Why Live in Barcelona
Why Buy in Barcelona – An Easy Question to Answer
In the course of working in International Property, we are often asked the same question: Why buy in Barcelona? Although tempted to answer, Why not? we do actually feel the answer to the question is easy, if not simple.
In contrast with Barcelona’s urban image, the vast majority of the city is blessed with a large number of trees, shrubbery and parks. The main city centre of Eixample Izquierdo and Eixample Derecho has long lines of trees planted every few metres. Apart from some small parks and squares, also dominated by trees, is the small park of Turo Park which, so close to Diagonal, marks the beginning of the prestigious Zona Alta. At almost the other end of the city, we have the much larger Ciutadella Park, with its lake, rowing boats for hire and wide-open spaces. Of course one of the most famous parks in Barcelona is Park Güel, designed by famous Barcelona architect Antonio Gaudi himself.
These trees, parks and gardens give a sense of greenery in Barcelona, even when we are in the heart of the city. A final touch to alleviate the sense of urban enclosure is the abundant number of fountains.
Before we address why you should buy in Barcelona and make this fascinating city your new home, let’s understand a little about the way this wonderfully compact and comfortable city is laid out.
The different areas of Barcelona are quite clearly defined. Sometimes dubbed The Ten Barcelonas. We can start, as many people should do, at the top.
Zona Alta, or “High Zone” is truly the uptown part of Barcelona. Comprising the neighbourhoods of Les Corts and Sarria-Sant Gervasi, the Zona Alta has been and continues to be the favourite area of natives of Barcelona to move to and live. Leafy neighbourhoods and more generously proportioned properties, not to mention the mansions of Pedralbes, characterise the Zona Alta. For sure the demographics of the Zona Alta are older denizens of Barcelona and the lifelong families from the area.
The wonderful area of Eixample, which means “Extension” due to it being an addition to the city which joined the old part of the city, known as Ciutat Vella, with what were the then outlying towns of Sants, Gràcia and Sarría-Sant Gervasi.
The Eixample is a shining example of excellent, forward-thinking town planning. Wide avenues spread in a grid system with the streets widening, or “chamfering” at every intersection. This means there are no straight corners on the blocks, just flattened edges providing clear visibility and light. The Eixample district was built in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Any visitor to Barcelona can not fail to see that the Eixample district enjoyed some of the most impressive modernist architecture, with perhaps Antonio Gaudi being the most famous. Buildings designed by Antonio Gaudi in the Eixample district are Casa Milà, also called La Pedrera, Casa Batlló, as well as the world-renowned Basilica of La Sagrada Família.
Casa Mila and Casa Batlló are both on the commercial street called Passeig de Gracia. This wide avenue is not only where the world’s best brands are to be found, but it also bisects the Eixample district into two – simply known as Eixample Izquierdo, or Left Eixample, and Eixample Derecho, or the right hand Eixample.