The district of Gracia is located above the Eixample. Gracia was a village established in 1626. At the time, Paseo de Gracia was a country road that linked the village to the city.
Gracia remained an independent village after 1714 and it was finally incorporated into Barcelona in 1897, as a consequence of the city expansion.
Today, Gracia is one of the most vibrant and charming areas of the city.
It is composed of five areas: Vila de Gracia, Vallcarca i els Penitents, El Coll, La Salut, and Camp d’en Grassot i Gracia Nova.
The two lowest areas, Vila de Gracia and Gracia Nova, are property-wise the most interesting ones because they are central, well connected, and they are the most charming of the whole district. Vila de Gracia, in particular, is similar to the Borne, a maze of narrow streets with beautiful old buildings and nice squares with cafes and restaurants with outdoor terraces.
And, just like the Borne, Vila de Gracia is an area of Barcelona with a high demand for properties and a very limited offer.
The other areas are more residential and quiet, especially Vallcarca and El Coll, with many green areas, fewer shops, less traffic and poor transport links.
Unlike several other areas of Barcelona, Gracia features very few landmarks. This prevents the area from being a major tourist destination and leaves its streets and squares almost entirely at disposal of the local residents.
However, Gracia has a vibrant nightlife thanks to its many cafes, restaurants, and bars. The social life is especially concentrated in Vila de Gracia. Calle Verdi is the centre of this. It is a famous pedestrian street full of restaurants, cafes, shops, and a famous cinema that shows films in original version with Spanish subtitles.
There are two exceptions to the lack of landmarks in Gracia. One is Casa Vicens (pictured below), one of the first buildings designed by Gaudi and built using a variety of materials of vibrant colours.
The other, of course, is the world famous Parc Guell, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Barcelona and a UNESCO Heritage Site. It is located in the area of La Salut It was commissioned by Eusebi Guell, a friend of Gaudi’s, who chose this area to build a garden in the style of the English parks.
As it normally happened with Gaudi, the project developed into something extraordinary, with fairy-tale corners such as the famous oblique arcade and the magnificent terrace in the shape of a merry-go-round that offers a unique view on the whole city and the sea.
The area of Gracia hosts a very famous festival that takes place every month of August, called “Fiesta major de Gracia“. It began in 1817 as a celebration of the village itself when it was still an independent town. The residents of the different blocks compete in decorating their street according to specific theme styles. Some streets look actually very cool, going from nature themes, to animals, space creatures, etc. The festival lasts for 8 days and it is extremely popular.
Gracia has become a very trendy area in Barcelona, home of many foreigners and many artists.
The lowest areas of Gracia are very well connected to the rest of the city and offer all types of shops, amenities, and services.
As we move up towards Vallcarca, this changes. Transport links become less frequent (no underground stops, but mainly buses and underground train connections), fewer shops, less social life, which is typical of more residential and quiet areas.
The Properties in Gracia
The prices and the availability of properties in the district of Gracia vary a lot in its different parts.
Vila de Gracia is the most populated area of the district, the most famous, the most lively, and the one where prices are more expensive. Vila de Gracia features many beautiful refurbished old buildings and the type of properties here resemble a lot the ones of the historical city centre: old decorated buildings (usually without lifts), flats often exposed on the two sides of the building, with small balconies, and the typical Catalan vaulted ceilings.
The adjacent area of El Grassot-Gracia Nova is a mix between the same type of buildings as in Vila de Gracia and more recent buildings.
If you are an investor looking for a property to rent out or to resell, don’t look further than Vila de Gracia and Grassot-Gracia Nova. These are the two most central areas of Gracia, with the best transport links, and the best offer of amenities and services.
The other areas of Gracia are interesting for properties for personal usage. As Gracia is an area that goes uphill, it is not unusual to find nice apartment with a beautiful view to the city and the sea. Prices in the other areas of Gracia are considerably lower than in Vila de Gracia and Grassot-Gracia Nova. However, for investment purposes these areas are less interesting. Flats are less easy to rent out (or have to be rented out for less) because transports are less good, and also reselling a flat can require more time (and provide a lower margin) compared to other more central areas.
Prices in Gracia
The average price per m2 in the district of Gracia has slightly decreased over the past year (source Habitaclia, October 2019). With Sants-Montjuic (driven in the two previous years by the continuous increase in Poble Sec), it is the area where prices had increased considerably in the past, compared to a more stable trend in other areas.
The current price per m2 of 4.689,88 € is the average of the prices in all the areas of the district, which includes higher prices in Vila de Gracia and El Grassot-Gracia Nova, and lower prices in the other areas.
Thanks to its artistic and bohemian environment, Vila de Gracia features some amazing properties (penthouses, houses, lofts) that can reach a price per m2 of 8.000€ to 10.000€. A nice renovated flat can easily be on the market for a price that goes from 5.000€ to 6.500€ per m2. Vila de Gracia is a small and charming area. A beautiful property where the original features such as brick walls, vaulted ceilings, and (if you are lucky) hydraulic floors have been recovered is an investment worth its money as it will keep increasing in value.
It is possible to find lower prices, around 3.000€ per m2 or even less, for flats that need renovation, but this is more and more difficult, and often refers to large flats whose price per m2 is by definition lower.
The area of Grassot-Gracia Nova follows more or less the same pattern as Vila de Gracia without reaching the highest peaks for price/m2. However, it is easier to find more properties priced between 4.000€ and 6.000€ per m2.
The area of La Salut is more expensive around the Parc Guell and for special properties such as penthouses and independent houses but otherwise the average price per m2 is around 3.500€ including for very nice properties. Same goes for properties in Vallcarca.
Finally, the area of El Coll is the cheapest per m2 with properties very rarely going above 5,000 € per m2 and averaging around 3.000€.