About Barcelona and Catalonia

Barcelona and Catalonia

Catalonia is in Europe, on the western Mediterranean, one of the autonomous communities of Spain.

It lies on the north-eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, bordered to the north by Andorra and France, to the west by Aragon, to the south by Valencia and to the east by the Mediterranean Sea. With an estimated 7,546,522 inhabitants in 2013, it is the second most populous autonomous community in Spain.

Today, Catalonia is one of the richest and most prosperous communities in Spain. Its capital is Barcelona and it has a total of 947 municipalities. Two-thirds of the population live in the Barcelona metropolitan area.

Barcelona is divided into ten districts. The city's ten districts are Ciutat Vella, Eixample, Sants-Montjuïc, Les Corts, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, Gràcia, Horta-Guinardó, Nou Barris, Sant Andreu and Sant Martí.

Catalan is the official language of Catalonia, in accordance with the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia and the Spanish Constitution, together with Spanish, the official language of Spain.

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How to get to the UOC?

The UOC presently has three buildings. Check out this link to find out more about them.

How to get to Barcelona from the airport

The airport is twelve kilometres south of the city. Most European airlines and many world airlines fly here.

Train times

Route and times: Barcelona (Estació de França) - Airports: every day from 5:12 am until 10:42 pm;
Barcelona (Sants Estació) - Airport: every day from 5:25 am until 10:55 pm; and Airport - Barcelona: every day from 6:00 am until 10:29 pm. It also has connections to the Passeig de Gràcia station.
Service frequency: every 30 minutes.
Journey time: 20 minutes to Sants Estació, 25 minutes to Passeig de Gràcia and 32 minutes to Estació de França.

Aerobús times

Route: Airport - Terminal A - Terminal B - Terminal C - Pl. Espanya/Av. Reina M. Cristina - Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes/Comte d'Urgell - Pl. Universitat - Pl. Catalunya
Times: daily from 6 am to 1 am.
Service frequency: between 6 and 15 minutes.

Train times website Aerobús website

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Getting about the city

To get about the city, we recommend you use public transport (TMB) or alternative means such as a bicycle.

There are a number of types of transport passes that are valid for the public transport network (metro, city rail and bus). An integrated travel system is in place, so you can get about on different transport types for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Bus: The present TMB bus network has 108 routes, divided into five rapid transit routes of the Barcelona Orthogonal Bus Network and 103 regular routes.

Metro: Barcelona currently has eight metro lines, covering a total of 123 kilometres and with 165 stations.

It also has an urban rail network managed by the Government of Catalonia (FGC), which complements the metro system.

Taxis: These are easily identifiable by their black and yellow colour. Free taxis display a green light on the roof of the vehicle. There is also a fleet of multi-purpose taxis for people with reduced mobility. The cost of the journey is calculated according to the meter, with supplements per suitcase, pet, etc.

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Cost of living

To calculate your basic expenses during your stay, you should consider the following

Cost of living
Renting a shared flat between 260€  and 400€
Renting a private flat between 700€ and 1.200€
Set lunch menu between 9€ and 15€
Dinner between 20€ and 30€
Getting about Bus/Metro/FGC/Renfe
Museums between 5 and 15€. The first Sunday of every month is free
Cinema between 7€ and 10€
Theatre between 12€ and 20€

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Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city, but you should also consider a series of tips to ensure your stay is pleasant and use common sense:

  • Do not carry valuable items, only the money you need, and always keep personal belongings in sight.
  • Respect the rules of the road.
  • Always carry ID.

If you are the victim of a crime, do not touch anything, immediately alert the Mossos d’Esquadra on telephone number 112 – in operation 24 hours a day. When reporting a crime, you will need to carry ID and, if possible, accredit the ownership of the stolen goods.

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Tourist information

The city has tourist information centres at the principal points of interest. The transport stations offer passenger services, both in person and by telephone. At the link below, you will find the main tourist and service telephone numbers.

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Public holidays

The UOC has its own calendar, which may vary every year depending on local, autonomous and national holidays. Once you join, we will provide you with the calendar.

The following are the public holidays in Barcelona:

6 January, the Epiphany
23 April, Sant Jordi (Feast of Saint George)
24 June, Sant Joan (Feast of Saint John)
11 September, La Diada, Catalonia's national holiday
24 September, La Mercè, patron saint of Barcelona
25 and 26 December, Christmas Day and Sant Esteve (Boxing Day)

Only the following Spanish national holidays are observed:

1 January, New Year's Day
1 May, Labour Day
12 October, Día de la Hispanidad (Spain's National Day)
1 November, All Saints' Day
6 December, Spanish Constitution Day
8 December, Immaculate Conception

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Information about museums, cinemas, archives, heritage, popular culture, libraries and other cultural activities.

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