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Navigating the Barcelona Flat Hunt: Tips from a Fellow Student

Navigating the Barcelona Flat Hunt: Tips from a Fellow Student

Sara MiguélezAugust 23, 2023

Hey there!

I remember when I first landed in Barcelona. Between tasting tapas, learning some Spanish basics (hola, gracias, and where's the beach?), there was one overwhelming mission: finding a flat. If you're reading this, you're probably in the same boat, but fear not! I’ve got your back. Here's the lowdown on the flat hunt in Barcelona.

Online Listings: Your Best Friend

  • Idealista and Fotocasa: These are the go-to websites. They’re packed with listings, and you can set up alerts for when new flats match your criteria.
  • Badi: More like the Tinder for roommates. It's brilliant if you're looking to share a flat.
  • Facebook Groups: There are tons of groups for flat hunting. I found my current flat through one of these groups, so it's worth a shot.
  • Spotahome: This is a great option if you're looking for a short-term rental. They have a wide range of listings, and you can book everything online.
  • Airbnb: Another option for short-term rentals. It's a bit more expensive, but you can find some great places.
  • Hostels: If you're looking for a short-term rental, hostels are a great option. You can find some great deals, and you'll meet tons of people.
  • Tip: Photos can be deceiving, so always arrange a visit before you commit to anything.

The Neighborhoods: A Quick Guide

In Barcelona, neigbourhoods matter quite a bit. Each one has its own vibe, so it's important to do your research. I will give you a quick list to the most popular neighborhoods:

  • El Raval: Known for its eclectic and artsy vibe. It's super central but can get a bit sketchy at night.
  • Gràcia: Feels like a small town; very community-driven. Everyone I know who lives there loves it.
  • El Born: Vibrant and packed with history. Similar to El Raval, it's central but can get noisy.
  • Barceloneta: Beachy and fun, but can get super touristy. It's nice if you are a beach person.
  • Eixample: A bit more residential, but still close to the action. To me this is the best option, it's close to everything and it's not as noisy as the other neighborhoods.

Sharing: A Budget-Friendly Choice

Most students and young professionals prefer shared apartments. It's cost-effective, and you get to meet some cool people. Remember, shared doesn't mean compromising on quality. Some shared flats are downright gorgeous.

It is still important to choose well in terms of who you are going to live with, it can have a big impact on your experience in Barcelona. I suggest you stay for a while on a temporary accommodation and then look for a flat with people you know you will get along with. This can be a bit more hassle but it will be worth it in the long run.

The Contractual Stuff

Always, always get a contract. Usually, it’s in Spanish, so if you’re not sure, be sure to translate it or get help to understand everything. Standard contracts ask for a month's deposit, but if they're asking for more without a reason, that's a red flag. Also be sure to do your research on similar flats in the area to make sure you're not being overcharged. It's also worth to do a bit of investigation on the landlord, you can ask for references from previous tenants or even ask around the neighborhood.

Utility Checks

When you're visiting flats, check the water pressure, ask about internet speed, and find out if utilities are included in the rent. These might sound minor, but trust me, they make all the difference. With that information, you can make a more informed decision when you have to choose between many options.

The Paperwork

To rent a flat, you usually need your ID, proof of employment or a student certificate, and sometimes a Spanish bank account. Be prepared, and it’ll save you last-minute stress. It is important to not make any payments before you have signed the contract. In case you have to make a reservation payment, make sure it is not more than 1 month of rent. And if you are asked to pay a deposit and the cirumstances lead you to do so, make sure to pay it through a bank transfer and ask for a receipt. Problems are not common but they do happen, so it is better to be safe than sorry.

Barcelona International’s Events

We host these fantastic events, and guess what! There you can meet potential flatmates! Think of it as networking, but more relaxed and fun. Keep an eye on our next events published in this same website.

Flat hunting in Barcelona might be a challenge, but remember, every challenge here comes with a side of adventure, it will be worth it in the end. Whether it's the balcony views, the cafes around your corner, or the lifelong friends you make as flatmates, it’s all part of the Barcelona experience. So dive in, and happy hunting!