A recent study from the Associació d'Apartaments Turístics de Barcelona (Apartur) concludes that Barcelona’s holiday rentals are fanning out from the city centre, otherwise known as the Ciutat Vella (Old Town). In 2009, registered apartments in the Eixample and Gràcia districts grew considerably, whilst the number of Gothic Quarter apartments dipped slightly.
“We have also noticed a shift,” says Vanessa de Souza Lage, co-director of the apartment rental agency Holiday Velvet who has an office in Barcelona. “Not only from owners who are offering quality properties in these areas, but from clients who are more open to staying out of the busy and often noisy, centre. On the whole the neighborhoods of Eixample and particularly Gràcia offer a more local experience as they are more residential.”
The Eixample district of Barcelona is a large, ordered neighborhood of 19tth century apartment buildings many of them built by the famous architects of the modernisa period including Antoni Gaudí (his masterpiece the Sagrada Familia is located in the Eixample). Gràcia on the other hand was once a village in its own right. Even though it has now been absorbed into the fabric of Barcelona, it retains a village-like feel. Both are well connected to the Ciutat Vella by public transport.
Apartur also reported that choosing a holiday rental in Barcelona was more popular with Americans, the French and Germans (in 2008 it was the British, Irish and Spanish who occupied the ‘top three’), and that they spent an average of 29 € per person, per night on their self-catering accommodation.
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