Quick Guide

Useful Information about Barcelona

Barcelona is Spain's second largest city and the capital of Catalonia. The city has a population of 1.5 million people, with almost 4 million people living in the greater Barcelona metropolitain area. Located on the Mediterranean sea just 168km from southern France, Barcelona covers almost 100 square kilometers including 13 kilometers (8 miles) of coastline, of which almost 5 kilometers (3 miles) are beaches.

Official Language

Barcelona has two official languages: Catalan and Spanish. Most residents of Barcelona can speak and understand both. A good number of local residents speak English and to a lesser extent French. You will have no problems as an English speaking tourist, but English is less commonly spoken in Barcelona than in many other capitals of Europe.


The euro () is the official currency of Spain and you can use the same euros obtained elsewhere in the European Community without any currency exchange.


Tips are readily welcomed in Barcelona. You should generally tip about 10% of the amount of the bill in bars and restaurants, in accordance with the quality of service. Taxi drivers should be tipped up to 10% and hotel and airport porters should be tipped 1 - 5 depending on the amount of luggage you have.


The country code for Spain is 34, and the city code for Barcelona is 93 (the prefix for local landlines). To call Barcelona from outside of Spain you must dial 00-34 then the local number (011-34 from the USA or Canada). The local time is GMT +1 hour, the same as Paris, Geneva and Rome, but one hour ahead of London time.


Spain uses a standard power supply of 220V 50hz; the same as is found in most of Western Europe.


European Community - Citizens of member countries of the Schengen Zone need neither passport nor visa to enter Spain, only a national ID card. Citizens from other EU countries (UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania) need a valid passport to enter Spain.

European Economic Area - Citizens of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Lichtenstein do not need a visa to enter Spain and can stay for up to three months without a residence Visa.

Other countries Citizens of the following countries can enter Spain with a valid passport and can stay for up to 90 days without a visa: United States, Canada, Australia, Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong & Macao (China), Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Singapore, South Korea, Uruguay, Venezuela.