Barcelona is the capital city of the Spanish province Catalonia and the second most populous city in Spain. Barcelona is an international business and economic centre and the fourth most economically powerful city by gross GDP in the European Union. The city is known to be a hotspot for tourists, fashion and congresses.
Banks are usually open from 09.00 – 16:00 (Monday- Friday) – closed during the weekends.
There will be ATMs (Automatic Teller Machine) in the CCIB or at the nearby shopping mall and all over the city of Barcelona. At the airport and main station and along the main streets you find currency exchange offices as well. All major credit cards, including Eurocard, Diners, Visa and MasterCard are accepted in most of the establishments like restaurants, hotels and shopping centres and stores.
Travel checks can be cashed in most of the banks and exchange offices.
When paying by credit card for your shopping, you will be asked to show identification. Please have your ID card or passport with you all the time, other ways they may refuse to accept your credit card as payment.
Although Barcelona (like the rest of Spain) is basically Catholic, all religions are allowed and practised. Please contact your hotel concierge for current times of services or nearby churches.
Barcelona is one of the liveliest cities in Europe. The opening to the sea, since the Olympic games, has only given flair to this already beautiful city, with its mild Mediterranean climate, its unique architecture, and a great lifestyle.
In 2012 the Catalan Government approved a new tax on stays. The amount of the city tax depends on the category of the hotel and varies between € 0,75 and € 2,50 per person and night. This fee applies for the first seven nights. For any additional nights, there will be no charge anymore.
Barcelona enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with short cool winters and hot summers. The location of the city besides the sea increases the humidity level. Generally, it rains with more intensity during the spring and autumn. In September and October, the thunderstorms are frequent. Mostly in sunny autumn days in October, the temperatures are very nice during the day decreasing at night.
The official currency in Spain is the Euro (€). You can exchange your currency without any limits for the total amount at all banks as well as many exchange offices in Barcelona. When you are exchanging your currency, you need your passport or official ID card. If you do not have it with you, the bank may refuse to exchange your currency.
The power supply in Spain is 220/240 V. Most electric outlets adhere to the continental standard (Schuko). Appliances from North America require a transformer and British ones an adaptor for the two-pin sockets in use in Spain.
One of the main characteristics of Barcelona is its nightlife. The good weather contributes to sit at the terraces of the coffee-shops, bars and restaurants which ate opened until very late.
Downtown restaurants normally open for lunch from 11:00 to 15:00 and for dinner from 19:30 to 23:00. Cafes and breakfast bars may open already at 08:00 or even earlier.
There is a great number of “Tapas-bars” where you can enjoy a drink and small “tapa” or “pincho” to eat at any time of the day.
Fast food, kebab, take-away-pizza stalls usually serve food all day long, and some of them stay open till midnight. Bars, night clubs and discotheques usually open from 22:00 – 04:00 (some even longer).
Barcelona is very safe from violent crime – ranking third in the EU accordingly to the ‘Safe Cities Index 2015’ by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). But there are many pick-pockets and bag thieves in areas with popular tourist attractions (especially on Las Ramblas street & La Sagrada Familia), in the central subway, and the Sants train station.
Therefore, please don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket – but in a pocket with a zipper. Don’t put phones, cameras etc. on tables at cafés and keep your belongings always on your lap. Carry your rucksack or shoulder bag in a crowded area or at street shows always in front of you so you can see it. Be wary of strangers approaching or touching you and do not play any street games. Do not carry all cash money, credit card and ID documents all together in one bag/pocket.
Barcelona is an ideal destination to shop for a wide variety of items catering to everybody’s tastes and wishes. Opening hours of midtown shops are 09:00 to 19:30 (Monday-Saturday). Big shopping malls open until 21:00. On Sundays, small shops are generally closed. Some Malls are open 7 days a week.
VAT is always included in the price presented to the customers/guests in shops, hotels, restaurants and other service providers. Non-EU citizens can directly claim back their VAT at the shops (excluding restaurants, hotels and other food) when the total bill exceeds € 90,15. Please ask at the shops for more information. A service charge is not always automatically included in hotel and restaurant bills, it will be stated on the bill or in the menu. Tipping is not mandatory, but a small gratuity (5-10%) is expected in restaurants if good service is received.
Barcelona taxi colours are black and yellow.
Taxis are an affordable alternative to the public transportation. A 15 minutes journey will cost about € 10,00 depending on the traffic. It is not recommended to use taxis in the inner city as a lot of the streets are pedestrian areas and the traffic is quite high. The rates will be shown on the meter next to the driver. The minimum rate for a taxi is € 2,10 plus € 1,07 to € 1,30 per kilometre depending on the time.
Possible taxi numbers are:
Ràdio Taxi: +34 933 033 033
Servi Taxi: +34 933 300 300
Fono Taxi: +34 933 001 100
Radio Taxi Maramar: +34 934 331 020
Barcelona is located in the Central European Time Zone (CET), i.e. one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).
All foreign visitors entering Spain must possess valid passports. For citizen from the European Union Member countries, a valid identity card is sufficient.
Please check the current visa requirements with the nearest Spanish Consulate/Embassy in your country before your departure to Spain.
All registered congress participants with a completed registration can download a visa invitation letter within their vEANM Area.
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