Basic survival

  1. Transport
  2. Press and media
  3. The cost of living
  4. Opening hours in Barcelona
  5. Climate
  6. Practical advice
  7. Useful Telephone Numbers



Getting around in Barcelona


Barcelona has two interconnected underground train systems: the Metro, comprising five lines, and the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC), which has two metropolitan lines and another four which go beyond the city limits.

Metro operating hours: Monday to Thursday, Sunday and public holidays, from 5.00 a.m. to 12 midnight; Fridays and eve of public holidays, from 5.00 a.m. to 2.00 a.m.; Saturdays, non-stop.

FGC operating hours: Monday to Thursday, from 5.00 a.m. to 12 midnight; Fridays Saturdays and public holidays, from 5.00 a.m. to 2.00 a.m.; Sundays from 5.00 a.m. to 12 midnight.

You can obtain further information by calling 010 and 906 42 70 17, or visiting TMB and FGC.


While slower, the buses have the advantage of allowing you to enjoy the city while you travel. Each route is indicated at the corresponding bus stop.
Operating hours: from Monday to Sunday, from 4.30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
For further information, telephone 010 or visit TMB.

Nitbús (the all-night bus)

Operating hours: from Monday to Sunday, from 11 p.m. to 4.00 a.m. buses leave at intervals of between 30 and 45 minutes.
They all stop at Plaça Catalunya. Nitbus website


Barcelona's taxis with their distinctive black and yellow livery, show a green light to indicate that they are available. They can be hailed by simply raising your hand. The taxi meter shows the fare to be paid. However, there are a number of authorised extra charges (for example, an airport charge, for extra baggage, etc.). Taxis will not accept more than four passengers.

Taxis can also be called from the following numbers | 93 303 32 66 | 93 3577755 | 93 2250000 | 93 3001100 |

Or visit

And for a taxi adapted for the disabled the number is 93 358 11 11.

Travelling outside Barcelona


A number of private companies provide coach services all over Catalonia, Spain and Europe. Further information 010.


The state railway company (RENFE) has a range of different trains services and fare discounts. Phone: 902 24 02 02

Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC)

FCG lines leaving Barcelona go to Manresa, Terrassa and Sabadell. The main station is in Plaça Catalunya. Phone: 93 205 15 15

By sea

Although the Port of Barcelona is now the largest on the Mediterranean, the only regular ferry lines are the services to Genoa and the Balearic Islands.For further information:

L.M. Companyia Trasmediterranea
Moll Sant Bertran , 3
Tel. 93 295 91 00
Grandi Navi Veloci - Grupo Grimaldi
Pg. Colom , 9 - 11
Phone: 93 295 70 00

By air

Barcelona airport information:
Tel.: 93 298 38 38

Links to Barcelona Airport:
The airport is located 12 km outside the city. Links to the airport are as follows:

By train
Operating hours from Plaça Catalunya: approximately from 6.00 to 22.00 h
Frequency: Every 30 minutes
Length of trip: 25 minutes
Stops: El Clot, Arc de Triomf, Plaça Catalunya, Sants, Airport
Further information: 902 24 02 02.

By taxi
There are taxi ranks at all three of the airport's terminals. It takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the city centre. Approximate price: 35 euros.

Operating hours: from Plaça Catalunya, from 5.30 to 11.15 p.m. From the airport, from 6.00 to 12 midnight.
Frequency: every 15 minutes
Length of journey: 30 minutes, approximately.
Stops: Plaça Catalunya, Passeig de Gràcia-Diputació, Avinguda Roma-Urgell, Sants, Plaça Espanya, Airport: Terminals A, B, C.
Further information: 93 415 60 20 and 906 42 70 17.

By car
If you intend driving around Barcelona, remember that most streets are one-way. The speed limit is 50 km/h in urban areas, 90 km/h on local roads, 100 km/h on national roads, and 120 km/h on the motorways. For traffic information the number to call is 900 123 505.

Press & Media

The press
Main general newspapers in Catalan:Avui<, El Periódico (Catalan edition).
Main general newspapers in Spanish: La Vanguardia, El Periódico, El País, El Mundo,ABC.
Main financial papers (in Spanish): Expansión, La Gaceta de los Negocios.
Main sports papers (in Spanish): Mundo Deportivo, Sport, Marca.


There are numerous radio stations both Catalan and state-wide.
In Catalonia: Catalunya Ràdio, COM Ràdio, Ona Catalana, Flaix FM, FlaixBac, etc.
State-wide: Cadena 100, Cadena COPE, Cadena SER, Onda Cero, RNE, etc.

Local television (in Catalan): Barcelona Televisió (BTV), City TV.
Catalan television (in Catalan): TV3, Canal 33.
State-wide television (in Spanish): TVE1, La 2, Antena 3 Televisión, Telecinco, Canal Plus, Digital Plus (pay per view). Further information:

The Cost of Living

Note: all these prices are approximate and may be subject to variations.

In general, you should plan for the following monthly expenses:

|400,00 €
|200,00 €
|40,00 €
Spending money
|200,00 €
|840,00 €


How much does it cost to?


Buy a bus ticket or Metro ticket 

|2,00 €

Buy a T-10 (10 bus or metro trips)

|9,80 €

Buy a T-Mes (monthly public transport card)

|52,75 €

Buy a university manual

|55,00 €

Go to a classical concert

|15,00-70,00 €

Go to a club

|15,00-20,00 €

Go to a first division basketball game

|25,00-45,00 €

Go to a first division football game

|20,00 - 75,00 €

Go to a museum

|3,00-8,00 €

Go to a rock concert

|20,00 - 90,00 €

Go to the Cinema

|7 €

Go to the Theatre

|12-45,00 €

Have a hamburger

|5 €

Have breakfast at the University café

|2,5 €

Have lunch at a cheap restaurant

|8,00 - 12,00 €

Have lunch at the University canteens

|7 €

Rent a car (daily price)

|50,00 - 60,00 €

Rent a motorcycle (daily price)

|22,00 €

Rent a single room in a shared flat

|300,00 - 500,00 €


Opening Hours in Barcelona

Shops open at 10.00 am and close for lunch at around 1.30 or 2.00 p.m. They reopen at between 4.30 and 5.00 p.m. and stay open until between 8.00 and 9.00 p.m. Certain shops, especially the larger ones and hypermarkets, do not close at midday.

At lunchtime, restaurants tend to open between 1. and 1.30 p.m. until 3.30 or 4.00 p.m. At night, they open between 8.00 and 8.30 p.m and close between 12 midnight and 1 o'clock in the morning.

Cafés and bars are open all day from between 7 and 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. or 12.00 midnight, although some stay open even later until 1 or 1.30 a.m.

Banks and savings banks open from Monday to Friday, generally from 8.30 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. Some banks also open on Saturday morning, and the savings banks open late on Thursday evenings from 4.30 to 7.45 p.m., except from June to September.

Cinema sessions tend to be at 4.00, 6.00, 8.00 and 10.00 p.m., approximately. Some cinemas have late-night sessions at weekends. They usually begin at 24.00 h.

Theatre opening hours are variable. In general, from Tuesday to Saturdays performances tend to begin between 9.00 and 10.00 p.m. and on Sunday between 6.00 and 8.00 p.m.. Theatres are generally closed on Mondays.

Museum opening hours also tend to be variable. In general they are open morning and afternoon from Tuesday to Saturday; they open on Sunday morning and are closed on Monday.


Barcelona enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Extreme temperatures are not common. Average Celsius temperatures throughout the year are as follows:

 February  March  April May  June  July  August  September
 November  December
ºC  |09º  |10º  |12º  |14º  |17º  |21º  |24º  |24º  |21º  |17º  |13º  |10º

Practical Advice

Tax Free

Value Added Tax (VAT) of 16% is payable on most goods. Citizens of non-European Union countries may be entitled to exemption on purchases.

Further information: 900 333 555 (from Spain).

Services and tips

In restaurants, all services must be included in the cost of the set menu. Only in cases where "IVA no inclòs" is indicated may VAT be charged as extra. Tipping is not obligatory, but is frequent when clients are satisfied with the service provided.


The most widespread electric current is 220 volts and 50 Hz, although some older houses may still have 125 volts.

Post services

Stamps may be bought at tobacconists or post offices. Parcels must be sent from the post office. Post-boxes are found throughout the city, and they can't be missed with their bright yellow (ordinary post) and red (urgent) colouring.

The Central Post Office
Via Laietana, 1.
Tel.: (34) 93 310 04 04.
Opening hours: from Monday to Saturday, from 8.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. Sunday closed.
Stamps, parcels, telegrams, telephone, telexes and faxes.

The Eixample Post Office
Aragó, 282 (next to Passeig de Gràcia).
Telèfon: (34) 93 216 04 53.
Opening hours: from Monday to Friday, from 8.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m.; Saturdays, from 9.00 a.m. to 2.00 a.m. Sundays closed.
Postal services only.

Public phones work with either coins or phone cards. Phone cards may be purchased at tobacconists'.

Making a phone call
To make an international call, you must first dial 00, followed by the country code and finally the regional code and number you are calling. For local and inter-provincial calls, you dial the province code, and then the number you are calling, although the provincial is no longer quoted separately.

To receive a call
Callers telephoning you from abroad must first dial 34 (Spain), and then your number, which now incorporates the digits "93", which used to be separate provincial code.

Faxes may be sent and received from the Central Post Office, from Sants train station, and from the many copy and book shops offering this service.

Estación de Sants
Opening hours: from Monday to Saturday, from 8.30 a.m. to 9.00 p.m.
Telephone and fax service

Many places throughout Barcelona, especially in the city centre, offer public Internet access.
Further information: 010 (from Spain) and

Main festivals and celebrations
The range of festivals on offer in Barcelona is among the most varied and complete in Europe. Among the best known are the Festival Grec, in summer; the Festival de Jazz, held in autumn, and the Sonar Festival of electronic music and culture, in summer.

The calendar of festive celebrations in Barcelona is lively and rich. Most take place outdoors, on the city's streets, where collective creativity and participation become signs of shared enrichment and vitality. The main celebrations include: the parade of the Three Wise Kings (5 January); Carnestoltes or Carnival (February); Santa Eulàlia, co-patron saint of Barcelona (12 February); Saint Jordi's Day - the day of the book and the rose (23 April); Saint John's Eve - the summer solstice - a night of bonfires and bangers (23 June); the Mercè, the city's own feast day in which one million people participate in more than 382 different activities (in September); and the Fair of Santa Llúcia, in the run-up to Christmas and the winter solstice (December).

In addition to these festivities, there are the local festivals or festes majors in each neighbourhood in honour of their traditional patron saint.

Holidays in Barcelona

1 January: New year's day (S)
6 January: The Three Kings (S)
Good Friday: the exact date varies according to the year (S)
Easter Monday: the exact date varies according to the year (C)
1 May: May Day (S)
Pentecost Monday: the exact date varies according to the year (L)
15 August: the Assumption (S)
11 September: Catalonia's National Day or "Diada" (C)
24 September: the Mercè festival (L)
12 October: the Hispanic Day (S)
1 November: All Saints (S)
6 December: Day of the Constitution (S)
8 December: the Immaculate Conception (S)
25 December: Christmas (S)
26 December: Saint Stephen's Day (C)

(L) Local holiday in Barcelona
(C) Holiday in Catalonia
(S) Holiday in the entire State

The newspaper kiosks sell the weekly, Guía del Ocio, which offers details of what's on in the cities cinemas, theatres and museums as well as information on exhibitions, restaurants and other leisure activities taking place during the week.

Further information:

Palau de la Virreina
Oficina de Información Cultural
La Rambla, 99
Tel.: 93 301 77 75

Barcelona Información. Tel.: 010


Useful Telephone Numbers

Barcelona Tourism Offices

Plaça Catalunya
Pl. Catalunya, 17
Phone: (+34) 93 285 3834
Public Opening Hours:
From 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.(daily) 
Sants Train Station
Station Hall
Pl. dels Països Catalans
Public Opening hours:
Mon.-Fri.: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Weekends: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Summer: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
El Prat Airport
Airport Hall
Tourism Office
Phone: 902.404.704
Public Opening hours:
9 a.m. - 9 p.m. 

Catalonia's Tourist Information Centre
Palau Robert
Passeig de Gràcia, 107

Barcelona Tourism Information Office
Pl.Sant Jaume, 1
Public Opening hours:
Mon-Sat:10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sun:10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Lost Credit Cards

VISA-Master Card 902.19.21.00 American Express 902.37.56.37 Dinner's Club 902.401.112 Red 6000 91.596.53.35 91.596.53.00 Targeta 4B 902.114.400 Caixa d'Estalvis de Catalunya 902.40.88.40 Caixa d'Estalvis de Girona Caixa d'Estalvis Laietana 93.741.75.00 Caixa d'Estalvis i Pensions de Barcelona 902.300.303/93.330.70.09 Caja Madrid 902.24.68.10 Caixa d'Estalvis del Penedès 93.891.65.00/93.891.67.00/93.892.23.59 Banca Catalana 93.315.25.12

General Information and Lost Property: 010 and 012

Consumer helpline
93.402.78.41 Roads
900.123.505 Weather Information

Emergencies: 112
Health emergencies: 061 CatSalut online
Dental emergencies: 93.415.99.22
Out-of-hours chemists: 93.481.00.60
Poisoning emergencies93.218.88.88
Local Police (Guàrdia Urbana): 092
Catalan Police (Mossos d'Esquadra): 088
Road accidents and emergencies Spanish Police (Policía Nacional): 091
Taxis: 93.481.10.85
Disabled taxis: 93.420.80.88