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Oldtown, Residential Neighborhoods Or Suburbs?

Where should I rent my holidays?

If we want to spend a few days in a city like Barcelona, where there are thousands of charming spots different from the standard pack of cathedral + city hall + main square, we always have the same question: where should we stay? What is better, renting a holiday apartment in Barcelona center, in neighborhoods (a little further away but with charms like the Sagrada Familia, El Born or Eixample), or directly in the suburbs?

In this article we will analyze the pros and cons of renting an apartment in each of these parts of the incredible city of Barcelona.Renting an apartment in the center of the city

Pros:

Being surrounded by monuments:

Las Ramblas, the cathedral, the city hall, the Palace of the Generalitat, the Liceu… There are many treasures that we will find in every corner if we choose to stay in the city center.

Hidden spots to be discovered:

The buildings mentioned above are not the only interest of the city center, the church of Santa María del Pi, the beautiful and hidden square of Sant Felip Neri, the mix of cultures and always singular district of El Raval… We still have many hidden gems to unveil in the old town.

The best places to eat, drink and shop:

There are shops in every corner, bars and restaurants of all types, pubs where to spend a lively night… The historic center has infinite plans to uncover.

Cons:

Hordes of tourists:

Well, we are tourist too, but that fact makes it an artificial visit. There are street that even the locals themselves don’t dare to visit because are invaded by visitors.

Astronomical prices:

The prices in this area are higher, and paying more than 30 euros for an average paella and a watery sangria is not worthy of a gastronomic experience that can be enjoyed at good price in other corners of the city.

Less authentic:

A city without its people loses its essence, and the people from Barcelona prefer other neighborhoods before the beautiful Gothic Quarter.

Renting an apartment in a residential area

When you cross the borders of Plaza Cataluña and the Ramblas, the picture changes: the streets are filled with locals who still live among modernist architectural gems and other monuments that are well worth a visit, as is the case of the Sagrada Familia, located far away from the city center.

Pros:

  • Living in an area with emblematic monuments without suffering the constant influx of tourists.
  • Enjoying local, bars and restaurants that are frequented by locals, rather than those created specifically for tourists.
  • Living like an insider.
  • Means of transport that take you to any corner without any hassle or waste of time.

Cons:

  • Longer distances between places that require more planning to make the most of your stay.
  • Depending more on public transport or having to make long walks.

Renting an apartment in the outskirts of the city

In the outskirts of Barcelona, we can enjoy as well our stay in neighborhoods with essence or charming villages that are well connected to the city.

Pros:

  • Absolute calm.
  • The opportunity to see places that the center of the city doesn’t offer.
  • The opportunity of living like a real local.
  • More affordable prices.

Cons:

  • Depending on schedules determined by public transport.
  • There aren’t monuments or attractions around.
  • It’ll take hours to get from one place to the other if we want to see everything.
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