Wherever you are in Barcelona, there's always something to see nearby around the neighbourhood or district: jewels of home-grown Catalan architecture, modernisme, and contemporary architecture, markets that are a treat for the senses, treasures of the ancient Roman and medieval city, parks where you can unwind … And the best thing of all is, you don't have to be a great explorer to find and discover all of Barcelona’s neighbourhoods.
Barcelona is located on the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula, facing the Mediterranean Sea, limited by the mountain range of Collserola, the Llobregat river to the southwest and the Besòs river to the north. It is 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of the Pyrenees and the Catalan border with France.
Barcelona has a humid subtropical climate bordering a maritime Mediterranean climate. The average annual temperature of the sea is about 20 °C (68 °F). In the coldest month, January, the temperature typically ranges from 12 to 18 °C (54 to 64 °F) during the day. In the warmest month, August, the typical temperature ranges from 27 to 31 °C (81 to 88 °F) during the day.
Barcelona and its metropolitan area have a wide range of public transport and sightseeing transport options. There are 11,000 taxis in the city which can be easily identified by their yellow and black livery. A green light on the taxi roof indicates its availability. Forget about your car and park it in one of our safe and convenient car parks. Public transport such as the metro, tram and FGC are the quickest, simplest and most convenient way of getting around Barcelona. You can choose from the different ticket types and travel cards. A fleet of over 1,000 fully adapted buses serve all areas of Barcelona. The integrated fare system means that travel cards can be used on the metro, trams, FGC and Renfe trains (zone 1). Barcelona has fully integrated cycle lanes and you can cycle through the city's open spaces and parks.
In Barcelona, and throughout Catalonia, there are two official languages: Catalan, the language of the Catalans, and Spanish, the official language of Spain.
As in most European countries and also in Catalonia, GMT is the time system used in Barcelona. Clocks are one hour ahead of GMT in winter and two in summer and are adjusted twice a year, going forward one hour in winter and back an hour in summer.
Spain is in the Eurozone and the euro is its official currency. Foreign currency can be exchanged at savings banks, or ‘Caixes' (the opening hours are Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 2pm. Thursday afternoons, 4.30pm to 7.45pm, except June to September) and banks (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 2pm and Saturday, 8.30am to 1pm, except summer). Bureaux de change also open every day in Barcelona city centre, and at the main railway stations and the Estació del Nord bus station and at the Airport, where they have longer opening hours.
The working day in Barcelona usually begins at 8 or 9 in the morning and ends around 6 or 7 in the evening. Lunch and dinner are usually eaten a little later than in the rest of Europe. Most restaurants open from 1pm to 4pm, and from 8pm until 11pm. Tipping isn't obligatory, but people usually leave 5% if they are satisfied with the service.
Shops have long opening hours, from 10am to 2pm and from 4.30 to 8 or 8.30pm. In Barcelona city centre, most shops don't close at lunchtime and large shopping centres and department stores open until 10pm in summer.