Sant Pere/Santa Caterina i La Ribera (El Born) neighbourhoods for students

Neighbourhoods for students in Barcelona: Sant Pere-El Born

The neighbourhood of Sant Pere-Santa Caterina i La Ribera was built in medieval times as an expansion of the old city outside its walls. Its origins are still visible on its narrow winding streets. The heart of this area, El Born, is one of the trendiest quarters in Barcelona. Would you like to know more about one of the most popular neighbourhoods for students in Barcelona?

Square in Born neighbourhood in Barcelona


Housing in the old city and close to the beach

Sant Pere/Santa Caterina i La Ribera is one of the neighbourhoods in Ciutat Vella district, which is the old city centre of Barcelona, along with El Raval, Barri Gòtic and La Barceloneta. Its limits are the east side of Ciutadella Park, Trafalgar Street, Via Laietana and Ronda Litoral.

Medieval neighbourhood with a trendy heart

Are you wondering why this neighbourhood has such a long name? Well, Sant Pere, Santa Caterina and La Ribera were three separate areas in the XI century, which were built as an expansion outside the medieval walls when the population outgrew the old city’s capacity.

Now they compose a single zone, whose heart is trendy El Born (the part of La Ribera area surrounding Santa María del Mar Basilica). You’ll hear a lot about El Born when living in Barcelona, as it concentrates many must sees and original restaurants in the old city. It has become very popular lately, attracting artists, designers, artisans and locals with a bohemian way of life, which live together with local families. In its origin, El Born was the place where tournaments between knights were held, hence its name, and where medieval guilds and tradesmen developed their activities.

Buildings in Sant Pere/Santa Caterina and El Born in Barcelona


The neighbourhood still keeps its medieval street pattern, picturesque squares and cobbled streets, although most buildings were erected in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of them are bourgeois palaces in Montcada Street.

Some of the narrow winding streets are still named after the crafts that were located in them: Sombrerers Street (or Hatters Street), Agullers Streets (or Needle Makers Stret)…Plus, in this area you may get to see archeological remains from different centuries. Just stroll around its streets and get lost in this magical scenario. Within the neighbourhood, El Born would be the most bustling and tourist area, but the rest still preserves its medieval-like atmosphere.

El Born neighbourhood (Barcelona)


Foodies are welcome

El Born is the area where most bars and restaurants are located. For example, Mercat Princesa is a tapas market here that you can’t miss! 17 eateries offer local and international food and organize show cooking activities. Do you consider yourself a foodie? Then visit this unique space located inside a palace.

Eating out in Barcelona (El Born)


Other areas to bear in mind are cafe and restaurant-lined streets of Passeig del Born, Carrer de l’Argenteria or Carrer del Rec. There are so many nice places that it’s a pity to name some of them and leave so many others out of the list. From down to earth traditional Spanish food to gourmet international food, you can find almost every kind of cuisine in this student neighbourhood. Just to name some possibilities, try NAP pizzeria, Mediterranean cuisine at 7 Portes Restaurant, the bar at the Chocolate Museum or delicious local tapas at Bormuth.

Sant Pere-Santa Caterina neighbourhoods in Barcelona

Bormuth. Source:

Nightlife in this neighbourhood in Barcelona

Passeig del Born changes its mood at night and becomes a meeting point for mojitos lovers and people who like to sit down listening to good music whilst drinking a cocktail.

But there’s also space for those who like to boogie! From house music in Diobar to rock in Magic Club, you’ll end up having a favourite place to go in this neighbourhoods for students in Barcelona.

Local traditions

Local traditions speak us about the character of a neighbourhood. There are two major feasts in this area.

The Festa Major del Barri del Pi in mid-March is full of popular culture activities, such as traditional dances and a parade of gigantic figures. This three day long feast recalls the legend of St. Joseph Oriol and of a bandit robberies in the area.

Plus, the Festa Major del Casc Antic, devoted to St. Peter, organizes not only folkloric activities, but also more ludic ones, such as large popular foods, festival dances or workshops. It’s celebrated on the 29th of June.

Sant Pere-Santa Caterina i La Ribera and El Born neighbourhood’s facilities


Spanish people like to buy fresh food at local markets, so if you would like to feel an authentic shopping experience don’t miss Santa Caterina Market. Family run stalls offer tasty local food, so it’s a really good place if you want to find out what Spanish and Catalonian food is all about! The atmosphere invites pedestrians to go in, even if they don’t want to buy food. Well, at first, because it’s difficult to resist taking something home.

Sant Pere/Santa Caterina i La Ribera market in Barcelona

Mercat Santa Caterina. Source:

There are several supermarkets in the neighbourhood to do your groceries, one is in fact inside Mercat Santa Caterina. For a more singular experience, choose to fill your pantry at small local foodstores: fruit shops, bakeries, butchers…Some of them offer ecological or ethnic food, especially in El Born area.


Variety is the word which best defines shops in Sant Pere/Santa Caterina i La Ribera. You may find from vintage clothes shops to big brand stores that have recently come to El Born area. Just stroll around and meet local designers, restorers, artisans, jewelry makers…

Trendy shop in Barcelona

Happ Barcelona. Source:

Sport facilities

Staying fit is really easy in Barcelona! For instance, you can walk to Parc Ciutadella nearby and do running. And if you’re a more gym person, then the public sports center CEM Colom and some other private gyms are within walking distance.

Next to Ciutadella Park and the beach

Ciutadella Park takes up the north west area of the neighbourhood. Would you like to go boating? Or just promenade? The Barcelona Zoo is also inside this vast green park!

Barcelona Zoo

Barcelona Zoo

Walk 15 minutes to the East and you’ll reach the sunny beach! Is there something nicer than spending an afternoon on the sand?

Barceloneta beach

Platja de la Barceloneta. Source:

Cultural offer and attractions

The Gothic Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar is perhaps the main attraction in the neighbourhood. It was built in the fourteenth century by local inhabitants, as a demonstration of their economic power.

Some years later, in the 19th century, the Borne Market was built out of forged iron by the industrial neighbourhood. It no longer offers food. Instead, it hosts archeological remains from the 18th century.

Santa Maria del Mar (Barcelona, Spain)

Santa Maria del Mar Basilica. Source:

Other cultural attractions are: the bourgeois palaces on Montcada Street, the building of the fish market (LLotja), the Arc del Triomf (Triumphal Arch) monument, Sant Pere de les Puel·les Monestir or the memorial square Fossar de les moreres for the lives lost at the Spanish Succession War in 1714.

In addition, the Chocolate Museum (Museu de la Xocolata) and the Picasso Museum are really worth a visit. The Picasso Museum displays more than 4,200 artworks by the artist and its aim is to explain the development of Pablo Picasso and its relationship with Barcelona.

Plus, the Palau de la Música (Music House) and Antic Teatre offer interesting music and theatre schedules for different types of audiences.

Palau Musica in Barcelona

Palau de la Música. Source:


The Francesca Bonnemaison Library is a quiet retreat in Sant Pere/Santa Caterina i La Ribera. You won’t need anything else to revise for your exams!


The metro stations of Arc del Triomf (L1), Urquinaona (L1 and L4), Jaume I and Barceloneta (L4) surround the neighbourhood and convert it into a well-connected area of the city.

Remember that you’re located in the city centre, so you can walk to most tourist attractions and cultural offers in Barcelona, including the beach!

UPF is less than 20 minutes away on foot and it will take you about 30 minutes to reach UPC (L4 and L5 starting at Jaume I station), UPC Campus Sur, UB Mundet Campus and UB Diagonal Avenue (L3 starting at Liceu station). Finally, UAB in Bellaterra Campus is one hour away by train (S2).

Neighbourhoods for students in Barcelona: El Born


Rooms for rent: rental rate

Would you like to live your experience in one of the most popular neighbourhoods for students in Barcelona? Beroomers can help you find your next housing in this area! Rental rates can be quite high but it’s also possible to find more affordable options, such as rooms at shared flats for about 450€/month.

Short and sweet

  • Atmosphere: narrow winding streets, trendy, popular area for bohemian people and artisans, cozy bars and original restaurants.
  • Location: it’s the part of the old city town which is closer to Barceloneta Beach.
  • Residents: local families, artists and artisans, designers and people attracted by a bohemian way of life.
  • Local traditions: Festa Major del Barri del Pi and Festa Major del Casc Antic are folklore events in the neighbourhood.
  • Facilities: small food stores, supermarkets and Santa Caterina Market, shops, green areas to go running, library…
  • Transportation: You can walk to the beach and to all cultural attractions in the city centre. Regarding universities, you can reach your lessons at UPF in less than 20 minutes on foot, or at UPC, UPC Campus Sur, UB Mundet Campus and UB Diagonal Avenue in about 30 minutes underground. UAB in Bellaterra Campus is one hour away by train (S2).
  • Rooms for rent and apartments for rent: rent can be quite high but it’s possible to find rooms for about 450€/month.
  • Area of Barcelona: Sant Pere/Santa Caterina i La Ribera is one of the neighbourhoods in Ciutat Vella district, along with El Raval, Barri Gòtic, La Ribera and La Barceloneta.

El Born market in Barcelona

El Born. Source:

El Born is one of those places you would never forget once you’ve been there, one of the most popular neighbourhoods for students in Barcelona! Are you wondering if Barcelona is the best place to live in? Then don’t miss our guide of neighbourhoods for students!

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