Coliving Insider: A Landing Pad Barcelona

When you think of Barcelona, images of beautiful summer weather, topless beaches, tapas, 1€ juices from La Boqueria and of course, sangria, all come to mind. You rarely think, “hey, that’s somewhere I want to live and work for a while” - let’s be honest, how much work can you actually get done when you’re partying until 5am on the beach with the locals. Every. Single. Night? 

Well, if the thought has ever crossed your mind, then you’re in luck because A Landing Pad, Barcelona’s first co-living space, opened its doors in June 2017 and I had the lucky opportunity to spend an entire month soaking up the sun from its rooftop deck. 

If you’re like me and you’ve been spoiled by other co-living experiences, A Landing Pad may not live up to your standards, but then again, I can admit that maybe my standards are just too damn high. Either way, here’s the down and dirty of everything you need to know before you make the decision to co-live in Barcelona (tl;dr: I say pull the trigger, living in Barcelona will be an experience that you’ll never forget!) 

The Cost: 1100€/month for the “Standard” room with a double bed and ensuite bathroom. In my room, there was a small desk and chair, wardrobe and two bedside tables; minimalistic living at its finest. The room is in no way large and at times, having two people in there felt crowded (if you have another person staying with you, it’ll cost you another 150€ on top of the monthly rate).

The Coworking Space: There is a small room on the very top floor across from the kitchen that has 4 sitting desks and 1 tall desk with a hodgepodge of chairs. If you really wanted to, you could get away with 10 people sitting and working in there at one time, but you don’t need to worry about that because you can practically sit anywhere and work; your room, the giant rooftop deck or the second floor deck.

The Wi-Fi: You’ve come to work (and play, duh!) and you paid a lot of money to do so (because for around 650-850€, you can get your own apartment in Barca), but the Wi-Fi here simply just does not want to give you the time of day sometimes. There are 3 routers located throughout the house, but the connection can be spotty and unreliable at times. I could not do a video conference call unless I stood right next to the router. This proved to be the most frustrating part about the co-living/coworking space and still stands as my biggest complaint. I refuse to be forced to go do my work elsewhere and pay MORE MONEY! 

The Community: There is a Whatsapp group for all those staying in the house and it is used regularly by those who are making plans or need help, and people are quite good at responding. Besides that, community building must be done on your own; you see someone, you ask them if they want to hang out. Once in awhile, people plan a group activity for everyone in the house whether it be a BBQ on the roof or a night out. In my opinion, this could have been facilitated better to ensure that people are meeting and spending time together through organized family nights once a week as there are many coming and going.

The House: There is no “wow” factor here, it’s simply a home with rooms and a decent rooftop. Although I must say, each room has it’s own personality that shines through the art painted on the walls. The problem though is that when you have many people living together, not everyone cleans up after themselves which is why, in my opinion, a co-living space needs to have a mom/cleaning lady that is there everyday. Otherwise the dishes pile up, food rots on the counter, there isn’t enough space in the fridge because food left behind by former guests is still in there weeks later and the garbage is overflowing just from one day of use. Disclaimer: there is a sweet woman that comes and cleans the common areas 2-3 times a week and your room will get a cleaning/bed sheet changing once a week - however, sometimes these cleanings aren’t quite thorough enough. Items in the house are a little dated as well; I had to buy myself a new pillow because the one provided was so flat (I know, I’m so extra). 

The Location: Poble Sec is a phenomenal area, A Landing Pad is located just a 10 minute walk to Montjuic and it’s expansive park and museums which makes for a great place to do a morning run (the views of the city MNAC are absolutely breathtaking). There is a bus stop in front of the house and the metro station is a 10 minute walk straight down the road that takes you Barri Gotic or El Born in just 25 minutes. It could not be more convenient if you asked it to be. Plus, as a solo female traveler, I felt safe walking around here at night.

In short, there are a few areas that may need improvement, but Steve (he owns the joint) is a fantastic and funny guy who is 100% responsive when you ask for anything and is always on top of “Hey Steve, the Wi-Fi isn’t working that great”. That, along with the prime location, the inspiring friends you’ll make and the networking opportunities are why I have no regrets about spending a month at A Landing Pad.