Linked to Barcelona’s Barri Gòtic by the Passeig de Gràcia, Gràcia was, until 1897, an independent township, and this remains visible in the district’s narrow, characterful streets that are in sharp contrast with neighboring Eixample’s wide avenues. This autonomous spirit burns strong in Gràcia; long a bastion for anarchists, republicans and stalwarts of liberal ideology, Gràcia’s political radicalism contributes to its reputation as a cradle of alternative culture.
Whilst Gràcia’s 20th century edge has softened of late through gentrification, it remains a favorite hangout for locals and the discerning traveler. From Modernista icons, such as Gaudi’s experimental Parc Güell, to the area’s terrace cafes and plaças, these 10 Airbnb listed apartments offer visitors a unique vantage point from which to explore Gràcia’s convergence of Mediterranean lifestyle and bohemian counterculture.
This lovely Gràcia apartment exudes all of the best characteristics of Catalan architecture, including the partially painted barrel-vaulted brick ceiling, also known as volta catalana. Warm tones are set in contrast with ceramic floor tiles — ideal for staying cool in the hot Spanish summers — that give the space a snug yet comfortable ambiance. Centrally located between Passeig de Gràcia and Parc Güell, this retro-chic apartment provides a perfect urban respite.
Price: Around £67-75 per night
This open plan apartment boasts of a unique space built over different levels connected by short staircases. Bright colours — oranges, reds and greens — and abundant natural light create a bright and airy feel. With wooden flooring throughout, the coolness of the wood and the air-conditioned space is well suited for Barcelona’s summertime. Located in the Barri Gòtic and just two metro stops from the centre of Gràcia, this lovely apartment is a great base for exploring the city.
Price: Around £87 per night
Situated just to the west of the Antoni Gaudí-designed Parc Güell, which bears the multicoloured hallmarks of its architect, this Gràcia apartment features a loft space with a mezzanine. We love the strong horizontality of this space as well as its unconventional use of different levels, from a sunken sitting area to a platform dining space. Strong and sleek, a set of industrial stairs lead up to the mezzanine bedroom, which is accessed via a distinct, arched entryway. In addition, the apartment features a lovely tiled terrace on which guests can bask in Barcelona’s mild Mediterranean climate.
Price: Around £83 per night
A wonderful eye for detail and meticulous design touches create a space that is simultaneously intimate and contemporary. Vintage objects are paired with farmhouse antiques for a rustic aesthetic; at the same time, the apartment is manifestly modern with a renovated kitchen featuring copper kitchenware, whitewashed brickwork and a blackboard wall on which visitors can unleash their creativity.
Price: Around £67-79 per night
Entering this unique Modernisme building and climbing up its marble staircase is like stepping into a different world. Modernisme, which manifested itself elsewhere as Art Nouveau, Jugendstil and Sezession, took on a distinctly Catalan character in Barcelona. The period details of this apartment have been meticulously preserved and restored, including its splendid floral ceiling arabesques, patterned wood floors and stucco walls. This is complemented by iconic furnishing including the distinctive Arco lamp, the 1925 Marcel Breuer ‘Wassily’ chair and an engine red Chesterfield sofa that harks back to the heights of the Modernist movement.
Price: Around £167 per night
Handpainted tiles, a distinctive design element in Spanish architecture, predominate in this marvellous Gràcia apartment. Each room features tiles with different colour schemes and patterned motifs, which anchor and unify the aesthetics of the apartment. Additional rustic details such as high wooden doors and exposed rafters are juxtaposed with contemporary refinements including the black pendant kitchen lighting and stainless steel fixtures. Flawlessly coherent, this flat is pure Catalan.
Price: Around £62-82 per night
This magnificent ground floor loft space is built in the former coach yard of a Modernista residence by Manuel Sayrach i Carrera. Designed by Catalan architect Carlos Nicolau, the apartment is emphatically contemporary. Guests can explore the intricate Modernist detailing of the Sayrach residence whilst experiencing the best of Catalan design where soaring ceilings and an open plan design create an expansive sense of space. Although the flat lacks air conditioning, guests can enjoy the serene coolness of the Mediterranean evening on the outdoor patio.
Price: Around £237 per night
This extraordinary loft-style apartment radiates a Mediterranean sense of vibrancy and energy. Opting for vivid blues and intense reds and exposed woodwork, this Gràcia apartment is a bright and cheerful space perfect for enjoying a chilled out Catalan breakfast or taking a midafternoon break from the Barcelona heat. We especially love the sunny attic room with roof windows and ceiling rafters that expose the structure of the building.
Price: Around £155 per night
A classic and elegant space, this apartment is housed in a characterful 19th century building. Paying homage to this historical heritage, the apartment features beautifully preserved terracotta tiles and multi-coloured tiled wainscoting in verdant greens, yellows and blues — hallmarks of Catalan interior design. Delicate glass pendant lights dangle from industrial chain links, hovering over a rustic wooden dining table; this farmhouse aesthetic extends to the exposed ceiling beams and brick walls and is the perfect marriage of vernacular architecture and contemporary style.
Price: Around £100-112 per night
This century-old apartment in the heart of Gràcia boasts of traditional hand painted Catalan floors that vary from room to room, traditional wooden ceiling beams and ornate plaster ceiling moldings. At the same time, in spite of its historical heritage, the flat remains distinctly contemporary and cozy. With easy access to the district’s many boutique shops and terrace cafes with outdoor seating, the apartment is also within 15 minutes of the Mercat de la Llibertat, a stunning icon of Modernist architecture.
Price: Around £100-133 per night
This article is an advertorial published in collaboration with Airbnb and is part of an ongoing project by The Culture Trip to curate a unique selection of Airbnb’s best cultural apartments in major cities around the world. Explore these and other Airbnb listed apartments at airbnb.co.uk.