Local Information

Barcelona information:
Accommodation
The city
Getting here
Like a local

Accommodation

UPC has special rates at a number of hotel chains for visitors.

In  http://www.upc.edu/sri/en/congress/accomodation-upc-barcelonatech you will find a list of these hotels and all the information you need to make a reservation, including the reservation form, prices and location.

For RESA residences we have a special code WOMEN17 to get a discount. There are two residences:
 RESA INVESTIGADORS (city center):
 
 
RESA TORRE GIRONA (very near to the campus):

https://thebookingbutton.co.uk/properties/torregironadirect?locale=en&check_in_date=2017-09-04&check_out_date=2017-09-08&start_date=2017-06-16&number_adults=2&promotion_code=WOMEN17

In Barcelona there is a lot of options for accomodation that you can get using any of the usual platforms such as booking.com, hotels.com, or trivago.com (to search and compare prices).

Some references with prices less than 70 euros are:

Some references for youth hostels are:

The City

Barcelona is the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, and the second largest city of Spain. More than 1.6 million people inhabit this city surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea (South-East), the Collserola Mountains (North-West) and two rivers (Llobregat in the South-West, and Besòs in the North-East).

It is unknown how old the city really is (evidence shows settlements in the area dating back to as much as 7500 years ago), but there are two legends about the founding of Barcelona: one of them is related to Hercules, and the other one is related to the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca. Either way, it is known that by the first century AC, a Roman military camp (Barcino) was in place in what today is the Old City. The Roman Heritage is displayed in several museums around the city.

History advanced, and so did the city, witnessing several rulers rising and falling, withstanding sieges and developing itself. In 1162, when the Crown of Aragon united with the County of Barcelona, the city became a new pole of development thanks, mainly, to its harbor (for the next two centuries Aragon would have major power over the western Mediterranean Sea). A new chapter began when in 1469, the crowns of Aragon and Castile were unified (forming what we know today as Spain); and the priority was given to the colonization of the Americas rather than the Mediterranean trade (diminishing Barcelona’s influence).

In the Modern Era, Barcelona was the site of quite important battles and war events (given the violent times of Spain in the most recent centuries), including airstrikes in 1938. During Franco’s dictatorship (1936 – 1975), several Catalan cultural expressions were suppressed; but after his death, Catalonia has gradually recovered its autonomous institutions and cultural expressions (such as its language and traditions).

As Spain’s second largest city it was relatively industrialized and prosperous despite the adverse conditions; and the peak of its rebirth and urbanization was achieved in 1992 when it hosted the Summer Olympic Games (the Barcelona before the games was quite different from the Barcelona we enjoy nowadays!).

Today, it stands as one of the most visited cities in the world, drawing visitors with its rich cultural heritage and its status as an important design, transportation, financial, communications and economic global hub.

Getting Here

Being a transport hub, Barcelona can be reached by several means.

Nonetheless, the most common option is by airplane. Several airports can be used to reach the city (like Girona, Reus and Lleida, which are a bit more than 100 kilometers away from the city), but the most popular option is the international airport of the city itself: Barcelona-El Prat International Airport. There are two terminals in the airport, the older one (T2) and the newer one (T1).

A new metro line (L9 Sud) was opened recently in order to connect the airport with the city, so you actually have four options to reach the city in addition to take a taxi.

The first option is to get a special Airport metro ticket (4.50€) and catch the metro in the nearest station (either Aeroport T1 or Aeroport T2) to Zona Universitària. You could get down at Collblanc in order to transfer to the blue line (L5) or transfer to green line (L3) in Zona Universitària. Also transfers to other lines are possible from other stations.

The second option is to take the ‘Aerobus’ (5.90€), the official shuttle bus service that connects the airport BCN-El Prat and the centre of Barcelona
every 5 minutes.

Third option is to take any of the urban buses, direction Barcelona. Check if you have a good combination according to your hotel.

Fourth option is to catch the train in T2. If you arrive to T1 terminal, you need to go to T2 and then from T2 to the city. Straight out from the arrivals zone in T1, you can see signs guiding you to a T1-T2 Shuttle Bus in ground level. Take this bus (it is free), and it shall take you to the entrance of Terminal 2. The closed bridge you will see is the connection between the T2 and the train station (Aeroport). If you’ve somehow lost your way inside T2 follow the signs that read “RENFE” or “Train”, they should take you to this closed bridge. Cross the bridge, and in the end you will reach the train station. All the trains go in the Barcelona direction. They pass every thirty minutes (at :08 and :38). You can buy a single ticket, but think that it might be a better choice to buy a T-10 (it has a cheaper price per trip – less than 1 euro – than the single ticket) that you could use in metro, bus and train.

Like A Local

Food
In a land like Catalonia, food is a big deal. It is no wonder that we can boast that we have some of the world top class chefs and restaurants… Every meal is something special: not only because of the food, but because it is an occasion to share with your friends and loved ones (there’s even a Spanish term for the time you spend chatting and sharing after you have finished your meal: “sobremesa”).

You will be amazed, though, at the way meals are scheduled here. Lunch is usually around 14:00-15:00, and dinner at around 21:00-22:00 (but do not worry if you feel too hungry, most places in the city center have wide serving times).
Nightlife
Probably someone told you: one thing that you can’t miss in Barcelona is its nightlife! From the old taverns in the Gothic Quarter to the fashionable discos in the Seaside, there’s always something going on (and for all tastes). Anyway, you should bear in mind two things: (1) that drinks are relatively expensive (around 4€ for a single shot, 8€ for a long drink), and (2), that the opening hours are slightly different from the rest of the continent:
Taverns/Pubs       Open at …. 21:00  Close at … 2:00
Discos        Open at …. 00:00  Close at … 6:00
After Hours        Open at …. 06:00  Close at … 12:00

Transport


Barcelona has a very efficient public transport system that incorporates a metro system, a tram system, and a bus network. The metropolitan area is divided in six zones (the further away you go from Downtown, the more expensive your ticket will be). During the event (excluding the Weekend Trip, of course) we will stay inside the city, and thus, you will be in Transport Zone 1 (the airport metro station is inside Zone 4).

2.15€    Single Ticket – Zone 1
4.50€    Single Airport Ticket (only valid for Metro)
9.95€    T-10 (10 trips) – Zone 1
7.60€    T- Dia (unlimited journeys in one day) – Zone 1
14.00€ Hola BCN! 2 days (unlimited journeys in two days) – Zone 1
32.00€ Hola BCN! 5 days (unlimited journeys in five days) – Zone 1

Money
The local currency is the euro (€). Coins come in several denominations (from 1 cent up to 2€), and banknotes go from 5€ to 500€. Check the internet for the most current exchange rates with your local currency. Barcelona is an expensive city in Spain (if you have ever visited any other Spanish city, expect slightly higher prices here).
Your bank might charge you some extra fees (within the EU it’s usually no more than 5€) for using ATMs in Barcelona or your credit/debit cards. Please check with your bank the details about it.

Electricity
Catalonia uses the two-pin round (type C) socket used everywhere around Europe. The local current supply is between 220 and 240 volts (with a frequency of 50 Hz). If you need to, adapters may be bought at most electrical and hardware stores.

Weather
Lying next to the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona enjoys long warm summers. Most of the local infrastructure is designed to withstand hot temperatures instead of cold ones. Bear in mind that the humidity and salinity of our environment might alter your perception of the temperature.
Expect temperatures between 25 and 30°C during the day, and between 18 and 21°C during the night.

(For more information you can visit the official website of the city at http://www.barcelona.cat/en/).

Thanks to Board of European Students of Technology for providing all this information !