Where to find info once in Barcelona?
You have several TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRES: where are provided all kind of services you may need such as tourist information, maps, brochures, money exchange, gift shop, etc.
Tel. 807 117 222 (From Spain), +34 93 285 38 34 (International calls)
- Plaça de Catalunya, 17-S. Open every day of the year from 9 to 21 h. Closed on 25th December and 1st January. LOcated underground, in front of El Corte Inglés department store, near the corner of Portal de l'Angel/carrer de Fontanella
- Sants Railway Station. Plaça dels Paisos Catalans s/n. Opening hours: from Monday to Friday 8-20 h, Saturday, Sunday and holidays 8-14h, Summer, daily 8- 20 h. Closed on 1st Janary, 25th and 26th December.
- Plaça Sant Jaume. C/ Ciutat, 2. Opening hours: from Monday to Friday 9-20 h, Saturday 10- 20 h, Sunday and holidays 10-14 h.
CATALONIA TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE "PALAU ROBERT"
To get info about Catalonia, daytrips from Barcelona, local events, etc. have a look at Palau Robert webpage
Palau Robert is physically located at the top of Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona, and there is the "Centre de Informacio de Catalunya". You will find a tourist office, a youth information point, exhibitions, etc.
- Tel. Tourist office: Tel. 93 238 80 91 Fax. 93 292 12 70
- Tel. Youth Information Point: Tel. 93 238 40 07
Address: Passeig de Gracia, 107. Opening hours: from Monday to Saturday 10 to 19h, Sundays and Holidays 10 to 14h.
Catalunya is a bilingual community. Everybody in Catalunya do speak Spanish (or Castellano as we prefer to call it here), but in fact NOT everybody do speak Catalan (about 60% in Barcelona, less in some industrial cities, and more inland Catalunya and smaller towns).
Correction, not 100% of people in Catalunya do speak Spanish. I would better say 98%. There may be a 1% of very old people in remote areas who never needed to learn it. And there may be a 1% of nuts who know perfectly Spanish but refuse to speak it (usually when addressing to Spaniards, as they usually don't mind to use their multilingual knowledge with foreigners). You can find quite a few people who may speak to you in Catalan, but they would switch to Spanish immmediately as soon they notice your accent. Please note that many of us here are using BOTH languages all the time, and sometimes we even do not realize we changed!! Except of course you bump into anyone belonging to the second 1% named above (and this would be plain back luck... just ignore them and ask anyone else)
Catalan is not a dialect of Spanish, but a language on its own, derived from Latin as Spanish, French, Italian... etc. As well, Catalan has its own dialects, and it's spoken by about 10 million people in Catalunya and other surrounding areas (including French Catalonia, Balearic Islands, and – if politics permit – Valencia ;)
If you are interested on learning a bit of Catalan language, have a look to the link below (includes a linguistic tool from the University of Barcelona, which may be useful as well for touristy purposes)
Pack light when traveling to Barcelona, especially if you want to use public transportation. It makes your life much easier when jumping on and off the trains for example. Barcelona's climate is quite temperate to bordering tropical with it's location on the Mediterranean. Bring your summer clothes with you even as late as October, but pack some warm clothes for the cool Mediterranean nights. A city as picturesque as Barcelona must be captured on film or digital media. I strongly suggest you bring a camera with either lots of film or lots of storage space (for digitals). You will find a whole lot to photograph in Barcelona and you don't want to be stuck having to take a mental picture. A good guidebook will help you tackle the city. It's a tremendous city with a whole lot to see. Try to plan your trip and your itinerary in advance so that you just might make the best use of your time there. I think you could spend a whole month in Barcelona just sight seeing and still leave wanting to see more.
Daytrip to the Costa Brava region
The Costa Brava region is only about one hour by public transport from Barcelona. Well worth a visit are the towns of Girona (see my Girona page) or Figueres, home of the Salvador Dali Museum.
Last but least the whole Costa Brava coastline with its lovely beaches and rocky bays is worth seeing.
Not Corte Iglesias, but...
El Corte Ingles is Spain's most famous department store chain.
In Plaza Catalunya there is the biggest store of this chain in Barcelona. Here; on the basement you can find a huge supermarket where you can find some gift to take home. I mean something typical from Spain. Turron (see tip on my Spain page; what to buy...); wines. ...