Barcelona El Prat international airport has two terminals, T1 and T2, connected by shuttle buses running every 8 minutes. The airport is 18 km south of the city and is served by more than 100 airlines linking the city with 200 destinations worldwide. If you arrive by plane, there are several ways of getting from the airport to the city:
The city of Barcelona has excellent road and rail connections to the rest of the Iberian Peninsula and Europe.
Every city has its emblematic buildings or points of reference that help you get your bearings. The main point of reference in Barcelona is Plaça de Catalunya, at the top of the old city (Ciutat Vella). The city is divided into 10 districts, which are, in turn, divided into neighbourhoods (barris).
The Ciutat Vella district includes the neighbourhoods at the heart of the city: El Barri Gòtic (the Gothic Quarter), La Ribera and El Raval, together with the traditional fishing neighbourhood, La Barceloneta. Surrounding the old city, the Eixample district spreads out from Barcelona’s former city walls. Like an open-air architecture museum, this expanse, which began to be built up during the Industrial Revolution, eventually absorbed neighbouring towns, which became city districts, including Gràcia, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, Sant Andreu and Horta, among others.
The neighbourhoods of Vila Olímpica and Poblenou, in the Sant Martí district, together with La Barceloneta, are on the city’s seafront, which includes 4 kilometres of beaches.
The city has a comprehensive, highly efficient public transport network with several means of transport that will get you anywhere in the city and also take you out to the neighbouring municipalities in the greater metropolitan area. The integrated fare system allows you to use the same ticket on all public transport.
The city also has an extensive fleet of taxis. Barcelona cabs are black with yellow doors. You can hail a cab on the street (free taxis show a green light) or go to one of the 24-hour taxi stands.
There are several bank holidays in the year. Some of them are celebrated throughout Spain, others throughout Catalonia and some only in Barcelona. They are all shown on the ESCI-UPF Academic Calendar.
Spain keeps somewhat different hours from the rest of Europe:
You may find Barcelona more expensive or cheaper than your country of origin. To help you plan your stay, we have made up a table with approximate monthly expenses, which will vary depending on the neighbourhood you choose to live in, the kind of housing you pick and your lifestyle.
|Room in a shared flat
|Room in a student hall of residence
The banking system conforms to international standards and the city has an extensive network of bank branches and cash machines. Credit cards are widely used and are accepted in most shops, restaurants, etc.
To open a bank account you need to have a NIE or TIE (Foreigner Identity Number or Card).
If you are staying for an extended period of time, you should consider opening a bank account in Spain. There is a Banco Santander office on the Ciutadella campus (at the entrance to UPF’s Roger de Llúria building).
Before leaving your home country, you should check with your bank about their fees for using your credit or debit card abroad, as well as money transfer terms and conditions.
Increasing numbers of bars and restaurants are offering customers a free Wi-Fi connection. Barcelona also has a public Wi-Fi network open to everyone (Barcelona Wi-Fi) comprising over 400 connection points at city facilities or in public spaces. You do not need to register beforehand.
You will have access to the eduroam network and ESCI-UPF Wi-Fi during your stay.
Barcelona is a modern, cosmopolitan city with over a million and a half inhabitants. Like any other large city, central areas, especially those popular with tourists, can be the riskiest, basically due to the presence of pickpockets and street hawkers. Pickpockets often use ruses and scams to try and distract you, such as telling you that you have a stain on your clothes or trying to sell you flowers. Be aware.
The main advice is to use your common sense and always keep an eye on your things. When you’re in a bar or restaurant, never lose sight of your personal belongings.
If you are the victim of a robbery, you can ask any police officer for help or call the emergency number 112.
There is an all-encompassing number that can be used for any type of emergency: 112. In addition, you can also call the citizen information lines run by Barcelona City Council (010) and the Catalan Government (012).