City Blog Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. Barcelona is the largest city on the Mediterranean coast and has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate. Every year many tourists visit Barcelona for its outstanding football team, stunning architecture, beautiful beaches, buzzing nightlife, and famous Spanish cuisine. Barcelona attracts visitors from all over the world. It is not a surprise that expats call Barcelona their home away from home. In this blog, you will read about some interesting facts about Barcelona, its environment, the vibrant culture, buzzing nightlife, public transport, housing, healthcare, and some words to get you started. I hope you enjoy reading this and that this blog might help you to get started in Barcelona. 

Fun facts about Barcelona:

  • Barcelona has 2 official languages Catalan and Spanish. 
  • There are over 20 Michelin-starred restaurants in Barcelona.
  • Barcelona has the largest football stadium in Europe.
  • Barcelona is even older than Rome. 
  • Barcelona has 68 different parks. 
  • Barcelona neither loves flamenco nor bullfighting. 
  • Barcelona is one of the most bike-friendly cities in Spain·
  • Barcelona is one of the most LGBT-Friendly cities in Europe. 

City overview 

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia (Catalunya). Barcelona is the home of over 1.6 million inhabitants, which makes it the second-most densely populated city in Spain. Barcelona is considered the capital of the Mediterranean, because of the largest metropolis bordering these waters. Barcelona is not only known for its exceptional soccer and the famous architecture of Antoni Gaudi, but also for its modern art museums, beautiful coast, and tasty tapas and seafood. 

Barcelona is often called Barca as a nickname. This is not the right nickname for Barcelona. Barca is the nickname of the FC Barcelona Football team. ‘Barna’ is the nickname for Barcelona. 

Barcelona was established over 2000 years ago from the Roman colony of Barcino, founded by Emperor Augustus. You can still see part of Barcino in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona.

The governing of Barcelona proposes that there are 10 different districts to Barcelona. These districts are Cuitat Vella, Eixample, Sants-Montjuic, Les Corts, Sarria-Sant Gervasi, Gracia, Horta-Guinardo, Nou Barris, Sant Andreu, and Sant Marti.  

Environment

Barcelona is a holiday hotspot for people from all over the world because of its wonderful coast-side and the nice weather. Barcelona has a subtropical-Mediterranean climate. Summers in Barcelona are hot, and winters are mild with no snow. The summers in Barcelona last from May to October, with temperatures between 25 – 30 Degrees Celsius. Winters last from December to April with temperatures between 5 – 14 Degrees Celsius. Barcelona is a very sunny city with an average of 55 days of rain a year, this is not much at all. Barcelona is a coastal city, so you will always be breathing in that sweet ocean air!

If you are in Barcelona, don’t hesitate to go outside of the city. Barcelona is a very beautiful city with many different things to do. But outside of Barcelona are beautiful hotspots as well. Think of the beautiful coastal area and for example hotspots like Montserrat. Montserrat is known for its extremely volcanic landscape. You can also go to the Baqueira Beret. This is one of the best ski areas in Catalonia. This is an area with more than 120 kilometers of ski slopes and a height difference of 1000 meter. If you like wine, Catalonia is perfect for you. There are many bodegas (wine farms) you could visit. The famous wine area in Catalonia is El Penedes. El Penedes is famous for its Cava. As you can see, moving to Barcelona will never be boring. You can go to the slopes if you want to go skiing or snowboarding, eat tapas in small Spanish villages or go to the beautiful beaches and bays or explore the beautiful nature around Barcelona. 

Culture & Nightlife

Culture

Catalonia brings its own unique cultural celebrations and traditions and is one of the proudest and rich cultures in Europe. When you are in Barcelona, you will notice that many Catalonians do not consider themselves Spanish, but Catalan. Almost all travelers dream to visit. Barcelona is a unique and culturally rich city. From the famous seafood to the world-famous art history and beautiful architecture. Every year millions of tourists visit the city. Tourism has fueled the city’s energy and made it into a thriving hotspot. There is always something to do in Barcelona. 

Barcelona has many festivals (Fiesta´s). Every neighborhood (Barrio) has their own local ´fiestas´. Here you can find a list of some of the ´fiestas´in Barcelona. There are many more.

  • Año nuevo: 1st of January
  • Carnaval: One week festival in different areas in and around Barcelona. You should look online during this week in which neighborhood the festivals are. 
  • Día de Reyes: 6 of January
  • Día del trabajo: 1st of May
  • San Juan: 24 of June
  • La asunción: 15 of August
  • Día Nacional de Cataluña. 11 of September. 
  • La merce: 24 of September. This is a major festival in Barcelona to honor the virgen de la merced. During this festival parades take place.
  • Día de la Hispanidad: 12 of October
  • Día de Todos los Santos: 1st of November
  • Día de la constitución: 6 of December
  • Navidad (Christmas): 25 of December
  • San Esteban: 26 of December

There are many more ´fiestas´in Barcelona. This was just an example of a few famous days where fiestas take place. 

Nightlife

Barcelona is good for nightlife. Barcelona is one of the world’s best party cities. There is not just one area that is sampled as Barcelona’s nightlife area. Nightlife in Barcelona is spread throughout the city and there are a lot of happening neighborhoods to check out. Barcelona is synonymous with nightlife and entertainment for all ages.

Barcelona offers a wide variety of bars, discos, and clubs. You can party every night of the week if you want to. The atmosphere is alive and each night is different.

 Especially on weekends when the city is much more crowded. In Spain people eat dinner at 9:00/10:00 PM and go get some drinks before they go out ‘ir de copas’. The nightlife in Barcelona starts around 1:00/2:00 AM and often ends the following morning. Nice to know: most clubs in Barcelona have free entrance or a surcharge before a certain time (generally 1.00).

Public transport

The public transport in Barcelona is very good. Almost every attraction in Barcelona is within walking distance of a metro station. Barcelona has the largest metro system of all cities close to the Mediterranean. If you are traveling to places outside Barcelona, you could go by train. The trains are going at a very fast pace, so you do not have to worry about timetables. Public transport in Spain is not as expensive as in other countries. If you must travel a lot by public transport, there are different abonnements for the train and metro that might make the trip cost less. 

If you have to travel a lot to places outside Barcelona, you could get a travel card for the zones until you should travel. You can see which zone you have to travel to in the picture below. 

Of course metro´s and trains in Barcelona are not the only options to travel. If you like to be outside and enjoy the city while traveling, you could also rent a bike. Barcelona has a public transport system where you can use shared bikes. This system is called Bicing. You can rent a bike from anywhere in Barcelona when you have an abonnement. On the website of bicing you can find more information. 

Taxis are also very easy to use in Barcelona when you need to go from one place to another. The taxi fares for Barcelona are set and usually the same for every taxi. In the picture next to this text you can find what the fares are. If you order a taxi by phone, they will charge you €7,00.

By day

 

Base fee

€2,25

Kilometer price

€1,18

Waiting time per hour

€22,60

By night (Monday to Friday from 8:00 PM until 8:00 AM and saturdays, sundays and holidays)

 

Base fee

€2,25

Kilometer price

€1,41

Waiting time per hour

€22,60

Housing

Finding a place to live in Barcelona might be very difficult. Especially when you are not in Barcelona yet. So many people want to rent an apartment or room in Barcelona and do a lot to get it. This makes it easier for frauds to scam you. Therefore I will provide you with some (hopefully) helpful tips for when you are planning on living in Barcelona.  To decrease the chance of getting scammed, check the owner with the land registry office. You as a tenant can verify if the owner really is the owner of a property by doing a quick and easy online inquiry. If you are planning on doing this, you need to ask for the document called ‘Nota simple’. 

Many people want an apartment in Barcelona. Luckily the offer and options of apartments in Barcelona are very big. A lot of people come to Barcelona to work or study there every year but won´t stay their whole lives. It is a big city with a very good transport system, this means even though you don’t live in the city center, you never have to travel long. 

Long-term rental properties are valid for 5 years. These contracts have a. minimum of 6 months. Temporary rental contracts are for a maximum period of one year and are destined for tenants who visit Barcelona to study or work. Make sure that you know what contract you are signing. 

The deposit works differently in Spain than in other countries. When you move out and the apartment is still in a good condition. After you pay your deposit. Make sure to get an incasol receipt after paying the deposit. The deposit must be transferred to Incasol, who acts as an intermediary serving to protect tenants from scams. 

You can find more information about what you must pay attention to when planning on renting an apartment in Barcelona on the following website

We also partner up with a company in Barcelona to help you make this step easier,  AllRoomies has several appartments throughout Barcelona for accesible prices!

Healthcare

Healthcare in Barcelona is of an excellent standard, which is generally the case in Spain. Healthcare holds has a good reputation among both locals and expats in Barcelona. EU citizens can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access healthcare in Barcelona. 

If you need medical assistance. The first point to call is the primary healthcare system (Centre d’Atenció Primaria, CAP). This is for common health problems and is a way to get free medical assistance. More serious health issues are dealt with in hospitals. 

If you have a Social Security number in Barcelona. You can register with the Catalan healthcare service (CatSalut). Therefore, you need to be registered with the municipal resident’s register. After doing this, they will assign you to the CAP nearest to your home. When you are registered, you will be given a TSI, which stands for Tarjeta Sanitària individual. This is an individual healthcare card that will give you access to the public healthcare system’s centers and services. 

If you are moving to Barcelona but don’t have a social security number yet. It is recommended to make use of the robust private healthcare system in Barcelona and to invest in private health insurance. In Barcelona, private hospitals are less crowded and more efficient than Barcelona’s public hospitals. This insurance will cover you while you are living in Spain. 

If you have an emergency, I recommend that you call 061 (CatSalut Respon). This is a service that covers the entire Catalan region 24 hours. It is better to call before you visit, to make sure that there are not too many patients already. Of course you can always call 112 when having an emergency. 

Some words to get you started

Barcelona is the capital of Catalunya. In Catalunya, they speak Catalan. This is not the same as Spanish, although nowadays almost every inhabitant of Catalunya speaks both Catalan and Spanish. Here is a list of some words to get you started and some differences between Spanish and Catalan.

English

Spanish

Catalan

Week

Semana

Setmana

I am

Me llamo

Em dic

Year

Año

Any

How are you?

¿Cómo estás?

com aquestes

Where are you from?

¿De dónde es usted?

¿D’on és vostè?

Good morning

Buenos días

Bondia

Day

Día

Dia

Goodbye

Adios

Adéu

Street

Calle

Carrer

Writer of this blog

Robin Schuitvlot

Recruit4.work has developed very rapidly since its foundation in 2016 into an established recruitment and selection agency.

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