Living in Barcelona, Spain:
Tips for Moving and Visiting

20 local experts
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If you've been wondering what it's like to live in or visit Barcelona, the Crowdsourced Explorer community can help. We asked 20 people living in Barcelona what someone who is considering moving to or visiting there should know. Here are their pros and cons, tips, and advice:

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20 comments on “Barcelona”

Barcelona is an amazing city, however, someone moving here should be careful. Over the past years, due to the rise in tourism, petty crime has skyrocketed. Last August, we even experienced what was called a “crime wave”. Most people are pickpocketed at some point during their stay. To avoid this, I suggest using bags with zippers and dressing casual in the streets.

Sandra, says: 2020

Like many cities around the world at the moment Barcelona is experiencing change, the once busy street are deserted for most of the day, the throngs of tourists no longer pose for selfies outside the Sagrada Familia, the air is cleaner and the roads are quiet. But, the city is still Barcelona, the narrow streets, the Gothic architecture that crowd the city centre are unique to this city. what do you need to know about Barcelona before moving here? No matter what happens Barcelona will still be individual, it will still stand out from the masses it will always be Barcelona.

Among the many beautiful cities in Europe, Barcelona is probably the most interesting one. It accounts for beautiful architecture, sided with superb beaches and year-round fun activities. However, with great amenities come great dangers; Barcelona is on the top of the cities with much burglaries happening especially around tourists.

María, says: 2020

The city can be quite dangerous. The city however is one of the most beautiful places in Spain and equally Europe. I recommend that anyone thinking of planning a trip abroad should strongly consider Barcelona as one of the first choices. The plane journey is short and it’s a cheap place to wine and dine.

Shalaka, says: 2020

Barcelona is a vibrant city, full of culture, colour and activity. The locals use public spaces like a second living room and whilst walking around, you will stumble across groups of people playing music in ‘plazas’, having feasts in parks, and children drawing with chalk on sidewalks. It is a city in which to learn to enjoy the simplicity of daily chores, like going to the market, cycling to work or just meeting up with friends.

Lucía, says: 2020

Barcelona has two beautiful and large parks. The first that you should explore is within the city next to Poble Sec and is called Montjuic. The other is a bit further out and you can reach it by taking the green metro line (L3) towards Trinitat Nova. You can get off at a variety of stops after Vallcarca where you are able to hike in Serra de Collserola Natural Park.

Denitsa, says: 2020

Barcelona is an incredible city with art, music, history and culture aplenty. Although being the second-largest in Spain, the city itself is a metropolis of international communities. These range from all continents of the world. Being here really does open you up to a plethora of cultures and customs. Highlights of the year are the many open-air festivities of San Juan, La Merce and the fiesta mejores!

Know basic Spanish or Catalan. The cost of living is quite high. Barcelona is a tourist city and has a lot of cultural activities. There are many places that you can discover and you can easily make friends because it is a city with a lot of foreigners. The weather is nice all year around.

Barcelona is a multicultural city where you are bound to meet more foreign people than local people. If your aim is to learn Spanish, it is better to go live on the outskirts of the city. My foreign friends keep repeating that they have a lot of difficulties when they want to practice the language.

Leanne, says: 2020

If someone moves to Barcelona, must have a bicycle to go to work or study, traffic there is very heavy, and there are many bicycle roads to go anywhere. Barcelona is a city full of museums and some of them are free, you just have to go to a public office and get a ticket.

Barcelona is a very cosmopolitan city. Everyone loves it because it has everything in one place: beach, mountains, city, nightlife, day activities in nature and more! Also it is a cheap city, although the rent is a bit high, that’s the reason why many people share flats when they first arrive here.

Brittney, says: 2020

The most important thing to consider when moving to Barcelona, besides all of its beauty, people and many opportunities to experience new things, would be the price of life here, since everything, from rent to buying an ice cream is very expensive. Nevertheless I think that Barcelona is a great city and hard workers can enjoy every single aspect of it.

Barcelona, Spain, is a place you should check out for your next travel experience. Since my stay here, I learned to love food and people easily. Spanish foods are a must-try for every visitor to Spain. From the different variety of tapas (or appetizers) to the famous paella, a tourist will love the country naturally. The people are so friendly. Since Barcelona is home to many migrants, you will find other nationalities like Chinese, Filipinos, and Moroccans thriving in this promising land. The people are sharing their culture making Barcelona a place rich in cultural variety that is not only limited to Spanish culture.

Lauren, says: 2020

When people decide to move to Barcelona, they need to look out for a few things: bureaucracy, housing scams, low salaries and petty theft. Although Barcelona, in general, is an easy and stress-free city, these matters can put a spoke in any well-organized plans.

Natalia, says: 2020

Barcelona is one of the best cities in the world in which. It is renowned for its Modernist architecture, world-famous cuisine and balmy climate. Housing prices are not low, but it is easy to live in the city centre and public transport is cheap. People are friendly and you can learn to speak Spanish and Catalan if you choose to come and live here!

Leanne, says: 2020

Be aware that summers can be particularly warm. Also, in Cataluna, people speak English, but Catalan also. It’s an international city, so speaking English is really a plus. You have to keep in mind that if you want to learn Spanish in Barcelona, either date a Spanish guy/girl, or involve yourself into Spanish classes and practice whenever you have the opportunity, practice makes it perfect.

Barcelona lives in the moment. Here you can find good food, cheap wine, a lot of sunshine and an energetic street life. It is important to beware of thieves that especially target foreigners and tourists on the streets. Take care to carry only the basics of what you need and leave everything else safe at home.

Coming to Barcelona, one should consider understanding public transport, the rich cuisine, the living expenses, language barriers and finally, difficulties in finding a place to stay. Barcelona enjoys mild winters; it almost never snows, and warm summers, where temperatures rarely rise above 35 degrees centigrade. It is important to understand the politics of the Catalan Community. Citizens are very proud of their Catalan language and are seen striking several times a year for independence. Therefore, one should be careful when making any comments to others regarding Spain (or being Spanish), the civil war, or the independence of Catalonia.

Oozing art, culture, balmy weather and sun-kissed shores, it’s little wonder Barcelona is one of Europe’s most popular destinations to live. Every neighborhood has its own charm, so before settling on a long-term apartment, consider some short lets to get to know what feels right. Most importantly, you’ll need to apply for your NIE (unique tax identification code) which is without doubt the most important document for non-Spanish residents to carry out just about any official activity.

Someone who is moving to Barcelona should know that the city is full of art and museums. The Barceloneta beach is one of the most visited one. Barcelona, for me is one of the best places to live in Spain, because offers amazing, sunny weather almost nine months per year.

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