This year we will have our 10 years anniversary, from when we settled in this beautiful Mediterranean city. Barcelona is a city with a great history behind, amazing culture and a special place for those who want to settle down and enjoy it.
Barcelona is one of the top European cities with an always growing economics, with strong presence of foreign companies that invest here.
The city is also one of the most dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystems, especially in new technologies and life sciences. This makes that this city brings lots of talented people, and make this city even more interesting to come to live in.
I know, I do not have to mention it, but, still, I know that if you read this post, is because you consider to move to live in Barcelona. And all is because its Mediterranean weather, quality of life and many other things to enjoy.
I hope this series of articles will help you to get the right decision to move and enjoy this city, and who knows, one day to feel local for your friends.
Today I will bring to you some practical information.
Weather. It is true that here in Barcelona are more sunny days than in any other European big city. The average temperature of 10ºC in winter and 25ºC in summer. In winter 10ºC, doesn ́t mean 10ºC, the feeling is like 0 or less, due to high humidity. And 25ºC in summer, sometimes feels warmer due to humidity again.
Barcelona is a safe city, with a very low rate of serious crimes. Of course, it refers to people who are not problem seekers :D. As in any other big city, pickpockets tend to concentrate in certain areas where it is easy to find a distracted tourist, such as at a popular sight, a crowded metro station or a busy restaurant. If something unpleasant, still happened to you, we advise you to get to the police, or to call 112. Available 24 hours a day every day of the year. Free call.
If you go out, and are wondering about tipping, then just for your info, there is no expected rate for tips. Restaurants are required by law to include service charges in their menu prices. It is also customary to tip hotel porters and washroom attendants.
Spanish people, as many Mediterranean regions, tend to eat later than other Europeans. Usually breakfast is between 9.00-11.00 a.m. Lunch is between 2.00-3.00 pm. Dinner starts between 9.00-10.00 p.m. I remember the first year, it was so difficult for me to get used to eating at 2.00 pm, but then I found out the secret. The secret was to have your breakfast later, or 2 breakfasts :).
Another thing that I was impressed, was that on Sundays, you barely will find an open shop, neither in shopping centers. For me, coming from the place where Sundays were for shopping, it was unusual. Small shops also usually close between 1pm and 4pm.
As well, if you want to go to a local Market, be prepared to go earlier in the morning, as later you won’t find what you will need.
As I mentioned in one of my previous posts Spanish people have lots of Bank Holidays. I think I know why. People here love to enjoy their life. Some of the holidays are celebrated nationwide while others are celebrated only in Catalonia or in Barcelona.
Bank holidays in Barcelona
1 January — Any Nou* / New Year’s Day
6 January — Dia de Reis* / Epiphany
March-April (movable) — Divendres Sant* /Good Friday
March-April (movable) — Dilluns de Pasqua**/ Easter Monday
1 May — Dia del Treball* / Labour Day
May (movable) — Pasqua Granada*** /Pentecost Monday
24 June — Sant Joan** / Feast Day ofSt. John
15 August — L’Assumpció* /The Assumption
11 September — Diada Nacional deCatalunya**/ Catalan National Day
24 September — Festa de la Mercè*** /La Mercè Festival
12 October — Dia de la Hispanitat* /Spanish National Day
1 November — Tots Sants* / All Saints’ Day
6 December — Dia de la Constitució* /Constitution Day
8 December — La Immaculada* /Immaculate Conception
25 December — Nadal* / Christmas Day
26 December — Sant Esteve** / Feast Dayof St. Stephen (Boxing Day)
* National holiday
** Regional holiday (Catalonia only)
*** Local holiday (Barcelona only)
On our next post I will talk about procedures and how to get all the documents done to settle in this beautiful city. For all these procedures you will always need assistance, this assistance you can find at Barcelona City Council. The can be reached through different channels, where you can ask for information on the city, report incidents or complaints, carry out municipal procedures, etc.
Online: barcelona.cat for general information about the city of Barcelona or ajuntament. barcelona.cat/atenciociutadana to find out more specific information, complete procedures, access the telematic registry, etc.
By phone: 010 (Free call)
For complaints and suggestions regarding the city cleaning services, maintenance and control of the urban areas, call the civic response telephone: 900226226 (free call)
In person: You can go to one of the Citizen Help and Information Offices (oficines d’atenció ciutadana, OAC), located throughout the city.
For other specific municipal procedures, it is necessary to make an appointment. You can book it in advance at: ajuntament.barcelona.cat/cita or by calling at 010 (free) if you are in the city.
But as far as you understand, moving to another country or city involves having to carry out numerous administrative procedures, among many other things. Some of these are mandatory or very necessary and can also be fairly complicated.
All you will need is planning well all your staff and be patient. Sometimes it is hard, but try to enjoy the process.