Moving to Barcelona

Moving to Barcelona : Let’s Go Over What you Need to Do

When it comes to moving to Barcelona, it can be complicated and you might not know where to start. But no worries I can help you, let’s take it step by step and you’ll see that relocating here is not that hard! You’ve actually made the right choice coming into our beautiful city, so congrats on that and let’s get started!

Moving to Barcelona

Find a flat

First of all when moving to Barcelona… of course you have to find a flat and that’s not always an easy task! You can for sure check our flats on our site or get in touch with us any time at all! Or take a peruse through our free ebook on flat hunting tips in BCN. If you don’t find what you’re looking for on our website, just drop us a line at info@suitelife.com.

Moving to Barcelona

Spanish NIE

The most annoying step when you are moving to Barcelona ! The NIE means Número de Identificación de Extranjero, it’s a foreigner identification number that you need to have if you’re staying more than 3 months in Spain and which is mandatory for certain transactions. It’s actually a little bit complicated so we have already made a detailed guide of how to get the NIE, check it out on our blog.

Transports

Of course when moving to Barcelona you’ll need to find a means of transport. If you’re bringing your car with you, then you’ll need to register it on this website, and to find parkings ! Check also our blog to find free parking in Barcelona. The easiest way to move through the city is not car, but metro or train ! Check out this website to find out more about transports in Barcelona, they explain really well how it all works. You can also check the official website of TMB (transports metropolitans de Barcelona) if you are searching for specific info about the metro. You can also use bikes with bicing, you have to sign up on the website, they’re gonna send you your card in the following 10 days, and then you just have to use your card to have a bike. It’s really cheap and really cool on sunny days !

Moving to Barcelona

Find a job, a school, and healthcare

Next step when moving to Barcelona, is of course to find a job and a school ! To find a job (and some other various things such as flats or services) you can check loquo website ! It can be really helpful ! As for schools, you might want to check this website or our blog who list the best international schools in Barcelona ! And of course if you wanna take a few spanish classes to fit into the spanish life, check out this website !

Moving to Barcelona

And finally, last but not least ! What’s about healthcare ? Well you have to check the official website of Catalonia to find out everything you need to know about it !

 

Well guys, I hope my blog was helpful. If you feel like we’ve forgotten some info about moving to Barcelona, tell us ! We will be glad to help you !

Mathilde

English Speaking Locksmiths in Barcelona

English speaking locksmiths in Barcelona – quick, reliable, emergency 24h service

Good day Señoras & Señores! Let me tell you a story. A very unpleasant story that happened to our beloved boss Benny alomost 10 years ago. In a nuthsell, he got locked out his flat at 3am in the morning and the next day he had to fly to Canada. Wanna know what he did? He called an English speaking locksmith in Barcelona who charged him 300 bucks, as he called him for an emergency. Now everyone would like to avoid that situation, right? That’s why we’ve put together a list of the English speaking locksmiths in Barcelona that could help you out of a bind. So save these contacts in the memory of your phone NOW!

 

1. CERRAJERIA BCN

English speaking locksmiths Barcelona

  • CONTACT NUMBERS: + 34 93 752 54 10 / + 34 659 536 536
  • WEBSITE: http://www.cerrajeriabcn.es/en/
  • EMAIL: info@cerrajeriabcn.es
  • DESCRIPTION: With a call centre open 24/7 that can assist you in English, Cerrajeria BCN operates throughout all Barcelona and also in the cities located in close proximity (Terrassa, Badalona, Barbera, Sitges, Castelldefells, Cornellá, etc.). With proficiency in emergencies, residential or commercial locksmith services and also high security systems, they will make sure you get in asap.

 

2. OPENDOOR LOCKSMITH

English speaking Locksmiths Barcelona

  • CONTACT NUMBER: +34 658 668 478
  • WEBSITE: http://www.opendoors24h.com/english/
  • EMAIL: mail.opendoorv@gmail.com
  • DESCRIPTION: Targeted specifically at tourists, Opendoor Locksmith provide a reliable and fast service, not charging a preferential fee for foreigners (like other locksmiths in the city). They can be employed both from inside Barcelona and from the cities around, such as El Baix Llobregat, Garraf, Maresme, etc. In addition to opening closed doors, Opendoor Locksmith sells locks, safes, domestic rolling shutters, bars, security blinds, and anti-shatter glass for businesses.

 

3. CERRAJEROS BARCELONA EAC

English speaking locksmiths Barcelona

  • CONTACT DETAILS: +34 670 774 733
  • DESCRIPTION: Cerrajeros Barcelona EAC is another locksmith company operating 24/7 as well as during holidays (and for the love of God, Spaniards do have loads!), with professional English speaking workers that open people’s door locks in the city centre and nearby. Besides from opening property doors and changing locks, they also do lock repairs and even car doors. They offer people discounts on each operation, so make sure you don’t forget to ask for yours!

Tips

We wouldn’t be anywhere without our dear SuiteLifers and we’d like you to always keep safe, so that’s why our friends from Cerrajeria BCN have provided us with a guide on how to make burglars’ attempts harder. Here are their pieces of advice:

  1. Do not let anyone into your house that you don’t know. If they claim to be a service worker of some sort, make sure to ask for the proper identification prior to you letting them in!
  2. Make sure to always lock all your doors and windows!
  3. Install dead bolt locks on all of the external doors!
  4. Always change all the locks when you first move in!
  5. Never give your keys to any service workers, gardeners, cleaning crews or anyone else not you do not know well!
  6. Never have an ID tag with personal information and home address attached to your keys!
  7. Install keyed window locks and locks on your garage!
  8. Make sure to have the outside of your home well lighted as a deterrent!
  9. What should you do when you are away!
  10. Always leave your outside lights on, so that it appears as though someone is at home!
  11. Ask some you know and trust to check up on your home periodically!
  12. Have your mail held at the post office while you are away or have you know and trust pick up your mail every day or every other day!
  13. Make sure all windows and doors are shut and locked. Don’t forget about your garage door and shed!
  14. Tell neighbors and the security patrol in your neighborhood (if you have one) that you will be out of town and for them to keep a look out for any unusual behavior!

Till next time, stay safe SuiteLifers!

Muchisimas gracias,

Dragosh (El Dragon)

 

International schools in Barcelona

Hello, SuiteLife gang.

Last week we talked about the best International Day Care Centers In Barcelona where your toddlers can be trained to be multilingual. On a similar note, I decided to write a post on the best International Schools in Barcelona for those of you whose children are all grown up now.

You’ll be surprised at the number of International schools Barcelona has to offer and their variety. But, of course, I want only the best for my SuiteLife peeps, therefore in this post I will list only the finer ones.

The Benjamin Franklin International School

International schools in Barcelona

Truly International is what this school is aiming for. With a mix of approximately 1/3 American, 1/3 Spanish and 1/3 Foreign students, be sure that your child will have a lot of cultural exchange and appreciation (a bit too much maybe). There are 608 students enrolled in Benjamin Franklin International School as of 2015 forming a global community consisting of 48 nationalities.

The school opened doors in Barcelona in 1986 and while relatively new it came along with the new standards, new requirements and new passion the modern education system expects. So don’t be thrown off by the fact that the school has been running only for three decades, the teaching staff is fully motivated and driven by the common goal to mend your kids into future individuals seeking excellence in their lives.
Benjamin Franklin International School teaches students mainly in English. However, Spanish and Catalan are introduced later in the curriculum to ensure the pupils achieve good command in the two languages. If languages turn out to be your child’s strong suit they can also choose optional French to add to their program.

International schools in Barcelona

 

The school adopts an American standard of teaching with a typical American curriculum and lesson delivery. Your kids can benefit from Benjamin Franklin International School by receiving three different academic diplomas: the American High School Diploma, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, and the Spanish Bachillerato Certificate. Consequently meaning that they will immensely boost their future prospects for getting into a high quality university.

These are the tuition fees for the different divisions for 2015/2016:

  • Early Childhood ( Nursery & Pre-K ) – 8,985 €
  • Kindergarten* – 8,985 €
  • Elementary School ( Grades 1 – 5 ) – 11,220 €
  • Middle School ( Grades 6 – 8 ) – 11,525 €
  • High School ( Grades 9 – 12 ) – 13,750 €

 

I know, I know it is pricey. What you need to take into consideration, however, is that this is one of the finest International Schools in Barcelona with one of the highest educational quality standard. If you live in Barcelona and find these fees affordable, be sure that you will be making an excellent investment in your childrens’ future.
The school provides all the necessary services to ensure the safety and well-being of your child. Transportation is provided picking up and dropping off students in 10 areas in Barcelona. The cafeteria always prepares fresh and healthy meals for its students. And the nurse’s room is always prepared and available to anyone at all times.

English School Barcelona

International schools in Barcelona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A personal touch. With one class per year group and a maximum of 18 students in a class English School Barcelona’s teachers have a very personal approach to their students. Catering to every student’s individual problems or queries this system assures that every child is dealt with care and they achieve an extremely high academic level. Dedicating time and attention to every student individually is one of the things that sets this school apart from the other International schools in Barcelona.

The school was opened in 1957 and operates effectively and successfully until present day. The school always aspires to follow the newest trends in education and their years of experience allows them to be extremely good at it.

English School Barcelona strongly believes in the idea to teach their students to be multilingual. Lessons are taught in English, Catalan and Spanish evenly. No one language is favored over the other. This ensures that by the time their students graduate they will be completely fluent and speak freely in all three languages. When the child reaches secondary school they will start learning French as part of their program. This allows them to take the International Baccalaureate (IB) or its Spanish/French equivalent – the Batxibac.

Again the huge presence of an International community can teach pupils cultural appreciation and tolerance for their peers of different backgrounds, religion and ethnicity. There is no better way than to learn these things from first-hand experience.
The school offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities. From sport activities including tennis, basketball, skating and yoga; going through music orientated activities such as ballet and drum lessons and ending with the creatively intellectual activities like robotics, chess and arts & crafts.

Kensington School

International schools in Barcelona

 

 

A piece of Britain in Barcelona. Opened in 1966 Kensington is the oldest British curriculum school in Barcelona teaching their subjects in accordance with the National Curriculum for England and Wales. Similarly to English School Barcelona, Kensington relies on a relatively small student body in order to offer a better quality education.

If you are moving to Barcelona from the UK and you insist on your child to be taught British style, then Kensington would be the perfect school. The school incorporates A-level studies and examination via Edexcel in London and all other examination and accreditation any British university might require for future studies. A common practice after graduating from Kensington school is students moving to Britain to pursue their higher education in one of the best universities on the island.

International schools in Barcelona

 

The majority of lessons are presented in English, apart from the Spanish and French language classes. Once again your kids are exposed to a variety of languages helping them develop amazing communicational skills.

After school activities at Kensingon school include sport activities such as basketball, football and table tennis. Other extra-curriculars include chess and choir singing.
Kensington also organizes summer camps at the end of each academic year both for Junior and Senior schools and ski trips to Espot Esqui every February for Senior students only.

Oak House School

International schools in Barcelona

 

 

Modern meets tradition. The first thing that will strike you about Oak House school is the modern facilities and technology this institution incorporates in their students’ education. The school opened its doors to students in 1968 and during the course of its management it successfully foresaw the importance of new technology which it effectively adopted as part of the learning process.

From the start of Primary until the end of the division pupils are taught their classes in English. At the start of Secondary school a trilingual study scheme is introduced adding Catalan and Spanish to the curriculum which are exploited quite vigorously. Additionally students can also pick a fourth foreign language, German or French, to go along with their studies.

Following the British educational system pupil are prepared for Cambridge IGCSE exams in subjects including:

  • English Literature
  • Maths
  • Business Studies
  • Sociology
  • Combined Science
  • Environmental Management
  • History
  • ICT
  • Drama
  • Art

International schools in Barcelona

On and off-site services include transportation, dining services and medical care.The school buses commute on three different routes covering the entire city of Barcelona. The buses are scheduled to leave at 4:45pm after extra-curriculum activities the students might be involved in.

The food preparation is covered by chef D. Juan Ramos who prepares different menus including: normal, vegetarian and menus for students who suffer from celiac disease. The food is healthy and nutritious to make sure the students are part of a healthy diet.

Oak House has a qualified on-site nurse and if any emergency or special medical attention is required the schools insurance covers such medical care at the Quirón Clinic in Barcelona.

There you have it gang, the best International schools in Barcelona. I hope this blog was informative for you, if not enough you can always go on to the schools websites for more information. Tell us in the comment section which school you like the most and sounds best suited for your child’s needs.

Time for your well-deserved weekly joke:

Two boys were arguing when the teacher entered the room.
The teacher says, “Why are you arguing?”
One boy answers, “We found a ten dollar bill and decided to give it to whoever tells the biggest lie.”
“You should be ashamed of yourselves,” said the teacher, “When I was your age I didn’t even know what a lie was.”
The boys gave the ten dollars to the teacher.

 

Sincerely,

Chris

 

International Day Care Centers in Barcelona

International Day Care Centers in Barcelona

International day care centers in Barcelona

Hi SuiteLifers,
Are you moving to Barcelona with your children? Are you already in Barcelona and you want your kids to be bilingual? Excellent. Have you considered an International day care center in Barcelona? Well, my people, you should. Let me tell you why and which are the best day care centers you can choose from.

A child’s ability to learn multiple languages at a very young age is simply amazing. Young kids’ brain capacities are completely fresh and able to take in a lot of information and therefore, language comprehension is so much easier for them. They are like sponges! We of course want to nurture our little guys and gals because knowing multiple languages is an incredibly useful trait for them in terms of communication and enriching their career prospects. I’ve decided to make sure you have a choice between the best International day care centers in Barcelona.

Noah’s Ark International Day Care Center

International day care centers in Barcelona

This day care center is all about diversity. Noah’s Ark welcomes all children from different cultures and backgrounds. Which means that alongside your toddler’s studies your child will learn to interact with other children, teaching it to appreciate and understand the importance of equality in the long-run. The center is concentrated in teaching children English while teaching Spanish is also present in the child’s curriculum in a lighter manner.

Noah’s Ark is one of the  successful International day care centers in Barcelona. Its success and fine reputation is strongly connected with the parents relationship the center aims to maintain. You as a parent will be highly involved in the center’s activities and frequent feedback from you is used to help improve their services in order to suit your child’s needs. This day care center’s love for children is strong and because of that they provide constant monitoring of the children’s progress and well-being.

Parents are presented with two evaluation reports a year providing feedback on the level of performance of their child. While these evaluation reports are officially done only twice a year, parents have the freedom to check on their child’s well-being regularly or as much as they need to.

International day care centers in Barcelona

Noah’s Ark is big on physical activities too. Once a week they provide optional swimming lessons for the kids to teach them how to be aware and feel safe outside and inside of the water. In accordance wit this, the center has an enormous garden with lots of green areas, sandboxes, swings and slides to ensure the children are active and entertained. Classes are divided by the age of the children. Below, you can see the children – teacher ratio in the different age groups:

  • Baby group (4 to 12 months) 6 babies 3:1 ratio
  • Yellow Class (12 to 18 months) 12 toddlers 6:1 ratio
  • Green Class (18 to 26 months) 14 toddlers 7:1 ratio
  • Orange Class (26 to 30 months) 16 children 8:1 ratio
  • Blue Class (30 to 36 months) 18 children 9:1 ratio

If you are interested in this day care center and need more information, go to Noah’s Ark website and study them in depth.

 

Kinder Barcelona

International day care centers in Barcelona

An excellent activity based International day care center in Barcelona. Your child will associate this center with fun and excitement. Literally, guys, don’t be surprised when you wake up in the morning and your child is already waiting for you fully dressed at the front door.

Kinder Barcelona offers several language courses you can choose from. Kinder is aware that families have different needs for the language their child should study. No matter if you are temporarily in Barcelona, you plan to move to another country or you have specific higher education aspirations for your child to pursue when it grows up, Kinder has you covered with their selection of language classes. The teachers, either native and bilingual, show excellent professionalism combined with charm and positive personalities to provide your child with the best learning experience ever. Catalan, German and English are the three morning courses you can choose from. Once you have made your decision you can also choose whether to combine the morning class with the afternoon Spanish class if you wish to train your child to be multilingual.

Kinder Barcelona believes that the best way to teach your children languages is through fun activities. Apart from the academic type morning classes, the rest of your child’s day will be filled with activities involving dancing, singing, painting and drawing and lots of playing.

The center organizes various outings around the Pobleneu area, park visits and holiday camps for the little tykes. For more information and upcoming events you should check the Kinder Barcelona website.

International day care centers in Barcelona

 

Once again this day care center has a deep connection with the children’s parents. Organising numerous activities for parents to enjoy with their children, and for parents alone, Kinder makes sure you are present in your child’s upbringing and growth as much as possible. Such activities include dance classes for the moms (sorry dudes), classes on how to improve your story-telling to your children, toy making workshops and many more. Interested? Check all of Kinder’s family activities.

 

English Kinder Barcelona

International day care centers in Barcelona

Kinder English is another great International day care center in Barcelona. This center has been operating for more than 40 years and its still following the same passion for achieving excellence in nursery education as it had from the start. With years of experience and constant improvement you can be sure that your child will be in the best of hands. English Kinder specializes in teaching English, Catalan and Spanish to its children. The English studies are 90% and the Catalan and Spanish classes divide between themselves the remaining 10%. The center’s testimonial states that by the time the children finish their standard study program at English Kinder they will have very good command of the three languages. If parents wish to re-enroll their children for additional studies with English Kinder Barcelona, they will have the option to include the French language in their child’s curriculum.

Although fun activities have a strong presence in English Kinder’s education plan, the center can be considered to be more academically oriented. Alongside the language studies they offer numerous music lessons. Children can pick from different musical instruments they would like to practise, the piano and the violin being the most popular among them.

International day care centers in Barcelona

 

The center believes that high quality education should go hand-in-hand with good physical fitness. You can also pick what sport activity would best suit your child. Tennis, Judo, Yoga and Dancing are just some of the sport activities you can choose from.

If you are interested in this day care center, might as well hop on to the English Kinder Barcelona website.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and found it informative. If you have had any good day care center experiences before, we’d love to hear about them. Just scroll down a little bit more and post them in the comment section.

 

Ready for your weekly joke?

 

Little girl: “Why does your son say, ‘Cluck, cluck, cluck?’”

Mother: “Because he thinks he’s a chicken.”

Little girl: “Why don’t you tell him he’s not a chicken?”

Mother: “We need the eggs.”

 

Sincerely,

 

Chris

 

 

 

Top 5 tips on How Not to Get Screwed by a Landlord in Barcelona

Top 5 tips on how not to get screwed by a landlord in Barcelona

5 ways you can protect yourself against bad landlords.

 

Hello, SuiteLifers

get screwed by a lnadlord

This time let’s talk about how to avoid getting screwed by a landlord in Barcelona. Have you ever been blamed for something damaged in your flat which wasn’t your fault? Or have you ever been accused  breaching the contract for no good reason? Don’t worry it happens all the time. Personally I have been through some tough landlords myself. Renting a new apartment can be a very fun experience or a living nightmare. That is why I want to share some tips you can use to avoid such annoying and stressful situations.

 

Always visit the flat personally

A lot of real estate websites these days provide virtual tours for their future tenants to view. Pretty cool, right? Whilst this is a great new way to appreciate a flat and its features in depth from the comfort of your own chair at home, this should not be your final step of the viewing. You should also be aware of landlords attaching false photos of the apartment online.

Make sure you can spare half an hour and go visit the flat personally. What happens more often lately is that people make rushed decisions and even sign a lease contract without even paying a visit to the flat they are entering. As you can imagine a lot of times these people feel disappointed in their decision just because they haven’t had the chance to try out the TV first.  So, gang, to avoid being disappointed in yourselves I advise you to book a viewing for the apartment of your interest and don’t ignore this general rule of accommodation-hunting.

 

Have your smartphone handy and the camera on standby.

Bad landlords have the tendency to blame you for damages you haven’t done just because they don’t want to spend money to refurbish the flat after you leave. And because you might have forgotten to inform them of any at the beginning of your lease, they’ll try and ‘outsource’ the repairs to you. One of the most popular ways to get screwed by a landlord in Barcelona.

get screwed by a landlord

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great way to avoid this is by taking pictures. And I mean a lot of them. Find every nuke and cranny where a sticking nail or a scratch cold be placed and photograph it for evidence. Don’t worry that your landlords might find you fussy or weird. You are in your right to know everything about your future temporary home. Also this would be a perfect time to point out any flaws or damages to your landlord that you want fixed. You should print up the photos and have them attached to the contract as an annex.

 

Trial and error.

A good way to guarantee your satisfaction with your future flat is to literally touch everything. Sometimes landlords would intentionally keep information from you about malfunctioning or broken appliances. This is when you come in. Don’t hesitate to test anything you might consider dodgy. Make sure that you will be comfortable with every piece of appliance and furniture in the flat. So a few good things to try out would definitely be the bed in the bedroom, if you are a passionate TV lover, the TV set is a must. Another thing you should make sure works properly are the faucets and the showers. You would be surprised how many times tenants forget to check the water pressure in the shower, which makes showering a not so relaxing experience as it should be.

get screwed by a landlord

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t be afraid to demand a repair on something beforehand. But be aware, if the landlord doesn’t get to it before you guys sign the lease be certain that any future problems you might experience will not be dealt with very quickly either.

 

Do a background check on your landlord.

It is always a good idea to know what you are getting into. Unless you have a friend or a family member working for the CIA or any of the other Intelligence agencies, I suggest you conduct your own background check on your landlord.
Talking to the neighbours to get some insight on your landlord would be one way. Despite the common believe that you should keep your nose out of other people’s business, neighbours sometimes hear or see things unintentionally (or not) so checking with them might be bring you some leads.

Previous tenants would a good source too. A lot of times landlords would have their previous tenants’ contact details and emails so you could always request that from them. As a first-hand experience in dealing with a landlord, ex-tenants would give you the most insight and best advice about the homeowners.

 

It’s time for the paperwork.

The following advice is supported by personal experience. If you are a student on an exchange program or a professional who is being relocated to another country and you do not speak the language of the country in which you’ll be entering an apartment, then my dear friends, have that lease translated and legalized.
Sometimes you are just too excited to travel to another country and all you want is to find a flat quickly so you can go out and experience your new life. And when the moment comes to sign your lease, because you are that excited and overwhelmed you sometimes overlook a few details. Well, gang, that guy was me a few months back. Not being aware of one tiny detail about my lease led to a whole month of stress and sleepless nights. Even if you can’t get it translated (In Barcelona for contracts to be binding they must be in either Spanish or Catalán, you have other choices. The best is to get them to send you the contract a few days before you sign so you can take it to a third party (friend or lawyer, or google translate) and make sure that it is above board and standard.

get screwed by a landlord

 

So if you are a victim of the monster called ‘language barrier’, always ask for your lease to be translated beforehand or at the very least verbally translated to you. It is always good to have a copy of your new contract in your native language (or whatever language you can speak) in case your landlords are trying to pull your leg.

Another useful thing to do is before you sign the lease, get a copy of it from your landlord and send it out to anyone you may know that can help you ‘decipher’ it and scan it for issues. Again from personal experience let me just say that moms are ALWAYS right. True story.

 

 

 

There you have it, gang, the best tips to ensure you will never ever will be screwed by a landlord in Barcelona. Following these 5 steps will make your apartment-hunting much easier and much more satisfying for you. Tell us in the comment section below if you have had any crazy experiences with bad landlords.

 

Now for your joke:

Q: If you were to drop a Slug and a Landlord off the roof of the 600 foot tall Calgary Tower, which one will hit the ground sooner?
A: Who Cares?

 

Sincerely,

Chris

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