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Home> Destinations> Europe> Barcelona> Overview


Updated: 2014-06-19 / (barcelonaturisme.com)





City Introduction

Barcelona is located at the northeast of the Iberian peninsula, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, which is Spain's second largest city, and the capital of the Catalonia autonomous region, as well as the capital of the province of Barcelona (under the Catalan autonomous region). In the early 15th century Barcelona and its jurisdiction areas were merged into the Spanish State, and since then there has been a fierce competition between Madrid and Barcelona. However, as one of the country's top seaport, commercial centers and industrial cities, Barcelona is increasingly growing prosperous. Barcelona city is the birthplace of Catalan culture, and is the first European city to issue newspapers, where there are Christian University, Catalonia Medical College and other higher educational institutions. In the city there are more than 20 museums, including Catalan Art Museum, Picasso Museum, the Museum of History and Natural History Museum. Barcelona International Music Festival is held annually every October, which is a grand music event. It is located in the sunny Spanish Catalonia region, and is highly favored by tourists due to its towering peaks and blue sky. Here is a perfect combination of Medieval European culture and a new era of fashion charm. Antoni Gaudi’s architectural world has given her a thick art taste, and the Olympic event also shows her energetic side.





History and Culture

In the late 15th century, Catalonia and Aragon autonomous regions were merged into the Kingdom of Castilla. When Aragon and the Kingdom of Castilla were united to become the Spanish Empire, Barcelona lost the eminent status of being the capital of a state, because the capital moved to Madrid in the central part of the land. In addition, Barcelona also relatively lost some privileges on the construction and development; however, as the center of the Catalonia region, Barcelona still has maintained the strong development momentum with Catalans maverick spirit, of which the progress pace has never slowed down. Later to the early 18th century, after the War of the Crown Succession, the FelipeV of Bourbon Dynasty abolished the years-long Catalonia autonomous region system and established a central government. It’s at that time that Barcelona leaped to develop into the most modern city in Spain with its the driving force of its business and survival. Leaders of these festivals, such as Antoni Gaudi, Joan Miró and Salvador Dali, can be represent Barcelona's culture. In this city of art, culture and art can be found in the street or from ordinary people and it seems that every household has its own characteristics, while not acts in conflict with the whole urban Barcelona style.

Barcelona's Old Town is the oldest and most popular tourist area, which is also the heart of the Barcelona. It consists of Barri Gòtic, La Ribera and El Raval. Barri Gòtic is the core area of the old city, and was originally a Roman fortress village, which is named after many ancient Gothic buildings. In the old town there was the coastal area outside the original first wall of the city, of which ViaLaietana street was adjacent to the Barri Gòtic, also being a urban area originated in the medieval times. El Raval area is the former red-light district, of which the both sides of the street is lined with artists' galleries, clothing stores, bars and record stores. Interestingly, many people referred to it as "BarrioChino", meaning "Chinese area" or "Chinatown" in Chinese language. In fact, there are few Chinese people here, and is no prosperity like "Chinatown" in other foreign cities, which is really home to many immigrants from African countries.





Natural Environment

Barcelona is located in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, facing the Mediterranean Sea. The main body of the city is built on the high land of the Collserola Mountain. Barcelona as a whole is in the hills, and many neighborhoods of the city are named after the nearby hills such as Carmel (with the altitude of 267 meters), Putesaite (with the altitude of 181 meters) and Rovira (with the altitude of 281 meters).






European flower" Barcelona enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with hot and dry summer, and mild and rainy winter. The average temperature in winter is 11℃, and November and January are the coldest months of the year, with the average temperature of 10℃; and the average temperature of summer is 24℃. The best season to go to Barcelona is summer, when you can fully enjoy the Mediterranean sun shine.





Useful Information

Tourist Center

At the Barcelona tourist information center the staff can communicate with tourists in English, where you can receive the maps, buy the city card, contact a tour guide, and book a room in a hotel and so on.


You can choose to buy a local prepaid SIM card Prepago in Spain.

The package includes Internet traffic, free calls to Orange mobile phone, the fare of calls to the phone number in Spain 1.8 euro cents / minute (30 euro cents of connection fee), the fare of calls to the Chinese landline or mobile number 1.4 euro cents / minute (30 euro cents of connection fee). Location of Purchase: Orange franchise stores, or phone / calling card Vendors: The Phone House


Barcelona public wireless network site is identified as: Barcelona WiFi spots. A total of 346 free Wi-Fi supply points are distributed all MTR stations, attractions and in public areas of Barcelona, especially in the downtown centering on Plaça Catalunya.

Post Office

Stamps are priced at 0.9 euros (the amount of mailing a postcard), and stamps are usually sold at tobacco shops. Opening hours: 8:30-20:30 from Monday to Friday, 9: 30-13: 00 on Saturday (with a few branches working longer hours).

Information of Embassy and Consulate

Chinese Consulate General in Barcelona

Address: Carrer del Tibidabo 34, Barcelona

Tel: +34 932 541 197

24H security and assistance number for Consulate General in Barcelona: +34 688 306 666

Chinese language police telephone number: +34 913 228 598/913 228 599





Visa Information

Spain is a member of the Schengen Agreement, and Chinese passport holders who wish to visit one of the Schengen agreement countries may go to the Embassy or Consulate General of any Schengen member country in China and apply for a Schengen short-stay visa. Schengen visa is only limited to tourism or business, of which the longest duration of stay shall not exceed 90 days, and in principle such visa shall not apply for any extension.

Materials needed:

1. The original passport and its one copy, with a valid period of at least six months or more, and the last page of the passport already signed.

2. Two color photos taken recently (requirement: white background, the size 35 x 45 mm)

3. The original household register and translated counterpart, and their respective one copy, the original household register, all the pages and notes of the register (in English or Spanish).

4. The original ID with 1 copy of the translated counterpart, and copies of both sides of a new-generation ID.

5. 1 business card, by which you can be contacted.

6. 1 copy of Application Data Sheet, to be filled out truthfully and completely.

7. 1 original copy of letter of identification (in English or Spanish), an original proof of travel holiday approved by the employer, stating the name and position of the applicant, the employer's contact address and telephone number, stamping with the official seal of the company, the issuer's name, title and signature, and a copy of company's business license.

8. 2 sheets of blank company letterhead paper, with the company’s letterhead, stamped with the official seal of the company, and signed by the employer (if the English proof of identification is made by our company on behalf)

9. Applicant’s economic situation proof (the originals are provided during the interview), the more the better; the original recent six-month deposit records (current bankbook) and their copies, and other valid documents (such as international common credit cards, traveler's checks and so on.); proof of property such as property ownership certificate, car ownership certificate and capital stock certificate.

10. Original kinship proof with 1 photocopy of it, family relationship books, or translated and certified notarial certificate.

11. Minors’ original student certificate and its copy, notarial authorization certificate by parents or other legal guardians (translated into Spanish and subject to respective authentication), and the original certificate of income source of parent or guardian.

12. 1 copy of round-trip air ticket order, issued by the airline.

13. 1 copy of hotel reservation forms relevant to the applicant during the stay in Spain.

14. One original copy of Medical Insurance policy, which is the valid medical insurance for the applicant during the stay in the Schengen area, with the insured amount of not less than RMB 300,000.





Currency Exchange

Before traveling to Spain, you’ d better prepare sufficient euros because the currency exchange in Spain is not so cost-effective as at home. If you stay in Barcelona, you can choose to exchange foreign currency at the two banks of La Caixa and Caixa Catalunya.


CUP cards may be used to withdraw euro cash at all banks of Euro6000 network and the ATMs of Citibank in Spain, and according to the listing exchange rate of Bank of China, correspond amount Denominated in RMB shall be deducted from the card.

Credit Card

Visa and Master cards can be universally used.


Most Spanish restaurants include the service charges in the final bills.


A Non-EU resident, when pay more than 90.15 euros for the goods at the same one shop in Barcelona, may inform the store that he or she needs to apply for a tax refund, and will receive a tax-free check and keep it. You can apply for tax refund at the drawback service window of Tourist Center located at Catalunya Square.

Address: Plaça de Catalunya, 17-S

Tel: 917-613-702,917-294-380






Most residents there believe in Catholicism.





Tourism Service Number

Emergency reporting phone in Spain: 112、091(police)、062(National Guard)、061(fire, ambulance)






1. Tipping is not mandatory and according to your habit, eating satisfaction and staff attitude, you may offer a few coins to show thanks but do not give 2-cent or 5-cent changes; when taking a taxi, or purchasing a product, tipping is not needed, for their prices generally include the service charges.

2. Try to reduce the noises of the dining and night activities, to avoid affecting others.

3. Smoking is not permitted indoors, when traveling in public transport you should also avoid eating, drinking or smoking.

4. Please consciously classify the rubbish and then put them into respective trash cans according to the notes.

5. When going out or coming in, please leave the door open for others.

After going into a store, even if you find nothing to buy, please also say Gracias (Thank you) when leaving it.





Festivals(Important/Historical/Folks Ones)

January 1: New Year's Day

From New Year's Eve on December 31, people gather together in the streets to celebrate the new year, and when the clock strikes 12:00 midnight, the people will put the prepared 12 grapes into their mouths one by one to swallow them.

January 6: Reyes de Magos

It’s very importance in Spain, not inferior to New Year's Day at all. On this day the kids think that gifts will be brought by three oriental kings, instead of Santa Claus, when they will ride a camel to send out gifts everywhere. On the evening of January 5, the children will put their boots on the house's windows and balconies, waiting for the "Three Kings" to fill them with sweets and other gifts.

February: Carnival

Carnival is held annually in a different period, but generally between early February and the seventh of March, which is also the start day of Festa de Santa Eulàlia in Barcelona.

June: San Juan Festival

It’s one of the craziest and the liveliest holidays in the Catalan region. On the Midsummer night of June 23 firecrackers and fireworks are continuously let off on many streets and squares, also known as "Night of Fireworks."

September: Festes de la Merce

The week involving the date of September 24 each year is the Festes de la Merce in Barcelona, and the festival is due to the fact that in 1637 Merce helped the city to survive the plague of locusts and is later called the patron saint of Barcelona.


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