Immigration. Travel. Living.

Spain: living as student in Barcelona

Based on the total number of available places (11 thousand) and data on the number of students in need of accommodation (33 thousand). It can be concluded that only a third of students are provided with housing in Barcelona. The national average is 56%. At the same time, in Barcelona, ​​the problem of a shortage of student housing is especially acute: according to Savills, the occupancy rate of hostels during the academic season is 100%.

Costs of hostel rentals

Hostel rentals cost an average of 600 euros per month, but prices may vary depending on:

  • The type of hostel (in public hostels prices are on average 25% lower than in private ones);
  • Policies of a specific hostel (for example, accommodation in Villa Universitària of the Autonomous University of Barcelona costs 300-400 euros per month, and in Barcelona Diagonal Residence Hall – from 1 thousand euros);
  • The number of neighbors (accommodation in a single room costs on average 20% more than in a double room);
  • Rental period (monthly accommodation for short-term rentals (1-3 months) is on average 20% more expensive than for long-term (full academic year));
  • Services provided (most hostels include the cost of cleaning at the rental price, some include meals or offer it as an additional option).


Only two of the largest universities in Barcelona – the University of Barcelona, and the Autonomous University of Barcelona – have their dormitories. The rest of the universities work with the dormitories based on a cooperation agreement. And the dormitories themselves are owned by private companies. The most famous of them are Melon District, Onix Residence, RESA, and Residence San Marius. RESA also manages its facilities.

The main alternative to dormitories is rented apartments and rooms in the private sector. Due to the unavailability of housing, many students share apartments for rent. According to the real estate portal, 53% of requests for joint rentals in Spain come from students. According to HFB Benchmark, the main problem for students who study in Barcelona is finding apartments, since there are not enough dorms for everyone.

Another option for living together is housing in exchange for caring for the elderly under the Viure I Conviure program. This option is offered, in particular, by the University of Barcelona.

In the coming years, we can hardly expect a significant increase in the number of places in Barcelona hostels, and due to the limited supply, shared housing in the private sector will be more and more in demand.

The fact is that in Barcelona about 33 thousand students need housing, and the number of dormitories is only 11 thousand places – demand exceeds supply by almost three times. This situation will contribute to an increase in prices for rental housing, which in the future may stimulate developers to implement new projects in the field of student housing construction. For this reason, the segment is attractive to investors.

orange and blue inflatable ring

Where to rent an apartment in Barcelona for a student?

The best student districts are usually those where students are already living. It means that the district has all the necessary infrastructure for students. It also means that such areas with commercial outlets are in the student price segment. Below we will tell you about some of these areas where you can rent apartments in Barcelona for students:


  • Gracia Sarria

Gracia and Sarria are notable for their authentic and lively atmosphere with a large number of bars, cafes, and restaurants. Essentials for students. There are also shops and supermarkets here. Gracia also hosts campuses for the Faculties of Law, Economics, and Sociology; and in the south of the district are campuses for Experimental Sciences, Pharmacology, and Fine Arts – all campuses owned by the University of Barcelona.


  • Eixample

This area is close to the center and is ideal for students, as the well-developed transport network allows you to quickly get to almost any university. The area is also famous for its modernist architecture and some of Gaudí’s most famous creations, such as La Pedrera.


  • Forest Courts – Universitaria Area

It is a university area, where many of the city’s institutions are located. The campuses of every university in Barcelona are located here, including La Politécnica, La Autónoma, Universitat de Barcelona, ​​Ramon Llull, and many others. It is a calm area with many cafes for learning, including libraries and parks. It is also convenient to get to the Camp Nou football stadiu. So you can take advantage of this bonus and watch a live match with the legendary FC Barcelona. There are also many shopping malls, so there will be no shortage of places to shop.


  • Sant Marty

Close to the beach, residential area, and ideal for students looking for affordable accommodation. There is a multicultural atmosphere here, away from the tourist chaos and making you feel like you are in an authentic area. The city center, meanwhile, is quickly reachable by public transport.

Contact us