Eixample is the name given to the second district of Barcelona and occupies the central part of the city, covering an extensive area of 7,46 square kilometres. It was designed by Ildefons Cerdá and constitutes the most populous district of Barcelona counting a total of 262.485 inhabitants.
What is more, it is in the Eixample where numerous tourist attractions and local places of interest are located, such as the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, Casa Milá, Casa Batlló, the National Theatre of Catalonia, the Barcelona Auditorium, the Plaza de Toros Monumental as well as accommodating quite a number of cinemas, theatres, restaurants, hotels and other places of entertainment.
The plan outlined by Ildefons Cerdá pays particular attention to its inhabitants’ recreational necessities with an attentive eye to the needs of children and elderly alike. It is for this reason he strategized that each block, which he wanted square, be constructed on only two of its sides so that the remaining space be allocated to gardens that are easy to reach. In such way there is no need for children to journey far in order to play nor for the eldery to head out for a stroll. On the other hand, these areas are also community friendly reducing the chances of accidents and preventing children from wandering off onto the trafficked streets. The area of the Eixample dret (from the right of Balmes street onwards) to Paseo San Juan is rather high-end and home to the well-off. The four most expensive streets are: Passeig de Gracia (currently the second most expensive street in Europe), the Avinguda Diagonal (the most important street in Barcelona), the Rambla de Catalunya and Balmes street.
It is worth emphasizing that the streets surrounding Passeig de Gracia are rather pricey. In the vicinity reside the High Bourgeoisie (or at least this was the case years back) as well as those with high purchase power who delight in being close to the centre and enjoy the benefits of certain commodities such as good public transport: metros, buses, trains… All in all, it should be noted that the west Eixample (widening) is the most valued even though one should bear in mind that Plaça Catalunya is extremely popular and consequently quite costly.