Coming to study in Barcelona is life-changing. Can anybody argue that this is one of the world’s most exciting cities? Living in Barcelona is more than the architecture, the arts, or the culture: it’s about the adventure. The friends you make, the great weather you’ll enjoy; they all contribute to this city’s charm. If you’re looking for student accommodation in town, check out the 5 most popular neighbourhoods in Barcelona.
Esquerra de L’Eixample
Esquerra de L’Eixample is “the left side” of L’Eixample neighbourhood, located north of Plaza Catalunya, which means it’s right in the centre of Barcelona. It’s a residential neighbourhood with beautiful buildings and great nightlife.
In this part of the city, you can find the Joan Miró park, the Ninot market, the Hospital Clínico, the Centro Comercial Arenas for some shopping, and a huge number of bars and restaurants — try Ugot for a great brunch.
The best part of this neighbourhood, however, is that it’s precisely where the main building of the University of Barcelona is located in. It’s on Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes and it even has its own metro station, Universitat, with lines L1 and L2. There also several bus lines that stop here (50, 59, 66, 54, 68, 7). It’s no wonder students prefer to live around this area — especially because rent prices here are a bit lower than the average. If you walk a few minutes to Passeig de Gràcia’s (L4) metro station, it only takes 3 stops to reach Barceloneta!
Sants is a neighbourhood in the south of Barcelona. Even though there are a lot of hotels here and a large shopping area in Carrer de Sants, it’s a quiet, residential neighbourhood and not very touristy.
The neighbourhood is also known for its street festival — every year at the end of August, the Festa Major de Sants lights up the area and the sixteen streets around the Parc de l’Espanya Industrial (also worth a visit). Even though it’s not the largest or the most well-known of the Barcelona Festas Majors, that’s exactly why it’s one of the best. There is also a bike race and a 2km run at the end of the event.
Sants is one of the neighbourhoods best to live in if you study at the University of Barcelona — it only takes 16 minutes on L3 to get there. It’s also the ideal place to live if you study at Pompeu Fabra — the L3 takes you there directly in only 26 minutes. Sants’s train station is the biggest transport hub in Barcelona. Trains from all over Spain and beyond arrive and depart from here.
L’Hospitalet de Llobregat
L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, usually shortened to L’Hospitalet, is on the southwest side of Barcelona and it’s the second most populated municipality in Catalonia. It’s mainly residential, but there are several points of interest like the Llobregat River delta. It’s also one of the closest neighbourhoods to Barcelona’s El Prat airport.
Living in L’Hospitalet is perfect for students who study at the UB campus of Bellvitge — the Hospital de Bellvitge metro station takes you to the city centre in minutes on L1. L’Hospitalet is well connected by metro with the north and south campus of the Polytechnic University — from Av. Isabel la Catòlica – Pl. de Tuzla, simply catch the L14 bus and stop at Diagonal-Complex Esportiu Universitari. The R1 and R4 trains from L’Hospitalet also leave you very close to University of Barcelona.
El Barri Gòtic
The Barri Gòtic, or Gothic Quartar, is the historical heart of Barcelona. It’s enclosed between Via Laietana and the famous La Rambla. It’s a charming area with narrow medieval streets filled with trendy bars, clubs and restaurants, so it’s only normal that it’s one of the city’s most touristy neighbourhood.
There’s an even better reason why Barri Gòtic is very popular among students — it’s super close to Barcelona’s three main universities. Pompeu Fabra University is a short walk from anywhere in this neighbourhood. The main building of the University of Barcelona isn’t too far away, either — from Jaume I metro station (L4), you can get to Passeig de Gràcia in just 2 stops. The Polytechnic University is also 9 stops away on L3 from Liceu to Palau Reial.
On the weekends you can go for a stroll in front of the Cathedral of Barcelona and browse through the second-hand market; walk down to the beach; or have great food at Barri Gòtic’s many restaurantes.
Dreta de L’Eixample
Dreta de L’Eixample is “the right side” of the Eixample neighbourhood. It’s very central and in the heart of the city, with wide streets, beautiful residential buildings, and some of Gaudí’s masterpieces: Casa Battló and Casa Milà. It’s also home to Passeig de Gràcia, one of the city’s main avenues and shopping streets.
It’s not just a touristy place though — the Mercat de La Concepció market is perfect to grab a bite to eat among the locals. The neighbourhood is another great place to live for students who study at the University of Barcelona is located just across the Calle Balmes, on the left side of the widening, so you can easily walk there. The Polytechnic University is a 30-minute metro ride away from Passeig de Gràcia to Zona Universitaria on L3.
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What’s your favourite Barcelona neighbourhood? Let us know in the comments. And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the perfect student home on Uniplaces.