ISR Barcelona

Accommodation options in Barcelona

Barcelona has become one of the most popular European destination for tourists and international students. Accommodation options have increased tremendously over the past few years and, at the same time, prices have also risen. It is increasingly difficult to find accommodation at a reasonable price and in a central area and this has arisen quite a few complaints from Barcelona residents, since higher and higher prices have forced them to live outside the city. This is a common situation in most major European cities, such as Paris or London. In Barcelona, prices are not yet as high as in other European capitals, but they are still unaffordable for many local people.

If you are an international student you have a whole bunch of options and you can find some place to live that best fits your budget. You should always bear in mind that if the price is too low, the conditions of the place will probably not be the best. Most probably you have already asked yourself these questions, but it is worth reviewing them before you start the search:

  • Do I want residential accommodation which includes full board?
  • Do I prefer living on my own in a single apartment?
  • Am I willing to share a flat with other international students?
  • Would I prefer living near the school and be able to walk?
  • Wouldn’t I mind using the public transport to travel to school / university every day?
  • Would I prefer to live in a quiet, relaxed place over a place with a lot of activity?
  • Are there any important services I should consider, such as supermarkets, gym, doctor, etc. before renting?

And perhaps one of the most outstanding points:

  • How much money am I willing to spend in accommodation?

In this post we will talk about two highly demanded accommodation options: Student Residence Halls and single apartments.

Student residence: this is the option for those who want a complete service and not have to worry about anything. In Barcelona there are several student residences, but not enough for current high demand. For this reason, booking a room in a residence must be done well in advance, at least three or four months before your arrival. You can find complete equipped, luxury residences (gym, swimming pool, study room, etc.) and there are also more modest residences at more affordable prices. The average price ranges around € 1,100 per month meals not included. Many schools / universities signed agreements with student residences and offer discounts to their students. Check with your school! In ISR we can help you manage the reservation, find out if there is availability and for how long, talk personally to the residence administrator and choose the best location for you.


Single apartment/studio: This is one of the top options for international students. You can find a great variety of apartments which cover a wide range of prices. Do not expect to find anything below € 700 per month! Depending on your budget, you can rent  completely equipped, modern studios in central areas, or more modest floors in some of the less popular neighborhoods (although all districts are well connected to the city center by public transport). The average price is over € 1,000 per month for apartments with one or two rooms. Before renting anything, make sure that the conditions proposed by the owner or agency are within the law: months of deposit, payment of supplies, condition of the apartment (must be equipped if the advertisement says so), etc. An in-depth visit and a talk with the owner to make sure that what is published is really what is offered is highly recommended. Although it may seem obvious, online agencies may publish questionable or inaccurate information to “attract” the best tenant and get the most money of the rental agreement. Issues to be considered before renting:

  • Supplies are much more expensive than usual or it is not specified what the payment method will be
  • The flat has been offered to more than one person and you realize when you make the visit: don’t rely to much on this agency/owner!
  • Availability dates change at the last moment
  • The duration of the contract is not specified from the first moment
  • You are charged with fees and taxes not included in the legal system (two months deposit, the agency fee if you work with an agency and a 20€ for the City Council tourist tax)
  • Wi-Fi is not included in the price
  • There are some works in the apartment pending at the last moment
  • It is not specified if the IBI (City Hall Tax) is included in the price
  • The contract includes abusive clauses, such as the payment of six months in advance or others.

In ISR we take care of all aspects and make sure that the conditions are advantageous for the student.

In the next post we will discuss the real estate market of rooms in shared flats.