Apt Balmes

Balmes 12, Barcelona, Spain
Apt Balmes
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  • Families100
  • Couples75
  • Solo0
  • Business0

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Forum Posts

Activating my mobile phone

by sabrina_florida

Hi there!

Could anyone answer this question: I'm taking my mobile to Europe from Argentina. I need to use it in Spain, the UK and Greece. How can I make it work in the 3 countries? Do I have to buy a sim card in Spain?


Re: Activating my mobile phone

by nomad7890

First you need to have a phone (the handset itself) with international bands (I forget the Mz denomination, you can probably Google).
Second, you need to determine if your wireless provider offers service (thru a partner company) in other areas. So when you turn on your phone, you'll get the name of the provider you've reached on your phone.

This can get expensive, thus this is where people start talking about buying a different sim.

For the use I make of the phone, I'd rather just pay a little more for calls than go thru the hassle (and the waste of my vacation time which can also be given a price tag) in finding the sim card and getting it working.

I've used the phone to call the US as well as to make calls within Europe, and I also used it from Ushuaia, Iguazu, Mendoza, and BA to call the US.

These posts usually generate numerous responses - but to begin with, check your provider's web site for wireless coverage and the specs of your phone.

Yes, this can get expensive if you're in the phone a long time.

Ah, also, I keep my phone turned off. I have a US plug, and I hate carrying all the adapters, etc to re-charge it. I've been gone from the US for a good 12-13 days and have never needed to recharge.

I give my phone a good charge when I leave and turn it off. Then I only turn it on when I need to make a call, and turn it off when I'm done. Not sure if this is what you intend, or if you need to be within easy reach.

Re: Activating my mobile phone

by nomad7890

oh, yes, make sure your wireless provider has you "pre-activated" for international calling. I switched from AT&T wireless because I went to Europe twice and after returning without the phone working they had made "mistakes" adminstratevily. I switched to T-Mobile and my phone worked first time. So sometimes you need to be persistant with whoever talks to you, like, taking their name, asking them what process they are following to insure you are "activated", and calling back within a couple of days to make sure you show up "activated".

Re: Activating my mobile phone

by brotherleelove

The easiest solution is to buy a cheap GSM quadband UNLOCKED mobile phone so you can use it anywhere in the world with a local SIM card. If the one you have isn't unlocked and isn't quadband you won't be able to use it anywhere the broadcast frequencies it's designed for aren't in use.

Re: Activating my mobile phone

by nomad7890

>> buy a cheap GSM quadband <<
I do have an inexpensive phone - having the GSM/international band capability is what matters. Mine is a Nokia, probably too old to identify. I don't like to have a phone that will ruin my vacation if it gets stolen. ;=)

Not the cheapy-cheap one, but did not pay over $50 but I did agree to extend their service for another year so I think the phone was around $159 without extending the service - I got it for $49.

Re: Activating my mobile phone

by brotherleelove

Greece=Cosmote and Vodafone.

Re: Activating my mobile phone

by sabrina_florida

You've all been most helpful!

Thanks! :)

Travel Tips for Barcelona

Incomparable views

by vivalasteph

Take the funicular halfway up the mountain, then cross the street to the cable car station. Hop on and enjoy a spectacular ride up to the top.

Montjuic is home to the Military Museum, the Fundacio Joan Miro, the Poble Espanyol, the Olympic Ring, and am amazing cemetery, clutching the south side.

It is worth a day to walk and explore, all the while looking out to the sea, and the maze of streets below. The cable car ride was a hold-your-breath thrill. When we arrived at the top and saw the view, we had an "OH My God" moment. You can see for miles, and it was fun to pick out the landmarks around the city, and see the looming spires of the Sagrada Familia in the distance.

Please click on the photo, it is a panoramic shot.


by hevbell

I knew before I arrived in Barcelona that my arrival date, 23rd April, was the festival Sant Jordi. St George is the Catalan patron saint and this festival seems to be their version of St Valentines Day. The tradition is that the man buys the woman a rose and the woman buys the man a book.

I arrived at my hotel in the evening so didn't have a lot of time for sightseeing on my first day but I was interested to see what was going on with this festival. The streets, particularly around Las Ramblas, were totally swarming with people - most of the women seemingly carrying flowers, so the guys must have been keeping up THEIR end of the bargain at least!

The streets were lined with lots of these stalls selling flowers or else books. It was nice to see and a nice warm and fuzzy atmosphere even if it did suck for us single people with noone to buy them flowers!!

Barcelona in winter

by gilabrand

Comfortable shoes are an absolute must. Don't get new ones for the trip. In the middle of the winter - my experience is the end of December and early January - it can get cold when you're outside all day. Also, the sun rises very late - like around 8:30 a.m. So you get a blast of cold air when you leave your hotel in the morning. A turtleneck sweater under a medium-weight coat will keep the chill out. Keep a scarf (not a bulky one) and a pair of gloves in your bag. Sometimes you need it and sometimes you don't. The temperature goes up and down. There were times when my hands were freezing, so I was glad I had my gloves. Of the 5 days we were in Barcelona, it only rained once. I had one of these mini foldable umbrellas that was helpful.

Parc Güell
Parc Güell is where...

by vicky_cannae

Parc Güell
Parc Güell is where Gaudí turned his hand to landscaping, with spectacular results. The park is laid out on a hill with fantastic views of the city. Huge ceramic benches, giant decorative lizards, ceramic mosaics and pavilions of contorted stone all combine into a brilliant swirl of the imagination. In the park grounds, the Sala Hipóstila is a forest of 84 stone columns, originally intended as a market. Above it is a broad open space whose centrepiece is the Banc de Trenadis, a tiled bench curving sinuously around its perimeter. The spired house to its right is the Casa Museu Gaudí, where Gaudí lived for most of his last 20 years.

A fully fledged suburb since late last century, Gràcia is one of Barcelona's most satisfying outlying areas. It's traditionally been home to strong artistic and political communities, students and intelligentsia, but also to a population of average joes, who lend it a no-frills, down to earth atmosphere. Plaça del Sol is a pleasant place to sit during the day, surrounded by cafes and well-grounded 19th-century architecture. At night, the square becomes a popular meeting place.

Montserrat, 50km (31mi) northwest of Barcelona, has weird rocky crags, ruined hermitage caves, a monastery and hordes of tourists from the Costa Brava. The Monestir de Montserrat was founded in 1025 to commemorate numerous visions of the Virgin Mary. Today it houses a community of about 80 monks, and pilgrims come to venerate La Moreneta (the Black Virgin), a 12th-century Romanesque wooden sculpture of Mary with the baby Jesus; La Moreneta has been Catalunya's official patron since 1881. The most dramatic approach to Montserrat is by cable car, which arrives just below the monastery after a thrilling whoop up the sheer mountainside.

Covered market just off the Ramblas

by kerouacsdog about La Boqueria / Markets

This market is about halfway up the Ramblas. It's open Monday to saturday 8am till 8.30pm, quietest in the morning. Just walk around and take in the sights and sounds of all types of food. Pinotxo bar, just on the right as you enter, has the freshest local food cooked simply.


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