Q: We plan to rent an apartment. Someone recommended Eixample rather than Las Ramblas or the Gothic Quarter. We are in our 50's and open-minded, but I have heard Eixample referred to as Gay-xiample. Are there certain parts of Eixample that are exclusively gay areas and where we might feel out of place? If so, which parts? We like shops, restaurants, bars and modernist architecture. Are there differences between Eixample Izquierda & Derecha?
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A: You won't have any problems with choosing your accommodation in Eixample. Eixample has some bars and clubs that are geared towards the gay community; however, Eixample is by no means categorized as a "gay area" and to label it as such is wholly inaccurate. I am aware of the nickname "Gay-Xiample" and other websites referring to it as such; however, this can give the impression the area is exclusively gay, which is misleading. Popular with the Gay community, yes, exclusively gay, no.
The fact that there are gay venues in Eixample does not make the whole of the Eixample a "gay area". Eixample is suitable for anyone to visit and you will be fine choosing your accommodation in Eixample. I would not say that there is one area "more gay" than another.
Eixample is probably the most lively area in Barcelona in terms of shopping, bars and clubs. It also has some magnificent modernist architecture to enjoy, including Gaudí's Sagrada Família, Park Güell, Casa Batlló and La Pedrera. The road system is quite busy in Eixample, and you should be prepared for street noise from the busy roads. The level of street noise tends to be related to how much traffic runs through the roads.
Eixample is divided into left and right halves (Izquierda and Derecha) mainly for the convenience of reference due to the large size of this area rather due to any differences in physical characteristics.
For more information on Barcelona neighbourhoods I recommend you visit our link below where you can read about each of the Barcelona neighbourhoods.