Is Barcelona, Spain, your next destination? Well then, you’ll be needing a place to stay. Perhaps you’re not aware of it, but, by reading this article you just have the first step towards your adventure. This is the most thorough guide you’ll find about accommodation in Barcelona.
Whatever your motivation to come, we have one word of advice for you: study in this city! Barcelona is the ideal place to further your academic formation. Dozens of high-level schools are here. With a certificate or degree from any of them, your work opportunities will double! Convinced? Then check the requirements to study in Spain here!
Our job is to help you live an unforgettable study and work experience. We are present in countries like Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. So, before reading about accommodation in Barcelona, we invite you to have a look at our MBA possibilities!
Your First Steps in Barcelona
We understand that anxiety must be eating you away. But patience is a tree with bitter roots and very sweet fruits. Don’t rush! Choosing an apartment (or flat, depending on what you call it) is a very important decision.
Ideally, you should arrive in Barcelona with nothing rented. You get off the plane, take the Aerobús downtown and get to your previously booked hostel. For about 15 euros a night, you can have a place to live while you get to know Barcelona.
This way, you can evaluate areas, prices, and proximity to your school. And, most of all, you will avoid scams or discover that the accommodation that looked so beautiful in the photos, is not really so. Take your time.
Accommodation in Barcelona
Ok, let’s imagine that you are already installed in a cozy hostel in Barcelona. You have unpacked your suitcases and rested from the long journey. Now you have to find a more definitive place to live. Finding accommodation in Barcelona has its peculiarities, but there’s no special secret. As in any other city in the world, there are two variables: the type of accommodation and the neighborhood where it is located. Let’s have a look, shall we?
Types of Accommodation in Barcelona
There are 3 most common types of accommodation for students in Barcelona: shared flats, student residences, and apartments. You will see that each one has its advantages and disadvantages.
Most of those who move to Barcelona to study or work choose to share a flat with someone. Even for stays of several years. It is the most economical and flexible option you will find. Barcelona is full of people who, to reduce expenses, decide to rent a room in their houses. As you can imagine, each home is a world apart. Some owners are picky about cleaning. Others have unusual work hours.
There are even those with a chinchilla as a pet or that require you to have a work contract. In general, the particularities are clarified in the notice itself. But do not forget to settle all your doubts before renting. And remember you can raise your own requirements before deciding to move with someone.
If you are a student, another option is to rent a bed or a shared room in a student residence. It’s the middle ground between sharing a flat and getting into the mess of renting something on your own.
The advantage of this type of accommodation in Barcelona is that you will share with other students who will be in the same situation as you. So you will always find someone to accompany you on your in-city adventures.
Furthermore, perhaps your parents will find it more reassuring that you live in a student residence. And that might be a determining factor for you to embark on the adventure. Finally, some residences include very tempting services, such as:
- Room cleaning service and weekly change of sheets and towels
- Lunch, snack, and dinner
Renting an apartment
Maybe you’re traveling to Barcelona with someone. Or maybe you want, and you can, give yourself the pleasure of living alone. In that case, what you need is to rent an apartment. In Barcelona, you will find two types of contracts: the long-term classic, known as Housing Lease. And the Seasonal Rental, for shorter periods. The first is automatically renewed every year for 3 years unless you or the owner agree to terminate it.
In that case, 30 to 60 days notice is required. But Barcelona is a tourist city and a destination highly chosen by students from all over the world. Thus, there is an abundant supply of seasonal contracts. Their durations range from one to several months. It is an ideal contract for those who move to Barcelona for a certain time, either to study or do an internship.
How to choose the best neighbourhood for accommodation in Barcelona
Remembering the name of each and every one of the 73 neighbourhoods in Barcelona is a titanic task. Selecting one for living is even harder. Each neighbourhood has its own personality and style. Looking for a medieval adventure in the heart of the city? Choose the Gothic Quarter. Do you want something a bit away from the city center, but more residential? The Poble Sec.
And don’t forget to consider the basic services that each area has. For example, if it’s proximity to the Metro, supermarkets, or parks. They will be an important part of your day-to-day. Next, you need to evaluate the prices. Barcelona has luxury and central neighbourhoods such as Dreta de l’Eixample. But there are also cheap ones, such as Ciutat Meridiana, on the outskirts, or Marina del Prat-Zona Franca. They’re not so far and have excellent communication with the centre of Barcelona.
Costs for Accommodation in Barcelona
Ok, time to get the calculator and talk about numbers. As we said, the most popular option is to share a flat. You’ll find offers of 300 euros per month. But, that place is probably like the cupboard under the stairs where Harry Potter slept. A more realistic price is between 300 and 500 euros, including service charges. For that amount, you can rent a small or medium room.
In contrast, student residences are more expensive. At a minimum, you will need to pay around 650 euros for a double room. Of course, they have additional services. Cleaning is almost always included. And if they also give you four meals a day, maybe it’s worth it. Finally, the price of renting a flat in Barcelona is at least 800 euros. Then, you must add the Patrimonial Transfer Tax. Plus electricity, water and electricity services.
In addition to the rent costs, during the first month you should consider the following extra expenses:
- The first monthly payment.
- Agency fees, usually another month’s rent.
- A refundable deposit, a security deposit equal to another month’s rent.
Be sure to check out our post about the cost of living in Barcelona!
How to find Accommodation in Barcelona
Technology will be your best friend to find your accommodation in Barcelona. If you are looking for shared flats or rooms, there are several places where you can find them. Try Idealista, Uniplaces, Fotocasa, and Badi. On the other hand, a real estate agent can help you find rentals and make deals between particulars. You can search for flats in Ya encontré and De Particulares, among other options.
However, be sure to visit the place in person. Only then will you be able to confirm that the photos are a true reflection of reality. Furthermore, accommodation is not just the apartment itself. You should also know what the street is like and the neighbourhood in which it is located.