Barcelona Basic Information

If you’re in town for Cap d’Any (New Year’s Eve), the local superstition dictates the wearing of red underwear for good luck in the coming year. Bottoms up! For more need-to-know info before you holiday in Barcelona, read on.

Visa Requirements

As Spain is one of the Schengen Convention countries, Australian passport holders going to Spain on holiday for less than a total of 90 days within a 180-day period do not need a visa to enter the country. Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia. Please be aware that this information is only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact your local Embassy or Consulate of Spain.

Currency

Spain is part of the European Union and uses the Euro as currency. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and the Euro changes constantly so keep an eye on the exchange rate and purchase Euros when the rate is at its best. For safe spending while overseas, consider using a credit or debit card.

Food

It’s a rookie mistake to go out for dinner at 7pm – nobody goes out for dinner in Barcelona until 9pm. As a major international city, everything from fast food chains to gourmet grub is available in Barcelona, but make sure you sample the local specialities and fresh seafood. You can eat like royalty in Barcelona whether it’s a bar snack with beer (hello tapas!) or traditional Catalan cuisine such as seafood paella, escudella (stew), fish zarzuela, crema Catalana (crème caramel local-style) and pig’s trotters. Head to the bodegas and tapas bars to try bite-size portions of fuet (a sausage), marinated sardines, patatas bravas, crispy jamón, cod croquettes, tigres (stuffed mussels), potato tortilla and chocos (squid rings) washed down with the local lager, Catalan wine or vermouth.

Nightlife

From live music to minimal techno, there’s something for all scenesters in Barcelona. Nights don’t kick off ‘til late with a variety of bars, pubs, lounges and clubs taking over after the post-dinner event. With five spaces each with a different music and vibe from indie rock to electro, the massive Razzamatazz in Sant Martí is a mecca for Barcelona’s bright young things, while tourists and locals mingle and groove to dance music at City Hall right near Plaça de Catalunya. Try cannabis absinthe at Absenta - a dusty dive in Barceloneta, or join the late-night sophisticates at the atmospheric Tinta Roja in El Poble-sec for cocktails, live tango and trapeze shows. For beer and tapas, head to Bar Caldera, or crash the beautiful people party at L’Entresol, the coolest bar in Gràcia.