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Barcelona neighborhoods and apt. rentals

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I know I just got back from Andalusia (huge thanks to everyone for answering my queries and who gave tips and advice!) , but I'm already thinking of traveling to Barcelona for Spring Break 2014 (last week of March for us.)

I know it's very early, but I'd like to book an apt. and don't wait to wait until the last minute so I can get the one I want.
I still can't decide which neighborhood would be best for us - myself, husband, and teen daughter, she'll be 16 then. I'm leaning toward Eixample, but am intrigued by Barceloneta.

Eixample seems to be more central for walking to the main sights; is it also walking distance to the waterfront? We can walk for a while without getting tired...

Finally, how far in advance should I book ahead for an apartment rental in March? Now? Christmas-ish?

Thanks!!

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