If you are looking for a very bohemian-type of neighborhood, you might want to consider Gracia. Being more up-town, prices will also be a little more affordable than areas such as Barceloneta or El Born.
In Gracia there is literally something for everyone, with restaurants catering for all kinds of cuisine, ranging from typical Spanish/Catalan, to Lebanese, Egyptian, Japanese, American, and just about any other kind imaginable. You will also find loads of interesting little shops that sell antiques, retro clothes, books and many more unusual items.
Gracia is essentially divided into 5 different areas. The upper parts called Vallcarca and El Coll, as well as La Salut are more residential, and is home to the very famous Parc Güell. Gracia is equally popular among locals as it is to tourists, especially around the Parc itself. However in the centre of Gracia, which is the livelier part, you will find mostly locals that consist primarily of expats that have chosen to live in Gracia specifically due to its charm and diversity of culture. Gracia is also where Gaudi built Casa Vicens, his first important work and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Every year around August, there is a week-long festival which is organized by the residents of Gracia known as “Festa Major de Gracia”. The streets are filled with decorations, food stalls, fun activities for the young ones, live music performances and much more.
Gracia is also known for its boutique clothing shops, showcasing some of the local talent of the fashion designers from around Barcelona, and offering interesting alternatives in dress-style. If you feel like doing some trendy shopping you should definitely visit “calle” Verdi. On the same street is also located the famous cinema Verdi, one of the English speaking cinemas in the city.
Night life in Gracia is mostly centered around the various plazas in the neighborhood. Each plaza has its own unique bars and restaurants, and often live music can be enjoyed on some of the plazas.
Public transportation isn´t as available as in the rest of the city, but there is a metro line that runs through the centre of Gracia.