like Can Caralleu and the miniature train and pony stables in Parc del Castell de l’Oreneta.
Pedralbes attracts high-end local and international profiles, long-standing distinguished Catalan families and has even been called home by members of the Spanish royal family.
They come for some of the most desirable Barcelona real estate, from spacious 200-3,000 m 2 apartments starting at 600,000€ to fabulous villas for 20€ million and up.
Looking for your Barcelona dream home? Get in touch to see how Barleigh Ellis can help.