Best Places to Live in Barcelona in 2024 by a Local

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Searching for the best places to live in Barcelona this year? I’ve got you covered.

Barcelona is an incredible city to live in. From the streets bustling with culture and nightlife to the efficient public transportation, there are so many great reasons why you should consider making Barcelona your new home. But, with so many options, what are the best places to live in Barcelona?

I have been fortunate enough live in a few different neighborhoods throughout the city, and each of them has provided me with unique experiences and memories that I cherish.

From my own personal experience, I’ve come to understand that every single neighborhood or barrio has something special to offer the locals.

My closest friends are scattered throughout some of the best areas of Barcelona, some living right in the heart of the Gòtic, others near Plaça Catalunya, El Born, and Poblenou. But no matter where you choose to live in this amazing city, you can always count on having a good time!

From tapas bars staying open late into the night, excellent seafood restaurants with ocean views, countless parks to explore during your free time – these are all opinions from locals who have spent years living in this beautiful city.

You can feel confident moving to any of these neighborhoods in Barcelona knowing that they all provide unique experiences and opportunities to enjoy life living here!

Here are my favorite Barcelona travel resources to help you plan your move!

Best Places to Live in Barcelona

Here are a few of the best neighborhoods in Barcelona to live!

1. Eixample

Sagrada Familia in Eixample one of the best places to live in barcelona

About Eixample

Eixample is sprawling, central and easy access to any part of the city. Known as a historical and trendy neighborhood with plenty of great boutiques and restaurants, you’ll also find the majority of Gaudi’s work here.

The famous Passeig de Gracia street separates Eixample into East and West and is home to some of the best shopping in the city.

Why Live in Eixample?

Eixample is central with great connections to any part of the city. The buildings are beautiful. Eixample is home to plenty of locals and expats living in Barcelona. It’s been my home since moving to Barcelona.

I may be bias, but I consider it one of the coolest neighborhoods in Barcelona.

Safety

I have never once felt unsafe in L’Eixample. This area is particularly popular for families, young children, and expats. As for all areas in any city or country, always use caution.

Attractions: 

  • Passeig de Gracia
  • Rambla Catalunya
  • Casa Batllo
  • Sagrada Familia
  • Gracia  

🌎View the best of Eixample with a tour of Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and Casa Batllo

2. Gracia

Best places to live in Barcelona near Park Guell

About 

Slightly north of Eixample, Gracia is a charming neighborhood known for its picturesque narrow streets lined with colorful buildings and balconies.

The neighborhood has a strong art presence that can be felt immediately and is home to plenty of restaurants, trendy Bohemian restaurants, artisanal markets and hosts numerous festivals throughout the year.  

Why Live in Location?

Gracia feels calmer and more laid back to other barrios of the city but is still incredibly charming and well connected with public transport. Easy to get around town whether on bike, foot, or car – even to the airport and trains for weekend trips to Cadaques and Cadiz! You will find your neighbors hail from every single walk of life with interesting stories at your doorstep. 

Safety

Safe. The rule of thumb is that the further North you go in Barcelona, the safer it gets, particularly with Diagonal as the street separating the city into two parts.

Use extra caution during the Gràcia festival as it can be very busy during this week and with more people you can find more petty crime. 

Attractions: 

3. Poble Sec

Tapas in Barcelona

About 

Poble Sec is just south of central city, is at the base of the iconic Montjuic Hill and is close to Placa Espana. Poble Sec is still close walking distance to city center, but is quieter and more residential. It’s also home to Carrer Blai, the famous pincho street, among some other top rated restaurants in the city. 

Why Live in Location?

Poble Sec has a small town, residential feel, while still being able to easily access all parts of the city and nightlife. It’s proximity to Montjuic hill means you have a slice of nature right at your doorstep, with trails and walk ways to the top, a wonderful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of city life. 

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    Safety

    Poble Sec is safe and away from the petty type crimes found near noisy bars and clubs. However, no neighborhood is risk-free, so please always let caution guide you on your travels. 

    Attractions: 

    • Carrer Blai 
    • Plaza Espana
    • Montjuic Hill

    Prepare for your new neighborhood in Barcelona with the best e-sim for Spain!

    4. Gotico - “Old Town”

    Gothic Quarter Rooftop - best places to live in Barcelona

    About 

    Gotico, or old city,  is one of the oldest neighborhoods Barcelona has, known for its rich history and medieval architecture. Situated into the greater Ciutat Vella district, Gotico is like stepping into a time capsule.

    This neighborhood is a paradise for foodies and cultural enthusiasts alike as it’s littered with top notch restaurants (even for vegans!) museums and art galleries. This is also a popular spot for first time visitors.

    Why Live in Location?

    Gotico is a central location with a rich history and plenty to do. Plenty of people fall in love with the aesthetic and quickly make this their home.

    Others are drawn to the nightlife and social aspect. All of these reasons and more make it one of the best neighborhoods in Barcelona to live.

    Safety

    Gothic Quarter is safe but is popular amongst tourists and can attract petty crime, particularly pickpocketing. Use caution to reduce risk by staying in groups, especially in the late evening or if you have had a few too many cervezas. 

    Attractions: 

    • Cathedral of Barcelona 
    • Placa Reial
    • Placa Sant Jaume
    • Picasso Museum

    🌎 Have a local take you around to the secret spots of Gothic Quarter!

    5. El Born

    El Born Dr Stravinsky
    One of the best bars in Barcelona - right in the heart of El Born.

    About 

    Adjacent to Gotico, El Born has a similar style of narrow alleys, old buildings with tall balconies and a fantastic gastronomical scene.

    Still quite central, both neighborhoods are within walking distance to the beach and are known to have some of the best nightlife in the city - the closest you'll get to the wild party city of Madrid. In addition to food, wine, and restaurants, Born is full of unique, artisanal shopping. 

    Why Live in Location?

    People are also drawn to Born for the same reasons as Gotico. El Born is central, has old town architecture and fantastic bars. You will never be far from crafty cocktails in this old city!

    Safety

    Born has plenty of narrow streets and alleys that can quickly become dead-ends. Exercise caution, particularly late at night, as pickpocketing is risky in all areas with lively nightlife. 

    Attractions: 

    • Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar
    • Mercat de Santa Caterina
    • Ciutadella ParkT

    Find the El Born hidden gems with a local guide

    6. Poblenou

    About 

    Rooted in industrial heritage, Poblenou is rapidly changing into a thriving hub for technology now encompassing a bustling startup scene.

    You’ll find plenty of hotels, offices, new construction and refurbished former textile buildings all within walking distance to Bogatell beach - amazing for August and September beach days in the coastal city!

    Along with the rapidly growing landscape, you’ll find plenty of new restaurants and pubs also opening their doors. 

    Why Live in Location?

    Poblenou is a vibe. With its new builds and refurbished office buildings, it’s a completely different feel than you’ll find in old town areas of the cities. This is a great option for folks to working in tech or for a startup. 

    Safety

    Poblenou is incredibly safe and a great spot for families as well. It is close to parts of the beach with lively nightlife so be careful when you're alone late at night. Though if you're really looking for a quieter beach city, I'd suggest checking out Valencia.

    Attractions: 

    • Disseny Hub Barcelona 
    • Palo Alto Market
    • Rambla Del Poblenou 

    7. Sant Gervasi

    Best Neighborhoods in Barcelona

    About 

    Sant Gervasi, located in the north-west of the city, is the most expensive neighborhood in Barcelona. The neighborhood is known for its tranquility, green spaces, beautifully tree lined streets and 20th century architecture.

    Backed by the Collserola forest, Sant Gervasi is the perfect neighborhood for those looking for both quick accessibility into the city with a quick escape to nature.

    Why Live in Location?

    One of the best reasons to live in Sant Gervasi is it’s proximity to both the  city and outdoors. The neighborhood is known to be very calm and quiet. Who doesn’t love that? It’s also one of the best Barcelona neighborhoods for good schools.

    Safety

    Sant Gervasi is one of the safest places to stay in Barcelona. This barrio is closer to the mountain and I’ve definitely seen wild boars here late at night. These can be a bit aggressive.

    Regardless of the boars, Sant Gervasi is still one of the best neighborhoods in Barcelona to live.

    Attractions: 

    8. El Clot 

    About 

    Located in the Sant Marti district on the north eastern side of the city, El Clot is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, and known to be one of the safest. Known to be a quieter and more residential part of Barcelona region with plenty of green spaces but still close to attractions like the Sagrada Familia.

    Easily accessible to all parts of the city, a quick and easy stroll connects you to the bustling Poblenou neighborhood with beach access. 

    Why Live in Location?

    People choose El Clot for it’s safety and affordability compared to more expensive parts of the city like Eixample and Sant Gervasi. It’s also great for families.

    Safety

    El Clot is absolutely safe, perhaps one of the safest. Always use caution and be aware of your surroundings even in the safest spots!

    Attractions: 

    • Placa de les Glories Catalanes
    • Placa del Mercat del Clot
    • Parc del Clot
    • Parc de les Glories

    9. Sant Antoni

    About 

    Sant Antoni is a vibrant neighborhood located in the South West of greater Eixample district. Sant Antoni’s location to the city center, Las Ramblas and El Raval neighborhood, make it a convenient option for those looking for both proximity to nightlife and tight knit neighborhood vibes.

    In addition to it’s convenient location, Sant Antoni perfectly captures the best of historical and historical modernistic architecture. 

    Why Live in Location?

    Sant Antoni is an exciting barrio and is known to be trendy and practical. It’s also a great fit for nature lovers with trails offering an easy escape from city life. 

    Safety

    Yes, Sant Antoni is safe however this neighborhood is quite close to Raval which is known for its petty crime. For that reason, use extra caution at night. 

    Attractions: 

    • Mercat de Sant Antoni
    • Las Ramblas 
    • Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria

    10. Barceloneta 

    Palm trees near Barceloneta neighborhood in Barcelona

    About 

    Barceloneta is the neighborhood for those looking to be as close to the beach as possible. Formerly a fishing district, this barrio is still true to its roots, with industrial buildings, narrow streets and fresh fish.

    Nestled between the Mediterranean and Gotico districts, Barceloneta is the perfect spot for easy access to both water for cruises and watersports and some of the best nightlife in Barcelona.

    Why Live in Location?

    Barceloneta is a water lovers dream and is the perfect spot for those who love water sports and want to spend plenty of time on the beach. It’s also  a close walk to popular Barcelona neighborhoods like Gotico and Born

    Safety

    Barceloneta is known for pickpockets. It’s important to avoid leaving your belongings unattended on the beach, especially in high season. Given the popularity for tourists and the strip of clubs, I would not walk alone after dark.

    Attractions: 

    • Beach
    • Chiringuitos
    • Watersports
    • Clubs

    11. Sants - Final Best Places to Live in Barcelona

    About 

    Sants is one of the quietest neighborhoods in Barcelona. This residential area is located in the North-West of Barcelona. Once an independent city, Sants merged with Barcelona in 1889.

    While slightly further away to the center of the city, Sants is home to the busy Sants station, one of the largest stations in Barcelona, offering rail connections all through Spain. 

    Why Live in Location?

    There are a ton of reasons to live in Sants. If you’re a regular traveler by train, the proximity to the main train station is an attractive draw. People also love the affordability and safety this barrio has to offer.

    Safety

    Sants is one of the safest. Crowded areas like Plaça  Espana and the Sants station can be popular for pickpockets so use caution and try not to be careless with your phone or wallets. 

    Attractions: 

    • Placa Espana
    • Festa Major de Sants
    • Carrer de Sants
    • Mercat de Sants 

    Where do Locals Live in Barcelona?

    Inside La Sagrada Familia

    I’ve lived in Barcelona for several years at this point and know locals, as well as expats, that have set up homes in just about every neighborhood in Barcelona. 

    The best way to approach Barcelona neighborhoods and real estate depends on the phase of life you’re in.

    Folks in their early 20s on a gap year in Barcelona will be more tolerant to louder barrios with peak nightlife like Raval than families with young children who might prefer Sants.  No matter what your preference, Barcelona has plenty to offer.  

    I live in Dreta Eixample, and personally, I never want to leave. It’s central, safe, and full of trendy restaurants. To top it off, it’s downright beautiful. 

    Where Not to Live in Barcelona

    Understanding where the best neighborhoods in Barcelona to stay are is important, but it's also key to know where not to live in Barcelona as well!

    Raval

    Raval is a fantastic neighborhood to go out in and has plenty of restaurants, bars and trendy art shops.

    However, Raval is known to have some of the most crime in the city. As a solo female, I personally would not live here.

    I will say, there are some fantastic Barcelona apartments for rent, and the landscape of the neighborhood can change by street, so it is worth checking out flats and the environment before ruling anything out.

    FAQ: Best Neighborhoods in Barcelona

    Choosing where to live in Barcelona can be overwhelming. Here are some frequently asked questions bout choosing the best neighborhoods to live in Barcelona.

    What is the nicest area in Barcelona to live? 

    Eixample is frequently considered the nicest area to live in Barcelona. It is centrally located and incredibly safe. Eixample offers unique attractions, a trendy nightlife, and plenty of fun things to do for locals.

    Where do most expats live in Barcelona? 

    Most expats live in Eixample, Gotico, and Sants. The neighborhood expats choose to live in Barcelona depends on what they’re looking for in a neighborhood.

    Younger adults and students will be found in Gotico and Born, or Eixample, offering easy access to nightlife. Families often opt for quieter areas like Sants or Sant Gervasi. Young professionals may be drawn to tech hubs like Poblenou. 

    Where do Americans live in Barcelona? 

    Americans in Barcelona typically live in neighborhoods like Eixample, Gotico, and Sants. The preference for a specific neighborhood among expats is largely influenced by their individual needs, which can vary based on age and life stage.

    What is the safest city in Barcelona? 

    Eixample and El Clot frequnelty considered the safest cities in Barcelona by many visitors and locals.

    Overall, however, Barcelona is safe in its entirety. Of crime that does exist, it’s non-violent, petty crime. Always be alert of your surroundings and belongings, no matter what city you are in!

    Is Barcelona safe for US citizens? 

    Yes - Barcelona is safe for US citizens. Americans frequently visit Barcelona and are welcomed by locals. The US and Spain are in good relations and the US government considers Barcelona safe for travel.

    Are there areas to avoid in Barcelona? 

    After dark, you should avoid the winding, narrow streets of Old Town - Gotico and Born. Some streets lead to dead ends that can be unsafe at night. You should also exercise extra caution in Raval and Barceloneta, particularly after sunset.

    Final Thoughts: Best Areas to Live in Barcelona

    There you have it! The best places to live in Barcelona. Barcelona has no shortage of truly wonderful and unique barrios. No matter the neighborhood, you are sure to find history, nightlife, restaurants and beautiful architecture.

    One of my favorite things about Barcelona is how compact and well connected the entire city is. While it’s easy to pick favorite neighborhoods, for those on the hunt for a flat in the city, don’t limit yourself to one spot, as there are tons of gems located everywhere you go!

    Any of the neighborhoods I’ve mentioned on this list offer locals different experiences. Do your research before choosing the one that’s best for you.

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