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Staying in a turn of the century apartment in Barcelona

One of the biggest treats for us going to Barcelona this year was staying in a turn of the century apartment right off the main strip of Las Ramblas.

As a group of four going for a long weekend, it was a no brainer that it was more cost effective to rent an apartment than book two separate hotel rooms. My best friend Tam admittedly was more diligent in the search as we were all going to Barcelona to celebrate her birthday however after she had sifted through page upon page of apartments on Airbnb, the search was proving more difficult then originally anticipated.

After finding a couple of apartments that we liked however were unavailable during the weekend we would be in Barcelona, Tam forwarded me the link to “Home Sweet Home Barcelona” and after a glance over just one picture we were booking it. Here’s why…

Outside

After a short 20 minute car ride from the airport, we arrived at our apartment building in the Eixample district of Barcelona which lies between the old city and the surrounding small towns. Despite being only a 15 minute walk from the main tourist strip, the area was not touristy at all, with the residents in the building having lived there for years, which was fantastically refreshing being new to the city. From a distance the building fit in well with its neighbours sandwiched between old and new apartment blocks but up close the detail in the balconies and the outer walls were clearly a labour of love even after years gone by.

Side street

When researching the district that the apartment sat in, its historical significance made staying there even more special. It turns out that as Barcelona started to grow during the 19th century, the Eixample district began to build up with the goal of overcoming social problems. New apartment blocks were built in such a way using quadrangular blocks at certain sizes and heights to ensure that there was always room for a shaded area or garden in between. This recreational open space was to guarantee that apartments got maximum amounts of sun light and ventilation. The angled corners (which is unique to the Eixample district in Barcelona) allowed the streets to broaden at every intersection so there was more visibility for the flows of traffic. The grid-like pattern of the streets are akin to New York City which really made navigating the streets easier as well as made us feel right at home as NYC lovers.

Downstairs buttons

Down the stairs Airbnb

Stairs

Heading inside the apartment block, the main front door had an opening ‘trick’ to it as a lot of old buildings do but once inside the small foyer, we climbed the five flights (!) of stairs to arrive at our apartment’s front door. If there was any doubt in just how old the building was, the steps certainly gave it away. The stone steps were worn down in the middle creating a ‘dip’ in each step where people had been walking up and down them for over 100 years. I loved the fact that nothing had been replaced and even the bell system (although probably hadn’t worked for several decades) was all still present in its original glory.

Front door Airbnb

Front door peep hole

The design on the front door (and I know it’s only a door!) was just beautiful. The detail on the door spy hole alone is something you just don’t see anymore. It emphasises the fact that newer apartment blocks (and especially ones we have in the UK) just don’t take pride in design anymore. In a time where profit is king, losing time and money on details like this just aren’t a thought during the construction process. In this beautiful apartment block in Barcelona, we felt very much like we were going back time where the walls breathed living history.

Door Airbnb

Our host for the weekend, Jordi was an Interior Designer and upon entering the apartment you could definitely tell! The decor was simple yet stylish and didn’t take away from the original charm that the apartment had had from 1906. We felt right at home with the modern furnishings and open spaces.

Chest of drawers

The whole flat Airbnb

Living Room Airbnb

The best part about the apartment was the balconies. We were able to swing all the double doors open and sit out watching the world go by. In the evenings we played card games over drinks, listening to the soft hum of cars going past outside. Because of the way the district has been designed, we had a great view without feeling that we were on top of any other apartment blocks.

Balcony

The apartment came with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen. Rooms were bright and airy with sliding doors for privacy.

Bedroom Airbnb

Bedroom Window Airbnb

Only 30 metres from the bus stop to the airport, one block away from the Gran Via where dozens of buses go to any part of Barcelona and one block from Urgell Metro, it was the perfect place to stay in Barcelona. At only £108 per night (split between four of us!) for a central location in a turn of the century apartment building was an absolute steal and I’d highly recommend it!

As a first Airbnb experience, I have to say we were thoroughly spoiled and very lucky to get this apartment for the weekend. If you’d like to take a look at more pictures or stay in the apartment yourself check out Jordi’s Airbnb page, you’ll have no regrets :)

Mel x

About the author

Hi! I'm Mel a full-time Marketeer and part-time adventurer. I’m a British travel blogger who loves nothing more than immersing myself in different cultures and exploring new places. My goal is to inspire all of you office dwellers to follow your travel dreams whilst still working your 9-5.