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.
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!
|Visa Type||Allen: Expired Tourist Visa
Kaci: Student Visa
|North American Comfort Food Locations||
Allen: Taste of America (2 popular locations)
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.
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
|Hospitals & Doctors (English Speaking)
Allen: Three hospitals that are recommended in Barcelona are:
1. Hospital Clinic: Carrer Villarrorel, 170, 08036
Kaci: Check here for more info.
1. Hospital Clinic
|Beauty Supply Stores, Hairdressers & Barbers||
Allen: Shops and hairdressers geared towards African-American/black males and females include:
Diva Barcelona S L
Kaci: I live in Eixample, that's where most of my suggestions will come from:
Beauty Supply: Hair Store, Hamaza 2002
|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.
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).
Kaci: So many to pick from!!!
Allen: Here's a few of my favorites...
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
|Permanent Housing Resources||
Allen: I used a mix of apps and websites:
Barcelona Facebook Groups:
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:
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.
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.
Want to learn more about Teaching English Abroad?
Download your free starter guide or call 773-634-9900 to speak with an expert advisor about all aspects of TEFL certification and teaching English abroad, including the hiring process, salaries, visas, TEFL class options, job placement assistance and more.
- Teaching English in Spain: Country Profile
- What Type of Visa Can I Use to Teach English in Spain?
- Visas & Jobs: A Guide to Teaching English in Barcelona, Spain for Americans
- What is the Cultural Ambassadors Program for Teaching English in Spain?
- Spain Alumni Facebook Group: Only enrolled students & alumni may post, but anybody can check out the conversation between ITA grads teaching English in Spain on a wide array of topics from job tips and apartment hunting to recreational activities & social meet-ups.