Page 1

ERASMUS & INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS GUIDE 2012 – 2013

WWW.ERASMUSBARCELONA.COM Page 1


ERASMUS & INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS GUIDE 2012 – 2013

Introduction Barcelona is the biggest city after Madrid and is situated in the region of Catalunya. It belongs to Spain, but everything is a little bit different here :-) It is a great city which has to offer everything a heart of an Erasmusstudent desires!! For those who like culture there are museums, history, architecture, theatres and sooo much more! And if you like to party, you won’t find a city better than than Barcelona!!! Great clubs, millions of bars and restaurants!! Just come here and have the best time of your life! And with this guide, we make sure that you will enjoy your stay in Barcelona!!

1. How to get to Barcelona: I can recommend you to start as soon as you can to plan your trip/semester/year in Barcelona because it’s an expensive city, but you can avoid the extra costs through good organization! To get to Barcelona you should use the airport close to Barcelona – Barcelona, El Prat (BCN). It is 30 minutes outside of Barcelona and the best way to get to the city. You can also use the airport of Girona, a city which is around two hours away from Barcelona. I booked my flight on the internet page www.fluege.com which I can recommend to all the German speaking students, but the website www.fly.com also offers very cheap flights! It is all about searching a little and you should definitely do it! I can recommend these two sites, but there are many special offers and prices on other websites! So search for it! And do not book your flights separately! Normally it is cheaper to book them together for getting there and return, than to book only one flight and then – later – the other. And the earlier you book, the cheaper you get the flights! Some of the companies offering a service which is called „Ticket Flex“ or something like this. It costs around 8,00 Euro and when you use this service, you can change your flight for free. I can strongly recommend it, because especially when you do not know when you exams are or if you do not know, how long excactly you want to stay, you can change the date of your flight for free. WWW.ERASMUSBARCELONA.COM Page 2


ERASMUS & INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS GUIDE 2012 – 2013

Once you get to Barcelona, there is a cheap and very easy way to get to the center of Barcelona: the áerobus. It is a shuttle which transfers the people from the two terminals to the Plaza Catalunya and one tour costs around 5 Euros. After 30 minutes you arrive there (there are other stations like Plaza Espana) and then you can take a cab to your hostel or room (which I recommend to you if you are new to Barcelona and have a heavy suitcase!), they are right in front of the station of the bus. Of course you can also take the metro (Line 1, 3, 6, 7 and connection to the train Renfe).

2. Where to live in Barcelona? I started searching for rooms in Barcelona very soon and I can definitely recommend the following pages to search for rooms: www.loquo.com and www.idealista.com,! But you should also look on facebook because there are also great advertisements from students who are looking for roommates. (Erasmus Barcelona 2011 - 2012 ( Accomodation, Party and Language Ex. Help) → I found my room on this site on facebook). Although they say that you could come to Barcelona without having any place to stay...it is NOT that easy! I have a lot of friends who did it like this but they were only changing their hostels and searching for rooms and not having a place to stay! So I would recommend it to search before you get here! Barcelona is an expensive city. But not so expensive that you are not able to find a room for less than 300 € per month! My two rooms that I had in Barcelona cost 270/280 € per month, located in Gracia. The first was a 9m2 room with a big bed and closet and was located right next to the Park Güell. The second one was a very big room (16m2) close to the metro station Fontana. So you see that it is possible to find rooms at an acceptable price! If you are searching on the internet, you should definitely search for rooms with pictures, because the Spanish habitants have another way of define „big“ and „sunny“ than we do! There are three different types of rooms: without window, with window to a patio (interior) and window to a street (exterior). I would not rent a room without windows, because it is just strange and you will need more electricity and will not feel comfortable. A room „interior“ has the advantage to be quiet, but my experience is, that it also could mean that you have a small window to a very small patio in the middle of a house where they put their clothes. I would definitely prefer a room „exterior“! There are different parts of Barcelona where it is good to live and not recommendable WWW.ERASMUSBARCELONA.COM Page 3


ERASMUS & INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS GUIDE 2012 – 2013

to live! My favorite parts are Gracia and Eixample! Gracia has a very beautiful neighbourhood with lots of alternative people and great bars and cafes! I lived there and I really loved it! It has everything you need, is very well communicated and the people are very nice and friendly! Eixample is right next to Gracia in the south and is more expensive but also more elegant. It is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Barcelona and lots of the sightseeing spots are located in this part of Barcelona. Les Corts are good for those, who will study at the UB (Universitat de Barcelona) and do not want to live far away from the university. For women I recommend not to live in Raval o Barri Gotic. Of course, there are always advantages and disadvantages of every part of Barcelona! More websites to look for accommodation are following: loquo.com, bcn-housing-students.com, habitatgejove.com, habitaclia.com, yaencontre.com, lloguerjove.com, enalquiler.com, idealista.com, easypiso.com, bornliving.com, shbarcelona.com, segundamano.es, Suitelife.com

3. Transportation System Barcelona has a good developed system of public transportation. The most important means of transportation is the metro. Normally you can use it from 5 a.m. to 24 p.m and on days of public holidays it is working the whole night! It is the fastest option to travel and you can reach nearly every part of Barcelona with the metro. They are different tickets you can use depending on how long you will stay and how much you want to use public transportation. In general you can buy the tickets in every metro station and with your metro ticket you can also use the bus and train lines. But there are some things you have to consider before buying a ticket. For students, who will stay one semester or more, I can recommend the travel card TJove which costs 115,00 € for one zone and is valid for 90 days from the first validation. A monthly ticket T-Mes costs 49,30 € and is also a good choice for students, who do want to risk to lose their tickets and spend more than 100 €. For those who do not want to travel so much with the metro because they are using bike or a vespa, I can recommend the T- 50/30 ticket. It means that you can travel 50 times during one month, which was totally sufficient for me the first month. For visitors, who would like to stay not longer than a weekend, you might consider to buy the T-10 ticket, with WWW.ERASMUSBARCELONA.COM Page 4


ERASMUS & INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS GUIDE 2012 – 2013

which you have ten journeys and which is absolutely sufficient to discover the city and costs 7,95 â‚Ź. With all those mentioned tickets you can also use the bus and train lines in the first zone. For those who like to use the bus instead of the metro: there is an overview about all the buslines and timetables on every busstation! But be careful! Buses are often very crowded and moreover they are not always arriving on the expected time! So consider this, when you want to use the bus. Moreover, during the day they need much more time to get to the next station because of all the traffic and the traffic lights! But during the night, the Night-buses are often the only way to get home after you drank or ate something in a bar or visited a friend! The number of the night bus and it's stations is marked on every busstation with the colour blue. Nearly all the night buses come together at the Plaza Catalunya from where you can change the night bus to get to your home. But whichever way of public transportation you prefer, take care of your stuff! The public transportation system is one of the most dangerous locations to lose your belongings, although there is the police controlling the services. So watch your bags! For more information you should visit the website of the TMB of Barcelona: www.tmb.cat which includes all the information about tickets, timetables, lines and also alterations.

4. Nightlife in Barcelona In Barcelona you can make party all day long, every day of the week! There are so many good parties every night and so many different clubs and bars for every taste! You have the more elegant and modern clubs like Opium Mar, Sutton, Shoko and Hyde Club but also many other clubs like Apolo, Razzmatazz and Bikini! If you want to get free into every party I can recommend you the guest list of Shaz Diaz! You just contact him for example on facebook, write your name on the list and get free entrance!! There is no better way to enjoy all those great clubs for free! Contact:

Shaz (facebook.com/shazdiaz1) +34 663 362 087

www.shaz.tel - www.barcelonaparties.com - Shaz@barcelonaparties.com WWW.ERASMUSBARCELONA.COM Page 5


ERASMUS & INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS GUIDE 2012 – 2013

5. General hints Robbery You should always be aware of the risk in robbery in Barcelona! I do not say this to scare you, but lots of my friends were victims of robbery and lost their mobile phones, identity cards, money and more...but if you follow some rules, you can avoid it! First: never carry your bags or backpacks on your back! You should always try to carry it in front of you, it does not matter if it looks stupid! Hold your bag and stuff tight, because on some streets it could happen that they try to rip it off. You should wear all your important stuff close to your body. And if you do not need it, better leave it at home! I always was very careful so until now I was not a victim of robbery!

Weather The climate in Barcelona is very humid so you will need some time to get used to the different climate! Especially during the hot summer you can easily get ill by using the sometimes very cold metro and then leaving again. The big advantage is, that it rarely rains in Barcelona! Even during the winter season you have nearly all days sunny and dry weather!! Normally the temperature does not go under zero, but you should be aware that many of the flats do not have central heating!! So it can happen to get really cold!

People In general, the people in Barcelona are really nice and open-minded! But you should not be surprised if they do not say thank you or are a little bit rude from time to time ;-) They are just special ;-)

Language Although Catalan is one of the official languages spoken in Barcelona, the habitants all speak Spanish as well! Do not be afraid, that you maybe not understand something! I spoke Spanish all the time and never had a problem with that. Although there are some very conservative catalan persons who want to establish Catalan as THE language in Spain...

WWW.ERASMUSBARCELONA.COM Page 6


ERASMUS & INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS GUIDE 2012 – 2013

Eating and drinking La Rambla is strictly for strolling – avoid its overpriced restaurants and cafés, and above all its terraces, where a Coke will cost you the same as a small handbag and beer only comes in ‘Tourist’ size (about a litre). The best places in the centre to pick up picnic fodder are La Boqueria market (on La Rambla) and the Mercat Santa Caterina (in the Born). Many bars operate a three-tier payment system. Terrace seats attract the largest surcharge, but the prices for being served at tables are often higher than sitting up at the bar. Most restaurants in Spain served a cheap, fixed-price meal at lunchtime, known as the menú del día. This is usually two or three courses with something to drink, and costs around €10. The Spanish tend to tip very little in restaurants, and rarely tip cabdrivers. The chain of restaurants of which Les Quinze Nits in the Plaça Reial is the most famous, serves amazingly cheap (though not haute-cuisine) food in swish surroundings. Other branches include the nearby La Fonda (C/Escudellers 10) and La Dolça Herminia (C/Magdalenes 27). Good spots for picnics include the Parc de la Ciutadella, and the Jardins Mossèn Cinto up on Montjuïc, where the air is much cooler.

Moving Single tickets on the metro, bus and tram are €1.40, but buy a shareable T10 (€7.85) for ten discounted journeys. You can buy them in metro stations, in estancos (tobacco shops), and yellow ServiCaixa cashpoints. Multi-journey tickets such as the T10 allow you to swap between modes of transport – metro, bus and tram – without paying extra, as long as it’s within 1hour 15 minutes of validating the ticket. Enter the card into the machine as normal, but it won’t subtract a trip. The tourist bus (Bus Turístic) is expensive (€22 for 24hrs), but a book of coupons offering discounts on sights is included. The cheapest way to get in from the airport is either local bus (No.46) or, if you have a T10 (see above), you could also use it to take the train. The price of taxis has increased exponentially in recent years, but it’s rare that you’ll really need one, even late at night. There are frequent night-buses, and the metro runs until 2am on Fridays and all night on Saturdays. If you buy your ticket for the Bus Turístic on www.barcelonaturisme.com you’ll get a 10% discount.

Sights and attractions The following museums, galleries and sights are free to enter: Ajuntament, Temple Romà d’August, Arts Santa Mònica, La Capella, Palau Güell, CaixaForum, Fundació Joan WWW.ERASMUSBARCELONA.COM Page 7


ERASMUS & INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS GUIDE 2012 – 2013

Brossa, Museu de Carrosses Fúnebres, Hospital Sant Pau, Park Güell. As of April 2009, all municipally run museums are free to enter on Sunday afternoons. On certain days of the year, such as the Dia dels Museus (18 May), Santa Eulàlia (12 Feb), Sant Jordi (23 Apr), Corpus Christi (3 June), the Diada (11 Sept), and La Mercè (24 Sept), all museums are free to enter. Kids’ attractions, such as the Zoo and the Aquarium, tend to be expensive, but they’re often just as content with a stroll down La Rambla looking at the street performers, or a trip to the sound and light show at the Magic Fountain just in front of the MNAC. If you’re planning on doing a lot (but really, a lot) of sightseeing and moving around, the Barcelona Card can be a worthwhile investment. It costs €22 for two days/€27 for three and provides unlimited free transport in the city, and discounts at various sights, shops and restaurants, along with the airport bus. See www.barcelonacard.com. The Articket is an excellent-value pass to the Fundació Miró, the MACBA, the MNAC, La Pedrera, the Fundació Tàpies, the CCCB and the Museu Picasso. It costs €22 and is valid for six months. See www.articketbcn.org. In a similar vein but focused on things archaeological, the Arqueoticket is valid for a year and allows unlimited visits to the Museu d’Arqueologia, Museu Barbier-Mueller, Museu Egipci, Museu d’Història de Barcelona and Museu Marítim. It costs €14 and you can buy it on www.barcelonaturisme.com. If you are planning repeat visits to the Museu Picasso or the MACBA, invest in their annual pass. The Carnet Picasso is €10 and the MACBA Passi is €12 and both allow unlimited visits during one year. Longer-term visitors would do well to get a municipal library card, which gives discounts on cinemas, theatres and in many shops. Almost all churches are free to enter, including the spectacular Santa Maria del Mar in the Born. During the Música als Parcs festival in summer, there are free classical concerts on Thursday and Sunday nights, and jazz on Wednesdays and Fridays, in various of the city’s parks. See www.parcsijardins.cat for details. For a great (and free) view over the port and across the city, head up to the roof terrace of the Museu d’Història de Catalunya. There’s also a café up there. Discounted theatre tickets are sold on the afternoons of the shows at the underground tourist office in Plaça Catalunya. Some museum tickets are valid for other museums or attractions. A ticket to the Museu de les Ciències Naturals, for example, is also valid for the Jardí Botànic, and a ticket to the Museu d’Història de Barcelona also gets you into WWW.ERASMUSBARCELONA.COM Page 8


ERASMUS & INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS GUIDE 2012 – 2013

the Pedralbes convent and a handful of smaller museums.

Other useful tips All cinemas have a ‘dia de l’espectador’; basically a cheap night. Usually it’s Monday, but can be Wednesday – check the cartelera section of listings magazines or the Friday newspaper supplements. If you’re picking up provisions at La Boqueria, avoid the stalls at the front. They have the most colourful displays, along with the most colourful pricing. Sales run from 7 January and the beginning of July, but are not particularly impressive until the second wave of reductions about three weeks later. Although it’s prime tourist season, many hotels offer cheaper rooms in July and August, when they miss out on the business trade. There are few public loos around town, but FNAC and El Corte Inglés on Plaça Catalunya both have them. The tourist office gives out free, but not terribly good, maps. For something better, and also free, get hold of a bus map from the tourist office in Plaça Catalunya. La Roca (www.larocavillage.com) is a discount shopping village about 40 minutes from Barcelona. There are three buses a day; see the website for details. If you’re planning on being here for any length of time, it might be worth investing in a Spanish SIM card. These are available from FNAC or El Corte Inglés in Plaça Catalunya, or any of the mobile phone shops around town. For FREE SIM CARDs see the end of this book. Clubs normally grant free or reduced entry before 2am if you are in guest list. These are ubiquitous in bars and cafés around town. Visit www.BarcelonaParties.com to be in guest list for best night clubs in Barcelona. From October to May there are free organ concerts at the cathedral on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. See www.euroconcert.org for details. The council has recently installed 500 free WiFi spots around Barcelona. These include libraries, museums, parks and gardens. Look out for the large blue signs with a W. Hotel breakfasts tend to be expensive. Better to head out to a nearby bar for coffee WWW.ERASMUSBARCELONA.COM Page 9


ERASMUS & INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS GUIDE 2012 – 2013

and a magdalena. Most of Barcelona’s discount fashion outlets are along the C/Girona.

Need Spanish PHONE NUMBER? We recommend you to get ORTEL Sim Card, we will give away FREE ORTEL sim cards to all the new students who will come to Barcelona, just drop and email to Shaz@barcelonaparties.com. With Ortel Mobile, every recharge you make you will get free talk time, free sms, free internet and up to 50% free credit. Here is Ortel offer for August 2012.

You can have more information about Ortel Mobile offers on www.ortelmobile.es WWW.ERASMUSBARCELONA.COM Page 10


ERASMUS & INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS GUIDE 2012 – 2013

Send a friend request to Shaz Diaz on facebook for Erasmus parties, trips and cultural activities.

WWW.ERASMUSBARCELONA.COM Page 11

Barcelona_Guide_Final_2012_New_Updated  

ERASMUS & INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS GUIDE 201 2 201 3 WWW.ERASMUSBARCELONA.COM Page 1...