SOME USEFUL INFORMATIONS FOR VISITORS


WEATHER in Barcelona will be sunny and hot those days with high probability, and can be humid; occasional showers cannot be excluded, although this is being a very dry year. Historical average temperature for these days is 20°C, the average of the minima being 16°C and that of the maxima being 24°C. You can check the weather forecast here.

SECURITY: Thefts are not uncommon in crowded places and in areas frequented by visitors, where very skilful pickpockets and bag snatchers can take advantage of any minor distractions. Some common-sense ideas are: Never leave any piece of luggage unattended or out of sight (even if close to you) while, for instance, taking a picture, reading a bus timetable or in the hotel lobby. Never leave a wallet on the café's table or counter. Never follow unsolicited warnings as to stains on your clothing or about something having fallen from your pocket, etc. See some useful phone numbers .

CHANGING MONEY: You can change foreign currency in banks (Banc/Banco) and savings banks (Caixa/Caja), in travel agencies and hotels, and in independent establishments devoted to this business. Banks and caixas open only in the morning, except their branches at the Airport, while other establishments are open till late in the evening. Almost all claim to charge 'No Commission' for notes, but there are important differences in the exchange rates. Generally speaking, the best ones are found in banks and caixas (including those at the Airport) while those in travel agencies and hotels vary, and those in other establishments are 10 to 20 % worse. As of June 1, 1 US$ is approximately 0,82 euro, and 1 euro is approximately 1,23 US$.

TAXES: There is a general tax applying to all shops, restaurants, etc. It is called 'IVA' (pronounce like 'eevah' in english; it is called 'VAT' in english-speaking countries). In general it is 7%, although a few goods have 3% and the luxury ones 16%. Price labels in shops and bars usually include it, while price lists at restaurants usually don't. Look for the statements '+ IVA' (indicating that VAT shoud be added) or 'IVA inclòs/incluído' (indicating that it has already been added).

SHOPPING HOURS: Shops in Barcelona open their doors between 9:00 and 10:00 in the morning, and generally close for lunch at 1:30 or 2:00. They open again in the afternoon between 4:00 and 5:00 and remain open until 8:00 or 9:00 in the evening. Nevertheless, many shopping malls and larger establishments do not close at lunchtime and stay open until later. Many shops and all department stores and shopping malls open on Saturday afternoons. All shops close on Sundays, except for a few specified ones.

LANGUAGE: Catalonia has two official languages, Catalan and Spanish. Most public signs and labels are bilingual (in public transports English is also used), but some are written only in one of the two languages. A list of usual words follows:


CATALANENGLISHSPANISH
sisplaupleasepor favor
gràciesthanksgracias
perilldangerpeligro
prohibitforbiddenprohibido
portadoor,gatepuerta
entradaentranceentrada
sortidaexitsalida
obertopenabierto
tancatclosedcerrado
estacióstationestación
horaritimetablehorario
trentraintren
víatrackvía
andanaplatformandén
guixetaticket officetaquilla
bitlletticketbillete
avísnoticeaviso
multafinemulta
preupriceprecio
gratuïtfreegratis
IVA inclòsincluding VATIVA incluído
més IVAplus VATmás IVA , + IVA
IVA a partwithout VATIVA aparte
ambwithcon
sensewithoutsin
pagar(to) paypagar
canvichangecambio
rebaixessalesrebajas
descomptediscountdescuento
lavabo/stoilet/slavabo/s,aseo/s
lliurevacantlibre
ocupatoccupiedocupado
no funcionaout of orderno funciona