Choosing an apartment to rent in Barcelona can add a touch of class and style to your stay. But there are some factors you should consider before booking your apartment.
Barcelona has many different types of neighbourhoods they offer different types of facilities and ambience. We recommend you read our Barcelona areas guide to get a better picture of the area you would like. See the Related Pages links at the foot of this page.
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Many apartments in Barcelona are in old traditional buildings with real character. But if the apartment is on the 5th floor without a lift, you could find it an arduous task climbing all those steps. It's important, therefore to ask specific questions about your apartment before you book it. Make sure you ask whether your apartment is accessible by lift or not if mobility is an important issue for you.
Other factors include the type of cooking facilities the kitchen is equipped with. Some apartments have a full kitchen and others just the basics like a microwave and sink.
If there is an option ask to only pay a holding deposit for your apartment before you arrive in Barcelona, you will then pay the balance on arrival.
Paying the full amount before arrival gives you little bargaining power should you not be happy with your apartment choice.
Here are a few tips that will help you know if you are dealing with a reputable firm.
a) Do they offer telephone, and fax number? These numbers should be clearly visible on their site and ideally be different numbers.
b) Ask them questions via e-mail and see how quickly and efficiently they respond. Do they answer your questions?
c) Give them a call and speak to them on the phone. You ideally want an organization that can speak your language. You can test this by making a simple telephone call and speaking to someone about your apartment choice.
d) Can they provide you with testimonials with other satisfied customers? Have a look around their web site or ask them to send you some testimonial of satisfied customers via e-mail. A reputable company should be able to provide you with testimonials.
Most reputable apartment rental companies offer payment by credit card as an option. They will also have a trading credit with the credit card organization, so it is likely that they are a reputable firm.
Apartment rental agencies which have an office based in the centre offer you an advantage in that if anything should go wrong then you can always go round to their office to speak to someone. Sometimes agencies don't have an office, and you will, therefore, be speaking and dealing only with the owner once you have rented. There is nothing wrong with this, and many rental agencies do this. However, it is also good to have an office base in the centre should the owner not be available. Look for landline telephone numbers. These will begin with the prefix "93" if based in Barcelona. Some firms, however, buy special numbers that offer discount rates etc. when calling so this is not a hard and fast rule.
Look for an apartment rental agency that is a limited company - they have strict tax and booking keeping to maintain for the Spanish authorities and will have an accountant that oversees their books. You can check this by looking for the letters S.L. or S.A. after their business name. Sometimes the company also publishes its business registration number after this. Note that some companies do not put this information on their websites, so it is not a hard and fast rule - simply another factor to look for.
Staying in an apartment in Barcelona has many advantages over staying in a hotel. I hope these guidelines have helped you feel more confident about choosing a reputable agency for you to find an apartment for rent in Barcelona.
If you follow our guidelines above you will go a long way to making the right decisions and enjoying your own private holiday apartment when you visit Barcelona.