In this section we place at your fingertips all the information you need about Barcelona’s varied and interesting neighbourhoods.
Once you have decided to come to Barcelona and to rent an apartment, deciding which area of town is right for you can be difficult. We created this guide to facilitate the process by explaining the characteristics and points of interest of each area to help you decide where to book your apartment.
Areas such as Las Ramblas remain ever-popular, and we can offer apartments there. However we can also help you find an apartment in area that is less touristy, noisy and crowded, offers better value for money, and that has as much or more to offer than the typical tourist traps.
The Ciutat Vella is Barcelona’s oldest quarter where you can see parts of medieval and even Roman building still standing. As a wonderful contrast you will also find up to the minute shops, bars and restaurants rubbing shoulders with antiquity.
Characterised by narrow shady streets, the Ciutat Vella is the central area of Barcelona, between Plaça Catalunya and the sea. Look on any map of the city and you will instantly recognise its chaotic knot of ancient streets. It also is home to the world famous Las Ramblas.
The Ciutat Vella includes the neighbourhoods of the Raval, the Gothic Quarter, the Born and Barceloneta. Finding accommodation in the Ciutat Vella can be challenging, prices are sometimes overly high due to it’s centrality, and if you do not know where to look then you can end up staying in very noisy streets.
However, we are please to offer a variety of Barcelona old town apartments in quiet discrete locations. See our old town apartments page for more information.
Barceloneta is next to the beach, and in fact it is built on land reclaimed from the sea. Once this was the fisherman’s district and is now a very popular area due to its proximity to the sea. So if you are a sun worshipper and beach lover then this is one of Barcelona’s best areas to look for a Barcelona beach apartment.
Part to the Ciutat Vella (Old Town), Barceloneta is right next to the old town and ten minutes walk from the foot of Las Ramblas. It is some 20-25 minutes by public transport from Plaça Catalunya, is right next to the Port Vell (Old Port) and just 5 minutes walk from the hip Born district where you can enjoy nightlife, restaurants and cool shops.
Currently the Born is about the most fashionable district in town. The Born is part of the old town, right in the city centre and just 10 minutes walk from Plaça Catalunya or the Ramblas.
The Born is a very young area where you can find designers, artistic workshops and fashionable bars and restaurants. As part of the Ciutat Vella (Old Town) the Born is full of historical buildings some of which date back to medieval times. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Mar dates back to the 14th century and is in the Catalan Gothic style. It forms the perfect starting point to explore the quaint narrow winding streets that radiate out from it. These are also a perfect refuge from the heat of summer.
Among these same streets you will find the Picasso Museum on Calle Montcada. Although an Andalucian by birth, Picasso’s father moved his family to Barcelona and it was here he spent his formative years and trained as an artist. Montcada was once Barcelona’s most prestigious street and the home of its wealthiest medieval merchants. Today many interesting museums have been opened in these wonderful former medieval townhouses. As well as the Picasso Museum you will find the Textile Museum and the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art (indigenous Latin American art and culture).
If you want a break from culture, nigthlife, shops, eating and drinking the Born also has the Ciutadella Park, built on the former site of the Ciutadella fortress, it houses a beautiful park with a zoo, boating lake and art nouveau design.
See our old town apartments section to book an apartment in the happening Born district.
The Gothic Quarter is the nucleus of the Ciutat Vella (old town) and is the oldest neighbourhood in Barcelona. Located between the Raval and the Born, just below Plaça Catalunya in the area between the Ramblas and Via Laietana, it enjoys a very central location.
Walking through it’s narrow medieval streets you will see most of the cities Roman remains, including a part of the Roman wall. You can see this wall in Plaça Ramon Berenguer, and the Museum of the History of Barcelona on Plaça del Rei offers more insight into the original Roman city of Barcino.
The Gothic Quarter, or Barri Gòtic, offers some of the best shopping in Barcelona, particularly for clothing and fashions. Portaferissa Street offers well known labels as well as small designer shops.
The Gothic is perhaps the area of Barcelona with the most options for eating and drinking, offering a wide variety of restaurants, bars and cocktail bars. These tend to be focused towards the sea and around Calle Ample. At the far (top) end of the neighbourhood, the elegant Plaça Reial is interesting and worth a visit, not just for the elegant architecture and the lamp posts which were a young Antoni Gaudi’s first commission, but also for its relaxed ambiance.
If you think that the Gothic Quarter is the place for you, see our old town apartments section to see apartments and make a booking.
The Ramblas is perhaps Barcelona’s most famous street. Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said that Las Ramblas was “the only street in the world which I wish would never end”.
It seems many people share this sentiment today, Las Ramblas popularity is an enduring façet of the city and it remains the most popular area of town among visitors to the city. The Ramblas runs along the line of the old Roman wall, over what was once a stream flowing down to the sea (the word Rambla is derived from the Arabic ‘ramla’ which means ‘sandy riverbed’), and forms the main artery of the city, it is always full of life, wonderfully animated, and full of hustle and bustle.
A Rambla in Catalan today simply means a street with a broad pedestrian walkway along the centre, usually lined with trees. Las Ramblas is in fact made up of several different parts – these are Rambla de Canaletes, the Rambla dels Estudis, the Rambla de Sant Josep, the Rambla dels Caputxins, and the Rambla de Santa Monica. Construction of the Maremàgnum in the early 1990s resulted in a continuation of La Rambla on a wooden walkway into the harbour, the Rambla de Mar.
On the Ramblas you can find cafes, restaurants, flower sellers and street artists – look out in particular for the human statues, especially impressive in the heat of August!
The Raval neighbourhood is in the oldest part of the city and belongs to the Ciutat Vella (Old Town) district, located between Las Ramblas (The Ramblas) and Avenida Paral.lel.
The Raval is probably one of the neighbourhoods that has been renovated most in recent years, now full of shops, businesses and restaurants. Also it is a cultural centre where you can find workshops, specialist bookshops, art galleries and interesting restaurants. The Raval is home to MACBA (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art ), CCCB (Barcelona Centre of Contemporary Culture), the Maritime Museum and Liceu Opera House.
If you think that the Gothic Quarter is the place for you, see our ramblas apartments section to see apartments and make a booking.
The Eixample district forms very heart of Barcelona as a city. Designed in the 19th century by the architect Ildefons Cerdá to join Barcelona’s outlying districts to the old town, it is made up of a highly distinctive grid pattern of streets and is situated to the north-west of Plaça Catalunya.
Look at any map of the city and the will see its characteristic grid of streets dominates the cities layout. The Eixample is famous for its rich architectural heritage, nearly all of the buildings are in the moderniste (art nouveau) style that Barcelona is famous for. Often these are built along wide, resplendent tree-lined avenues.
The Eixample extends both to the left and right of Plaça Catalunya. The district is divided into two distinct zones – the Eixample esquerra (left Eixample) and the Eixample dreta (right Eixample), and also includes the Sant Antoni area, the Sagrada Familia area and Arc de Triomf.
The Eixample is a residential neighbourhood. So if you fancy a stay in a quieter and more family orientated part of town with easy access to any part of Barcelona, then an Eixample apartment is definitely the place for you to make your Barcelona apartment rental. To find out more about staying in this quintessentially Barcelones area of the city also see our page on traditional Barcelona art nouveau apartments.
If you are interested in renting an apartment in the Eixample, we offer apartments throughout the district. To see these and book one online, see our Eixample apartments section.
Arc de Triomf/Ciutadella
Arc de Triomf is just 10 minutes walk from Plaça Catalunya, or 5 minutes by public transport and right on the edge of the fashionable shops and nightlife of the Born. So the area boasts proximity to the centre plus a relaxed atmosphere as well as Barcelona’s main park, the Ciutadella. Last but not least the beach can be reached on foot within 20 minutes.
The eponymous Arc de triomf monument was built by Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas to mark the Universal Exhibition of 1888 as a symbol of the economic growth the city was experiencing at the time. The arch is located at the end of Avinguda Lluis Companys, an impressive Parisian style walkway facing the sea, and is the perfect place for a stroll down to the Ciutadella Park.
The Ciutadella Park is built on what was once the site of the Ciutadella fortress, and now houses a beautiful park with a zoo, boating lake and some fabulous art nouveau buildings. It is the perfect place to relax under the shade of some trees on a warm day, or sit outside and have a drink in one of the bars that are dotted around the park.
To book an apartment in this area of Barcelona, see our Eixample apartments section.
The right side of the Eixample a residential area too. It also hosts Passeig de Gràcia, which is home to Gaudi’s famous buildings the ‘Pedrera’ and ‘Casa Batllo’. As well as these world famous artistic and cultural treasures, Passeig de Gracia also offers an a world class choice of Spanish and international designer shops, including Adolfo Dominguez, Zara, Cotelac, Gucci, Prada, Comptoir des Cottoniers and many more.
Slightly across town from here, an easy hop by foot or by public transport, is the spectacular Sagrada Familia, green and peaceful Avenue Gaudí with it’s pavement bars and cafes, and the wonderful art nouveau designed Hospital Sant Pau.
See our Eixample apartments page to book a rental apartment in the Eixample Derecha.
The left side of the Eixample is the largest Eixample sub-district. This is a great district to explore walking, you will discover a district with an infinite variety of bars offering live music and local shops, not to mention pavement cafes where you can stop for a coffee. Restaurants here typically offer a more avant guarde style of cooking. The left part of the Eixample continues all the way up to Plaça Espanya, the Barcelona Fira and Sants Station.
Many visitors to Barcelona choose to stay in the Eixample Esquerra because this is a great neighbourhood to relax in and is very well connected with the centre. The Miro Park (Parc Mirò) close to Plaça Espanya is a great place to relax in also, and boasts a wonderful statue by it’s namesake Joan Mirò.
If you would like to see a selection of our apartments in the Eixample Esquerra and book online, see our Eixample apartments section.
The Sagrada Familia Basilica (it is not actually a cathedral as many people believe!) is the focal point of this area and an icon of the city and its skyline. The building is still under construction, though mostly finished. Its architect Antoni Gaudí dedicated a large part of his life to the creation of the Sagrada Familia, which became one of his most fantastic and surreal visions. Opinions of the Sagrada Familia among locals are very mixed, but everyone agrees it is a breathtaking, unique and visionary creation.
Sant Antoni is to the south of Plaça Catalunya and is bordered by Plaça Espanya, Paral·lel Avenue and Gran Via. So it sites right on the edge of the centre, but is away from the noise and the crowds associated with areas such as Las Ramblas and Plaça Catalunya.
Sant Antoni market, famed for its wonderful art nouveau design, is the focus of this lively neighbourhood. Every Sunday morning antique books and other collectors items are sold in the market, a perfect activity for a relaxing morning. Take advantage of the self catering facilities in your apartment to explore the fantastic produce offered in the market and try your hand at cooking some local specialities!
Sant Antoni is a residential neighbourhood, offering all necessary services, and is well catered for with public transport making it the perfect place to choose for your stay in one of our Apartments in Barcelona.
If you are interested in renting an apartment in Sant Antoni, we offer apartments throughout the district. To see these and book one online, see our Eixample apartments section.
Les Corts/FC Barcelona
Les Corts is famed for being home to the Camp Nou (Catalan for ‘new ground’), the stadium of Barcelona FC. The area is towards the outskirts of Barcelona, but thanks to some excellent transport links you can arrive in the city centre in some 25 minutes. The Camp Nou is also near to Barcelona’s central station Sants.
The Camp Nou is a UEFA 5-star rated stadium, the largest stadium in Europe and one of the largest stadiums in the world, with a capacity for almost 100.000 people. The stadium has hosted a multitude of international matches UEFA Champions League finals, most recently in 1999.
Nowadays, a remodeling project plans to update the building and to increase the seats available. This project lead by a japanese architect’s office will cost 400 milions and it is supposed to be finshed in 2021.
Catalans are passionate about football and Barcelona FC is the pride of the city – its slogan is ‘more than a club’, reflecting its central role in the life of the city and its inhabitants.
During the last decade, Barça delighted the world with their brand of football that is appreciated by football fans from all over the world. They won three more Champions League titles. Names like Messi, Iniesta, Guardiola, Suarez, Neymar and Xavi, among others, marked these years of glory.
If you are in Barcelona for a game then it is well worth reserving your Barcelona apartment in this area. Highly popular with tourists, the stadium also boasts a museum of the club and its fascinating history.
Take a tour of the Stadium and the Museum with the Camp Nou Experience
If you are a passionate of the international known FC Barcelona, you may like to have the oportunity of entering the field of play from the tunnel, sit on the first team bench, discover the area dedicated to Leo Messi, see the five European Cups and interact with the history of the Club at the Museum. Ask in our reception and we will assist you to get your tickets.
Sant Martí is located on the eastern side of Barcelona, it borders the Ciutat Vella and the Eixample, usually numbered 10 out of the ten districts of the city. Named after the Sant Martin de Provençals church, the are was a village outside of Barcelona until 1897 and retains a separate atmosphere, one that is slower and more low-rise that many parts of the city.
Technological innovation is another facet of Sant Martí. The 22@ area is Barcelona’s focus of technological innovation where many hi-tec companies are located. For business travellers to Barcelona this is a common destination, and we can offer accommodation located close to the area.
Sant Martí also borders the sea and is a great place to book a Barcelona beach apartment. The three most important areas of Sant Marti are Poblenou, Vila Olimpica and Diagonal Mar / the Forum.
The Diagonal Mar Centre and the Forum are towards the east edge of the city, close to the sea and to the Poble Nou.
During the 2004 Cultural Forum in Barcelona new facilities for events and conferences (CCIB) festivals, concerts, workshops and exhibitions were built in the shape of the architecturally innovative forum.
As a space the Forum is open to both the sea and the city and one can enjoy the sea air and the tranquility of being close to the sea; as well as the concerts, festivals and exhibitions that take place there.
If you are attending an event at the Forum, you can take advantage of our Barcelona beach apartments close by.
Close to the Forum, the Diagonal Mar Centre is Barcelona’s largest shopping mall offering a wide selection of shops, supermarkets, bars and restaurants.
Whether you are in town for business or pleasure, this is area is a well kept secret and great place to book your Barcelona apartment.
Part of the Sant Marti de Provençals district, Poblenou is a calm, attractive residential area next to the Villa Olimpic (Olympic Village) beach, which is no more than five minutes walk away from any of our Barcelona beach apartments in the area.
Poblenou has its own rambla near to the sea, helping give the area a more relaxed and slower pace of beach life, very different to the centre’s noise and crowded streets.
This area is being transformed by Project 22@, a project currently being undertaken by Barcelona’s city council to transform the area into a centre of technological excellence and innovation. The spirit of this project is captured in some of the highly innovative architecture seen in new buildings in the area.
The Vila Olympic is next to the sea, and between the Poblenou and Barceloneta. Just some 10 minutes by public transport to the south-east of Plaça Catalunya, it is also home to the distinctive Mapfre tower and Hotel Arts, next to the Barcelona Casino. Close by and well worth a visit are the attractive Ciutadella Park and Barcelona Zoo.
In 1992 when Barcelona hosted the Olympics the Vila Olympic neighbourhood was built to accommodate the sportsmen and women taking part. A variety of flat and apartment buildings went up at the time, making this attractive neighbourhood the perfect place to book your Barcelona beach apartments.
Perhaps the most famous monument in the area is Peix d’Or (the Golden Fish) by Frank Gehry. This charismatic work of modern design stands out on the coastal skyline glinting in the sun. Nearby, the Mapfre tower and the Hotel Arts are the two highest towers in Catalunya.
Montjuic mountain is an ancient site deriving its name either from the medieval Catalan for Hill of the Jews, or possibly is as a corruption of the Latin Mons Jovicus (hill of the god Jupiter).
Sometimes known as the Magic Mountain by people from Barcelona, it is an impressive landmark on the Barcelona skyline that teeters on the edge of the Mediterranean sea. Montjuic is flanked by the Poble Sec and by Plaça Espanya. The mountain’s development and urbanisation began with the Universal Exhibition of 1888, and continued with the exhibition of 1929, when Mie Van der Rohes famous Spanish Pavillion was added. Many architectural critics have described it as the most beautiful building of the last century.
Montjuic packs in a number of popular tourist attractions, including the Miró museum, MNAC (National Museum of Art of Catalunya), botanical gardens, a castle, the Poble Espanyol (a recreation of traditional Spanish villages) and the Caixa Forum – a free arts and music exhibition centre. It is an agreeable part of the city to explore that is refreshingly green, with many plants and trees. Since 1992, Montjuic has had Olympic sport facilities too.
Poble sec sits at the bottom of Montjuïc, to the south-east of Plaça Catalunya. We recommend this zone for Barcelona apartment rentals due to its being highly residential and possessing a wide range of services. The area has several pedestrian streets and a pleasant village atmosphere.
The main thoroughfare is Avenida Paral.lel, connecting Plaça Espanya with the Columbus monument at the seas edge. From here you can easily walk to Las Ramblas through Raval, in no more than 10 or 15 minutes. From Paralell metro you can take a funicular up Montjuic, offering great views of the city.
Sants is a part of the Sants Montjuic district, which is next to the Eixample Esquerra (the left side of the Eixample) and is just 10 minutes from Plaça Catalunya by public transport.
The nucleus of Sants is Calle Sants, a lively street with shops, an art nouveaus market, bars, restaurants and lots of life.
The Sants district takes its name from Sants Station, Barcelona’s main railway station. Sants station is well connected by public transport to all of Barcelona, as well as other destinations within Spain and Europe, and also has a direct rail connection to the airport.
Outside the station is the Sants bus station, offering national and international connections, as well as a direct connection with Reus airport.
The station has recently been renovated, partly due to the presence of the AVE, Spain’s high speed railway which offers a connection to Madrid in 2,5 hours and will in the future connect Barcelona with France, as far as Paris which will be reachable in 5,5 hours. The station has a tourist information desk.
The neighbourhood of Sants itself is a quiet residential neighbourhood with its own market, well connected with the center and Sants station. It is a popular destination for apartment rental in barcelona for both families and business people attending conferences and events at the Barcelona Fira.
See our apartments in Sants in our Plaza apartments section.
Sarrià Sant Gervasi
Sarrià-Sant Gervasi is a wealthy residential district with numerous parks and green spaces that at times resembles certain areas of London. Sarrià contains many health and education centres and is the main access point to the Collserola Park, the most important green space in the city.
Today you can still find parts of the rural village that Sarrià-Sant Gervasi once was prior to the arrival of Barcelona’s middle classes in the 19th century. They came seeking cleaner air, Barcelona at the time was heavily industrialised and Sarría edges on the higher ground above the city.