Short-term Apartments For Travellers
One of the biggest travel trends in recent years has been the rise in the popularity of apartments over hotels in terms of accommodation for breaks abroad. It makes a lot of sense really. Whilst there's no taking away from the glitzy feeling one gets of checking into a posh hotel for the weekend, flirting with the cute receptionist and having the bellboy carry up your inconveniently heavy luggage to your penthouse suite, there are plenty of practical advantages for choosing apartments for your stay...
The most obvious advantage is that the prices tend to be on the friendlier side - after all their operators don't have to pay huge overheads on rent, staff, electricity etc. in the same way hotels do. But people aren't switching for economical reasons alone. Having your own flat in Barcelona is a way of making yourself feel right at home, a kind of short-term resident if you will, rather than a holiday-maker.
It's this thrill that enthusiasts are addicted to - the chance to collect the keys and have their own flat for the weekend or longer, with all the amenities you might expect at home. Kitchen with fridge and cooking-facilities, bathroom with hot shower (maybe a jacuzzi - you never know!), plenty of space for stretching your legs, whilst many holiday rentals for example also come with huge satellite TVs, DVD players, iPod docks, Internet connection/WiFi - you name it! Best of all there's no surly doorstaff giving you quizzical looks when you rock up back to your accommodation at 5am in the morning having rather-too-extensively sampled the nightlife, and no cleaner waking you up at the unreasonable time of 1pm, mop and bucket in hand... apartments equal total freedom, and even if you don't get the VIP experience of luxury hotels they are a great additional option for any traveller to consider.
Above: Book a 'piso' the action in the Catalan capital!
Barcelona Apartment Rentals
Like most touristic cities, Barcelona is rife with short-term apartment rental firms and if you've decided to pluck for a 'piso' (that's 'flat' to you), then you can either browse through our listings via the search facilities on our Sleep page, or read below for a list of all the main operators. Do have a browse and compare prices and we're sure you'll find yourself the perfect home for your stay.
With 400 top class apartments situated all around the city, you're only a few clicks of the mouse away from your new pad... sadly though you will be asked to return the property at the end of your holiday.
AB Apartment Barcelona
Over 1,000 flats in locations all around the city, in sizes that range from studio to penthouse-style luxury, check out their range of options and prices before forking out for an overpriced hotel. As well as homes in every district of BCN, from Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter to the beach, they can also help you book a pad in Sitges, Girona and along the Costa Dorada.
Lucas Fox International Properties
This international property agent specialises in procuring prime real estate in Spain's most glamorous locations, but they also offer short term rentals on luxury pads, villas and masias in Barcelona, Sitges and the Costa Brava.
Our Advice on Searching for Holiday Rentals
1) Check several websites to get a feel for what is a good price... the agencies listed above are a great place to start!
2) Consider what type of holiday you want, and look for a flat in the according district. If you are searching for a beach break take a look in Poblenou, a former industrial district that now occupies prime real estate just minutes from some of Barcelona's best city beaches. For sightseeing you don't need to be right on the overcrowded Ramblas. Somewhere like El Borne or even the maligned Raval district (it's really quite nice!) might suit you better. If you're here to watch Barca play then search for somewhere near Les Corts, the home of Camp Nou. We suggest you check out our guide to all of BCN's best barrios right here for more info and ideas on where to stay.
3) Consider if you have to collect the keys yourself (usually from the rental company's office), or if someone will be there to meet you at the flat when you arrive. In both cases you're looking for reliability, and the assurance that you can check in as soon as you arrive.
4) Check the cancellation policy and other terms of conditions of the booking, such as security deposits and cleaning fees. They are not usually dealbreakers but definitely good to know the exact terms of your rental before you book.
5) Make a note of the address before you leave to catch your plane! You don't want to be struggling with your 3G internet access when you touch down at the airport. Speaking of which there's some advice on planning your trip from the airport to town on this page.
So there you go, it's plane sailing really. Although if you have any more tips or advice do please share them in the comments section below. Meanwhile, for an even more comprehensive list of accommodation options, head to our Sleep page where we review a full range of hotels, hostels, guest houses and all that funky pillow talk, or check out the public reviews. Otherwise you'll find plenty more handy tips and information by browsing through our site.
Hi Natalie, only just saw your comment. There is no district without residential neighbours and I'd thoroughly recommend that you do not party in your apartment. Barcelona flats have thin walls and ceilings and it's very inconsiderate for the neighbours. After 11pm (if I am correct) you can also be fined for making too much noise, plus your flat owners may fine you if there is any damage. Meanwhile there are literally thousands of great bars and clubs. Check our pubs and clubs listings on the left of this page or our feature article on nightlife. Pasalo bien!
reviewed by Editor from Spain on May.19.2016
Hi Kenneth, just saw your comment. I would say for Gaudi a good place to be is just off the Passeig de Gracia, on the right side of the massive Eixample district. Here you will be located near to Casa Milo and Casa Batllo, and also within walking distance to La Sagrada Familia. You can also take the metro just a few stops to Park Guell.
reviewed by Editor from Spain on Feb.27.2015
Which is the best district to stay in if you want admire the works of Antoni Gaudi? We are arriving in April.
reviewed by Kenneth from Canada on Jan.15.2015
airbnb are good but i prefer the professional standards of registered companies. You don't want to be sitting out in the rain waiting for someone to get back from work with the keys. Once bitten!
reviewed by Matt from United Kingdom on Sep.18.2013
there's certainly plenty to choose from although from experience I'd still say it's best to book early as they quickly fill up from april to october and so do hotel rooms and hostels
reviewed by Liam from Ireland on Jun.10.2011
We knew this apartment company, and they are brilliant with a very nice website. Take a look and see our review.
"Thank you for your e-mail and thank you for everything you did to make our stay in Barcelona a most enjoyable one and trouble free. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and will definitely use your services again when we come to Barcelona.
Have a great weekend!"
reviewed by NACHO from United States on Mar.01.2011
Hi there ! Just came back from Barcelona where I go very often for work and also beacuase my sister lives there. This time I didn't want to go to an Hotel and so I booked an apartment. I was a bit scheptical at the beginning, but it was a great choice. I rented a Property with a terrific view on the harbour, in Barceloneta district, through pillow apartments. The apartment was new, with a huge window on the marina, clean and comfotable. Bed and linens were of excellent qaulity. Surely reccomended, will be back and will yuse this agency form now on.
reviewed by Carlo from United Kingdom on Feb.23.2011
Much better being in a apartment rather than a hotel.
reviewed by Hudson from United States on Feb.07.2011
Personally I can't understand why someone would stay in a hotel. Thanks for the recommendations.
reviewed by Marcin from Poland on Sep.29.2010
Thanks for the information and tips. Can't wait for my holiday. I'm staying in El Born because I heard its one of the nicest areas in town
reviewed by Ellie from Cambodia on Sep.21.2010
I always stay in apartments whenever I visit Barcelona. The advantages over hotels are numerous. No messing around at reception, noisy guests, formal atmosphere. Just home away from home. They are generally much cheaper than all but the most cheap hotels.
reviewed by Samir from United States on Aug.05.2010