The district of Sant Martí is a large residential district made out of several different neighbourhoods with a mix of Catalonian locals and people from all over the world. The most popular areas for student accommodation are El Poblenou, El Clot and Marina due to their location and amenities. These areas are close to the beach, quite a few universities, shopping malls, and numerous bars and night clubs. It is a great district with lots of open spaces. I strongly recommend it for active people who like to go running along the coast or cycle to class.
Sant Martí: Let’s go out!
After an afternoon of shopping on Diagonal Mar or Glòries, the biggest shopping malls in Sant Martí, it’s time to freshen up and get ready to party! This area is very popular amongst students who want to grab a drink and then hit the beach clubs at Vila Olímpica (Danzatoria, Pacha Barcelona, Shôko, Opium and The W Hotel). At some point you have to share a bucket of Sangria at a huge bar called L’Ovella Negra and end the night at RazzMattazz (Carrer de Pamplona, 88). RazzMattazz is a large and popular club with different rooms that play different genres of music. The best nights to go are Saturdays and Wednesdays.
22@: The technological district
Although a big part of the district is made out of concrete blocks, this area is known for constantly improving itself. Something new is always under construction. Over the last twelve years, they have been turning underused spaces and old factories into innovative buildings and creative high-rises. This new technological area is known as 22@. Its centre would be Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes and the most famous buildings can be found around this square, namely Torre Agbar (a.k.a. the suppository) and the Museum of Design.
Getting around Sant Martí
This district is close enough to the city centre and the famous neighbourhood of El Born to be able to walk there, but it is also very well-connected by public transport. The red (L1) and the purple (L2) metro lines run though the district and can get you to Passeig de Gràcia and Plaça Catalunya in just 10 to 15 minutes. The yellow metro line (L4) also has several stops in this area and can take you to the beach clubs and Barceloneta beach in just a few minutes. You can also navigate by Tram (lines T4, T5 and T6) and by bus, in case you don’t like being underground. Sant Martí is about an hour away from the airport by public transportation.
Living in Sant Martí is quite affordable. A single bedroom in a shared apartment goes for around 350€ on Uniplaces, whereas a double bedroom can be found for around 400€ per month.
Fact sheet: Sant Martí
One place to eat: Dos Cielos. This might not be the inexpensive restaurant you are used to, but the breath-taking views and the extraordinary food are worth the visit. It is an open kitchen, so you can watch them cook your food. This is the place I would take my parents if they paid me a visit while I was abroad.
Address: Carrer Pere IV, 272 – 286
One place to drink: Sonora. If you miss American food or like huge portions of food, you should definitely check out this rustic bar! It is very close to RazzMattazz and L’Ovella Negra, which is why most people start their nights here. It is inexpensive and has a great atmosphere, especially on Wednesdays!
Address: Carrer de Pamplona, 96
One place to study: Biblioteca El Clot – Josep Benet. The newly-built Museum of Design hosts this modern and original library. It is right next to the metro stop Glòries, so it is easy to access from anywhere in the district. It is a public library with all essential materials and free Wi-Fi.
Address: Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, 37
One place to see: The Encants Market (El Mercat dels Encants). It is a free market under a mirror-like roof. There are about 500 traders who sell unusual or hard-to-find products, new products, old products and street food. You should pay them a visit! Besides, the entrance is free!
Address: Av. Meridiana, 69
One thing to do: Parc del centre de Poblenou (Park of the centre of Poblenou). This park is proof of the greatness of the architect Jean Nouvel. It combines different spaces into one beautiful park, especially during Spring and Summer, when all the flowers have blossomed.
Address: Avinguda Diagonal, 130
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