Known as a cosmopolitan city with a rich cultural heritage, Barcelona is a city that attracts people from all over the world to come and live. The cultural diversity stems from the many foreigners that move to the city, whether as students or professionals, looking to experience life in Barcelona. Thanks to its world-famous landmarks, beautiful coastline, and laidback, Spanish lifestyle, it offers the perfect location for anybody who visits.
Divided into 10 districts and over 70 neighbourhoods, there is so much diversity between each area of the city. From the more touristic areas in the Ciutat Vella district, such as the Gothic Quarter and Barceloneta, to the more residential neighbourhoods further inland, such as Les Corts and Sarria-Sant Gervasi. Many locals have invested in luxury properties in the city, increasing its status and attraction to investors from across the world.
Barcelona is the one of the most expensive places to rent and buy in Spain: rent on average is between €15-22 per square metre per month, and if you are buying a property, expect to pay between €225,000-€300,000 for a 50 square metre apartment. To put this in perspective, an apartment in the capital, Madrid, will set you back around €220,000-€250,000.
The most grand and expensive properties are clustered in particular neighbourhoods of the city. The most luxurious neighbourhoods in Barcelona attract royalty, footballers, and celebrities alike, so let’s take a look at the most exclusive areas of the city to live in.
Found in the Les Corts district of Barcelona, nestled below the Collserola hills, is the sophisticated Pedralbes neighbourhood. The name comes from the Catalan ‘petres albes’, meaning white stones, in reference to the stones of the medieval monastery here, set up in 1327 by Queen Elisenda de Montcada. The neighbourhood also is home to the Royal Palace of Pedralbes, the official residence of the royal family when they visit Barcelona, and the seat of the Secretariat-General of the union for the Mediterranean.
There are a large number of universities in the Pedralbes area, but the prices of the area generally means that the majority of students will not live here. There are also a number of international schools, as well as royal tennis courts and other various exclusive sports facilities.
Pedralbes houses several consulates of various countries, as well as being the home to famous celebrities, such as Lionel Messi, Shakira and Gerard Piqué. It is said to be the most sought-after neighbourhood In Barcelona, with properties that are spacious and modern, complete with landscaped gardens and private outdoor swimming pools.
Located in the north west of the city, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district is one of the largest and most prestigious in Barcelona. Its appeal is that it is so close to the mountains and the Natural Park of the Sierra de Collserola, while also being urban with lots of shops and restaurants to enjoy. It has the best of both worlds, which makes it an exclusive and sought-after neighbourhood.
Studies have revealed that the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi neighbourhood is one of the most ‘authentic’ areas, with the majority of residents being born and bred in Barcelona. Catalan is widely spoken in the streets, and it is one of the districts with the highest per capita income. The average price of high standard homes in this district is an eye-watering 4.8 million euros, so you’re sure to live in luxury.
Sarrià-Sant Gervasi is the perfect place for families, with prestigious schools, top-class medical centres and lots of outdoor, green spaces. It is a tranquil neighbourhood that is located far away from the touristic parts of the city. Sarrià-Sant Gervasi has a small-town feeling to it, as it used to be a village separate to Barcelona before being united with the city in 1921.
Eixample is home to the iconic Passeig de Gràcia avenue, lined with luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Prada, and some of the city’s most prestigious 5-star hotels and restaurants. It’s the ideal district for anybody with a love for the finer things in life and is the area most commonly stayed in by the rich and famous on their visits to Barcelona.
Some of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks and architecture takes its home in Eixample, such as Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera and Casa Batlló. There is beautiful, modernist architecture everywhere you look in the district. The rich culture here, paired with its enviable location in the centre of Barcelona, makes it a highly desirable area.
Eixample gained great interest among international buyers, leading it to have a diverse, cosmopolitan population. Residents love its easy access to the rest of the city, its nightlife, high quality restaurants and bars too. Some of Barcelona’s most luxurious apartments to buy can be found along the Passeig de Gràcia, selling for several million euros a piece.
The larger district containing the aforementioned prestigious Pedralbes neighbourhood, is also another exclusive area of Barcelona. Les Corts is the financial district of the city, attracting large multinational corporations, and as a result many famous hotels to the area too. With the increase of affluent clientele, many restaurants and shops also came to Les Corts.
The most famous aspect of Les Corts is the home of FC Barcelona’s home stadium, the Camp Nou. There is also ample green space for a step out into nature in Les Corts, such as the Cervantes Park, with over 9 hectares of landscaped gardens for the public to enjoy, and the Pedralbes Palace Gardens too.
Les Corts is the smallest district in the city, and alongside its attractive residential areas and outdoor spaces, makes it an exclusive area to settle down in. It attracts affluent businessmen, as well as families and young couples, who want to experience Barcelona as a local without the crowds of tourists.
Sandra Roig is Marketing Director at AB Apartment Barcelona. AB Apartment Barcelona is an apartment rental agency offering over one thousand short and long term apartments across Barcelona.
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