Erasmus guide to students in Barcelona

All the essential tips you need to know if you are living an Erasmus stage in Barcelona


Living in Barcelona is a dream for many people. However, if you want to make the most of your experience in this fantastic city it is important that you know all the secrets and magical corners very well.

So… are you new to the city? Don’t worry, here you have an interesting post with all the essential information you need to know so that you can enjoy your stay in the city to the fullest as if you were a lifelong Barcelonan.

Welcome to our blog for university residents in Barcelona!

If you are already organizing your move to Barcelona, the great time has come for you to know the essential secrets of the city. Remember that here you will live in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in all Europe and, in addition, you will find a wide variety of cultures that coexist with total harmony in one place, regardless of your skin color or religion, Barcelona is the epicenter of all the countries of the world.

That is why it is considered an ideal city to live an academic experience abroad, along with European capitals such as Berlin, Paris, Rome or Amsterdam.

However, to make your adaptation the best, it is essential that you know some particular details of the city so that you are 100% prepared for any daily situation that you live here.

Here are some of the most important ones. Take note!


Welcome to Catalunya

If you already speak Spanish you can rest easy in Barcelona. However, if you speak only English you will have no problems because the inhabitants of this city speak all the languages you can imagine. English works perfectly while learning Spanish, since this is where many nationalities from all over the world practically converge.

However, you should know that the official language in Barcelona is Catalan and, or usually, local people are bilingual and will speak to you in either of these two languages when you least expect it.

If you come from Spanish-speaking countries, switching to the Catalan language will not be a complicated task for you. And there is a great resemblance between Catalan and Spanish that will allow you to understand what local people tell you without complications.

But remember, if Spanish is not your mother tongue, then you may be able to have certain problems understanding the Catalan language. Our recommendation is that you learn the most essential words so that you can communicate, either in shops or with local friends.

If you want to go further and learn a little more about the language, which we recommend because it is a fascinating language, check at your university because they usually give Catalan courses to their foreign students and are often totally free. In addition, the Generalitat de Catalunya also offers free courses for foreigners living here.

Barcelona’s customs

The most important thing when you move to a new city is to learn its own customs to make you feel at home. In Barcelona, for example, non-essential shops close at noon during lunch break, taking advantage of daylight. Catalans dine very late at night during spring or summer, drink coffee in small transparent glasses, play ´petanca´ and when going to a restaurant, tips are not mandatory, among many other curiosities.

If you really want to adapt to the customs of the city you need to make a circle of local friends to immerse yourself completely in authentic Barcelona life, we recommend it as you will learn many new things that you will like.

Move freely around the city

As we said in previous posts, Barcelona is considered one of the best cities in Europe due to its connection with public transport. That’s why it doesn’t matter where you’re living in the city, as you’ll always find an easy way to get around.

The metropolitan area has an efficient bus, metro, train and tram service. And if that’s not enough, Barcelona is also perfect for cycling thanks to its thousands of exclusive lanes throughout the city. Here you can also benefit from the ¨Bicing¨ service, which has many stations throughout Barcelona. Without a doubt, a smart bet for more sustainable mobility.


Discover the neighborhoods of Barcelona

In Barcelona you will find neighborhoods for all tastes and budgets. Living in one of them will only depend on the needs you are looking to meet. For example, if you are looking for bohemian life close to all the bars and restaurants of the city, the Gothic and Born districts are the ideal neighborhoods for you, since they are located in the heart of the city and also have all the services you need to make life easier for you.

If instead what you are looking for is a connection with the ocean and the sea spirit, the Barceloneta is your neighborhood par excellence. Located in the heart of the city, La Barceloneta is the natural outlet to the sea for Barcelonans, a century-old neighborhood with a lot of history, endowed with all the marine magic thanks to be anchored in a port, with shops, bars and authentic restaurants that have been open for decades, which make it a unique neighborhood in Barcelona. Here you will also see all cultures converge in perfect harmony, between local people and tourists of all ages and socioeconomic conditions.

Finally, if you are looking for more tranquility in a more residential neighborhood away from the hustle and bustle of the city center, then the neighborhoods of l’Eixample, Poble Nou, Gracia and Sant Antoni are without a doubt your best option. Here the floors are usually wider and less noisy compared to the downtown neighborhoods. In addition, they are also very well connected and have all the essential services for your total  comfort.

At lunchtime in Barcelona

Barcelona is also characterized by its exquisite gastronomy that enjoys world fame. That’s why in the city you will find a wide variety of restaurants, for all tastes and pockets, in which you can enjoy the typical dishes of the city and surroundings. Best of all, foreign students also have all kinds of places with meals from all over the world at a fairly affordable price that won’t affect their budgets.

You will only have to choose between traditional Catalan and Spanish food, a large list of Latin American and Asian restaurants, as well as fast food, tapas, pizzerias and many other options. The secret is to discover for yourself all these fantastic corners of the city so that you completely satisfy your palate.

Are you ready to live Barcelona at your own pace? With this post, we hope you have learned a little more about the secrets of this wonderful city that will house you during the next month, or who knows, it may turn into years. Also, don’t forget that you can always count on Xior Diagonal Besòs as your future university residence that will make your stay in Barcelona the best experience of your life. We invite you to follow us on Instagram so that you are always up to date with the latest promotions and news in our university residence.

Have a fantastic day!

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