You’ve made up your mind. Staying in an apartment for your trip to Barcelona is the best solution. But now the harder questions begin. How do I find the right apartment? What do I need to know? Where should I stay?
How does apartment size vary?
What are the sleeping arrangements?
Does heating/air conditioning come as standard?
Can I bring my pet?
What if I want an apartment with a view?
Can I require special access to my apartment?
In general, apartments in Barcelona can be quite compact, especially in the Old Town (Gothic Quarter, Raval, Borne and Barceloneta) where the central location makes it a popular choice but properties can be smaller and more traditional. Areas where the apartments are typically larger and more modern include the Eixample, Sagrada Familia, Villa Olimpica and Sants.
When comparing properties, always check for a floor plan and the number of m2 to get an exact idea of size. 20-30m2 can work for a couple on a romantic weekend away, but ideally a group of 4 will need around 50-60m2.
The number of people that can sleep in the apartment will not always equate to the number of beds. Some guests may be provided with a sofa-bed in the living area.
To avoid the “who will sleep where” game on arrival, do your in advance. Filter your search results by the number of bedrooms you need and check the exact details of the beds available.
Travelling with the family?
Recommended things to look for in a “family-friendly” apartment:
- Has a lift if located higher than the REAL 1st floor
- Located in a quiet street and building
- Doesn’t contain any dangerous/easily breakable items, e.g. glass tables
- Has at least 15m2 of space per person (excluding babies) and a total area of more than 30m2
- Has a washing machine
Winters in Barcelona are chilly (though thankfully not as cold as the UK) and summers are hot and humid. Heating and air-conditioning are not standard in Barcelona. Check the apartment profile or filter your search results if they are on your must-have list.
Apartments occasionally allow pets but rules vary between size and species. Arriving with a cat is not the same as turning up with 3 great danes!
Filter your search results for a list of pet-friendly properties but double-check regarding type and size of animal permitted before booking.
Apartments with great view of the Sagrada Familia, the sea or the Barcelona horizon are possible. Scan the titles of the apartment profiles as they (as well as the photos and descriptions) often highlight this information. This is a good way to find a “sunny” or “bright” apartment as well.
Take note: the great majority of Barcelona apartments will have at least one bedroom facing on to an interior patio and therefore will have less natural light.
Lifts are usual but not guaranteed. More and more are being installed but many older buildings in the Old Town just do not have the space. Filter your results or check the apartment profile to make sure.
How many flights up is the apartment?
Floor names in Barcelona do not match the rest of Europe.
Ground Floor = Planta Baja
First Floor = Entresuelo
Second Floor = Principal
Third Floor = Primero
And so on… Trouble is, not all buildings follow this rule and sometimes the first floor is simply just known as the first floor (primero). Check for profiles that clearly state the REAL height of the floor your apartment is on. Only then will you know exactly how many flights up you will be.
What is the easiest mode of transport to/from my apartment?
Where can I park my car?
Is my apartment close to the shops?
How can I find an apartment with a swimming pool?
Is my apartment close to the beach?
The great thing about Barcelona is that whichever neighbourhood your apartment is located you are never too far from the city centre. Most of the popular areas of the city are within walking distance to Plaza Catalunya and they are all only a short journey away on public transport.
The whole of the city is well-covered by the metro, train and bus networks. Most apartments are close to two forms of transport if not all three. Google Maps is great for locating the nearest stations. Check connections to the centre using our metro/train map.
More info: Barcelona public transport
Few holiday apartments in Barcelona include a parking space (filter results, check profiles) and parking on the street is a battle at night and by day nearly impossible for more than a couple of hours at a time. There are many private car parks but they are not free. More info: Parking in Barcelona
Good news is the transport system in Barcelona is cheap & easy to use unless you are bringing a car for a journey outside of the city (check the trains, consider a rental!), it is not necessary in order to get around.
For those with a shopping spree on their mind, read our guide to shopping in Barcelona for the rundown the top areas.
Private swimming pools are not common in the city. The weather of course is great in summer, but most people head to the beach for a sunbathe or a swim.
If you have your heart set on an apartment with a pool, it’s better to look in the newer areas of the city, particularly Diagonal Mar. Or, alternatively, there are many public pools around.
One of the city’s most attractive features is that you are never far from one of Barcelona’s beaches. Again Barcelona’s transport system means that you can hop on the metro or bus and be there in no time.
Ready to look for accommodation?
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