Some tips when moving to Barcelona

- Tiempo de lectura: 5 min
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If you're thinking of packing your bags and moving to a city full of movement, life, and culture, let me tell you that Barcelona is the option. It's no coincidence that it's one of the main cities in Spain, as diverse landscapes, important artistic and cultural venues, and people from all over the world converge there looking for adventure. However, you need to arrive prepared to enjoy your experience to the fullest. Here are some tips that will help you:

Before you travel, it's important to get a general idea of the city and the cost of living so that you take your savings well counted and don't spend all your money in the first three days. So, make a good initial budget (at least for the first month), taking into account accommodation, meals, transportation, museum tickets, and other activities you want to do. Once you're in Barcelona, you can get a closer idea of the price of things, what you really need, how much it costs to go out for drinks (and how many nights you'll be able to do so), etc. But it's always good to be prepared.

To give you an idea, here are some approximate expenses:

• Monthly rent for a room: between 400 and 700 euros.• Monthly expenses and shopping: 150 euros.• Transportation: Depending on your needs, there are quarterly passes for 142 euros or 10-trip tickets that cost 9.95 euros.• Leisure: Let's say around 100 euros. With approximately 800-1000 euros, you can survive quite well the first month.

• Weather: Research the city's climate so you can be prepared and pack both your swimsuit and a good jacket. The truth is that Barcelona's climate is quite friendly: in summer, the temperature ranges from 23°C to 29°C, approximately, which combines with the humid sensation given by the sea. The hottest months are July and August. In winter, on the other hand, the minimum temperature usually reaches 5°C and the maximum 15°C. January is the coldest month. Rain is constant in spring and winter, so take your raincoat too.

• Research: As the good nerd that I am, I would recommend searching for some information about Barcelona before you arrive (for example, about the culture, history, food, special events, museums, etc.) first, to spark excitement and not feel so lost and second, to have a clearer idea of the things you want to see and do during your stay. Maybe you'll find out that there are festivals or concerts or some event that interests you just on the dates you'll be there, and then you can plan it in advance.

• Language: If Spanish is not your native language, I recommend downloading a good app to learn the basics, creating a playlist with your favorite Spanish songs, watching movies, series, etc. with Spanish subtitles, and preparing as much as you can so that you know at least how to ask for the bathroom. Once you're there, you can improve your skills and practice Spanish, but it's always a good idea to know at least the basics to survive. If you want to look more professional, you can join a language school, but being such a diverse city, you'll also be able to find a large number of foreigners living in Barcelona and contact them through Facebook groups. In Barcelona, Catalan is also spoken, so get ready and try to learn it.

Accommodation: there are a few things to consider: budget, type of accommodation, and location. As mentioned, the average monthly rental cost ranges from 400 to 700 euros, depending on the area, features, services, etc. It's important to define your priorities when looking for a home, whether you want it to be in the center (which is a bit more expensive) or if you prefer to live a bit further away but save that money, if you want a lot of activity and nightlife or prefer peace and tranquility, if you need it to be well connected, etc. It's good to know the main neighborhoods for that. For example, the cheapest neighborhoods are mainly located in Nou Barris, such as La Trinitat Nova, Ciutat Meridiana, etc. In the center, an economical option would be El Raval. If you're looking to live in an area with a lot of atmosphere, nightlife, and diversity, there are the neighborhoods of the Gothic Quarter and Born. If you're looking for a central residential area, well connected with all public transport, there's Eixample. There are also the neighborhoods of Sants and Gracia, which are known for their bohemian and carefree lifestyle. It's a matter of looking for where your needs are best met.

Some tips when arriving in Barcelona are: if it's in your budget, first stay in a hotel or Airbnb to do the scouting already being there and get to know the neighborhoods better, even to meet people with whom you can share an apartment. Rent a room for a short period of time to start getting used to the city and learn what suits you best without the commitment of having paid a very long deposit. This comes from a close source: don't give any advance payment for a room without seeing it first. (I suppose that comes from a bad experience, but that's why we're here).

When talking about the type of accommodation, we refer to whether you want to live alone in an apartment or if you want shared flats or rooms. For this second option, look for specialized websites where you can contact people who are looking for the same thing as you, you can even look in Facebook groups. Remember that a good roommate is everything.

Mobility and Transportation

The transport network in Barcelona is quite good and well-signposted so that you don't get lost. It's just a matter of looking at your routes and figuring out what works best for you. There are tickets valid for 10 trips, monthly or quarterly passes for unlimited travel by bus or metro, single-trip tickets, etc.

The city is also very bike-friendly, so you can help the environment and your wallet by cycling around. There's the BiCing subscription service where, for 47 euros a year, you can use the city's public bike network.

If you want to explore the city, discover its hidden corners and get lost for a while, walking is always an option.

• Visa and residency permits

If your stay in Barcelona is longer than three months, there are some necessary requirements, such as obtaining your NIE (Foreigner Identification Number) or TIE (equivalent to NIE for non-Europeans). This procedure is essential since it allows you to live and work legally in Barcelona as a resident. Another important procedure is the visa, depending on what you are going to do in Barcelona, you may be eligible for a student visa or work visa, which you need to manage from your country of origin.

Bank Account

It is recommended, if your stay is going to be long, to open a bank account since if you start working in Spain, you will need somewhere to receive your payments. Additionally, having a local bank account can save you money on commissions and currency exchange.

Health Insurance

Another important point to consider is health insurance. For citizens and those who obtain their Empadronamiento, healthcare is free, but if not, it is highly recommended to acquire private health insurance, even if it is the most basic one, it is better to be safe than sorry.

EnjoyAnd finally...ENJOY! Take advantage of all the landscapes, flavors, and smells. Take a walk through the famous tapas restaurants, have a glass of wine and visit museums. You can take a tour around the city, so you get to know your new home more intimately and make new friends in the process. Also, look for Facebook groups related to your interests, practice some sports or sign up for classes of anything that comes to mind, so you can meet people and always be surrounded by good vibes. We hope these tips help you and accompany you on your life journey in Barcelona.

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