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Before You Go to Barcelona

Before You Get on the Plane

Leaving for Barcelona

Before you visit Barcelona, make sure you have the proper visas and documentation. The documentation that is required varies according to your country of origin.

If you are an EU citizen or if your country is a part of the Schengen group (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) you will only need a valid passport or ID card to relocate to Barcelona.

However, if you are from another country, the maximum stay in Spain without a permanent visa is 90 days. For a visit of three months, you’ll need a tourist visa form, as well as your passport.

When relocating to Barcelona, we highly recommend staying in the city for a medium-term stay before committing to one apartment or neighborhood. It's good to get a feel for the sort of areas you could potentially stay in - especially in Barcelona, where every neighborhood is a little bit different than the next.

Have a check-up with your doctor and dentist before you go. Also stock up on prescriptions to take with you - you'll most likely be able to get them while staying in Barcelona but it's just another thing to worry about while you're there.

Before moving to Barcelona, receive all necessary immunizations before travel, and check with your local insurance in case they have coverage that would apply in the Spain. Make sure you have your doctor’s international phone number in case you have a medical emergency and a doctor in Barcelona would need to obtain your medical records from your doctor at home.

You’ll find that many Spanish citizens in Barcelona speak English. However, you cannot rely on this. It’s therefore a good idea to brush on some basic Spanish phrases before you go. This way, you can be sure to get around comfortably and converse with the locals on your arrival in Barcelona.

Just Landed!

The main airport in Barcelona is located at El Prat del Llobregat, giving the airport the nickname ‘Aeropuerto del Prat’.

This airport is the second largest in Spain and connects a whole range of different airlines travelling to various destinations.

This airport has 2 terminals and services both national and international traffic. Situated just 14 km from the centre of Barcelona, this airport is extremely well located.

One can get to the heart of Barcelona extremely quickly and relatively cheaply, using a variety of different forms of transport; train, metro, car, bus or taxi.

Another way to get to Barcelona is by train. From Paris there are high speed trains that travel to Barcelona Franca in about 7 hours. You can enjoy the journey, dine a la carte, and soak up the view as you travel cross-country.

There are several other connections throughout Europe. Check RailEurope for more information.

For more information on travelling within Barcelona, take a look at our Tips from Locals section.


The most important numbers to remember in Spain are the following:

  • For the national police, 091.
  • For the municipal police, 092.
  • For fire services, 080.
  • For an ambulance, 061.
  • For a 24 hour chemist, 098.
  • For any emergency, dial 112.
  • There are a few practical tips to keep you safe when travelling in Barcelona. For instance, avoid going out by yourself at night, and don’t carry excessive cash on your person. Also, make sure that you don’t have your valuables on display, especially when using public transport. Barcelona is known for pick-pockets, so so be aware at all times and do not leave your bag open or unattended.