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Property in Spain: What are the best areas of Barcelona to buy in right now?

Property in Spain: What are the best areas of Barcelona to buy in right now?
View of Barcelona. Photo: AFP
If you’ve ever had dreams of owning a property in Barcelona or wonder what it takes to buy a property there, then this guide by Esme Fox will help you.

Where to look? 

Barcelona neighbourhoods vary greatly in vibe, styles of properties and price, so it's important to narrow your search down to a few areas so you don't get overwhelmed or waste your time by looking at properties in neighbourhoods you don't like. Here's outline of some areas to consider:

Most popular areas to buy in Barcelona

Some of the most popular areas for foreigners in Barcelona include bohemian Gracia with its alternative shops, international restaurants and cocktail bars; quaint El born with its historic tapas bars, boutiques and galleries; and hip Poblenou with its start-up businesses, co-working spaces and craft beer bars. 

Roger Fernàndez from property agency and management company Söder, suggests Sants-Montjuic with its multicultural feel and many international restaurants “as a good cheaper alternative to crowded Gracia”, while Pia Hankö from agency Avenida Barcelona also suggests Sant Antoni as a good alternative to the most popular areas.

“Many people are talking about Sant Antoni,” she says. “It’s a lovely part of Barcelona that has gone through a big change and you can still find properties (many to refurbish) for a reasonable price”.

Fernàndez adds that Eixample also remains perennially popular for foreign buyers “It’s still the real centre of the city, and its big size means it offers lots of diverse properties”.

While the centre of Eixample around Passeig de Gracia is home to some of the most expensive properties in the city, go to the far edges of Eixample Dreta or Eixample Esquerra and they get slightly cheaper.

Best areas to buy in Barcelona to bag a bargain

Believe it or not, there are still lots of bargains to be had in Barcelona, however these are generally located in neighbourhoods on the edges of the city.

This does have its good points though, as these neighbourhoods are generally quieter at night, free from tourists and still have great transport links, enabling you to get to the centre in around 25 minutes on the metro.

Some of these cheaper neighbourhoods that we recommend include the family-friendly and village-like neighbourhoods of Horta-Guinardó and Sant Andreu.

Sant Andreu offers lots of new build options, as well as historic properties and even small houses (a very rare find in Barcelona). Another great local area is Nou Barris, just north of Sant Andreu, on the slopes of the Collserola Natural Park.

Although not as pretty as the previous two, it’s even cheaper still and is ideal for people who love nature and the outdoors, with easy access to the park.

apartments in BarcelonaImage: Alexander Awerin/Unsplash

Most expensive neighbourhoods to buy in Barcelona

The most expensive areas to buy in Barcelona are not close to the beach or even in the centre, they lie in the northwestern part of city, between the centre and the mountains. These include Sarrià–Sant Gervasi, Pedralbes and Les Corts.

Here you can find everything from luxury apartments to mansions. If you’ve fallen in love with these areas however, estate agent and developer Andrey Palchevskiy Voronov suggests the area of Putxet i el Farro, in between Sarrià–Sant Gervasi and Gracia. “The area is seeing a lot of movement. It’s well connected and easily accessible with reasonable prices and sweeping views,” he says. 

Other areas to consider

Some other areas to consider, which may be good for investment are the Gothic Quarter and Raval, as they lie at the heart of the Barcelona tourist area and contain many attractions.

One important thing to be aware though is that these areas do have some the highest crime rates in the city and certain parts of them are best not to be visited at night. The areas are slowly changing however with renovations and new businesses, so while they may not be an ideal option to live in now, they could make a good investment for the future.

Outside of Barcelona

Some of the towns just outside of Barcelona are also popular for foreigners buying homes, and can offer some great bargains. The beachside towns of Castelldefels and Sitges are the most popular with expats buying homes outside the city, and both lie around half an hour train ride south of Barcelona. Because of their popularity however, they’re also expensive.

A good cheaper alternative to these towns is Vilanova i la Geltrú. It has excellent beaches and lies just south of Sitges. Closer to Barcelona, the town of Badalona, just north along the coast, is essentially an extension of the city. While in the inland are of the town can feel slightly dodgy, the part close to the beach is beautiful and safe with great restaurants, shops and swathes of sand. It’s a great place to grab a bargain too.

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