Tourist Information Guide

Barcelona Basic Information

Page Content

This page is designed to give you all the basic background travel information to Barcelona Spain.

Geographical Location
International Time Zone
Seasons of the Year
Languages Spoken
Electrical supply
Water supply
Personal Identification
Telephone Calls
Dress code
Money/Currency
Population Size

Part II of our Basic Facts includes summary of Spanish Political system
Part III cost of living in Barcelona


Geographical location

Location -- BARCELONA, Spain
{N 41° 16'} {E 2° 4'} {GMT +1.0 Hours}
Elevation -- 6m above sea level
Standard Pressure at Elevation -- 101253Pa
Barcelona Spain is on the North Eastern coast of Spain -about 2 hours drive from the French border.


International Time Zone.

The time in Spain is GMT + 1 hour.

How your time zone in relation to GMT + 1


Seasons of the year

Summer is June - August

Winter is December - February

Autumn is September - November

Spring is March - May

Summary of the climate in Barcelona including monthly temperatures


Languages Spoken

The two languages spoken in Barcelona are Spanish and Catalan. Barcelona is the capital of Catalunya and therefore Catalan is widely spoken by the people of Barcelona. However both Spanish and Catalan are widely spoken interchangeably.

In the tourist areas you will have people who speak English as well as Spanish however more off the beaten track most people will only speak Spanish or Catalan.

Barcelona is however a very cosmopolitan European city with millions of tourist visitors each year so you should not have any real problems communicating.


Electricity Supply

Electricity supply is 220 volts throughout Spain with 2 pin wall sockets. For any European countries that utilise 240 volts e.g. UK and Ireland most electrical equipment will function adequately.

If you intend to use the UK electrical plugs then you will need an electricity plug adapter that will convert the standard 3 pin socket into a two pin socket. In the US where the electricity supply is 110 volts a transformer would be required to step down the voltage to 110 volts. Damage to the electrical appliance can occur if you attempt to use a 110 volt rated electrical appliance with a 220 volt supply.


It's recommended that you purchase your electrical plug adapter from the international airport that you are flying from rather than an electrical store in Barcelona. From my experience the adapters that you buy from the Spanish stores are of very poor quality and tend to easily come apart when you remove them from the wall socket. It is much safer to purchase your adapter from the airport even if it costs a few Pounds/Euros/Dollars more.


Water Supply

Barcelona drinking water is very unpalatable and it is highly recommended to drink bottled water whilst you are here. Although you can drink tap water safely it is much preferred to have bottled water. Bottled mineral water can be purchased very cheaply from local supermarkets for example the supermarket on the Ramblas.


If you purchase bottled water from one of the stalls on the Ramblas you could pay up to €2.00 per litre whereas the same bottle from a supermarket will cost you under €0.50 (half a euro).


Personal Identification

It is required by Spanish law that photographic identification be carried with you at all times. This may be a passport, driving license or national identity card. With a tightening of security in the city it is highly recommended that you carry round with you at least a photocopy of your passport should you be asked for this.


Telephone calls

To call Barcelona from a country outside Spain you need to dial 0034 for Spain and then 93 for the dialing code for landlines in Barcelona.


How to make Low-Cost International Calls

One of the lowest cost ways to make international telephone calls is to purchase a calling card from a tobacconists or "Tabac" as they are called. You can also find these cards at internet cafe's and some newsagents.

These cards cost around  €6.00  and can give you several hours worth of telephone calls from a public telephone box or private telephone.

These calling cards have either a freephone or local call number which you dial. You then select which language you wish to hear the instructions, input your security code, which is given on the cards, and then dial your international number.

It is recommended to choose your card carefully because some cards have preferential rates for specific countries.

One card which I found very useful calling to both the United States and European countries is called the Euro Hours Card. This card costs  €6.00  and will give you three hours worth of calls via a freephone number to any US, Canadian or European city.

The Euro Hours Card is the best value for money calling card that I found however this card is not available in all Tabacs and you may find another brand of card that offers something similar.


Dress Code

The "dress code" in Barcelona is casual. Jeans and T shirts are normal attire and you will be able to enter practically all but the very exclusive restaurants with casual wear. The only exception are "Sleeveless T' shirts" which you will have a few problems getting into Bars and clubs. Some of the more expensive night clubs insist on shoes (no trainers) and will also not allow Sleeveless T shirts.

Find out what to wear and what not to wear in Barcelona


Money/Currency

Barcelona uses the Euro as its currency as does the rest of Spain.

Currency and money advice including a live currency converter


Comparison of population size of Barcelona compared to other Spanish cities

If you would like to compare the population size of Barcelona compared to other Spanish cities I recommend you take a look at the following web page by the excellent tourist website Spanish-fiestas.com. Populations of Spanish cities


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