Sants & Hostafrancs: Neighbourhood Guide For Students!
Sants and Hostafrancs are two neighbourhoods for students in Barcelona which are located next to Sants train and metro station. Mainly residential areas with an industrial past, it’s a really nice place to eat out and go to the theatre. If you’re planning to live in this city but still don’t know which would be the best option for you, perhaps one of these areas is your safe bet, so check out this neighbourhood guide!
Osca Square. Source: www.barcelonogy.com
Located in the western part of Barcelona
The neighbourhoods of Sants and Hostafrancs are located within the boundaries of Sants-Montjuïc district and close to Sants train station. It’s west to the city centre and well connected to it.
Residential neighbourhood with an industrial past
Sants and Hostafrancs are two neighbourhoods which have a lot in common. Both were independent from Barcelona until 1897 and have an industrial past that modified their atmosphere forever, hosting industries and low-rise buildings and facilities for workers, some of them which are still standing today. Old buildings with inner courtyards stand next to newer ones on the narrow streets of Sants and Hostafrancs.
Sants Street. Source: www.en.wikipedia.org
Nowadays it’s an increasingly popular area for middle class workers and students, attracted by this residential and quiet neighbourhood, except from the shopping hub of Creu Coberta-Sants Streets and the zone next to Barcelona-Sants train station.
Stroll around and choose a restaurant
Whether you prefer to taste authentic Spanish food or international cuisine, you’ll find a good place to eat in Sants and Hostafrancs. There are so many places that it’s difficult to recommend just some of them, and your choice is going to depend on your budget! Perhaps the best option is to stroll around and look at the menus to decide.
Anyway, don’t miss the traditional tapas and montaditos of Basque tavern Zarautz, which are respectively small portions of food and mini bocatas. If you’re on a student budget, Timesburg serves nice hamburgers in the neighbourhood of Hostafrancs. Other cheap places are the Italian restaurant La Villa and the Mexican Cielito Lindo.
Timesburg. Source: www.runtheworld.es
Nightlife in these Barcelona neighbourhoods
Osca Square (Plaça d’Osca) is the new meeting point at night in the neighbourhood of Sants. Nightlife in these neighbourhoods is more about eating out and having a drink at a terrace than partying and dancing.
However, if you want to enjoy a lively nightlife, the neighbourhood is within 10 minutes distance to the city centre going underground, where there are several nightlife areas to choose from!
Source: Jordi Navarro (www.youtube.com)
Hostafrancs and Sants neighbourhoods celebrate each of them a local feast. Festa Major de Sants honours Saint Bartholomew with popular dances, street decorations, fireworks, giant figures…
And Festa Major d’Hostafrancs has a tradition of more than 150 years and honours the Guardian Angel, its patron saint, with traditional dances and a public tasting of winter fruits.
Festa Major d’Hostafrancs. Source: www.ajuntament.barcelona.cat
Sants and Hostafrancs neighbourhoods’ facilities
Each neighbourhood has its own local market: Sants Market and Hostafrancs Market. Both of them offer high quality food at family-run stalls, so if you’re a foodie these are really good places to get lost! Moreover, Hostafrancs Market supplies not only with goodies, but also with clothes boutiques or a florist.
If you rather go a little bit quicker doing your groceries, just find out what is the supermarket nearest home and get everything you need!
Shopping can be fun! The best option is to walk down the streets of Creu Coberta and Sants, whose more than 800 shops attract not only locals, but also people from all over Barcelona.
And for an unique shopping experience, don’t miss Las Arenas shopping mall. Can an old bullring be transformed into a shopping hub?
Las Arenas shopping mall. Source: www.quenosvamos.com
Are you wondering how to stay fit when living in Sants or Hostafrancs? Several public and private gyms offer guided activities and modern facilities for students. For example, CEM La Bordeta and CEM Joan Miró.
The Parc de l’Espanya Industrial is a peculiar park that was built in 1985 on the grounds of an old textile industry. It even has an artificial lake for boating! And a fierce metal dragon where young children slide…Or not so young?
Parc de l’Espanya Industrial. Source: Brian Adamson (www.flickr.com)
Plus, other smaller gardens are scattered throughout the neighbourhood. Lastly, Joan Miró Park is just across the boundaries of Hostafrancs neighbourhood and is another nice place to walk around.
Joan Miró Park, Woman and Bird Sculpture. Source: www.ara.cat
Cultural offer and attractions
The neighbourhoods of Sants and Hostafrancs are primarily residential. However, if you want to do or see interesting things in Barcelona without moving to the city centre, you’ll have the opportunity to do so within walking distance.
The museums of MNAC (National Art Museum of Catalunya), the Ethnological Museum, the Art Museum Joan Miró Foundation or the outdoor Poble Espanyol Museum will be pretty close to your home. Plus, the scenic Magic Fountain of Montjuic combines light, sound and water to give a magnificent show.
Magic Fountain of Montjuic. Source: www.bcncatfilmcommission.com
In addition, the nearby Parallel Avenue hosts several theatres which attract theatre lovers from all over the city: Sala Barts, Apolo Theatre and El Molino Theatre. And in summer, when the weather is warm, don’t miss the outdoor films projected at Sala Montjuic.
Living in Sants means that you’re pretty close to university campus of UB and UPC, so of course you may use their libraries throughout the year. Bear in mind, however, that during exam times you’ll need the university card to go into the libraries.
Sants and Hostafrancs are connected to the rest of the city by the metro lines 3 (Plaça del Centre, Sants Estació, Pl. Espanya and Tarragona metro stations), 1 (Mercat Nou, Pl. Espanya, Plaça de Sants and Hostafrancs) and 5 (Plaça de Sants and Sants Estació) and 8 (Plaça d’Espanya). Plaça d’Espanya, along with Sants, are also train stations. If you want to travel around Catalonia or Spain this is an ideal location!
Sants Estació. Source: www.vozpopuli.com
Are you wondering the distance of this area to your university?
- UPC and UPC Campus Sur: 15 minutes underground in L5 or L3 respectively.
- UPF: is 20 minutes away by train (R1/R3/R4)
- UB Mundet Campus, UB Diagonal Avenue and IESE Business School: are 30 minutes away (L3).
- UAB in Bellaterra Campus: 50 minutes away by train (R1 and S2).
Rental rates varies widely in the area, but you can find some rooms at shared apartments starting from 300€/month. Check out the rooms and flats listed on Beroomers!
Short and sweet
- Atmosphere: residential and quiet neighbourhoods with a working-class and industrial past.
- Location: in the western part of the city and surrounding busy Sants Station.
- Residents: local families and students.
- Local traditions: Festa Major de Sants and Festa Major d’Hostafrancs honour different saints and fill the streets with popular celebrations.
- Facilities: shops, food stores, sporting facilities, public libraries, museums, theatres…
- Transportation: Sants and Hostafrancs are well connected areas. Specifically, it will take you 15 minutes underground to reach UPC (L5) or UPC Campus Sur (L3), 20 minutes by train to UPF (R1/R3/R4) and 30 minutes to reach UB Mundet Campus, UB Diagonal Avenue and IESE Business School (L3). Lastly, UAB in Bellaterra Campus is 50 minutes away by train (R1 and S2).
- Rental rate: varies widely, starting from 300€/month for a room (or sometimes even less) at shared apartments.
- Area of Barcelona: within Sants-Montjuic district.
Hostafrancs Market. Source: www.culturabarcelona.cat
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