Basic info

Everything you need to know before visiting Barcelona





Most of people living in Barcelona speak Spanish and Catalan, which is also the official language. Many understand English and French, and can guide tourists when they ask for information.

Time Zone


Barcelona, as the rest of Spain (except the Canary Islands), applies the time corresponding to the Greenwich meridian UTC / GMT +1 hour.



Barcelona is the second most populated city in Spain after Madrid, and the eleventh in the European Union. The metropolitan area of Barcelona has more than 5 million inhabitants, making it the sixth largest city in the European Union.


Barcelona enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, with humid and warm summers, and mild and relatively rainy winters.

The annual average of temperatures in winter is of 11º / 12º and in summer 22º / 25º.

Security and Coexistence

As in any big city, there are certain places or situations in which it is necessary to be careful with your belongings. Be careful with people who are directly addressing you as, unfortunately, tourists are the main target of pickpockets.

We recommend that you pay special attention on public transport, in the main tourist attractions, in the crowds of people and in the bars and terraces, among others.

Other suggestions:

  • Use the safes of the hotel or lodging to deposit valuables such as documents and airline tickets. Do not take all the money provided for your stay with you.
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport or national identity document and not the original.
  • Always carry the bag closed and try to carry it in front of the body and not behind it.
  • Do not neglect your luggage at any time, especially in the hotel, public transport and airport.

Here are a series of practical measures, developed by the Mossos d'Esquadra (regional police), to take into account and thus, to enjoy a safe vacation in Barcelona -> Safety Tips.

As in the whole European Union, the emergency number is 112. Through this number you can contact police, fire and ambulance.

Respect the norms of coexistence of the city, as well as its public and private patrimony.

Currency and prices

In terms of prices, Barcelona has an extensive offer in all areas, which allows finding accommodations, shopping and services available to all pockets. Here are some guide prices in Barcelona: € 2.40 for a single public transport ticket, between € 1 and € 1.50 for a coffee; a midday menu can range between € 8 and € 15, a movie ticket costs € 10; between € 3 and € 4 for a sandwich, and € 1.30 a newspaper.

There is no obligation to tip, but usually leave 5% if the service has been satisfactory.

Tax Refund:

Visitors from outside the EU have every facility to benefit from the special tax-free shopping conditions on offer at Barcelona's shops.

They can ask for a VAT refund with a tax-free cheque when they make a purchase of more than 90,16€.

The Turisme de Barcelona Information Office in the central Plaça de Catalunya, offers every facility so that you can process your VAT refund to save yourself taxes. Innova Tax Free, Global Blue, Planet and Travel Tax Free cheques are accepted.