Choosing where to stay in Barcelona can feel a little daunting, given that each neighborhood is vastly different from each other in terms of transport, general safety, and access to facilities: some of the most important factors when looking for a family holiday home.
After taking all things into account, below are four of the neighborhoods that are the best places to stay when coming to Barcelona with family, due to their close proximity to the city center, you are likely to find many more available properties than in the suburbs further away mostly filled with long term residents.
The neighborhood of Gràcia used to be an independent village separate from the old town of Barcelona. Living as a self-sufficient neighborhood for hundreds of years until the industrial revolution saw it connected to the rest of Barcelona through building the previously mentioned Eixample neighborhood. Locals say that once you’re in Gràcia, you’ll never have to leave, which makes it perfect for families that want to experience the more local life that Barcelona can offer.
Gràcia is slightly further out than the other neighborhoods on this list, but its community pride is second to none and is generally a lot safer than the other barrios in the center. It is also well-connected by public transport routes and houses a few gems like Gaudi’s first architectural creation, Casa Vicens, and his later work, Park Güell.
Eixample’s wide streets and grid-like system make it a great neighborhood for families. Unlike the Old Town neighborhoods like the Gothic Quarter, Raval, and El Born, it’s almost impossible to get lost in Eixample, thanks to its well-known grid pattern layout.
The neighborhood is one of the newer areas in Barcelona, constructed in the 19th and early 20th centuries, which means it’s littered with public transport routes like metro stations, bus stops, and even tram routes further out. There are also wide cycle lanes for active families who want to see the city using pedal power.
Plenty of important Barcelona landmarks are also situated in Eixample, namely The Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, Casa Batlló, and the famous Passeig de Gràcia avenue filled with shops and restaurants.
Sant Gervasi is the best neighborhood for those staying in Barcelona for a longer period of time. It is largely residential and remains both peaceful and authentic to Catalan’s life. As well as plenty of parks and green spaces, there are great cafes and patisseries. It is also home to Tibidabo mountain, an iconic Barcelona landmark, and the interactive science museum CosmoCaixa. Like Gràcia, the Sarriá neighborhood is close-knit but also welcomes newbies into the community with open arms.
For families that want to stay close to the beach during their time in Barcelona, we recommend staying in the neighborhood of Poble Nou. This barrio has previously been referred to as the Catalan Manchester, due to the huge part it played in Barcelona’s Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.
It is a peaceful yet vibrant neighborhood and its commercial center, La Rambla de Poblenou, is full of cafes, bars, and restaurants, as well as artisan markets on weekends. For shopaholics, there are two large shopping centers in the area, Les Glòries, and Diagonal Mar, as well as the second-hand and vintage Encants Market, and the infamous Palo Alto Market held the first weekend of the month.
We highly recommend staying in an apartment during your stay in Barcelona as the extra space and extra facilities will make your experience a lot more comfortable, and mean that you can explore the city on your own terms instead of relying on a hotel. You can also be in charge of your meals, by having your own kitchen to make the most of. Adventure always awaits for families in Barcelona, we think you should find out why.
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.