We spent the month of March in fabulous Barcelona with Coco. After doing a lot of research on the best neighborhoods to stay at, we decided on El Born. It is a historical neighborhood located in between the Gothic Quarter and Ciutadella Park. Centrally located, we found it very convenient to all the old city had to offer (most tourist attractions are a 10-15 minute walk away). It’s become one of the trendiest areas in Barcelona that features small streets filled with beautiful architecture, art galleries, funky shops, bars and TAPAS!
We loved the dog friendly one bedroom apartment we found on Airbnb. We payed $1700 for the month (much less than what we pay in Chicago).
The price was originally much higher but I negotiated a lower price with the host (yes, you can do that). I couldn’t find this listing on Airbnb again but I did find a lot that are similar in the area.
We fell in love with the view of the quaint street (Carrer dels Agullers) from our apartment. The old pebbled streets got cleaned multiple times a day and were very clean, like most of Barcelona we saw. We heard this wasn’t case 10+ years ago, so if you visited the city then and found it dirty, I highly recommend you see it again.
There was a wonderful breakfast cafe below the apartment, a cute wine store across from us, a market filled with gourmet cheese and Spanish jamon, a tiny bakery where we frequently stopped at for fresh bread and local desserts, and a gelato shop at the end of the street.
Unlike Italy, we couldn’t find any markets that allowed Coco inside, so we took turns shopping. The good news is a lot of restaurants and bars allowed Coco inside and/ or had outside seating.
We never tired of the architecture in El Borne. The district features some of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in Barcelona. We thought it was the most charming and vibrant area in the city. I’d say it was quite magical.
We spent a lot of time getting lost in the small maize of corridors that opened into bright squares full of life, always being surprised in what restaurants, bars, and shops would pop up. I think it was the best way to explore and discover what EL Born had to offer.
El Born is right next to Ciutadella Park, the first public park in Barcelona. In the mid-19th century, this park was the only green space in the city. The Cascade (waterfall) was our favorite site in the park. It was created to loosely resemble the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy.
Dog’s on a leash are welcome in this beautiful park. There is also a zoo in the park but only guide dogs are allowed in.
Just a short walk from El Born lies La Barceloneta, one of the most famous neighborhoods in Barcelona. It holds to the small fisherman’s town charm in yet it’s filled with shops, restaurants, and nightlife. Even though it’s not the most impressive beach, the area actually comes more to life at night with all the bars and clubs.
Just be aware you can be on the beach in your bikini but once you walk off you must be fully dressed (no bare chests or swimwear) or you could be fined 260 euro. Dogs are allowed on the main beach from the end of September to the beginning of May.
If you love architecture, great tapas restaurants, fun atmosphere, and to be near the beach, the El Born district is the place to be. In my opinion, it is the real Barcelona.