Barcelona, a beautiful city with palmtrees everywhere, fresh sea air, a music on the streets, the smell of paella, incredible clubs… hmmm…. But it has something more. If you don’t know Spanish and you don’t know much about the city, Barcelona will slap you a couple times, before you settle down. I have selected the TOP 10 things you should be aware of before moving to Barcelona.
If you fly to Barcelona El Prat Airport, the cheapest way to get to the centre of the city is to use the train for € 2.
It’s a cliche, isn’t it? 🙂 But it’s a must. If you have never been in Barcelona/Spain, you will be VERY surprised. No, seriously. It’s incredible how people can live in the 21st century in the EU. Don’t rent anything before you see the flat.
If there are any, see them all too!
A lot of flats in Barcelona are spacey, sunny, and have beautiful views. But some of them can be very small and dark. If you are sun lover like I am, you should definitely see the flat during the day. I used to live in such a dark room in Barceloneta that even though I had exterior window, it wasn’t possible to see almost anything with daylight and I had to use a light and a lamp.
Make sure that the price is final. In Barcelona, it can easily be the case that you will have to pay for a second month for your room, for example, $400 instead of $350, because the owner “thought” that you were aware about an increase in price, because of utilities, “Gastos” en castellano.
Alright, this is my favorite part. If you are moving to Barcelona to rent a flat you sign a contract with the owner of the flat. If you come here to rent a room you will soon discover that often there are no official contracts to sign with owner or the person who re-rents you the room. It’s simply illegal to re-rent a room here, but nevertheless many people do it anyway. How to make it here then?? You just have to trust the person who rents you the room. 🙂 Awesome, isn’t it? Usually, you have to pay one month deposit (or two). So I wish you GOOD LUCK, because you will need it! And that is why so many foreigners end up with bad experiences here. Like I did. People try so many times to persuade me “We don’t do any contracts here in Spain, no no” “Oh, I will give you the deposit back, sure!” or “I live just 2 minutes from here with my kids, I would never take your money” etc. People are can be tricky here, so what to do then? Sign a contract, but written on a computer and signed by hand. Don’t sign a contract written by hand, because in case of problems, the local police will not consider it as a relevant agreement. Don’t forget to include all detailed information including number of ID, passport or NIE in the contract.
Try to avoid the small shops in central districts such as the Gotico or el Born. The prices of products are two or three times higher than usual. As an example, a bottle of water (1,5 l) can cost 0,40€ in the supermarket , but in those shops it can be priced around 1,30€ ! So wherever you are in Barcelona, ask somebody, where a “normal” supermarket is check our blog How to find a cheap Barcelona supermarket and the best Spanish food.
If you buy anything, anywhere in Barcelona, and the price is unclear, ask! It’s very strange for me too, because I feel stupid asking for each item “Cuanto cuesta?”, but it’s crucial. It happened to me in a bar a week ago. I have been there a couple times ago and I knew, that a glass of wine costs 2,50€. However, the bartender tried to persuade me that it cost 5€. It’s not just in bars, but it can happen in a lot of places. So, pay attention, Mr(s). Foreigner!
When I came here and was desperately looking for a flat so I didn’t pay attention just how much money I wasted using the metro. I didn’t know the city, thus I used the metro all the time. 1 individual fare costs 2€, but 10 fares are for 9,80€! That’s a difference! 😉
If you don’t really have to, don’t use any transportation, because just walking through this city is great -it’s incredibly beautiful!
So, follow these tips when moving to Barcelona and your beginnings in Barcelona will be much smoother 🙂
Enjoy it here