Where to live in Barcelona? Best Neighborhoods in Barcelona


El Gotic is, without a doubt, Barcelona’s most famous neighborhood. Its narrow medieval streets are filled with cool bars, clubs and restaurants paying tribute to the Catalonian cuisine, while small hidden shops and lovely squares pop in every corner. Talking about squares, you’ll lose count trying to remember if you visited them all so make sure to come back for a second exploration, as there are so many! Among them we recommend Plaza de Sant Jaume, where the City Hall and the Palau (palace) de Generalitat are located, and the nearby Plaza de Sant Just, with the church and the famous “three faucets”, known to be the oldest water source of the city. The Gothic Quarter is where you’ll also find some of the city’s most important attractions, such as the 15th Century Barcelona Cathedral and Plaça del Rei, housing the History Museum; both Erasmus-budget friendly! Remember to save your weekend for a stroll at Plaça del Pi and shop unique pieces at the outdoors Art Market.


One of the oldest neighborhoods of Barcelona, El Born, used to be a trade center and where the aristocracy lived during the Middle Ages. This is pretty visible just by looking at the unique Catalonian architecture of the buildings surrounding the district. A very special neighborhood, favored by art students and artists and far from the tourist crowds, filled with creative shops, restaurants and home to the authentic tapas bars. Here you’ll find tons of boutiques and art galleries, not at all surprising if you think that El Born houses the Picasso Museum as well as the Centre de Cultura i Memòria, an event & cultural space in a restored former market, displaying excavated city ruins from the 1700s. Stroll down Passeig del Born avenue, a strong proof of the alternative vibe running in the place and make sure to satisfy your cravings, on the way back, with a visit to the Chocolate Museum. Must-sees also include the Gothic-style Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar and the enormous market of Santa Caterina, where you’ll have the chance to try freshly-made seafood wraps!


El Raval, on the west side of the city, is often overlooked by tourists due to its infamous past and the dark, underground vibe it gives off. Taking advantage of this, young locals and international students “claimed”  this neighborhood and, within the recent years, transformed it into a lively, multicultural hotspot with a bohemian identity; filled with live stages, hipster shops, and beautiful squares. There are many things to do in Raval but first on your list should be visiting the Contemporary Art Museum, where you’ll discover cutting-edge exhibitions. Next on, the gigantic La Boqueria Market is ideal for some budget-friendly, colorful tapas and wine before your afternoon coffee break at one of Rambla del Raval’s chill spots!


Gràcia used to be an independent town that became part of metropolitan Barcelona in the late 1800’s. Unlike the crowded city center, Gracia still maintains this small-village peace and quiet, is noticeably safer and mostly inhabited by locals. Surrounded by leafy squares and lots of pedestrian lanes, this neighborhood is perfect for wandering around and engaging with slow life. While strolling through its 19th century boulevards, you’ll discover indie boutiques, independent galleries, cinemas and witness Antoni Gaudi’s tribute to art nouveau with both the spectacular, mosaic-covered Parc Güell -perfect hangout spot for international students- and the vibrant, Neo-Moorish mansion, Casa Vicens -the first house he designed- located there! Food lovers also got it covered, with a variety of trendy Catalan bistros and wine bars right next to the landmark clock tower, at Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia.


Eixample, located south of Gràcia, is the heart of the city; an elegant, sophisticated district with a great shopping and dining scene. Probably the busiest, most crowded and most touristic neighborhood of Barcelona, ideal for all types of visitors; students, families, couples, Eixample gained its title for a good reason; being home to some of the most famous Gaudi sites. His unfinished art nouveau masterpiece, Basilica La Sagrada Familia, the now exhibition and event center mansion, Casa Milà and the spooky, tailor-made Casa Batllo are all located there. Apart from incredible landmarks, in this area you’ll also find fashion boutiques, bars, and restaurants around the famous Plaça de Catalunya. If you’re looking for some antique shopping head to the flea market of mirrored-roof Mercat Dels Encants!


Poblenou used to be the industrial, factory-filled part of Barcelona that has, lately, been transformed into one of the most up and coming districts, loved by young professionals, students and digital nomads. Designer offices, co-working spaces, art galleries and concept boutiques have taken over old factories and abandoned areas, giving the neighborhood a futuristic-hipster dimension. Apart from instagrammable brunch spots, Poblenou offers a great selection of tapas bars along Boulevard Rambla de Poblenou and is also home to Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, where Els Encants vintage flea market is being held. While you’re in the neighborhood, make sure to visit Barcelona’s Design Museum and Jean Nouvel’s fascinating skyscraper, Torre Agbar. And since Poblenou is a seaside district, a day in the sun is mandatory, so head to Bogatell beach for some fun!


Barceloneta is everyone’s favourite neighborhood. Locals and tourists, erasmus students and interns,couples and families are crazy about this seaside resort. The reason? Palm trees, the best traditional seafood restaurants and Barcelona’s most famous beach, San Sebastian, all in one place! The coastal atmosphere alongside the charming location make Barceloneta the ideal destination to escape your busy lifestyle and relax by the sea; go surfing or sunbathe under the bright summer sun. On your way to Montjuïc hill, nearby, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy panoramic views of the city from Port Cable Car -best at golden hour!


Poble-Sec is a quiet, local neighborhood located between Raval and Montjuic Hill. It is a mixture of pop and elegance with evident influences from 19th-century architecture. The main avenue, Paral·lel, is filled with theatres, live stages and cabarets while at the end of it you’ll find yourself enjoying probably the best sunset view of the city! Go to Carrer de Blai for some tapas and drinks or choose among the many alfresco cafes lying around the leafy squares of Plaça de las Navas and Plaça del Surtidor.


Sant Antoni district revolves around Mercat de Sant Antoni, an enormous, antique, food and book market that opened its doors to the public in 2018. Due to this new addition, the neighborhood quickly became a tourist magnet and the opening of trendy bars, restaurants and cute bistros followed. Carrer del Parlament, one of the main streets of the area, is where old meets new and where you’ll discover cool dining spots and budget-friendly cocktail bars. The church of Sant Antoni de Padua is also deserving of a visit, for its beautiful interior!

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