These 5 Neighbourhoods Are the Safest Places to Stay in Barcelona
If you’re looking for the safest places to stay in Barcelona this guide is all you need.
The vast amount of tourists flocking to Barcelona in the last few years has been followed by an equally extensive outbreak of online debates regarding the city’s safety. At first glance, most sources agree that Barcelona is indeed reasonably safe. But then your spouse or family have the audacity to burden you with the task of spotting a reputable journal to find out what really goes on in the city.
Let’s be honest here. Yes, Barcelona is safe. Nevertheless, a bunch of frenzied tourists engrossed in a rabid macarena dance-off in search of their wallets under a Gaudi masterpiece would imply otherwise. Just like in all major cities, tourists in Barcelona are easy prey for pickpockets and bag snatchers. So before you start packing that unjustifiably expensive camera and designer purse, read our guide on the safest places to stay in Barcelona and allow us to help you let your guard down instead of your loved ones.
Initially built in the 19th and early 20th centuries to connect Sarrià and Gràcia, L'Eixample (pronounced 'lay-sham-pluh' - good luck saying that to a taxi driver) features an abundance of remarkable buildings of the Catalan Modernism including Gaudi’s imposing Sagrada Familia and quirky Casa Batlló. Even before the fusion restaurants, stylish clothing boutiques and fancy cocktail bars came along to ruin everything, L'Eixample had a reputation of being one of the safest places to stay in Barcelona. Fortunately, it still is. The district is divided into two parts, Eixample Esquerra and Eixample Dreta and consists of 5 different areas with beautiful cityscape. No matter which part of L’Eixample you choose for your stay in Barcelona, you can rest assured that a Plum Guide home will be right around the corner.
Gràcia is often portrayed as the less mainstream, off-the-beaten-path neighbourhood. And compared to the bustling city centre, it is. But let’s not fool ourselves. In a city that holds a place among the 10 most visited destinations in Europe, chances are you’ll be bumping into herds of tourists everywhere and at any time of the day. Especially if you pick a neighbourhood that is home to the renowned Park Güell. Luckily, with its cobblestoned car-free alleys Gràcia still preserves its natural beauty that emits a vibe of tranquillity and cosiness. Plus, the tacky double-deck sightseeing buses never make it here. That has to count for something. As you stroll around Plaça del Sol square or along the Carrer de Verdi street on your way to a tapas bar, feel free to unwind without keeping an eye out for your belongings.
Poblenou is Barcelona’s hipster neighbourhood. And like anything or anyone bearing this title, it’s aesthetically perplexing and questionably fashionable but undoubtedly harmless. We don’t want to sound cliché but the area’s development over the years has given us no choice. Here goes. In Poblenou, tradition meets modernity. The central and southern parts of this area still preserve the authentic Catalan neighbourhood vibe while in the north, tech startups promise fun workspaces in modern buildings and old warehouses are riddled with the gallery-nests of art fiends. Its privileged location in the east of the city centre right by the Mediterranean Sea is unquestionably a strong asset, offering travellers the opportunity to catch the sunset as they walk along Rambla de Poblenou boulevard or from their large glass windows in one of Barcelona's finest vacation apartments.
If we had to choose the single safest place to stay in Barcelona, then Sarria would have the honour of being the one. You can thank the local craftsmen of the 19th century that decided to build their summer houses here and mark the territory as a peaceful zone. A few centuries and several gentrification schemes later, Sarrià has become one of the most sought-after upper-class neighbourhoods in Barcelona. Luckily, most of the two-centuries-old buildings survive to this day, bearing testimony to the area’s past. Catalan art nouveau villas adjoin traditional food markets while the preserved narrow alleys blend with serene green areas such as the Parc del Castell de l'Oreneta. Gaudi left his mark in this area too with the design of Bellesguard manor house, unaware that Barcelona’s Tourism Council would be eternally grateful for making their marketing strategy way too easy.
Tightly squeezed between the Gothic Quarter and the Ciutadella Park, El Born neighbourhood is one of the most touristic districts in Barcelona but with a so-called artistic touch. Home to the Picasso Museum, numerous bodegas and classy restaurants as well as the Chocolate Museum (whose ‘xocolateria’ has the potential to make your kids run to Badalona and back in a single afternoon), El Born attracts travellers of all types and ages. And while keeping an eye out on your belongings while amongst El Born’s touristic crowds won’t do harm, the worst that can happen to you while traipsing around this area is to get lost in the maze of medieval streets or run into a group of drunken bachelors or bachelorettes. This frightens us too.
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