We include here short descriptions of the residential areas most popular with expatriates in Barcelona, although there are no areas exclusively for expatriates. There has always been a good mix with Spanish people; however there are concentrations of certain nationalities around the various international schools. For more information on property in Barcelona, visit Lets Buy In Spain.
Those wishing to live centrally in the older part of the city may find elegant apartments but cannot expect the same efficiency in matters of heating, air-conditioning etc. as in more modern properties.
Barcelona is a city of apartments; terraced housing is rare and modern detached housing practically non-existent, although the higher parts of Sarriádisplay many magnificent old mansions; sadly often much in need of restoration.
As the city has expanded towards the west, apartments are newer in the Pedralbes area, where most blocks offer communal facilities such as underground parking, gardens, pools and satellite television. Against this must be balanced the lack of bustle, of little local shops and street life, which form such an interesting part of living in more traditional districts. Neighbouring Sant Just, a village which no longer has any real separation from Barcelona proper, offers more individual and terraced housing at very high rents.
Many of the international schools are on these western fringes of Barcelona, so that those with children of school age tend to prefer to live in the “Zone Alta” in such areas asBonanova, Tres Torres, Sarriá and Pedralbes, or in the adjoining suburb of Sant Just.
Going further out of town, there are several areas popular with foreigners:
Castelldefels is a small town on the coast, 20kms south of Barcelona, to which it is well linked by road and rail. Rental costs are lower than in Barcelona and although the beach is a popular destination for day trippers in the summer, the higher residential areas are not particularly affected. Leisure facilities are well developed.
SantCugat, inland from Barcelona and again with excellent public transport links to the centre of town, offers a different type of out-of-town living. The population is much less subject to seasonal variations, and rentals remain below Barcelonacity levels. Large new housing developments are appearing but much of the property is owner-occupied.