One of the toughest decisions any studying abroad student has to make is where to live. Once you’ve committed to the school of your choice the time to find accommodations takes the same diligence, preparedness and patience. The start of a successful investment in your education begins with the comforts and necessities that you feel are important in your everyday environment in order to foster good study habits along with an easy transition into Spain.
This condensed list of barrios in Barcelona is in no way an all inclusive one, thus you may find accommodations in places not listed and still have a great living experience. This list, however, may prove helpful in your search for the ideal living situation if you are not sure where to start your search. We have compiled a brief synopsis of the areas most common to students and are in close proximity to GBSB Global to assist you in this search.
Barceloneta is the closest neighborhood to the harbor and has a significant stretch of beach. Here you will find the boardwalk full of tourists in search of a great spot to enjoy the sun and the waves. Amidst the laid bodies are lively bar and tapas restaurants ready to serve up cold drinks and tapas until the late hours of the night. After the beach, venture over to the promenade of night clubs and bars. The neighborhood can be considered one of Barcelona’s top night life districts. With the high number of late night spots around, there is always something to do.
El Raval has a history of being controversial in its allowances and the distinction between tourists and locals. It borders La Rambla, the Gothic barrio, and the Barcelona port. Previously known as an area for tourists to avoid due to high crime rates, el Raval has made huge changes for the betterment of both the locals and the tourists who want to visit. El Raval’s uniqueness lies in its ability to stay authentic to its local community and their desires for change in the neighborhood.
The Gothic Quarter was the city center of both Roman and Medieval Barcelona, and the majority of those medieval buildings still stand today. Here you can walk the unique Gothic streets, visit the Royal Plaza, and visit the ruins of an ancient Synagogue. If you’re wanting to immerse yourself in a bit of culture, the Gothic Quarter will provide you with enough history to rival any museum!
Sant Pere, Santa Caterina and la Ribera
This neighborhood is composed of 3 smaller neighborhoods: Sant Pere, Santa Caterina and la Ribera. The diverse and fashionable area was also part of medieval Barcelona and has a very unique history. Sant Pere and Santa Caterina are names from the religious institutions that once dominated the areas. La Ribera comes from the neighborhoods location to the river. Home to the Ciutadella Park and the El Born area, this neighborhood is sure to be a place of interest if you are alternative, chic, and stylish.
L'Antiga Esquerra de l'Eixample
L’Eixample is comprised of 2 parts. Old and new. Left and right. The old of l’Eixample, also referred to as Gaixample, is designed in a predominantly Neo-Romanesque style. The Barcelona University and Plaça de la Universitat are common examples. Here is the Mercat de Sant Antoni, the Ninot market and the Ronda Universitat. The new area was built in the 1930’s and shows more of a Modernist style. The Casa Batlló, the Escola Industrial, and the Modelo prison are places built long before the neighborhood existed but are examples of how well the history merges with the modernist style. Esquerra de l'Eixample is also home to GBSB Global Business School's Barcelona campus.
Dreta de l’Eixample
Dreta de l’Eixample or “Right Extension” is a very busy part of the city. Despite it’s very spacious layout, the area is quite compact with most streets forming a grid pattern. Dreta de l’Eixample is known as a wealthy area built in the Modernist style. One of Barcelona’s high end shopping streets is located right in the middle of the barrio. Some of Gaudi’s work can be found here along the large and busy streets. Dreta is home to popular locations such as Passeig de Gràcia, Casa Mila and Casa Calvet.
Sant Antoni is one of the most charming and picturesque neighborhoods in Eixample. Popular for its coffee shops, local market, and unique thrift shopping stores, Sant Antoni is full of community spirit. The area used to be the grounds of the Church of Saint Anthony, however, today you can find trendy restaurants, a casual nightlife, and plenty of locals to chat with.
Gràcia is another neighborhood that changed dramatically. Taken over by the expansion of the city of Barcelona, Gràcia still retains its character. The area is known amongst the locals and is full of energy and fun. The architecture, general vibe, and culture of the area make it a special place. It is famous for its weeklong festival called Festa Major as well as its many community competitions and events. It is home to many works by modernist architects like Casa Fuster, Plaça de la Vila and Gaudi’s Casa Vicens and Park Güell.
Named after Spain’s most famous monument, barrio Sagrada Família is located north of Eixample. Before the expansion of the city there was nothing in this region but fields and country houses. But in 1882 a project to begin the building of one of the most famous basilicas in the world changed that. Once the workers and their families began moving into the area, the name was changed to Sagrada Família in honor of the building that made the area famous.
Sants is located relatively close to the city center, yet is disconnected from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Originally an industrial town, specializing in textiles, the area blossomed around the major train station-Barcelona Sants. Close to the prominent financial district, the business energy permeates the locals as well as the tourists. The area is also lined with unique buildings and is home to many cultural centers.
Montjuïc is an extremely interesting part of Barcelona. The entire neighborhood was created in preparation for the 1929 World’s Fair. It was originally designed to be another residential neighborhood, but the city was going through an artistic and industrial revolution at that time. The government and local patrons decided the mountain would work better as an art and culture hub. They contracted the country’s best engineers to construct the monuments that you see today. Here, you can visit the National Museum of Catalan Art, the Magic Fountain, Olympic Stadium, as well as the Montjuïc castle and its park that embodies the hill itself.
Making the move to Barcelona was the right choice, now you only need to narrow down your options for where to get the most out of your journey. If you have any questions regarding places to live or need housing assistance, do not hesitate to contact one of our representatives for assistance. We, at GBSB Global Business School, look forward to your arrival!