Searching Student Accommodation in Barcelona
You are beginning a new adventure in Barcelona? Good call! You will love the Spanish Mediterranean city! Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations for international interns and Exchange students. But how do you find quality and affordable accommodation in Barcelona?
First step: Find the right student accommodation in Barcelona. Let’s go!
Finding an accommodation in Barcelona can be quite an easy task for international students, even more if you compare this city to the major world cities such as London or Paris. Prices are affordable and there are plenty of offers, which is quite encouraging. However, there are definitely several issues you have to be aware of when booking student accommodation in Barcelona.
WHAT ARE THE BEST PLACES TO STAY IN BARCELONA?
Barcelona is a pretty large city and districts don’t really look alike. First of all you should check where is located your University or workplace, city center or suburbs? If it is far from the center, it is you call to decide if you would rather live in a lively area and take transportations to go to work/University (check their costs, transportation prices need to be budgeted), or if you would rather live nearby your workplace and go walking there and be able to go home when you have a break (lunch time for example).
Once you have answered these questions, several districts will be taken off your list. Now you have to determine on which one(s) you will focus on when searching for student housing for internationals. If you want to know more about the different areas and neighborhoods in Barcelona, please read our blog on Barcelona neighborhoods.
- Gotic, Born, Raval : Historical districts of Barcelona’s City Center
- Eixample and Gracia: Lively and shopping districts
- Barceloneta, Vila Olympica, Poblenou: Seafront districts
- Sants & Poble Sec: Cheap districts out of the touristic areas
- Sarria-Sant Gervasi, Pedrabeles-Les Cort: Residential districts of Barcelona
WHEN TO START LOOKING FOR ACCOMMODATION?
On the internet, a few weeks before arrival:
The easiest is to start researching on the internet a few weeks before getting there. You will then be able to have an idea of the price ranges and start contact announces that you like in order to set up appointments. No need to start too early because everything goes pretty quick here in Barcelona. By starting 4 to 5 weeks before arrival, you should have all the cards in hand to engage a successful research.
The most important is: don’t go too fast.
There is a lot to offer in Barcelona, so don’t take the first best room you say. But take some time to understand with the price to quality range is in Barcelona. Especially the prices for international student accommodation in Barcelona can be quite different.
How to find quality but yet affordable accommodation as an international intern or exchange students?
Real Estate Agencies
If you wish to talk to a professional and the guarantee of a good service support, you should start looking for a real estate agency. Stay on your guard; it is not impossible to find a shady landlord. Certainly in Barcelona there are quite a few organizations and persons out there, trying to scam international students who are looking for accommodation in Barcelona?
Select the advertisements you like and call the indicated number (much more efficient than an e-mail) in order to set-up a meeting. There are various website where you can call international phone numbers for free.
Mistakes to avoid
- Never book an apartment without having seen it: Sometimes pictures look far from the reality! It is really easy to make a room look more spacious and enlighten than it is, by using special camera lens and Photoshop. Always come on site to check the apartment and don’t break under pressure made by the Landlord. If you miss a good place, you will find another one.
- Never send money through Western Union, or any money transfer platforms to book an accommodation, it is almost certain it is a scam.
- Never pay for access to a list of ads: this scam is very common and consists in making believe that by paying you will have access to a database of apartments that are not on the mainstream sites. The advantage? Since you are one of the only ones to visit it, it is much more likely that you get the apartment you like. However, these lists are for the most part made up of apartments already rented or squarely imaginary. Go your way!
The questions you should definitely ask:
Keep in mind that accommodations in Barcelona have features specific to Spain. Before booking a visit, don’t forget to ask the following questions:
· Is it an inside or an outside apartment? If it is exterior, it will be bright and will give on the street or on a very wide court. The inside apartments give on a very small courtyard and are therefore very dark, but less noisy. Also note that most “exterior” apartments actually have only a part of the rooms overlooking a clear view, so it is possible that the room you are interested in is “interior”. Ask for details!·
What is the room’s size? If you are interested into flat sharing, be careful about this detail, because in most Barcelona’s accommodations have really small rooms·
Is the apartment equipped with heating? This can seem weird, but it is not surprising to find accommodations without heating. It is a Mediterranean city, but winter temperatures remain pretty low, so you will be very cold without a heater.·
Does the rent include all the charges? If the answer is no, what are the monthly costs for electricity, water and gas?
RENT PRICES AND OTHER COSTS
If you are in a flat share, a room cost on average 300-400€. You can find nevertheless rents for 200-250€ in the district of Sants or Hospitalet (a small neighbor city of Barcelona well deserved by the subway). Charges can go up to 50€ per month and per person
If you are looking for an apartment, be aware that there are very few studios and small areas in Barcelona, so prices are soaring. You will have a hard time finding something right under 500 €. If you want a two-room, you should get away for about 600-700 €. For 1000 €, you can find a beautiful 3/4 rooms.
If you go through a real estate agency, you will have to pay the agency fees. These usually correspond to 10% of the annual rent + 10% of VAT. If you are looking short stay term (6months or less), fees can get higher
Few Precautions to take
- Beware: if you are paying your rent in cash, always ask for a receipt or a payment proof.
- Take pictures of the apartment upon your arrival and send them to the landlord, they will be used as a reference when you will leave the place. This could avoid you to pay for damages you haven’t done. It is important to foresee these risks, because like everywhere, some landlords are not very honest people.
Student Rooms Abroad
If you want to pay the lowest fee possible, but yet book quality and affordable accommodation in good neighborhoods in Barcelona? Then use Student Rooms Abroad. Our booking platform is the most affordable booking platform out there and at the same time also the safest! For more information on student accommodation and housing for international students feel free to contact us.