Are you planning to live and maybe even work in Barcelona? You have made a great decision.
Barcelona is an amazing city to live in. There are plenty of things to do, even during the Coronavirus crisis. We have had food from almost every type of cuisine and there are many things to visit. From the Sagrada Familía, to the 2 Teleferics or the Palau de la Musica.
Next to that, there is so much nature. Not only do you have the beach, or the many viewpoints (Bunkers del Carmel), you can also do perfect hikes to/ at Tibidabo.
I have been living here for over 8 months and still discover new spots weekly. Whether if it’s in Barcelona or outside because there are also so many awesome places close by.
You can not leave Barcelona without spending time on a rooftop bar! I mean it’s in the name! Bar-celona 😉 Ohla and Ayre Hotel Rosellón are two of the best
The first tip I can give you, is to sign up for Facebook groups. There is a cool Expat group, where people often introduce themselves and want to meet. I joined only one, but I have seen many more expat groups.
For Dutchies: There is also a Nederlanders in Barcelona (Dutch people in Barcelona) group. I find this group super handy, you can literally ask anything in here and someone will know the answer. Or you can ask people if they want your free books and there’s someone who can relieve you of your stuff.
During the Corona times, many of us were following Ambassadeur (ambassador) Jan Versteegh on Facebook. He was keeping everyone up-to-date with the latest news of Corona in Spain in very simple words. It’s always good to follow someone like him.
The public transport is pretty good in Barcelona. You have busses everywhere, metros and taxis. Next to that, you can hire electric scooters, called Yego, that are placed everywhere in the city.
The biggest tip I can give you is to get a Bicing subscription. In Sevilla, you have Sevici, in Barcelona Bicing. These are bicycles that you can hire and get from many stations in BCN.
It costs only 50 euro per year and you can cycle the first 30 minutes for free. After that you can park it somewhere and take another bicycle if needed.
You can also take electric bicycles, but you have to pay even for the first 30 minutes 35 cents.
Amovens & Blablacar
If you want to visit places outside Barcelona, the public transport is also pretty sufficient. But if you want to do a road trip, like we have done a couple of times, you might prefer hiring a car.
With Amovens you can hire cars from individuals. You will have to make appointments with the owner and then you are free to go. There are some rules, which you can find on the website.
Blablacar is a website where you can drive together with the owner to a certain place for a small price. You have to book a spot in their car and together you go!
On the website, you can see a photo of the owner and read reviews. It might sound a bit sketchy, but I have often done this in Sevilla with friends and we have met very cool people like this.
Many international companies
Do you already know if you are going to work and what kind of job you are going to do there?
If you don’t and are open to jobs, I recommend you to look at international companies. There are many of them and they are often looking for people speaking a certain language.
I almost got a job at NewCo Communications, which is a Belgium company. They were looking for Dutch-speaking people. Same as TheFork, the company I eventually started working for.
TheFork is part of Tripadvisor and I am working in the Dutch team. Due to Corona, I am also working for other markets, like Australian and Italian, so it was important that I also speak English. If you can speak any language, I recommend you to look for job offers for that and there are many customer care job offers. I am really enjoying my time at TheFork.
Don’t forget to take a look on LinkedIn, next to all the other websites to search for jobs. It has helped me a lot during the last years, especially connecting with people you know or don’t know is great.
It’s always handy to learn the language of the country you are in. Luckily many people in Barcelona do speak English because it is pretty international, but outside there are fewer people.
Next to that, also be aware of the Catalan language. In Sevilla it was all Spanish, but in Barcelona people also speak Catalan, which is very different from Spanish (in my opinion). You can see the language on all the signs outside and it would be nice if you could learn this language as well. But I recommend you to first focus on Spanish, as everyone in Spain speaks that.
There are numerous Spanish schools. I took classes at BCN Languages and had online classes. Due to Corona, I didn’t dare to take ‘offline’ classes, which means going to the school and be with others.
Looking back on it, I would have loved to take offline classes, because I like to meet people and I think you pick up the language faster if you have a teacher who can correct you.
But these online classes were pretty good. 60 hours cost me 220 euro and took me 4 months to complete (doing 1 or 2 classes every week).
Urban Sports Club
The last tip I can give to you if you love sports is to download the Urban Sports club app and sign in and pay for membership.
‘From yoga to padel, from bouldering to high-intensity training, browse your favorite activities or try something new!’
All my colleagues loved to be part of this and got to know a lot of people this way. I never started with this, because I am not a big sports fan and don’t want to pay, but if I had more money, I would definitely have joined this.
I hope these tips were useful and will make your stay in Barcelona even better!
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