Each one of the many Barcelona neighborhoods, or “barrios”, is unique and special. This amazing mix of different districts is definitely one of Barcelona’s strenght! Here you will find the SuiteLife crew’s hand picked top 5 Barcelona areas:
Gran de Gracia – Major Street in Gracia
SuiteLife’s favourite and most recommended of the Barcelona neighborhoods. Picture, if you will, a tiny town dropped right in the middle of a city and that’s Gracia. More accurately, Gracia was once (about 100 years ago) an autonomous town outside of BCN until the city expanded and swallowed it. It’s one of the Barcelona zones with the best general ambience because it still retains its historical charm, architecture, and often pedestrian tiny streets. The residents are an eclectic cross between elderly Catalán people who’ve been there their whole lives, young mostly-Catalán bohemian and politically conscious artsy types, and then a large international crowd attracted by the area’s trendy bars, boutique shopping, superior plazas and a general ‘je ne sais quoi’ feel. Of all the ‘barrios de Barcelona’, Gracia gets our top vote.
You can also check our video of the Gracia neighbourhood!
Paseo del Borne
The Borne is probably the trendiest and coolest of the Barcelona Areas. Occupying the space between Via Laeitana and Ciutadella Park, it is a labyrinth of narrow winding streets and hidden plazas giving way to the hippest boutiques, poshest restaurants and most cutting-edge fashion houses in the city. As far as Barcelona neighborhoods go, this one is close to the top. Cost of living is generally higher, but if you have the money it’s an excellent option. Walking distance to the port and beach, Barcelona’s best park, the famous Santa Maria del Mar Cathedral, and a gastronomical offering that would make Anthony Bourdain drool, its charm can be felt as soon as you hit its streets. El Born must make all the other Barcelona neighborhoods jealous!
Learn more about El Borne Neighbourhood!
‘El Gotico’, or the Gothic Quarter, is the underground well from where the city draws it’s magic and is certainly one of the most popular and tourist-centric of the Barcelona neighborhoods. The narrow streets, bustling vibe, and excellent bars and shopping have the ability to lead you around a corner, and then another one, and then lose you completely. Home to the über-famous “Las Ramblas” (which in the near future will get its own dedicated post on the SuiteLife site) the gothic quarter is the oldest and most historically rich of all the Barcelona zones.
Skateboarders @ the MACBA Museum
Easily summed up by the Spanish word ‘chungo’, or the English word ‘dodgy’, the Raval is dirty, smelly, badly lit, easy to get lost in and hard to escape from. Saying that it’s not one of the most popular Barcelona areas to live in would be an understatement. HOWEVER, in our opinion, it’s the most ‘real’ and certainly most multicultural neighborhood, and hides some of the city’s best jewels. Of all the Barcelona neighborhoods, this one is the black sheep. We plead with you though, our beloved SuiteLife reader, to see past its unfairly tarnished reputation and venture in to explore. Safe by day, mostly safe by night.
Check out more about Raval Neighbourhood!
Arial Shot of the Eixample from the SL Helicopter
Literally meaning ‘The Extension”, the largest of all the Barcelona zones was drawn out in 1859 as a deliberate plan to expand the cramped city. Its perfectly grid-lined streets now cover half of the entire city. A very safe neighbourhood with large avenues and monstrous buildings the Eixample hosts some wonderful shopping (Paseo de Gracia is the 5th Ave. of BCN), great restaurants and clubs, and some of Gaudí’s most famous architectural feats.
Arial View of Poblenou
Poblenou is one of the Barcelona areas that’s often overlooked and underrated. Starting from the Vila Olimpica and stretching all the way to Diagonal Mar, Poblenou is an up and coming (if slowly) barrio. It used to house most of the city’s manufacturing and industrial plants. Today the 22@ government project is bringing new life to the area. It’s a spacious district with lots of light, tons of room to run and rollerblade, and just a ten minute walk to the city’s finer beaches. So if you’re looking for the best Barcelona neighborhoods, or the best Barcelona “neighbourhoods” (for our English and Canadian friends), Poblenou is a great underdog choice.
So there you have it folks! SuiteLife’s Top 5 Best Barcelona Barrios! Hope you enjoy and really explore some of them.
If you want more details about each and everyone of Barcelona neighborhoods, then check out our Barcelona Neighborhood Guide!