Traveling is a great experience in life, which teaches us to cherish those precious moments we are lucky enough to spend traveling, meeting new people and getting to know different cultures from around the world.
Regardless if you only have time for a short city trip, or you are able to spend whole two weeks on your vacation, traveling is something that enriches your life and helps you grow as a person. You should always take advantage of the free time you have to spend it traveling and making memories that will be part of your life forever. One of the frequent dilemmas people have when traveling to Barcelona is how to rent an apartment in the city.
Apartment rentals are very popular type of accommodation in Barcelona, as they provide a lot of flexibility when it comes to comfortable staying, unlike hotels, which usually offer smaller rooms, without any kitchen appliances in the room. Additionally, apartments are great choice if you are traveling with your family members, or if you travel with a group of friends, in which case the expense of your stay is much reduced in comparison to staying individually in a hotel. Here are some practical tips that will help you find and rent an apartment in Barcelona, for your short stay or for long term relocation.
1. Planning your stay
Every successful action starts with planning, so you need to plan you stay in Barcelona, as this will have major impact on the type of apartment you are going to choose, as well as on location of the apartment. For example, if you are moving to Barcelona to continue your education, it is highly advisable to look for an apartment near the university you are going to attend. On the other hand, if your trip is in fact a short city break, an ideal apartment for you is the one which is well connected to the airport, allowing you to easily and comfortably get to the city. Therefore, it all comes to your plan and the time interval you are going to spend in the city, as these two have major impact on defining and eventually finding your ideal apartment. Once you have set up the planned date of arrival and departure, you are ready for the step number two.
2. Determine your budget
When you start planning your holiday, you will probably have a certain figure in mind you would feel comfortable spending on your holiday. Make sure you firstly subtract the amount of money you would need for your ticket, as well as the money you would need for food during you stay in Barcelona, and spending money in general, which might include buying gifts for your loved ones, buying souvenirs, etc. In the end, you are left with the amount of money at your disposal to invest into renting an apartment, so you will explore the apartments based on this criterion.
3. Examine the offer
There are a lot of companies out there offering different kinds of apartments. Some companies even specialize in only one type of apartment, such as luxury apartments, small studio apartments, apartments in the center of the city, etc. As one of the companies offering rentals in Barcelona, we can safely say that there is no way that all rental companies are the same. Before you decide which company to choose, you should always get as much information about the company in question, especially about its reputation and testimonials of the previous renters. This will help you to choose the company you will find easy to work with, and the one which offers the best apartments you can rent.
4. Determine the criteria for your ideal apartment
You cannot find something unless you know exactly what you are looking for. Besides determining your budget, you need to set up other criteria that will help you make a decision and find a perfect apartment in Barcelona for you stay. Here are some criteria you need to consider:
- Location: You want your stay in Barcelona to be as enjoyable as possible, as this often means choosing location of the apartment carefully. If you have already visited Barcelona in the past, you will probably know which location would be most convenient to you and which one would not. On the other hand, you might be visiting Barcelona for the first time, in which case you will probably not know which part of the city to choose to stay in. The same happens with staying in any city or country you have chosen as your destination for your vacation or short city break. You do not know the place, so you need to get relevant information in order to determine which location is the most popular among other tourists and why. Not all tourists are the same, nor do they have the same goals when visiting a city, so studying the city’s map is also helpful. The location of the apartment you are going to rent, especially if your stay is a long term visit, is one of the most important things you should consider prior to making any decision. You do not want to end up living in a noisy neighborhood if the noise is going to keep you up all night long, and therefore spoil your day as you cannot get enough sleep. Also, you do not want to rent an apartment which is too far away from the college or office in Barcelona, as you will only end up spending too much time on the bus or metro, and ultimately waste a lot of your free time, you could have spend in a more productive way. Therefore, choose a location which is the most convenient for you, as this will help you enjoy your stay even more. Once you have chosen the location, you have pretty much narrowed down the selection and the offer of the apartments that are available in the neighborhood or district of your choice. This means that you can go and exploring the apartments and sorting them by various other criteria.
- Size of the apartment: Obviously, the size of the apartment you need mostly depends on the fact whether you are traveling alone or with several family members or friends. Spacious apartments are usually needed for several people living together, while solo travelers usually go for smaller apartments, as the size affects the price of the apartment. You should also consider the number of rooms in the apartment, especially if you are traveling with someone, as you might want to have two or three separate bedrooms. As long as you are thinking about the space, you should also check whether the apartment has got a terrace, whether you will be provided with a parking space in case you own a car, etc.
- Interior of the apartment: The interior of the apartment is very important, and when you explore the online offer of the apartments to rent, you will see the main features listed in the offer, such as the list of appliances, the number of beds, the type of heating or air-conditioning, etc. These are all important aspect when choosing an apartment to rent, and since you are in the process of defining your ideal apartment, you should make a list of all features you must have in the apartment. Although sometimes you might need to make a compromise, you know exactly what you need and want, so you should not settle for just about anything. Again, it all comes to down to the length of your stay. If you are in the city for a couple of days only, you will probably make it without having any fancy appliances, such as a microwave or a cooker, as you can always eat out or order food in. On the other hand, if your stay in going to be a bit lengthy, you should consider apartments that offer everything you will actually need to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.
- Take a look at the photos: Since most companies providing apartments for rent usually present them online, through their own website or portals specialized in apartment renting, you will find lots of information about the apartments as you explore the offer online. What is particularly useful when making a decision is looking at the photos of the apartment. This pretty much gives you an idea how the apartment actually looks like, and whether this somewhere you would like living.
5. Identify the potential apartments
This extensive process of browsing the offer of the apartments and closely examining all of their features allows you to make a list of apartments you want to check out. It is always advisable to choose only those apartments that most likely resemble the apartment you imaged for yourself, a place where you would feel comfortable. This way you make sure that you have chosen a perfect apartment for your stay. No matter how much time you have got to spend in Barcelona, when you have an apartment where you feel comfortable, your visit will be much more enjoyable and you will have only nice memories from your stay in Barcelona.
6. Book the apartment
Having gone through all the steps of finding a perfect apartment you are ready for booking the apartment. Booking is very important, and most people who are organizing a trip on short notice have a lot of problems to find the apartment they want because most of the apartments are already booked.
Barcelona is a very popular tourist destination, especially in the period between the months of May and October, as the weather is the nicest during this period. However, warm weather and nice temperatures throughout the year are the main reasons why Barcelona has a lot of tourists even during the colder period between October and May. It is always advisable to go through the booking process in advance, so that you know that you will have an apartment waiting for you when you get to the city.
On the other hand, if it is not possible to make reservation in advance, and the trip is inevitably going to be organized on short notice, you might just want to be more flexible with your criteria, regardless if that is the length of your stay, the location, etc. The process of finding an apartment can be in fact a bit stressful for some people, especially for those who are indecisive and may spend too much time on exploring the offer of apartment rentals, without having a clear idea what they actually need and what they really can afford.
If you are one of those people who do not enjoy in looking for and comparing apartments and their features, make sure you find some help with this task, as this will be very useful to you. Regardless if you choose to turn to a friend who has a lot of experience traveling or has visited Barcelona before, of if you choose to contact a professional to help you with finding the apartments that match your criteria, having help with this is always advisable. Not only does it help you save time, but having assistance eventually allows you to make a well informed decision and choose an apartment that truly suits your needs.
In the end, when you have managed to find an apartment you really want and the one that will completely satisfy your needs and make your stay in Barcelona, Spain, as enjoyable as possible, you are ready for the more pleasant part of planning your trip, and that is deciding what to visit in Barcelona and making sure your adventures are documented in wonderful photos of your holiday, which will be nice memories to look back on.