It's easy to fall in love with Barcelona at first sight!
It's easy to fall in love with Barcelona at first sight! In this city there is a special, as if pre-holiday atmosphere, which does not interfere with studying, working, doing business.

It may seem that this ease will help you everywhere and always. But it will not. In Barcelona, you can also face problems, but the nature of the problems is very different, and it is difficult to prepare for them without help.

That's exactly the kind of support we offer you in our Beginner's Guide. Or join us for a free consultation and we'll show you the ins and outs of it in person.
As soon as you arrive and unpack your suitcases, hurry up and apply! The sea will not run away! You will be surprised at the size of the queue to submit any paperwork. Due to attacks of hackers who subsequently sell places in the queues, every year it becomes more and more difficult to take or apply for a document in Barcelona on time! So don't be put off by this issue!
Fortunately, inside you will meet a human attitude. The functionaries working with foreigners are very understanding people who are always ready to help and advise. But they will not be able to help you in any way if you miss the legal filing deadline.
Addresses for applying for a residence permit in Barcelona:

Paseo Sant Joan, 189-193, Barcelona, 08037
Carrer Murcia, 42, Barcelona, 08027

You can pay the state filing fee at any bank in the city with the correct form number.
Remember: you will not be accepted without an appointment, even if you "just ask", so take care that you have an appointment in advance.
A little tip: In every district of the city there are Locutorio - that is, meeting points, aka - Internet cafes. Here you can talk on the phone, go online with your computer or print documents. You can also ask a Locutorio employee here if their establishment offers an appointment sales service at the immigration office. It is not uncommon for attorneys to provide such services as well.

You can ask about buying an appointment in Russian-speaking immigrant groups on social networks. The cost of an appointment - from 25 to 100 €, depending on the urgency of the request. The ideal solution is to seek advice from a notary or lawyer's office. You should not save money on this important matter.
To obtain a student permit or residence permit without the right to work in Spain, you will need full medical insurance, as by law you will not be able to use public health services in Spain.

There are different insurances, but for certain types of residence permits, you have to choose the one that covers the whole range of services. Otherwise you will not be able to get a residence permit in Spain. Keep in mind that when you issue an insurance policy, you will need an account number in a Spanish bank. Without it, the policy will not be issued.
We will tell you which insurance companies in Spain are the most well-known and popular.

The cost of basic coverage is 16.2 € per month, but it may vary depending on your age and health status. This policy is not suitable if you need to obtain a residence permit in Spain. In order for your policy to meet the requirements of the migration department, you will need one that costs from 55€/month. This policy covers hospitalization and repatriation.

This well-known insurance company offers a basic insurance policy in Spain, with prices starting from 24€ per month. Full insurance with repatriation and hospitalization from 45€ per month and includes basic dental care as well as discounts on medications

Mapfre offers a basic policy from €11 per month, which includes: home ambulance, general blood tests and basic dental care. Hospitalization, tests and doctor visits are charged separately.

All the same, but without having to pay extra fees, you will receive these services for 76 € per month. The price will include full prenatal care and delivery. Mapfre provides for a separate surcharge to cover repatriation.

Here are the names and prices of the most well-known and trusted companies, which make packages tailored to the requirements of the migration departments. But there are other insurance companies in Spain and every year there are new ones that offer more attractive prices and services.

You can look at a new or less well-known company, but it is recommended to require a package of documents in a language that you understand well, or come to the conclusion of the contract with an interpreter. Be sure to read the fine print, pay attention to the inclusion in the policy of repatriation, as it is a prerequisite for obtaining a residence permit in Spain. Also look at the so-called carentias, which is the period of time after which your policy allows you to apply for assistance. To apply for a residence permit in Spain, your policy must be valid at the time of application.

For the above policies, you will be able to apply for assistance from the moment you sign the contract.

Finding housing in Barcelona is a real quest. Many factors contribute to the fact that the owners of the wonderful houses for rent for years can't find a tenant, and unhappy tenants pounding the doorsteps of real estate agencies, not understanding how it can be that there is housing, but nowhere to live.

The reasons are varied: the skyrocketing prices of housing in Barcelona in tourist areas, the fast earnings of vacation rentals that keep apartments vacant for a year, the complicated terms of contracts that leave the tenant with a nose if the tenant stops paying. You have to have lived in Barcelona for a long time to understand this!

But if you've already arrived here, go on a search! Beginner's luck has never been canceled! Use our tips to make sure you're not just depending on luck.
Websites where you can find the best accommodation in Barcelona: Idealista, Fotocasa, Habitaclia. You will see for yourself that they have the lowest prices, the most real offers and the fastest communication with tenants. These sites have cell phone apps that will alert you to hot offers.

There are no dangerous neighborhoods in Barcelona. All neighborhoods in the city are controlled by the police and there are no ghettos or neighborhoods of any national diaspora. Be aware that no realtor will not tell you the intricacies of living in a particular area. So walk around different neighborhoods at different times of the day, have a coffee on the terrace, go to the stores, museums. Take a closer look at the atmosphere and make your decision. And when your favorite neighborhood is found, we recommend going to the real estate agencies in the area!

Social networks - your assistant in orientation! It is recommended not to focus only on Russian-language groups! If possible, read English-speaking, Spanish-speaking, French-speaking, and other groups. One of these groups is Barcelona Expats.

Catch another tip: Russian grocery stores "Troika", "Magnit", "Teremok" and the like have a board with advertisements for rental housing or job offers.
When you have learned the prices for apartments in Barcelona and have a clear idea of how much it costs to rent an apartment in Spain, it's time to check out the apartment rental websites. And then the surprise. Why do not coincide expectations and reality? Why is one room more expensive than a three-room palace? Keep in mind that in Barcelona the size of the apartment does not matter! People are willing to overpay for many things, and that's something to keep in mind when choosing your dream apartment.

Firstly, the neighborhood. The question of neighborhood prestige is so important for Barcelona that there's even a movie about it called "The Lost House", 2020, where the main character is willing to kill for the sake of returning to a prestigious neighborhood. Keep in mind that cozy and quiet neighborhoods here are found in not the coolest areas. Your neighbors won't be dollar millionaires, but it will be living in a decent livable new development for a reasonable price!

In every ad for rentals in Barcelona there is "bright", "very bright", "lit from all sides". This is an important factor in Barcelona, where the old center is so densely built up that the presence of windows does not mean that you will get sunlight. So that's another plus to the cost. And also the famous terraces - spaces on the roofs of houses where you can dry laundry, have a party and even sunbathe. A spacious terrace with a beautiful view of the city can add to the cost as much as a separate room!

If you are offered a well-lit apartment, make sure the windows do not face a noisy street and that they are securely isolated from the sounds. Barcelona is a fun and noisy city, and that sometimes goes against your daily plans.

Also, make sure you will be the only landlord of the terrace. Often renters "forget" to mention that the rules of the house prohibit the use of the terrace for personal purposes, that is, at most you can go up there, but you will not be allowed to hang laundry there. So having a terrace is not a guarantee that the "roof-party" will happen!

  • 1
    Presence/absence of air conditioning
  • 2
    Carried out/non-carried out cosmetic
    repairs before moving in
  • 3
    New/old furniture
  • 4
    Availability / absence of home appliances
Equally important to the cost of housing in Spain is the infrastructure of the area. Green parks within walking distance - say, the prestigious Gracia almost does not have them, non-prespectable Carmel all standing in bloom, and Pedralbes is greenery and prestige. But it's expensive. Large supermarkets within walking distance is also a very important factor.

And finally - public transportation in Spain! If you drive a car, but are going to live in Barcelona, do not bet on it. Moving around the city by convenient and clean public transport within the city is faster, cheaper and quieter. So look closely at the presence of subway or bus stops near your future home.
If your visa type allows you to work, you will most likely want to find a job in Barcelona. The unemployment rate in Spain is high and finding a job will not be easy! For those who haven't had time to learn the language before arriving, we recommend taking Spanish courses before looking for a job.

Some websites can help you find a job, such as Infojobs, Turijobs, and the like. If you do not have a work permit, then in the search for the words "parcial" (part-time), "temporal" (temporary). You can also go through employment agencies in person.
There are many groups on social networks, especially on Facebook, that are dedicated to job searching. They are available in Russian, Spanish and English. Be careful of job offers for people of "any age, no education and no documents". It's always a scam.
Maybe all this talk about job hunting and having to read all the fine print has gotten you thinking that learning Spanish will make it easier to navigate the local complexities.
It is! Spaniards easily accept the non-perfect Spanish of foreigners, but don't have much respect for complete ignorance of the language. So open all the doors in Barcelona with the help of the best language schools in the city.

school whose method is based on an immersive approach to language learning. It is a total immersion in the language environment.
Teachers are native speakers with a university degree and will teach you to speak Spanish from day one and do so in a welcoming atmosphere in small groups. Immercia means that each week each group works on collecting and discussing materials on the theme of the week, and the themes of the week are always related to some aspect of Spanish culture and tradition. Did you see an unusual dance in the town square? Tell us about it in the words you know. Have you long wanted to know the secret of the Flamenco heels? Look up the information online and we'll translate it together!
You have to talk about what's around you in the here and now, and grammar will come with time. So if you decide to learn Spanish at BCN LIP, consider that you are already in Spain!

In the center of Barcelona, near Plaza Catalunya, you will find an exemplary, state-of-the-art school called Speakeasy, whose recognized diploma will open the door to any university in Spain.
This Spanish language school, whose tuition fees are completely justified, has a serious approach to the method and evaluation of the quality of teaching. Method Spikizi called the method of floors, where at first the level of knowledge of the future student is determined by tests, and then he is given tasks, a little bit higher in complexity than his level. In this way each student sees a realistic goal in front of him, and this stimulates interest in learning.
When moving to a new floor, teachers test the mastery of the 4 language skills (reading, writing, comprehension, speaking) through informal communication in class, which demonstrates the confidence and ability to explain in a foreign language. School officials emphasize that they will never transfer a student from one floor to another if the level of proficiency does not match the next level.
The quality of teaching for which the school is responsible is their trademark, which requires rigor in the teaching process. But rigor is for teachers! The students, on the other hand, in the lessons, despite all the seriousness of the process, spend time in a cordial, friendly interaction that makes it easy to overcome the language barrier!

The Kingsbrook Spanish language school is adapting to today's realities by offering the use of gadgets in class, accessing social media and visiting their school's blog! This school is located in the trendy Eixample district and teaches Spanish in a way that allows students to integrate into local life as much as possible, taking into account the fact that there is a lot of space for the Internet. In general, the school takes into account the peculiarities of life in Spain, organizes excursions and builds its methodology on the study of language constructors, which students will apply outside the classroom.
The school has two sunny terraces, where you can continue your dialogues with the students over a snack or a coffee. In addition to books and CDs, the school library offers you board games, which perfectly fill the pauses between classes and ensure language practice.
In Spain there are two forms of payment for mobile services - contract and prepayment. If you already have a residence permit, you can conclude a contact contract with the operator for a certain number of minutes to call the city and abroad and a certain number of megabytes of Internet per month.

Payment will always be the same, entitling you to discounts, and the opportunity to buy a cell phone for free or in installments.
If you just top up your account when you need it, you can stop paying or switch operators at any time, which you can't do with a contract. But on the other hand, the services will cost more and the company's promotions will not affect you.

Mobile communications in Spain and the Internet are more expensive than in Russia or Ukraine. We will look at the most popular phone companies - from the most expensive to more economical.
  • 1
    The most-expensive in everything! The first on the cell phone market in Spain, the most common and the most expensive. MOVISTAR in Spain gets it everywhere! In the mountains, underground, in a remote village - where all others have given up, Movistar will provide communication. You just have to decide if you're going to make a work call from Everest in the near future. Because the rest of the time it is a very expensive connection.
  • 2
    The second most common operator. This Spanish branch of the British operator is the largest in terms of revenues in the world. A decent connection and good promotions for those who take a contract.
  • 3
    Hailing from France. Once conquered the market with great terms of contracts, giving phones and seemed a worthy alternative to the first two expensive companies. Now there is no significant difference between them. Only Orange's tech support is lame sometimes.
  • 4
    The Swedish-Finnish company Yoigo came to Spain recently and is not yet as popular as the first three. But it actively gives away cheap rates and promotions.
  • 5
    and the other operators, of which there are more than forty in Spain, do not have their own network and work on the equipment of one of the 4 companies named above. Thus, lycamobil is a subsidiary of Movistar, lebara is Vodafone's little sister, and Simyo operates from Orange.

    The services of these companies are cheaper, many of them make free calls to other numbers of the same operator. But the quality of communication suffers, and they also do not have physical offices and technical issues have to be resolved by phone.
After the global financial crisis, many large banks in Spain were bought by more successful and the number of banks was reduced. During the pandemic, there was a new jump, so most transactions are now done online.

Going to a bank in Barcelona is like going to a royal palace. Most are open only in the morning from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Some banks are open full day with a break on Thursday. This leads to long lines, especially - on Mondays and mornings until 12:00. If you use the account management service online, you are spared the need to stand in line.

To open a bank account in Spain, you need to meet some conditions. Some banks require a serious long-term relationship: the registration of wages, pensions, benefits or payment of utilities. Somewhere require a considerable deposit. And almost all emphasize that to open an account you must have a residence permit in Spain.

Every year there are fewer and fewer banks willing to open an account for foreigners. By contacting us you will get full consultation on this issue.
  • The Catalan bank La Caixa de ahorros, whose logo you will see everywhere. Its advantage is that its ATMs are found everywhere and everywhere, and the holder of their account does not pay a fee when withdrawing cash.
  • La Caixa's main rival in terms of annual revenues is the Basque Country bank BBVA, which also has many ATMs around town.
  • Another major Catalan bank is Banc Sabadell, whose branches around the city are much less common .
Forget about your own car! Traffic jams and the impossibility of parking anywhere for free make using a car a torture. You will need your car for trips to the supermarket, to take the kids to school or to the airport to pick someone up, to get out of town and to travel around the country and Europe. And for everyday travel use the public transport in Barcelona. It is well developed and in excellent condition.

Barcelona's subway frustrates our compatriots with its meager decoration. The subway stations within the city are absolutely ubiquitous and do not let you get lost. In most cases, the subway branches intersect with each other and connect with the line to the airport. Our people respect the subway more than the bus and streetcar. In Barcelona, you'll hardly notice the difference! The silent streetcar is like a picture from the future and the bus fleet is renewed every year.

The buses are clean, air-conditioned, have phone chargers, and a scoreboard that tells you the name of the stop. You may not like being on the bus during rush hour in tourist areas or in areas without good access to the subway. The rest of the time, opting for the bus or streetcar, you don't lose anything!

We recommend buying a bonus card, the same for all modes of transport: T-casual for 10 trips or T - usual for an unlimited number of trips during the month.
Another transport in Barcelona is Bicing, a city bicycle that can be taken with a card in one of the parking lots and returned to the same parking lot. The cost to use Bicing is only 50€ per year! But you can pay for at least one year. And only one person can use one card.

The moped is the iron horse of the Mediterranean. In this climate you can use it all year round, forgetting all the inconveniences associated with a car. Renting a moped in Barcelona is more profitable than buying one. Moped and carshare networks appear in the city every year. We recommend you use the Enerprise or Avancar carshare networks. For moped and scooter rentals, eCooltra is a great option.
Barcelona's city cab services have recently fallen out of favor as it has become obvious that they are not very competitive in today's marketplace with the emergence of apps like Cabify or Mytaxi. Cabify or Mytaxi have been successful in meeting today's challenges.

We also recommend that you walk whenever possible. Barcelona loves pedestrians and cyclists. Every year there are more and more bike lanes and pedestrian zones in the city. The municipality carefully monitors the air pollution and Barcelona is a beautiful place, where walking means not only health but also aesthetic pleasure.

The Mediterranean is a gastronomic paradise, so the food in Barcelona is delicious. Plus, it's not that expensive to eat here. There are plenty of great restaurants in Catalonia and if you're willing to splurge, there's no problem.

Here are places where you can eat cheap and decent:
(Alina's article)
Supermarkets in Spain will pleasantly surprise you with the choice and quality of products, not to mention the prices! The most common is Mercadona, where you can always buy fresh fish, seafood, oysters and other products. The German chains Lidl and Aldi are familiar to our people who have traveled around Europe. Here you can buy cucumbers and sausage for Olivier, black bread and sauerkraut. During the pandemic, the number of home-delivery companies increased noticeably. The largest are Glovo, Deliveroo, and Just eat. There are also Russian grocery stores in Barcelona. Hamons are jamons, but ordinary lard, too, is sometimes desirable! There are many Russian stores in Barcelona and new ones open regularly.
  • "Troika - Carrer Unio, 3.
  • "Teremok - Paseo San Joan, 125.
  • "Anait" - carrer Mallorca, 610
  • "Magnet" - carrer Llull, 394
Barcelona is often chosen for its vibrant cultural and nightlife scene. Hobbies, sports, film library, performances, concerts and festivals of thousands of people - you can easily find it in Barcelona.

Spaniards take care of themselves and devote a lot of time to sports and body culture. Therefore, sports are everywhere, no one will be surprised by your jog in the park or push-ups from a bench. But if your wallet allows you to go to the gyms, there is a lot of choice. You can sign up at a municipal gym, where prices are lower, although the equipment is simpler. Not all of them offer the possibility of single visits, and to pay for a membership, you will need a bank account.

Private chain fitness gyms in Barcelona are cosmic in terms of facilities. You pay more, but you know what for. At your service is developed network "DIR", "Metropolitan", "Holmes place", hall "Anytime Fitness" was open all day long before the pandemic, and in the present conditions you can visit it from 6.00 to 22.00

as in Barcelona offer movies in the original language with subtitles. From time to time it is possible to see a film in Russian on the big screen! You can do it in the following rooms: Verdi (carrer Verdi, 32), Renoir Floridablanca (carrer Floridablanca, 135), Yelmo Icaria (carrer Salvador Espriu, 61).

For bowling and billiards fans there are Bowling Pedralbes (av. Doctor Marañón, 11), Gran Vía, 2 (c. Gran Vía, 75, Hospitalet de Llobregat). Or the famous billiard room Sotavent (c. Major de Sarria, 61).

We advise to visit the main opera and ballet theater in Barcelona "Liceu". In the evenings it gathers the cream of high society, because tickets to the Liceu are expensive - even for 100 € you can't always get to a good show.

To practice your Spanish, visit the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya. All the best in drama in modern Catalunya, as well as the classics, such as Ibsen, Chekhov, Beckett - for this come here. And to see the performance for a low price, but in an understandable for a foreigner format of ballet or musical you can in the theater Tivoli.
There is a theater in Barcelona in almost every district of the city. All you have to do is study the program in Time Out magazine and order tickets at or ticket tictac.

Find an interesting lecture or create your own one at
Dating in Barcelona is easy. Spaniards, Catalans, and most visitors easily connect with strangers in the streets, at concerts and exhibitions.

But it's one thing to chat, to exchange Facebook messages, and even to drink a caña or two (a mug of beer on tap in a bar). In Barcelona, this kind of acquaintance sometimes doesn't add up to anything else.

If your goal is to have a romantic relationship, modern etiquette almost obliges you to get acquainted through special dating sites. Unromantic? But most people consider it a minimal price to pay for basic security. Dating apps offer you a good choice. Let's mention some of them .
International meeting - an immigrant Facebook group
InterNations - a site for immigrants scattered around the world
Expt Barcelona - a Facebook group for immigrants in Barcelona discussing everything from apartment rentals to finding bar partners
Meet up - all sorts of hobby clubs, join or create your own.
Tinder - romantic dating for both serious and not-so-serious people.
Adopta un tío - a dating app that gives more choices to the woman than the man.
By now you must have heard about nightlife in Barcelona. In summer the city is a party, with all the partying going on in the beaches and squares after the bars, and in winter, on public holidays, the city goes on all night long. The beauty of Barcelona nightlife is that everyone can choose an activity to their liking.

Razzmatazz - Modern musicians, famous DJ's, rockers, rappers, etc., perform here. You won't hear classical or jazz music here. Concerts are held here from time to time. The rest of the time there are discos. Several halls allow you to move from one style of music to another during the evening.

Sala Apolo - Sala Apolo dance and concert hall has experimented with all styles and directions. Probably the security guards here wouldn't be surprised to see an old lady in a mink coat or a punk wearing chains. And to make sure they didn't overlap with each other, the themes were divided up by the days of the week.

Arena - one of the most exotic places of Barcelona, a gay and lesbian disco, where you can see extravagant Drag Queens shows.

Jamboree is a historical place for jazz in Barcelona, walls that remember Chet Baker and Stephane Grapelli. It was closed, and during the Olympics it reopened already as a concert and dance hall. From time to time jazz concerts, events and festivals are held there. At other times it is a regular disco.

Opium would be great if you want to rock out in Ibiza, but can't right now. Opium in Barcelona is a small branch of Ibiza with a terrace overlooking the beach. Famous contemporary DJs play here in between festivals. Expensive, but still cheaper than flying to the island.
If you rent an apartment without furniture, and in Barcelona this is a common type of cheap housing, you will have to furnish it yourself. Of the available options immediately comes to mind IKEA. In Barcelona it is an inexpensive and versatile furniture store with a wide range of products. If you need to buy everything at once, there is hardly anything better than Ikea.

If you have time, big hypermarkets like Carefour or Alcampo also offer some furniture, as well as linens, appliances, and other household items at reasonable prices.

At Primark you can buy basic clothes for every day. And in the stores of the Decathlon chain a wide range of goods for all kinds of sports, including exotic ones, is waiting for you. If you don't have time for sport, but need sneakers for every day inexpensive and of high quality, then Decathlon is for you too.

The city government aims to make Barcelona an ecological paradise. Recycling and second hand goods are encouraged here. That's why you'll find lots of places to buy second-hand items. The center of this is the famous Encants Vells flea market, which is right across from the Glories metro.
Every year it looks more and more like a huge flea market. Used items are less and less common here and it's still realistic to buy a couple of chairs or a mirror for the bathroom.

You can buy something that's not new, but almost unused, through used goods sites and apps. People move or buy two of the same thing or are disappointed in a model, and the best way to get rid of such an item is to discount the price, sell it through an app like Wallapop or Vinted.

Saving on your purchases can help you seasonal sales in Barcelona, the prices then fall by up to 70%. Usually sales fall on dates after Christmas holidays and towards the end of summer. But in recent years, they are held at any time of year.

You can also buy cheaply at online stores like AliExpress, Wish , E-bay, Rakuten, Zalando
Here you can find the emergency numbers for Barcelona that you should have with you at all times for your own peace of mind:
  • Police - 092
  • Ambulance 062
  • Fire Brigade 080
  • General Emergency Number - 122
  • Russian Consulate - 93 280 02 20
  • Ukrainian Consulate - (+34) 629 382 936
Your stay in Barcelona is sure to be bright and joyful! If you want to save money on paperwork, choose a language school, or open a bank account, FunBCN is always at your service. We love our city and want everyone to feel comfortable and happy here!
Testimonials from our customers
Dreamlife Spain specialists helped me select a Spanish language school. But not just the school, they told me which cities were the cheapest for students. And where I would have more opportunities for my future career. In general, you get all the information, all the details that you won’t find on any website.

They helped me get the local documents, because I did not speak any Spanish. And all the time while I had DreamLife specialists with me, I had no doubts that everything would work out. They were efficient, professional and supportive. Thank you!
Student Visa
Victoria Zhuravleva
Excellent work of a well-coordinated professional team. My case was not the easiest, to be honest. My business partner and I intended to open our business in Spain. At first we were full of doubts. And without professional support and comprehensive consulting with the DreamLife team, we most likely would never go into this risky venture. I recommend DreamLife to everyone thinking about relocating to Spain.
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Elena Astrakhantseva
I’d like to express my gratitude to the DreamLife company. They helped my family move to Spain on a non-lucrative visa.
At first, we wanted to do everything ourselves. But we realized that we could not do it! Not only because of the language, but because of the local bureaucracy, which is even worse than in our native country.
I guess you need to live in Spain for many years to understand everything here. I wouldn’t advise newbies to solve issues on their own. It's a big risk and very difficult. My choice is, pay professionals and sleep well!
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Dmitriy Vasiliev
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