Nowadays Barcelona is arguably one of the world’s most desirable cities in which to live, work and buy a home. It consistently tops quality of life polls, thanks to the city’s outdoor lifestyle, rich cultural heritage, burgeoning gastronomic scene and mesmerising Modernista architecture.
Barcelona is fast becoming a luxury destination, hot on the heels of its European counterparts, such as Paris, London and Rome. The city boasts a wealth of upmarket services and amenities including some of the world’s best hospitals, leading international schools, designer fashion brands (think Loewe, Chanel, Valentino), high tech gyms, luxury spas and award-winning gastronomy (more than 20 Michelin-starred restaurants). Barcelona is well communicated with the rest of Spain via the AVE fast speed train service and an increasing number of direct flights from Asia has brought in new tourists with high spending power.
Barcelona will become the first European city to be home to the branded Mandarin Residences, located at the intersection of Passeig de Gràcia and Avinguda Diagonal, due to complete in 2020. Soho House opened its doors in October 2016 in the Catalan capital, reflecting the growing numbers of international residents and the eye-catching yachts of the world’s super rich are regularly seen moored at the city’s revamped Superyacht Marina, OneOcean Port Vell.
Barcelona is, not surprisingly, gaining a reputation as a vibrant hub for FinTech industries. Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook all have a presence in the city, not to mention the likes of WeWork, Nestlé, Visa and Cisco, bringing with it a plethora of international talent.
Barcelona hosts numerous high profile conferences and congresses annually, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors whilst its two major music festivals Sónar and Primavera Sound grow in popularity year-on-year.
Prime property in Barcelona is highly sought after, particularly in districts such as Eixample, Sarrià-Sant-Gervasi, which includes Turó Park and La Bonanova, Pedralbes and Diagonal Mar.
The central Eixample district of Barcelona is the most sought-after district among international buyers. It is also probably the city’s most recognisable neighbourhood thanks to its Modernista architecture including some buildings designed by Gaudí.
The area around Passeig de Gràcia boasts some of the city’s top restaurants as well as chic boutiques and designer shops. Classic Eixample penthouses have high ceilings, large windows and ornate features such as mosaic floors. In recent years developers have converted a number of period buildings with Modernista façades and created new homes with ultra-contemporary interiors. Some of these buildings also have first-class amenities including concierge, swimming pools and gymnasiums.
Barcelona airport can be accessed easily from Eixample in around 20 minutes and international schools are nearby, making it ideal for foreign buyers looking for a central base in the city.
Turó Park – Zona Alta
Turó Park, bordering the Galvany neighbourhood, is a prestigious and exclusive residential area. Homes surround one of the city’s most iconic green spaces: Turó Park. Apartments and penthouses tend to be spacious with good distribution and plenty of natural light. Some of the most sought-after homes have views of the park.
The area is renowned for its safety, privacy and security. Its close proximity to Plaça de Francesc Macià and Avinguda Diagonal make it an extremely popular choice for those looking to be close to the centre in an exclusive, tranquil residential area. The airport is just a 15-minute drive away and the AVE station at Sants, which takes you to Madrid in two and a half hours, is just a 10-minute drive away.
As with other areas in the Zona Alta, Turó Park is close to many of Barcelona’s leading restaurants, designer shops and top local and international schools. Properties here command some of the highest prices in the city, but tend not to fall due to the area’s ongoing desirability.
La Bonanova – Zona Alta
Spreading from Plaça de la Bonanova at the top of Carrer de Muntaner, along the leafy Passeig de Bonanova to Sarrià, and down to Tres Torres, La Bonanova is considered by many to be the heart of the Zona Alta.
Apartments in La Bonanova are large compared to the city average and often have terraces and balconies. Many of the apartment blocks have communal areas with gardens and outdoor swimming pools, parking and security.
It is also possible to find detached houses with gardens in La Bonanova. Many of the traditional Modernista houses have been conserved and renovated. There are also a number of modern homes that benefit from having been recently constructed.
Renowned for its decorative Modernista façades and classic, wide, tree-lined avenues, La Bonanova is primarily a residential area. There are many excellent restaurants, bars and boutiques scattered throughout the neighbourhood, with several on and around the popular Carrer de Mandri. There are a large number of reputable local and international schools in the area and nearby, which means that it is a popular choice for families.
Pedralbes – Zona Alta
Pedralbes properties – especially on the exclusive Avinguda de Pedralbes and Avinguda de Pearson – command some of the highest prices in real estate in Barcelona.
Pedralbes is one of the few districts in Barcelona where you can buy large, detached, luxury houses with gardens and swimming pools. The majority of Pedralbes’ homes are spread over the gentle slopes of the Collserola mountain range, often boasting some of Barcelona’s most breathtaking views.
Pedralbes properties tend to be large high quality, luxury constructions with a large amount of living space and private gardens, swimming pools and garages. It is also possible to find older houses, many of which have spacious plots of land and may require modernisation.
All the above Zona Alta districts are within close proximity to the city’s international and English-speaking schools, including St Paul’s School, St Peter’s School and Kensington School, make the area extremely popular area among international families looking to relocate to Barcelona. The Real Club de Polo and Real Club de Tenis are located nearby, adding to the exclusivity of the neighbourhood. The airport and city centre are both around 15 minutes by car.
Diagonal Mar is located where the city’s main artery, Avinguda Diagonal, meets the Mediterranean.
The area is home to the luxury residential developments of Illa del Llac, Illa del Bosc, Illa del Llum and Illa del Mar, all of which offer exceptional private communal facilities, including large swimming pools, landscaped gardens, gymnasiums, 24-hour security and generous underground parking.
The apartments generally have a very modern layout, with floor-to-ceiling windows, large private terraces and spectacular views over Barcelona and the Mediterranean. The huge advantage is that the beach is just a few hundred yards away giving this area the feel of an ‘urban resort’.
Passeig de Gràcia can be reached in just 10 minutes by car, tram, bus or metro. Diagonal Shopping Centre is at its heart with its plethora of shops, restaurants and cinemas. By road there is excellent access to the Ronda Litoral, which takes you to the airport in 20 minutes and the highly respected Hamelin International School in Maresme in 15 minutes. You can also be on the slopes of the Pyrenees or the beautiful beaches of the Costa Brava in around an hour and a half.