In fact, there are several cheaper housing options that have advantages over hotels. The main ones are:
1) Rented apartments
3) Hotels, hostels/boarding houses
1. Choosing a suitable area of Barcelona
Barcelona has many different neighborhoods, and they all differ in their surroundings and facilities.
2. Make sure the apartment has all the necessary amenities
Many apartments in Barcelona are located in old traditional houses with a real character. But, if the apartment is on the fifth floor of a building without an elevator, then climbing the stairs can be difficult. Therefore, it is important to ask precise questions about your home before you rent. Be sure to ask if there is an elevator in the house if stairs are a problem for you.
Other factors include kitchen amenities. Some apartments have fully equipped kitchens, while others only have a microwave and a sink.
If possible, then ask to leave only a deposit for booking an apartment before arriving in Barcelona, and you will pay the rest of the money after arrival. If you paid for the accommodation in full even before arrival, then you will no longer be able to bargain if something suddenly does not suit you.
4. Choosing a reliable agency
Here are a few points to help you figure out if you are dealing with a reliable agency.
a) Do they have a phone number and fax? Their phone and fax numbers should be on their website and ideally, they should be different.
b) Send them an e-mail and notice how quickly and competently they respond. Did they answer your questions?
c) Call them on the phone. Ideally, you need a firm that can answer you in your language. It is easy to check this by calling and asking questions about the apartment you are interested in.
d) Can the firm provide testimonials from satisfied customers? Check their website or ask them to send you reviews from satisfied customers by email. Serious firms will be able to provide testimonials from clients.
5. Does the agency offer the possibility of paying with plastic cards?
Serious agencies offer the opportunity to pay by credit card. They will also have a commercial loan in organizations serving plastic cards, which means this is most likely a serious company.
6. Does the agency have an office in the center of Barcelona?
The advantage of agencies that have an office in the city center is that if you have any problems, you can always drive up to them and talk to someone. Some agencies do not have their own offices, so after renting a house, you will decide all the questions with the owners. This is okay, and many agencies do this.
But it’s not bad when there is an office in the city center if the owner of the apartment is not there. Pay attention to the availability of city phone numbers. Barcelona numbers start with the code “93”. Some companies use special numbers to which discounts are provided for calls, etc., so this is not a strict rule.
7. Choose an officially registered agency
Look for an agency registered as a limited liability company. They keep strict tax records and bookkeeping for reporting to the Spanish authorities. For this, they have an accountant. Such companies add the letters S.L. to the name. or S.A. Sometimes after the name, some companies indicate their registration number. Be aware that some businesses do not publish this information on their websites, so this is not a strict rule of thumb. Just another factor to look out for.
An apartment in Barcelona has many advantages over a hotel. I hope these tips will help you to be more confident in choosing a rental agency in Barcelona.