It can be tricky to know where, how and when to look for accommodation in a foreign city. Should you try to find accommodation before you arrive? What are the best websites to use? What areas are good to live in?
Here are some tips from TEFL Iberia about how to go about looking for accommodation in Barcelona, whether you’re looking for somewhere short term or long term.
A lot of agencies in Barcelona charge the equivalent of a month’s rent as a finder’s fee, but there are lots of alternatives when looking for a flat or a room. Join the Barcelona TEFL Teacher’s Association, or one of the many other Barcelona Facebook groups for accommodation. There’s also websites like Habitaclia and Idealista where people advertise accommodation, both apartments and rooms.
Have a good look through the websites mentioned above and once you’ve found a few places you like the look of, start getting in touch to set up viewings in your first couple of days. It should go without saying, but don’t fall victim to scams – only transfer your rent money once you’ve seen the apartment and have a set of house keys in your hand!
If you’re coming to Barcelona to do a TEFL course, plan to arrive a week early. This will give you time to go to apartment viewings and also time to walk around and get a feel for which barrio you’d like to live in! There are lots of rooms advertised on Airbnb which is a cheaper option than a hotel for when you’re flat hunting.
Don’t waste your time going to flat viewings in areas you won’t want to live in. If you do a little research first, you’ll be able to target your flat search more. For example, if you hate noisy neighbourhoods then El Gótico probably isn’t the place for you. If you want to be near the sea then Barceloneta is where you should be looking.
Remember, if all else fails you can fall back on the TEFL Iberia accommodation service!