info bcn

Useful Info Barcelona

To make settling into Barcelona life a little simpler, we’ve collected some helpful practical information covering everything from opening a bank account to registering at the library. You’ll feel at home in no time!

All students studying at EU must have health insurance during their time in Spain.

EUROPEAN UNION CITIZENS: If you are citizen of the European Union, you may choose to purchase private health insurance. Alternatively, you can transfer the health insurance from the social security of your country of residence to Spain. Complete the S1 form to access CatSalut, the Catalan health service.

NON-EUROPEAN UNION CITIZENS: When applying for a student visa, the Spanish Embassy or Consulate will require proof that you have private health insurance which will cover any medical and/or repatriation expenses that you may incur during your time in Spain. When purchasing medical insurance make sure you compare the plans available and read the small print before signing a contract.

If you require further information on how to obtain health insurance, please contact the EU Admissions Services department at who will be able to help.

There is no set way to open a bank account in Spain: requirements vary according to the bank you choose.

It’s a good idea to research what’s available and pick the most suitable account for your needs.

Banks present in Barcelona include:

If you’ve weighed up your options and there’s no clear winner, look for a bank with branches close to campus or your accommodation, this will save you valuable time when it comes to getting any admin done!

If you have not yet received your residence permit and need to open a bank account, or if you want to start the process before arriving in Spain, please contact our admissions services department at for their support.

The country code for Spain is +34 or 0034.

To make international calls from Barcelona, dial 00 and then the country code, local code and telephone number. If you aren’t sure of the code you need, you’ll find a helpful list here.


It is a good idea to get a Spanish phone number and there are several providers you can choose from. Just like with your bank account, make sure you compare different contracts and pay-as-you-go options before making your choice.

Cell phone providers in Barcelona include:

If you move into shared or student accommodation, you probably won’t need to worry about utilities as these should be included in your monthly fee. However, if you are moving into a private apartment, you will either need to change the name on existing contracts for water, gas and electricity, or take the opportunity to shop around for a better deal. Gas and electricity are often available in packages which can save money. Speak to your landlord or estate agent to find out who your current providers are and how to get in touch with them.

Utility providers in Barcelona include:


Gas and electricity


There are several internet providers you can choose from. Before buying, check that they offer good coverage in your area. It might be a good idea to check with your landlord or your neighbors for insight on which is the best company for your location. Internet providers in Barcelona include:

The main thing to note is that the opening hours of supermarkets in Barcelona may differ to what you’re used to. Most supermarkets don’t open on Sundays or on public holidays. You will find convenience stores open on Sundays, but be aware that prices will be higher than in the big chain stores. Most supermarkets are open from 9 or 10 a.m. until 9 p.m., from Monday to Saturday. Some also close at lunchtime.

There are many markets and individual specialist shops for produce such as cheese, ham, fruit and vegetables. The famous Mercado de La Boqueria on Las Ramblas is beautiful but prices are higher here than elsewhere. Covered markets can be found all over the city, offering fresh produce as well as small restaurants where you can enjoy a bite to eat while soaking up the bustling local atmosphere. El Corte Inglés, Spain’s famed department store, sells quality groceries as well as homeware, electricals and so on. It is quite expensive, however.

Joining Barcelona’s network of libraries will give you access to a huge collection of books, films and music to rent, both physically and through their extensive digital catalogue. Plus, they are often wonderful places to study. If that’s not reason enough to sign up, library card holders also receive discounts at some of Barcelona’s best cultural attractions.

You can sign up (for free) for your library card online, all you need is an official form of identification. Then all you need to do is simply collect the card from your nearest library.

There are copy shops all over the city. The best way to find them is to use Google Maps or similar and search for “copisteria” (Catalan for copy shop).