Ambassadors' Fact Sheet: Barcelona, Spain

Facts & Tips for Living in Barcelona, Spain

To help our students and graduates make a smooth transition to their new lives teaching English abroad, we've enlisted our ITA Ambassadors to provide us with insider facts and tips for making the most of life in major cities around the globe like Barcelona, Spain.

Click here to download this fact sheet as a PDF file.

Whether it's finding an English-speaking doctor, opening a bank account, or simply finding a supermarket where you can find the odd comfort food from home (peanut butter!), our ambassadors have actionable on-the-ground-tips to help you feel at home in your new home city.  Please note that things change and we will do our best to keep these "Fact Sheets" updated over time and that current and future ambassadors will continue to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information possible.

Meet our Barcelona Ambassadors!

Meet our Barcelona Ambassadors

City Barcelona
Country Spain
Visa Type Allen: Expired Tourist Visa
Kaci: Student Visa
North American Comfort Food Locations  

Allen: Taste of America (2 popular locations)
          1. Carrer d'Arago 231, 08077
          2. Carrer de Balmes 322, 08066

Here you will find all imported American goods that you can think of, from Blue Moon to Beef Jerky and Airheads. Pricing can be high.


Kaci: Taste of America

          Carrer de Floridablanca, 78, 08015

And of course Amazon. Amazon Premium is available here for 13€ a year. You can find a lot of things you would want online, but it depends on what you are looking for.

Practical tips for living in Barcelona, Spain

Transportation

Allen: Barcelona has more ways to get around the city than I can count on one hand. Here are some of the popular options:

Metro: A single ticket will cost you 2.15€ (Be careful not to exit the station if you go the wrong way. You will have to buy another ticket to enter. Just simply switch platforms). Single tickets have no time limit as they are not integrated with other means of transport. Once it had been validated it is only useful to exit. Please keep your ticket with you until exiting as you could be controlled and can be punished for not showing your ticket of up to 100€. An Airport ticket will set you back 4.50€ one way.

Bus: A single ticket will cost you 2.15€. Be careful not to exit the bus at the wrong station. If you get off and can quickly get back on, you will have to purchase another ticket, even if you are getting off at the next stop. Single tickets have no time limit as they are not integrated with other means of transport. Once it had been validated it is only useful to exit. Please keep your ticket with you until exiting as you could be controlled and can be punished up to 100€ for not showing your ticket.

Tramvi Blau: A popular historical cable car by railway gives you a unique experience. Will cost 5.50€.

Popular ticket selections: Although single journey tickets allow certain travelers to get to a destination and not have to use transport again, multi- journey tickets allow travelers to get all over the city using the same ticket till it is expired. (All integrated tickets allow you to access Barcelona's-METRO, BUS, FGC, TRAM and RENFE services).

Barcelona is split into 6 different zones. The center of Barcelona is Zone 1. Prices for integrated tickets vary based on the zone you choose.

T-10: A T-10 is a ticket that allows you to take 10 journeys until expired. This card can be shared with friends, but once your 10 rides are over you must get a new ticket. Be careful to keep this ticket with you at all times until it expires and you exit the metro. If sharing with a friend make sure you exit and stay together as controllers will fine you up to 100€ if you cannot prove you share the T-10. Price zone (1) 9.95€.

T-50/30 and T-70/30: These tickets allow a certain number of journeys all within 30 days for example. T-50/30 allows 50 journeys in 30 days and the T-70/30 allows 70 journeys in 30 days. The T-70/30 is the only card of the two that can be shared. T-50/30- price zone (1) 42.50€ and T-70/30- price zone (1) 59.50€.

T-dia: Allows unlimited number of journeys in zone (1), only in the day validated. Price 8.40€.

T-Jove (Youth card): If you are under 25 you can buy this card and make unlimited number of travels within 90 days. You can apply for this ticket at any machine or personal booth. You will need only your passport and passport number to be entered. Remember to always carry a copy of your passport with you as all controllers will ask for you ID to make sure this card belongs to you. Guard this card because once it's lost, you will have to pay for another. Price Zone (1) - 105€.

T-Trimester( 3 month pass): Like the T-Jove this allows those over 25 to have access to the same requirements, it just costs a bit more. The same rules and cautions apply for this ticket. Price Zone (1) - 142€.

Bikes: The infamous red and white Vodafone sponsored Bicing bikes are a great way to get around town for those whom are staying long-term in BCN and enjoy a good leg work-out. A DNI or NIE is required to sign up. The yearly price is 47,16€ a year. You will find Bicing stations in almost all major places that easily all you to pick up a bike and drop it off at another location. No hassle of someone stealing your bike, or bike seat or bike wheels. 


Kaci: All the systems are connected and the tickets can be used on the metro, bus, tram, Rdalies, Ferrocarrlies (FGC), and funiculars. Zone 1 covers all of Barcelona, extending to Badalona to Moli Nou. Pricing for Zone 1 is as follows:

- T10: 10€ = 10 rides on any of the public transit
- 50/30: 42,50
€ = 50 rides in 30 days
- Trimester Joven: 105
€ unlimited for 3 months
- Trimester: 142
€ unlimited for 3 months

City Fact Sheets: Living in Barcelona, Spain

Hospitals & Doctors (English Speaking)

Allen: Three hospitals that are recommended in Barcelona are:

1. Hospital Clinic: Carrer Villarrorel, 170, 08036
2. Hospital de Sant Pau: Carrer de Sant Quinti, 89, 08026
3. Hospital del Mar: Passeig Mariti, 25-29, 08003


Kaci: Check here for more info.

1. Hospital Clinic
2. Turo Park Medical Center
3. Googol Medical Center

Beauty Supply Stores, Hairdressers & Barbers

Allen: Shops and hairdressers geared towards African-American/black males and females include:

Diva Barcelona S L
Carrer de Sants, 43, 08014

Phone: 932 508 562

Kamal Afroseventy
Carrer del Turo, 9, 08016
Phone: 601 361 555 (Ask for Kamal)

Many more places can be found in the El Gothic district.


Kaci: I live in Eixample, that's where most of my suggestions will come from:

Beauty Supply: Hair Store, Hamaza 2002
Hairdressers: La Pelu, Salon 223

Bank Account Location  

Allen: Banco Sabadell in Carrer d'Aribau, 51, 08011 has friendly English speakers.


Kaci: Sabadell - any location is easy to open an account at.

Barcelona Fact Sheet

Restaurants

Allen: My five favorite restaurants in Barcelona are:

1. La Tagliatella: An Italian chain restaurant with many locations all over Barcelona. I prefer the locations in Les Arenes/Pl. Espanya - Carrer Gran Via les Cortes Catalanes 373-385).

2. A Tu Bola: This little Mediterranean/Italian gem is a must try, especially if you enjoy meatballs and hummus. Carrer de I'Hospital, 78, 08001 (Raval).

3. Zodiaco: Carrer de Blai is the street for Pinchos and tapas in Barcelona. This restaurant looks like a hole in the wall at first glance, but the quality of the food, portion sizes, and pricing are all on point.

4. Senyor Parellada: This authentic Catalan restaurant restaurant serves possibly some of the best dishes to give you a a delicious taste of Catalonian style. Right off of Via Laietanna near the yellow line Jaume I. Carrer de l'Argenteria 37, 08003 (El Born).

5. Els Quatre Gats: Exquisite, authentic Catalan dishes that cost a pretty penny. Carrer de Montsio, 3, 08002 (El Gothic). 


Kaci: So many to pick from!!!

1. El Bosque Palermo: Typical Spanish food.

2. Maitea: Pintxos.

3. 100 Montaditos: Cheap food options.

4. Kapadokya: Durum/kebabs.

5. Taiyro: Sushi menu libre.

Hotspots  

Allen: Here's a few of my favorites...

Bars: 
The George Payne: This Irish Pub plays the latest hits as well as oldies. There are a lot of foreigners here. Order the "Black Out", you will thank me later. Carrer Plaça d'Urquinaona, 5, 08010.

100 Montaditos (Cerveceria Cien-100-Montaditos): This chain is located all over Spain. It's the spot for locals with cheap beer and jars of tinto with various types of finger foods. Carrer Plaça d'Urquinaona, 1, 08010.

Bar Marsella: An Absinthe bar that Hemingway and others drank at during their time in Barcelona. The interior looks as though you stepped back in time. Carrer de Sant Pai, 65, 08001 (El Raval).

Belushi's: This hostel-bar-restaurant chain has great drink specials and really great portion sizes of food. Also, you can watch football games as well as play billiards and beer pong! Cerrer de Bergara, 3, 08002 (Central-Plaça de Catalunya).

Parks:
Parc del Laberint d'Horta: Would you believe me if I told you that Barcelona has a Labyrinth? Well, it's true and it's quite cheap to enter (1-5
€ per person). Metro Green Line 3: Mundet is the easiest way to get there (Zone Horta).

Parc de la Ciutadella: Both locals and foreigners alike share this huge park that even includes the Barcelona Zoo (Renfe or Metro stop Arc de Triomf).

Beaches:
Platja de Castelldefells: End of Zone (1), more locals than foreigners. Far from the city center, accessible by Sants Estacion by Renfe R2 SUD, direction "Vilanova i la Geltru."

Platja de la Mar Bella: Get your nude beach on! Best was to arrive is Bus 36-71-141 or Meetro Yellow Line 4 - Selva de Mar.

Clubs:
Here are my best picks for Barcelona clubs. Remember, the locals start to enter the clubs between midnight and 1am and party the morning away. Enjoy!
- Apolo (Sala Apolo): Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 113, 08004
- Museum: Carrer de Sepulveda, 178, 08011
- Razzamatazz: Carrer dels Almogavers, 122, 08018
- Catwalk: Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas 2-4, 08005
- Jamboree: Plaça Reial, 17, 08002
- Safari: Career de Tarragona, 141, 08014
- Arena: Carrer de Balmes, 32, 08007


Kaci: Walking around in different barrios (Gracia, San Antoni, Raval, Born) is a great way to see the city. There are so many bars to go to, it will really depend on what you are looking for.

Coffee Shops: Cosmos and Alsur Cafe

Clubs: These are some I enjoy:
- Jamboree: Different rooms with different music.
- Safari: A fun, gay dance club.
- La Fira: 
Good for Latin music.
- Mojito: 
Also good for Latin music.
- Apolo

Tips for Teaching English in Barcelona

Permanent Housing Resources

Allen: I used a mix of apps and websites:

- Idealista (Most Popular) 
- Nestpick
- Spotahome
- Erasmusu

Barcelona Facebook Groups:

- Housing Barcelona
- Barcelona Rentals
- Barcelona Rent a Room/Flat/Apartment
- No Agencies Rooms Barcelona


Kaci: Idealista and different Facebook pages. I used Uniplaces to book a place before moving and it was a disgusting experience. It took two months for me to get my money back. I always suggest to people to first make the move over, and then start looking at places. The photos shown online sometimes aren't very accurate. 

Expat Community Resources

Allen: Expat communities are mainly found on Facebook groups or through Meet-Up:

Facebook Groups:
- Barcelona TEFL Teachers Association
- Teachers who Teach Kids in Barcelona
- TEFL Barcelona
- Expats in Spain

Meet-Up:
An app that allows you to meet people with similar interests and participate in activities like yoga, biking, rock climbing, swimming, etc.


Kaci: I started with Internations and met a lot of people. I then used different social media groups including the ITA Alumni Spain Facebook Group, and a Barcelona community WhatsApp group. People are always offering different activities and it's a great way to also do a language exchange. 

Additional Information  

Allen: If you are interested in learning Catalan or Spanish for free at a beginners level, you can register at Consorci per a la normalitzacio lingüistica (www.cpnl.cat). 


Kaci: Moovit is a great transport app, it also works all over the world. When you get to a new city it re-calibrates. Do research if you haven't been to the city before. Moving to another country is not easy and the more you research before, the easier it makes the process. A lot of people expect to live the same life they had back home, but it is all so different.

650-barcelona-spain-alumni-meet-up-WAD.jpg

Click here to download this fact sheet as a PDF file.


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