Making Your Home in a Born Ribera Property

The neighborhood of El Born/La Ribera is an amalgam of local life and eclectic expatriates. A bohemian aura wafts through the narrow alleys that connect streets in an almost mind-numbing fashion, where small boutiques introduce dashes of color among the monochromatic stone façades. Settling on a Born Ribera property involves anything but settling, as the small, central neighborhood keeps residents on their toes.

Born Ribera is located in Barcelona’s “Old City” (or Ciutat Vella in Catalan), just a few minutes’ walk (500 meters) from the heart of the city in Plaça Catalunya. From this central square, access to Barcelona El-Prat International Airport by bus or train takes approximately 35 minutes and 45 minutes, respectively. Born Ribera is bordered by bustling Via Laietana to the south and Ciutadella Park to the north. The east border of Born Ribera is the neighborhood of Barceloneta, an old fishing neighborhood that runs parallel with the Mediterranean Sea, making Born Ribera a beach-accessible locale. The lively Passeig del Born sits just a few blocks from the beaches and comes alive especially after sunset, when the bars fill with both visitors and residents.

Although real estate has hit a minor snag as of late, expats are still buying apartments in Born, Barcelona. Due to the limited space of the neighborhood, nearly all Born Ribera properties are apartments. Some offer enviable terrace space with sweeping views of the city and scenery such as Montjuic and Tibidabo mountains. The neighborhood’s origins date to the 13th century. Today, apartments in El Born have been renovated and outfitted with modern appliances.

As quaint and picturesque as Born Ribera seems at first glance, the neighborhood aspect begins to unfold if you look closely. Supermarkets, cafés, restaurants, and everyday necessities are right outside residents’ front doors. Born Ribera’s Santa Caterina market fills up with locals who come to purchase weekly ingredients, from fresh fish to ripe olives. They arrive to buy but they stay to chat over cañas of cerveza and a few plates of tapas.

The snaking alleyways and clandestine corridors of Born Ribera are dotted with trendy boutiques. Here, local designers show off their innovative clothing creations that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Just off Via Laietana, the Palau de la Musica Catalana welcomes a bevvy of entertainment options. That includes operas, live musical concerts, and other renowned performers.

Just due north of El Born is Ciutadella Park, a massive gated park with running and biking paths, a playground, fountains, and enough green space to transport you from the city to an outdoor oasis. The park is also home to the Barcelona Zoo and the Catalunya Parliament. From the entrances of the park, bike paths continue out onto the roads. Eventually, they reach the water’s edge and cyclists can pedal along the Mediterranean Sea.

Thanks to the proximity of Born Ribera apartments to the sea, myriad water sports are easily accessible. Surf school Pukas Surf Eskola sits approximately 1 kilometer from El Born. Port Vell is just a few steps from the border of El Born. It serves as the docking location for luxurious yachts.

When the sun begins to set over Tibidabo mountain, El Born’s bars, live music venues, and speakeasies open their (sometimes secret) doors. To access Paradiso, pull open the large refrigerator door to find a dark, lush cocktail bar. Crushed velvet and specialty ingredients ignite the senses. Show up early to El Xampanyet to grab a seat at the no-reservations restaurant featured in Michelin Guide. Enjoy legendary tapas and homemade cava (sparkling wine). If you can’t decide what to eat or drink, make your way to Mercat Princesa. You’ll find a veritable food court with varied culinary options and a central dining area to suit all tastes. A special occasion calls for a table at Estimar. Here, the chefs serve freshly caught seafood in unique presentations and arrangements.

Apartments in Born, Barcelona are not always easy to come by due to the popularity of this thriving location. But once you acquire one, it will be difficult to let go.

Hero picture by XY via Flickr