There are two official languages in Catalonia: Catalan and Spanish, and there are more and more people in the region who understand and speak English. The official language of the EACTA conference is English.
The Mediterranean sea breezes mean that Barcelona enjoys pleasant weather. Average temperature in June is about 20.3°C.
In Barcelona the electrical current is 220 volts/50Hz and the European round 2-pin plugs are standard. Americans and Canadians with 110V equipment will need a transformer which changes the voltage and an adapter to fit Spanish sockets. These can be bought at any hardware store.
International Time Zone
The time in Spain is GMT + 1 hour.
Barcelona tap water is safe to drink although it is much preferred to have bottled water. Bottled mineral water can be purchased very cheaply from local supermarkets.
The international dialling code to Barcelona is 0034.
To dial internationally from Barcelona is 00 + country code.
Barcelona uses the Euro as its currency.
Opening Times Shops
Most of the shops and shopping centers are open from 10.00 to 20.30 or 21.30 hours. Traditional shops open from 10.00 to 14.00 hours and from 16.30 to 20.30 hours.
Most shops are open Monday to Saturday.
General banking times: Mon-Fri: 8.30-14.00. Sat: 8.30-13.00.
(During Summer time banks are closed on Saturdays)
Central Post Office (Correos)
Plaça del Antonio López, 1
Tel: 902 197 197 / 933 183 048
Fax: 93 322 20 00 / 933 213 100
Metro: Jaume I or Barceloneta
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8.30-21.30. Saturday 8.30-14.30.
Most Supermarkets are open from 10.00 to 22.00.
The number 112 can be dialled to reach emergency services - medical, fire and police - from anywhere in Europe. The operator redirects the call to the appropriate service. This Pan-European emergency number 112 can be called from any telephone (landline, pay phone or mobile cellular phone). Calls are free.
Smoking is banned in all restaurants, bars, cafés and other enclosed public places, all workplaces, as well as on television broadcasts.
Smoking outdoors is prohibited in places which provide access to hospitals and schools, and on all playgrounds.
Tipping is quite discretionary, with taxi drivers usually being given a 5 to 10% gratuity or thereabouts, although this is by no means obligatory. Restaurants always include service charges by law, and these should be clearly stated on the menus, although a small tip will still be expected and very much appreciated. Hotel staff, such as luggage handlers, happily accept a small tip. Generally, no other public service workers expect tips. You should always pay tips in cash, as this way you can be sure that the person it is intended for receives it fully.