8 TIPS TO FIND THE PERFECT APARTMENT IN BARCELONA
So, the time has come and you need to look for n apartment in Barcelona. Do you know which neighbourhood you’d like to live in? Do you have a list of the flat’s ‘must-haves’? If so, you can start to browse the Internet.
There are some beautiful flats out there and the ones that seem quite awkward as for Barcelona’s aesthetics level. You need to know what you do and don’t want in your “piso”. Of course, no flat is perfect but to get one that is less imperfect knowing what you unconditionally don’t want comes in handy.
Here are the most useful websites to find the best rentals in Barcelona:
1. Noise level
Barcelona streets can be very noisy. Even during the night when we are more noise-sensitive. When I first moved here I kept on waking up now and again during the night for the first couple of weeks. It’s not only the people, who in fact are noisier than other nations, or a collective-football-game-watching in the corner bar. It’s not only that! It’s because in Spain, the garbage is collected at 1:00 am or the streets are cleaned with this huge noisy vehicle and Kärcher machines at 2:00 am. Basically every night something big (noise-wise) is happening. This is why you should check what’s the traffic on the street you see from your new window. In Eixample district, you can rent an apartment with windows giving to the inside big patio (so-called “jardín interior”) and then it should be quiet.
2. Exterior or where-is-my-view interior?
You would think that if you have a window then the window should show some kind of view. Over the street or on the interior garden. Not necessarily. Many apartments have this tiny little interior patios of 6 sqm and it’s very probable your bathroom and bedroom window would give to one of these. Forget the view and, what’s even more painful, forget the daylight. Of course, no street view means no street noise. One can always look on the bright side!
3. NO heating but YES, with air-conditioning
Most flats in Barcelona have no heating. Not just no central heating, no heating at all! I don’t say it’s not possible to find one with radiators but it’s quite a challenge. Definitely a bigger one than finding an apartment with A/C.
However, they often have this air-conditioning with “bomba de calor”, a possibility to give hot air. However, it’s rather expensive to heat up your apartment this way. The hot air tends to go up and the A/C is already hanging on the ceiling. It takes ages to heat up a big room this way.
You’ve been probably asking yourself: will I be needing heating in Spain? Let me tell you that for 3-4 weeks in February/March the temperature at my place was around 15 C (59F)… So, if you really like or need to have it warm at home, try to find an apartment with heating or go and buy a good radiator.
One thing about the summer, having a high ceiling and double glazed windows really helps to survive Spanish summer. In places with low ceilings and this thin windows it can get really hot. Make sure you have the outside window shutters.
4. Nice neighbourhood, close to city center and with nearby supermarket
Check if there are nice neighbourhoods close to your work. For a pleasant tranquil life close to the city centre, it’s really recommendable to find a place in Eixample, Gracia, El Born or Les Corts – between Sagrada Familia and L’illa Diagonal from the sea up to the end of Gracia district. Living there and having a BICING card will make it possible for you get almost everywhere by bike.
It’s also very comfortable to have a supermarket (Bon Preu, Mercadona, Lidl) near your place along with a fruit shop and a bakery. This helps save a lot of time in shopping.
5. Nice bathroom or two
Hmmm… maybe that’s just me or maybe I’ve seen too many old and dirty bathrooms here… 😉 Make sure the bathroom is clean and tidy. On the other hand, I like the fact that many pisos in Barcelona have two bathrooms, this is really handy, especially when friends and relations come to visit.
6. Washing machine, dishwasher, and other electrical appliances
Well, yes, you might need those. On the other hand, if you are a student or found a bargain apartment with no household appliances, then you can make use of many laundries which are on every corner and buy some rubber gloves to clean the dishes.
7. Balcony or terrace
This is why you’ve chosen to come to Spain, is it not? To plant a lemon tree on your balcony and eat your breakfast in its shadow 🙂
Forget about parking on the street if you live near the city center. The houses are old so not each of them has a garage underneath. You can always buy a parking space in a nearby underground garage or if you rarely use your car then you can leave it on one of the free parking lots – read more.
Hope this helps to structure your wish list. Good luck!
- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU START LOOKING FOR A FLAT?
- RENTING A FLAT IN SPANISH – VOCABULARY TIPS
- FREE PARKING IN BARCELONA