Barcelona accommodation check list

Barcelona apartment search tips

Useful tips and things to consider when looking for apartments or rooms in Barcelona. From noise to traffic to location to shower pressure - there are many things to check. Click here to find websites where you can find long term rental accommodation in Barcelona.

A good nights sleep is important for health. Check the bedroom location. Many residents of Barcelona prefer an interior bedroom. An interior bedroom means that room windows open out to an inner courtyard or an air shaft. This limits noise and might also be cooler in summer and warmer in winter. This is a big benefit in older flats without modern heating or air-conditioning. An exterior bedroom with sunlight coming in from main roads like Gran Via or Av Diagonal might seem lovely, but it could be hott and noisy in the summer.

Check if there is heavy rush hour traffic outside your windows. Try to avoid bedrooms that face main artery roads. Lorries and scooters can be very noisy! Also check for night bus stops and traffic lights close to your bedroom. A traffic light could mean trucks, buses and scooters will be braking and accelerating all night.

Noise from collection of trash containers 
Some of the city cleaning trucks empty the rubbish containers in the early hours of the morning and the hydraulics would wake the dead. Our advice is to check if there are any garbage containers close to your bedroom and perhaps ask neighbours what time they are emptied. You might also want to make sure you are not next to a fire station.

Noisy neighbours
Difficult to avoid. Most Spanish apartments have supporting columns, not supporting walls. The means the walls are thin and you will probably be hearing from your neighbours whether you like it or not.

Noise from schools nearby
Having a school as a neighbour can be noisy during the day - and in the morning and afternoon there might be many cars outside when children are dropped off and picked up.

Central heating
All new flats in Barcelona have good gas or induction heating and many have air-conditioning. Many older flats have neither and are not well insulated either, so you might turning blue in the months from December to May. A good tip is too look outside on the balconies of an old apartment block. If they are many orange gas tanks then the chances are that the flat might be very cold! Try to find flats with sunlight in the morning or afternoon that can help heat you the rooms. Gas heaters are very effective, but be very careful of old gas heaters, which can leak. Don't leave gas heaters turned on for long periods without suitable ventilation.

Noise and smells from shops below
If there are empty shops directly below your apartment, then think twice. A month after you move in, the empty shop below you might be a fish shop, or a bar! If it is a very big empty shop, then the chances are also good that it might become a restaurant or a supermarket. Even if there already are small shops or bars, you might want pay the location a visit at the weekend in the evening to see what the noise levels are then. This is important in the gothic areas of Barcelona and Gracia, where streets are narrow and sound echoes along them. It can easily sound as if 20 drunken party-goers are drinking songs at the foot of your bed!

Unsafe areas of Barcelona
Use your common sense. Almost all areas of Barcelona are extremely safe by international standards, but there are exceptions. Parts of the Raval can be a bit dodgy in the early hours of the morning. Go with your initial gut feeling and if you are in doubt, go back at night with a friend to see if the neighbourhood feels threatening. 

Attic apartments
Attics are fantastic, especially if you have a view of the gentle slopes behind Barcelona, which have amazing sunsets. But attic flats can be very hot in the summer. New residents coming from cooler climates will picture themselves sitting on a roof terrace sipping martinis and reading an epic novel but the reality often is that it's often too hot.

Transport links
Check to see if there are metros or buses and night buses near you. Visit our Barcelona transport guide for information about buses and metros in Barcelona.

Water and shower pressure
Check the water pressure before you sign the contract. A modern bathroom is not as wonderful without good water pressure

White goods
Check condition of the white goods like fridge, dishwasher, dryer and washing machine. Your contract might state that you will have to replace anything that breaks down, so make sure it is working well, before you move in.

Electrical wiring
Does it look safe?

Hidden costs
Ask if possible to see old heating and electrical bills. Electrical heating in the winter can be very expensive.

Cable and Satellite TV
Ask about cable TV, satellite dishes etc.

Fibre optical cables for WiFi, Internet, 3G, 4G
Ask or check if the building is or will be cabled for high speed fibre optical internet connections. You can check this online too. Check the signal strengh of mobile phone connection inside and outside the building, in case you need to use your mobile phone as a hotspot for work.

Accommodation scams and frauds
Don't be fooled. The main rule to remember is "If it's too good to be true, then it's too good to be true." Most people get fooled in apartment scams because they are too eager to hand over cash to be sure of getting a amazing deal. If it sounds amazing it might not be true, so be extra careful and don't be blinded by the thought of a great deal! Read our article about Barcelona apartments scams

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Last Updated on Friday, 29 January 2021 09:44