Barcelona Visitor Information
The 3rd Annual World Open Innovation Conference will be held in Barcelona, which is located in a privileged position on the northeastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula and the shores of the Mediterranean. It is the second largest city in Spain in both size and population. It is also the capital of Catalonia, 1 of the 17 Autonomous Communities that make up Spain. The city of Barcelona has a population of 1,510,000, but this number spirals to more than 4,000,000 if the outlying areas are also included. The Capital of Catalonia is unequivocally a Mediterranean city, not only because of its geographic location but also and above all because of its history, tradition and cultural influences. The documented history of the city dates back to the founding of a Roman colony on its soil in the second century B.C. Modern Barcelona experienced spectacular growth and economic revival at the onset of industrialization during the second half of the 19th century. The 1888 World’s Fair became a symbol of the capacity for hard work and the international outlook projected by the city. Culture and the arts flourished in Barcelona and in all of Catalonia; the splendor achieved by Catalonian modernism is one of the most patent displays.
Always keep your bags with you, especially in the city centre and at the beach. Locals never leave their belongings while they go for a swim; they take turns and make sure that there is always someone watching the bags. Barcelona is a safe city but pickpockets operate in main touristic areas as well as on public transport, so it is always good to keep an eye out.
As the weather can be cold and rainy, it is important to come prepared, with warm clothes and an umbrella. Temperatures do not go very low (average temperatures go from 8° to 16° average). Bear in mind that Barcelona is a Mediterranean city, and even though it will be winter, there can be quite sunny days, so bring sunglasses too.
There are two official languages spoken in Barcelona: Catalan, generally spoken in all of Catalonia, and Castilian Spanish.
Drinking alcohol on the street is forbidden and can be penalized by the police on the spot. Spain’s drinking age is 18, the same age one has to be in order to buy cigarettes.
Electricity and Plugs
Electricity supply is 220 volts throughout Spain with 2 pin wall sockets, so ensure to bring an adapter (a transformer will be needed if the electricity supply in your country is lower than 220 volts).
There are basically four seasons in Barcelona: cool autumn, cold winter, perfect spring and really hot summer. At the end of November the weather starts to get cold, with temperatures that go from 8° to 16° average. However, the sun comes out regularly and there are a few days in the winter when temperatures can rise above average, so be prepared! We recommend attendees bring warm clothes and sunglasses.
We have provided several websites below to help the 3rd Annual World Open Innovation Conference attendees conduct their own research on Barcelona and its surroundings areas. Each site will contain pictures, ideas, links, and resources that will help you plan your visit.
The underground operates long hours:
Sunday to Thursday: starts at 5am until 12pm
Fridays: starts at 5 until 2am
Saturdays: starts at 5am and goes on all night
There is also a vast network of night buses that can take you to your destination if you miss the last underground!
For more travelling information visit: http://www.tmb.cat/en/home
You will see many red and white bicycles in the city with ‘Bicing’ written on them. These are bicycles ‘to go’ but they are unfortunately only available for residents. Should you wish to hire a bicycle for your stay, you will find many places all over the city.
Most restaurants open from 1pm to 4pm, and from 8pm until 11pm. Spanish people usually have lunch between 2pm and 3:30pm and dinner between 9pm and 10:30pm. Some restaurants close on Mondays.
Tips: Tipping isn’t obligatory, but people usually leave 10% if they are satisfied with the service provided
Shops have long opening hours, from 10am to 2pm and from 4:30pm to 8:00 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 the summer. Some shops in areas considered to be tourist attractions stay open longer as well, such as Mare magnum, where many shops are open until 11pm.
Spain’s currency is the EURO. Check currency converter for exchange rates. Exchange facilities will be available at the airport, as well as banks and foreign exchange brokerage houses in the city.