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Barcelona

A real eye-catcher: Casa Batlló

Practical Info about Barcelona

Time

GMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in October).

Electricity

Electrical current is 220 or 225 volts, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are standard.

Currency

Spain's official currency is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents. Money can be exchanged at bureaux de change and major hotels, but banks give the best rates. All major credit cards are widely accepted at most hotels, restaurants and shops. ATMs are widespread and are generally the cheapest and most convenient method of obtaining money.

Communication

The international access code for Spain is +34. Pay phones are either blue or green and accept either coins or phone cards, which are sold at post offices, tobacco shops and newsagents. Mobile phone operators provide thorough GSM 900/1800 coverage throughout the country and the Balearic and Canary Islands. Email and internet access is available at internet cafes in most towns and resorts.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 112

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Year’s Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
Good Friday 18 Apr 3 Apr
Labour Day 1 May 1 May
Assumption of Mary 15 Aug 15 Aug
Hispanic Day 12 Oct 12 Oct
All Saints Day 1 Nov 1 Nov
Constitution Day 6 Dec 6 Dec
Immaculate Conception 8 Dec 8 Dec
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec

Climate

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Barcelona enjoys a subtropical-Mediterranean climate with long, hot summers and cool winters. Winters (December to February) are mild and snow is rare. January is the coldest winter month, with temperatures averaging between 46°F and 63°F (8°C and 17°C) during the day and colder at night. The peak summer months are June to August, but Barcelona's summer really lasts a full six months, from May to October. August is the hottest summer month, with temperatures averaging between 77°F and 88°F (25°C and 31°C) during the day. April and November are transitional months, with more unpredictable weather. Barcelona doesn't get much rain, with only a handful of rainy days every month; the wettest months are September, October and May, with thunderstorms occurring between August and November. Although the city gets plenty of sun, it can get foggy and cloudy, with sea fog especially common in early spring. The ideal time to visit Barcelona is May, June, July and September. In August, despite the shade in the tree-lined boulevards, locals desert Barcelona for the coastal resorts to escape the heat.

Getting around the city

Barcelona's excellent transport system includes the metro, buses, trains, funiculars and cable cars; tickets for all (except night buses) are transferable across the system. The Metro is the fastest and most efficient way to get around the city, except during the rush hour when it becomes very crowded. The bus network is extensive and is easy to master with a transport map. Night buses take over from about 10pm to 4am. During summer the hop-on hop-off Bus Turistic links all the main sights and tourist destinations. Taxis are plentiful and inexpensive and are a good option especially late at night, but charge extra for a number of things - ask for a receipt. Hiring a car is unnecessary and frustrating within the city, but can be useful if planning daytrips outside the city.

El Prat Barcelona Airport

www.barcelona-airport.com

Getting to the city

The Aerobus service goes to and from Placa de Catalunya every 15 minutes, dropping off at locations along the way. Trains run from the airport to various stations in the city centre every 30 minutes; the airport station is located near Terminal A and is connected to the terminal by a moving walkway. There are taxi ranks outside the airport terminals; taxis are metered. The journey time by road or rail is between 20 and 30 minutes.

Car rental

Car rental companies represented at the airport include Alamo, Avis, Europcar, Hertz and National.

Airport taxi's

There are taxi stands at every terminal at El Prat Barcelona Airport. Avoid touts and unlicensed taxis. Prices are steeper at night and on the weekends.

Transfer between terminals

A pedestrian avenue with moving walkways links the three terminals.

Facilities

Facilities at the airport include ATMs, currency exchange facilities, banks, shops (including duty free), a children's play area, VIP lounges, bars and restaurants. Disabled facilities are good.

Parking

Both terminals at El Prat Airport have their own dedicated parking garages (T1 and T2). There is also a long-stay parking lot, located a mile (1.6km) from the airport, and connected to the terminals by a free shuttle-bus.

Internet

There are 26 wifi access points (provided by Kibiwireless, Comunitel and Vodafone) distributed around the terminals. There are also 19 computer workstations found throughout the airport.