May 21, 2024
5 min read

The Best Neighborhoods to Visit in Barcelona

Bienvenido! Or, Benvingut, to Barcelona, a city home to both Spanish and Catalan culture. Barcelona is home to world-renowned architecture, tapas, nightclubs, shopping, and so much more. There's a lot of information out there, so we've pulled together everything you need to know about Barcelona's best neighborhoods from the travel mavens we all know and trust.
An ornately designed and constructed building in the Eixample neighborhood of Barcelona. With crown details and balconies, the building glows at sunset with trees peaking out from below.


This is an upscale and hip gayborhood with great shopping and nightlife, and near landmarks.
"[Eixample] is 2020’s coolest neighbourhood in the world. The Spanish neighbourhood achieved the coveted first spot based on its tight-knit community, great local businesses and LGBTQ+-friendly culture." -
Time Out
"Broad boulevards, courtyards, ample trees, and excellent shopping and dining options make Eixample a wonderful home base when visiting BCN. You'll find Gaudí's classics like Casa Battló, Casa Milà, and the Sagrada Familia in this neighborhood, alongside other great works of both traditional and modern architecture." -
Travel + Leisure
Person biking along a street in El Born neighborhood in Barcelona, while people dine outside underneath red umbrellas.

El Born

El Born is a hip, upscale area known for its shopping, food, nightlife, and proximity to landmarks.
"The most uptown area of downtown, the Born is a curious blend of the ecclesiastical, the elegant and the edgy, and now commands some of the highest property prices in the city. Label-happy coolhunters throng the primped pedestrian streets, where museums, restored 13th-century mansions and churches alternate with cafés, galleries and boutiques." -
Time Out
"Its maze of cobblestone alleys not only wind past ancient churches, apartment buildings, and pretty squares, but also stylish boutiques…and Michelin-starred restaurants...Tucked in one of those alleyways in a row of conjoined townhouses you’ll find the Museu Picasso, which showcases the artist’s work during his early and final years." -
"Like the neighboring Gothic Quarter, El Born is known for the narrow, meandering medieval streets, but it's slightly less busy. Here, travelers will discover especially good shopping (think stylish boutiques), artsy vibes, wonderful restaurants and bars, and close proximity to the beach." -
Travel + Leisure
A blue and ornate Gaudi-designed building with bubble-like balconies on Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona, Spain. The street is lined with trees, and the Gaudi masterpiece, the exterior covered in a material and texture that mimics fish scales, stands out among the other buildings.


Gràcia is a hip residential area loved by locals for its upbeat charm and proximity to Barcelona's landmarks.
"Vila de Gràcia is the epitome of authentic, leisurely life in Barcelona. The neighborhood is a bit quieter than its more centrally-located counterparts, and you'll find it's chock full of beautiful plaças, atmospheric restaurants and bars, eclectic galleries, and independent boutiques. You can easily spend all day in this uncrowded, village-like neighborhood." -
Travel + Leisure
"Gràcia also boasts the magnificent and quirky Park Güell. Originally designed by Gaudí for Count Eusebi Güell, the sprawling park features his trademark mosaic tiles and modernist sculpture everywhere." -
"Gràcia is a quiet district without many tourists. It’s a great place to live like the locals. It offers galleries with incredible works by local artists." -
People walking along a tree-lined portion of a pedestrian-only street in the Las Ramblas neighborhood of Barcelona, Spain.

La Rambla

La Rambla has great shopping and is near landmarks.
"La Rambla is the heart of Barcelona—it’s lively and exciting. Shop like the locals at Mercado de La Boqueria. Take a walking tour down La Rambla to get a feel for its significance. No stay in La Rambla would be complete without going to an opera at the Gran Teatre del Liceu." -
"This is the city’s most famous boulevard, full of fantastic restaurants, shops and theatres, and it’s well worth a visit. Its history is also fascinating; its various sections were named after saints…Flower-sellers have been adding a splash of colour to La Rambla for centuries…" -
Time Out
Between two stone buildings, a gothic and medieval bridge passageway connects the two. There are window openings to look down at the alley below. Taken in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, Spain.

Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter)

The Gothic Quarter has great food and shopping and is near central landmarks.
"The Gothic Quarter is an old medieval center with a plethora of historical landmarks. Walk around to get a sense of its incredible architecture, which has lasted through centuries. Explore the Roman walls, and visit the Roman Temple of Augustus." -
"…a stroll through the medieval alleyways and lovely squares of the Gothic Quarter is the best possible introduction to Barcelona and the starting point for most visitors upon arrival in Barcelona. The Barri Gòtic is busy by day with local businesses and shops buzzing, and at night it is slightly quieter." -
Time Out
The W Hotel Barcelona, shaped like a wing, protrudes from the landscape and the sandy beach in the foreground.

La Barceloneta

La Barceloneta is near landmarks and has a great nightlife scene.
"Beach lovers adore La Barceloneta, which is close to Sant Sebastià Beach. Stop by Casino Barcelona to try your luck at the slot machines, grab dinner or see a show. Take a stroll in Barceloneta Park. Dedicate an afternoon or full day to a popular museum in the area, the Institute of Marine Sciences." -
" energetic and historic beachside neighborhood that offers more than a touristy stretch of sand if you know what to look for. Come for the seafood (ahem, paella) and stay for the hopping bar scene." -
Travel + Leisure
The rooftop pool of the InterContinental Barcelona, an IHG Hotel with beach chairs and sun umbrellas.  Taken in the Poble Sec neighborhood, the hilly area provides panoramic views across the Barcelona skyline and mountains beyond.

Poble Sec

Poble Sec is a residential area in Barcelona with tons of restaurants, bars, and shops primarily frequented by locals.
"Hundreds of years ago, Poble Sec was an orchard outside the city walls. Then, in the 1920s, it became a theater district, known for its cabarets and nightlife. Now, Poble Sec is a place where the old Barcelona meets new, where immigrants settle and locals eat inexpensive tapas on Thursday nights" -
Washington Post
"Abutting the towering Montjuïc hill, this district’s steep, sloping streets teem with lively, locally owned bars and restaurants — and blessedly few tourists… The manicured gardens with their fountains and statues have a royal elegance, especially with the backdrop of the Palacio Albéniz." -
New York Magazine
" of the most lively neighborhoods in Barcelona, adored by locals and thus slightly less touristy. Boasting dozens of small bars, restaurants, and boutiques, this upbeat area has wonderful dancing and theater options, too." -
Travel + Leisure
Looking up at the Edificio MediaTIC office building, which is made of glass panels and designed in a geometric angular shape. Other tall, modern office buildings are captured in the image of the Poblenou neighborhood in Barcelona, Spain.


Poblenou is a hip residential area popular with locals for its proximity to businesses, amazing food, and city landmarks.
"Modern, avant-garde El Poblenou borders Sant Andreu and the Mediterranean Sea. It’s home to The Design Museum, and from there, you can take a tour of Poblenou Cemetery." -
"Poblenou was the centre of Barcelona’s industrial revolution…[now] you come across digital marketing agencies, spectacular co-working spaces, innovative speciality coffee shops and art galleries, all set in massive industrial buildings.…This is Poblenou, a Barcelona neighbourhood that’s managed to escape gentrification so far." -
Time Out
A large metal statue of a cat is positioned in the middle of a city square. Behind the cat, trees and other greenery fill in the square in the El Raval neighborhood of Barcelona.

El Raval

El Raval is a hip area near landmarks and with a great food and nightlife scene.
"El Raval is the most vibrant of Barcelona’s neighborhoods, and it's where everything is happening. Part of the Old City…this neighborhood is home to... Mercat de la Boqueria, the busiest local market..If you fancy a more local party vibe than in Barceloneta, check out the great nightlife here." -
Lonely Planet
"...this older residential neighborhood has undergone a small renaissance. Much of this is due to the influence of the Richard Meier–designed Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), which has spurred an influx of studios, galleries, outdoor cafés, bookstores, and one-of-a-kind boutiques." -
"...Barcelona's most multicultural neighbourhood. You can see it as soon as you get there, with Indian- and Pakistani-run markets living alongside shops that have been around since the Roman Empire and restaurants, bars and other venues that are much more modern and doing a hopping business." -
Time Out
A street view image of the historical Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau, a former hospital and now historical building in the Sant Antoni neighborhood in Barcelona, Spain. The building is a UNESCO world heritage site, and is an architectural masterpiece in the modernist design principles.

Sant Antoni

Sant Antoni is a hip residential area frequented by locals for its food scene.
"Here, contemporary tapas bars sit next to classic ones, and you can eat at any time of the day: from breakfast or Sunday brunch to aperitifs that last until late in the evenings." -
Conde Nast Traveler
"The neighbourhood is centered on the Sant Antoni Market, a covered food and book market that opened in 2018. Because of this, the neighbourhood has attracted cool bars and restaurants – great places to eat in Barcelona, which range from trendy doughnut shops – the kind you might expect to find in New York – to craft beer bars" -
Culture Trip
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