Barcelona Apartments are Not Created Equal
A Rough Guide to Why Barcelona Apartments are Not All The Same
Many customers ask us to find send them a good selection of Barcelona apartments. Yet, like in many cities, the different suburbs and areas of Barcelona mean that it is not enough to say you want an apartment in Barcelona. Barcelona apartments are truly not created equal.
Like most cities, Barcelona is divided into very clearly defined areas.
Zona Alta, or High Area, is an upscale, very residential area. It is physically higher and located to the north of the city (more precisely north-northeast, which is the direction the city and its street grid system is oriented). and downtown means south (south-southwest). This usage differs from that of most American cities, where downtown refers to the central business district. Barcelona has two central districts, the Eixample Izquierdo and Eixample Derecho. The term “Eixample” means a wider area and comes from the rebuilding of the whole area. 72nd Street and downtown to the southern portion below 14th Street, with Midtown covering the area in between, though definitions can be rather fluid depending on the situation.
Barcelona Apartments – Above or Below Avenida Diagonal
In Washington DC they speak of inside the beltway and outside the beltway. The “Beltway” is the orbital shuttle around the city. In newspapers we speak of “above the fold” and “Below the fold” and in Barcelona, we speak of the “Zona Alta” or upper area and the centre of the city – the dividing line here is Avenida Diagonal or Avinguda Diagonal in Catalan.
Bisecting the city in a line from the sea to the outskirts of Barcelona to the north-west is Avenida de Diagonal. No prizes for guessing why it was called Diagonal. Seen from the air, as in our photo, Diagonal is clearly visible as a perfectly straight line rising up from the sea to the Zona Alta. Zoa Alta, which comprises the wealthy Pedralbes areas and Sarría Sant Gervasi, is a leafy residential neighbourhood with not only apartments but also townhouses, villas and even mansions. Home to the wealthy Barcelone’s families for decades, an apartment here is certainly different to the apartments in the older parts of the city.
From generously proportioned apartments in Turo Park to the modern red brick buildings higher up you can see vast differences between the carefully budgeted multi-room apartments in the Gothic Quarter or the high ceilinged apartments of Eixample.
An analysis of Barcelona apartments from the more central and impressive Eixample area gives you impressively large apartments with ceilings sometimes in excess of 4 metres. Floor to Ceiling windows with wooden shutters predominate the apartments in these areas and, quite frankly, while pleasing to the eye, are often the devil to operate and hard to clean and maintain. Yet these apartments, while being the quintessential Barcelona apartment, are so different to apartments in Diagonal Mar.
Barcelona Apartments – Liking the Old, Loving the New
This tremendous contrast between the wonderful high ceilings and modernist design of the old is as much Barcelona nowadays as the clean, minimalist lines of the new. In few cities do we find such amazing contrasts coexisting in such a small area?
One of the most attractive traits in Barcelona real estate is, of course, its supply of modernist buildings. However many of these buildings while gorgeous on the outside can be tired and outdated inside. A good proposition is to find an older, more “senior” apartment and have it refurbished. This works well for most people and their budgets. It’s not as expensive as you would think to refurbish a property in Spain.
The best options for the buyer and the investor is with the companies that take whole buildings to renovate and sell. At Urbane Barcelona, we maintain a complete portfolio of new build properties in Barcelona. Browse through them or call us for a chat.
However, some of the newer developments in Barcelona have adopted modern architecture with clean, straight lines and minimalist styles. Properties for sale in the Diagonal Mar area these properties have become very popular indeed.
Whatever your reasons for looking for apartments to buy in Barcelona we are sure we can be of assistance.