Area Guide

Barcelona and surroundings

Capital of cool by the Mediterranean

Barcelona is the city that everybody dreams of visiting. You can live that dream every day if you find your perfect property for sale in Barcelona! Barcelona is a very special city on Earth, one that never leaves the spirit of its visitors untouched. It is at the same time a sleek business hub and a source of tradition, a stylish centre of fashion and design as well as an industrial powerhouse, a vibrant city that never sleeps and a repository of history. The city that during the long years of the Spanish dictatorship was just a dull and Mediterranean follow up act to Madrid has managed to get a complete image makeover during its 1992 Summer Olympics. Since then, the whole world has recognized its bold modernist architecture -which you can find all around the city-, its ability to produce an outstanding cuisine with some of the world’s best chefs and the overall joie de vivre that you can feel during an afternoon stroll through the Ramblas. Ask anybody: Barcelona is the cool city to live by the Mediterranean. Plenty of international visitors believe this and, thereby, have chosen Barcelona as the ideal place to build their home away from home. Nowadays, there are over 80,000 EU residents in Barcelona, with the largest communities arriving from Italy, France, Germany and the UK. All of them have found very solid reasons to buy a house in Barcelona. Which one will be yours?

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The city loved by Guadí

If there is one person whose name will be forever tied to that of Barcelona and who has left a permanent imprint on the city’s image, that would be Antoni Gaudí. Gaudí is one of the stellar architects of the Modernist movement, which was at its climax at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th. His style is distinguished by the use o curved shapes and by a permanent inspiration in nature and has never ceased to be a source of admiration. Barcelona holds some of Gaudi’s most renowned works, which have some of the main touristic attractions of the city, luring in each year several millions of visitors from around the world. Undoubtedly, his best known work is La Sagrada Familia, a cathedral with a futuristic feel, as well as slender and elegant towers, which has become the city’s landmark and also a Unesco World Heritage site. This monumental building is famous for having been in construction for over a century, setting a perfect example for Spain’s “mañana, mañana” reputation. If you are impressed by the Sagrada Familia, which you will very likely be, you should also hunt for Gaudi’s works all around the city. Among these, we recommend that you take an afternoon walk in the out of this world Parc Güell, or pay a visit to Casa Milá (La Pedrera).

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And old town full of history

Although it is not uncommon for Europe’s medieval cities to showcase some well preserved historical remains, nowhere but in Barcelona’s old town, called Barrio Gótico, will you have the feeling that you have travelled back in time. Indeed, were it not for the occasional souvenir shop managed by a Chinese owner who sells plastic bulls and flamenco dresses made in Vietnam, a walk along the narrow and cobbled streets of the Barrio Gótico and a visit to its churches (such as Barcelona’s Cathedral or the Basílica de Santa María del Pi) will make you think that you are in back in the 14th century. The Gothic Quarter is a part of the city which none of the incoming tourist wishes to miss. In the past, this has also been the preferred area to stay by incoming tourists choosing touristic rental apartments as a means of accommodation. The complete lack of regulation in years past for this kind of rentals resulted in a massive and uncontrolled arrival of party-hungry young tourists that often caused disturbances and provoked many protests from the native residents. Nowadays the situation has completely changed, since the Town Hall has set much stricter controls for touristic rentals of apartments and townhouses. These controls differ depending on the city area, but for the Gothic Quarter and all of the old city and adjacent areas, no new touristic rental licenses are being issued. This means that for the expat who decides to buy a home in Barcelona’s old town, touristic rentals could only be a future means of income if the property already has a license (which is transferrable) when he acquires it.

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Leisure and sport activities to fill every day

If you decide to look for a property for sale in Barcelona and settle here, you can be sure that you will never run out of things to do and see. For starters, Catalan cuisine is one of the finest in Spain, and Barcelona is one of Europe’s cities most recognized for the quality of its restaurants and chefs. If you can splurge, you are in luck, since Barcelona has none other than over thirty restaurants with Michelin stars. Of these, ABaC and Lasarte, are considered to be the best, with three stars each. Those of us with some monetary constraints for eating pleasures can also enjoy superb tapas routes in a city with hundreds of little eateries that display an incredible amount of imagination for tapas creation. Or you could always try Catalonia’s own version of pizza, the ubiquitous “coca”. For the art lover, the city where Gaudí lived has much to offer, including a decent modern art museum or two galleries exclusively dedicated to the works of Picasso and Miró. And if your preferences are more athletic, you are in for a treat since FC Barcelona is considered to be one of the best soccer teams in the world. Its historical rivalry with the capital’s Real Madrid means passion for soccer in this city is driven to a new level. But since Barcelona enjoys all year-round mild temperatures between 10ºC in winter and 30ºC in summer, you will often feel like dedicating your leisure time to outdoor activities. For this, nothing better than a perfect day at the beach. You do not need to go far, since Barcelona’s urban beaches of la Barceloneta, Sant Miquel or Sant Sebastiá are perfectly equipped. And if you feel want to expand your beach offer, drive a little south and see what the wonderful town of Sitges has to offer. But if you would like to do have perfect sport field trip from Barcelona, you will find the best hiking environments around the mountains in nearby Montjuic or Monserrat.

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Overall, if you found the perfect property for sale in Barcelona, you will have the privilege to be a resident of one of the most cosmopolitan and refined cities in Europe, which every year attracts millions of tourists who want to experience first hand Barcelona’s magnetic personality. As expected, the city has excellent communications through its international airport (second largest in Spain after Madrid) and the AVE high speed railway that is connected to Madrid and the French TGV network. All of this also presents an opportunity to make a return on your investment through short term touristic rentals, although you should be aware that since 2017 these licenses can be heavily restricted depending on the area where the property is located. However, if you want to use your newly acquired property in Barcelona purely as a first or second residence, the city will offer everything that you need to carry out a plentiful life by the Mediterranean. You can also rest assured that you will be the envy of your relatives and friends, for whom you should prepare a guest room ready.

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