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Helpful Resources for English Teachers in Barcelona, Spain
Written by: Allen Tunstall
Last Updated: January 14, 2021
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!), ITA alumnus, Allen Tunstall, has actionable on-the-ground-tips to help you feel at home in your new home city.
*Please note that things listed below on this fact sheet may have changed since initial posting in August of 2017.
Location: Barcelona, Spain
North American Comfort Food Locations:
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.
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.
- 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.
Hospitals & Doctors (English Speaking):
Three hospitals that are recommended in Barcelona are:
- Hospital Clinic: Carrer Villarrorel, 170, 08036
- Hospital de Sant Pau: Carrer de Sant Quinti, 89, 08026
- Hospital del Mar: Passeig Mariti, 25-29, 08003
Beauty Supply Stores, Hairdressers & Barbers:
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
Carrer del Turo, 9, 08016
Phone: 601 361 555 (Ask for Kamal)
Many more places can be found in the El Gothic district.
Bank Account Locations:
- Banco Sabadell in Carrer d'Aribau, 51, 08011 has friendly English speakers
- Sabadell - any location is easy to open an account at.
My five favorite restaurants in Barcelona are:
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- 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).
- Els Quatre Gats: Exquisite, authentic Catalan dishes that cost a pretty penny. Carrer de Montsio, 3, 08002 (El Gothic).
- El Bosque Palermo: Typical Spanish food.
- Maitea: Pintxos.
- 100 Montaditos: Cheap food options.
- Kapadokya: Durum/kebabs.
- Taiyro: Sushi menu libre.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
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
Permanent Housing Resources:
I used a mix of apps and websites:
Barcelona Facebook Housing Groups:
- Housing Barcelona
- Barcelona Rentals
- Barcelona Rent a Room/Flat/Apartment
- No Agencies Rooms Barcelona
Expat Community Resources:
Expat communities are mainly found on Facebook groups or through Meet-Up:
- Facebook Groups:
- An app that allows you to meet people with similar interests and participate in activities like yoga, biking, rock climbing, swimming, etc.
- 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).
- 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.
About as Midwest as they get, Omaha, Nebraska, Allen always dreamed of visiting new countries, learning new languages, experiencing cultures, and living a simple life while doing so. After graduating from University in 2014, Allen sold all he had and bought a one-way ticket to live those dreams and share his experiences along the way. He taught English in Italy and then Spain for several years, before backpacking through Asia for 3-months. Allen now teaches English exclusively online and will spend the vast majority of 2020-2021 traveling around Asia while teaching online English lessons.
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