Barcelona & Catalonia Inf

TOURIST OFFICE 

 The main Tourist Office of the Autonomous Government is
located at the end of Paseo de Gracia, telephone 93 2384000
open 1000-1900 Mon- Fri and 0900-1400 Sat).
The main Municipal Tourist Office (Tourism of Barcelona )is located at
Plaza Catalunya,telephone : 93 304 32 32(open every day from 09.00 to 21.00.) CLOCK CHANGES - Clocks are put back one hour on the last  Sunday in October
and  forward one hour the last Sunday in March .

TELEPHONES - Cards can be bought in tobacco shops (estancos).For international
calls, dial 00, wait for tone, then the country code, and then the area code
followed the telephone number.

BANKS/CASHPOINT - 0830- 1400 Mon-Fri. There are also many exchange offices
which are open until the evening. Most banks have Cashpoint facilities with
instructions in English. Virtually all large supermarkets accept credit cards.

POST OFFICES - The main post office is situated in Via Layetana 1 ,very near the hotel,
open 0800- 2000 Mon- Sat(stamps can also be bought at "estancos"- tobacco shops).

PHARMACIES - There are many pharmacies, virtually one in every main street of
the city, open 0900-1300 and 1700-2000.In all the pharmacies are indicated what
is the nearest "guard pharmacy"(open 24 hours a day).There is one open 24 hour near the Hotel).

LOSS OR THEFT OF PASSPORT - If you lose your passport you should immediately
contact your embassy or consulate  and of course report it to the police.
Lost or stolen bank/credit cards: please contact your bank and report to the
local police.
Please remember to keep a separate list of passport numbers, traveller cheque numbers, credit card numbers, etc.).
Leave valuables in your Hotel room-safe.

CAR BREAKDOWN - If you have any problems with your rental car, you should
immediately telephone the  rental car company.If it is a minor problem they
will ask you to take the car to a local garage, pay for the repair, keep the
receipt and they will refund the money when the car is returned.  PLEASE REMEMBER
TO CHECK THE OIL & WATER BEFORE ANY LONG JOURNEY.CAR ACCIDENT
- Obtain the car registration number, the name of the insurance company and policy number, driver's name, address and, if Spanish, the driver's national identification number or,in the case of a foreigner, passport number.
You must give  the other driver your name, address, car registration number,
the document number of the rental contract, name and address of the rental
company and your passport number.  You should notify the car rental company
within 24 hours of  the incident. If the damage is minor, they will ask you
to make a full report when you return the car.                                 

TRANSPORT
TOURIST BUS - This is an excellent way to explore the city. Buy a one day or 
two day ticket on the bus and you can plan your own journey getting on and off
at any of the 18 stops to see Barcelona's  sights.  There is a guide on the
Tourist Bus  for information and the circuit starts at the Plaza Catalunya.
Buses run approximately every 30 minutes from  0930 to 2130. The full journey
takes approximately 2 1/2 hrs. This tourist service normally runs the whole year ,
except the 25th of December and the 1st of January.BUSES - Run from 0530 to 2230 and multi-ride tickets can be bought from Information Kiosks in the Plaza Catalunya and Metro Stations. Every bus stop
displays a bus route map.

METRO - This undoubtedly is the quickest way of getting around Barcelona.
Stations are marked and all lines have different colours. Also included in
the network are the FGC trains from Plaza Catalunya to Sarria ad Tibidabo.TRAVEL CARDS - T1 Travel cards can be purchased from Metro Stations for use on both buses, metro, blue tram and other lines within the city.
There are 10 trip tickets for Metro-Bus and local trains. These multi-trip tickets are an economical way  of getting around the city.

CABLE CAR  - The cable cars across the harbour and up to Montjuic require separate tickets and are well worth taking for the views.

BLUE TRAMWAY - This restored tram can take you from Plaza John F Kennedy to P.Doctor Andreu and then you can connect with the cable car to the top of Tibidabo.TRAINS - FROM BARCELONA  trains go to:
        *Sitges:along the coast of Barcelona-trains run every 30 minutes
        *Tarragona:a Roman town easily reached by train
        *Montserrat:from Plaza Espanya-every two hours from 09:11 to 19:26
        *Girona:from Sants Station-every hourTAXIS - Black and yellow taxis are quite inexpensive and very useful for late at night. Taxis will not take more than 4 passengers and charge extra for
baggage. There is a minimum charge and all taxis are on a meter system.
If you need a taxi , you can ask at the Reception Desk  to call it  at the time you wish .

ADVISORY  - Like all large cities unfortunately Barcelona too has its fair
share of pickpockets and muggers. Please do not carry large sums of money,
passports or flight tickets when you go out. We  strongly  recommend you use
the safe in your hotel.

 DRIVING IN SPAIN:
- You must carry your driving licence plus one other form of identification
  at all times. Also carry the insurance policy and car documents at all times.
- Seat belts are compulsory at all times (rear seat belts also where fitted).
- Children must travel in rear seats.
- Right of Way belongs to main roads. In all other cases traffic coming from
  the right has priority.
- Parking- most towns have parking areas denoted by a white P on a blue background.
- You can also park in blue painted parking  spots on the street (you have to
  pay for a ticket and put it inside your car ) 
- Motorways-Tolls are payable on the majority of motorways-credit cards are
  accepted.
- Tunnels- Low beems must be used in tunnels.
- Driving offences-Fines for a traffic offence are payable on the spot.
  These can be particulary heavy for speeding and omitting to use seat belts.
  Police must give a receipt for the amount of fine paid.
- Drinking & Driving -Spanish laws provide for on the spot fines or imprisonment
  if the offence is serious.
- Do not leave anything of value in view when the car is left unattended.
- Maximum speed limits: Built -up areas 50km ,Main roads 100km, Motorways 120km.
                               

  CATALONIA


Catalonia is a self-governing, autonomous region, located in north-eastern
Spain and covers an area of 18534 sq.mi. Catalonia is five of the seventeen
regions of Spain, others include the Basque Country, Andalucia and Galicia.
Catalonia population is about 6 million. Catalonia consists of the provinces of
Gerona, Lerida, Barcelona and Tarragona. The city of Barcelona is the capital
and the seat of the regional government (Generalitat de Cataluña). The Catalan
flag consists of 4 vertical red stripes on a yellow background and can be seen
flying on all public buildings next to the Spanish flag.The Catalan language is a blend of Latin, French and Spanish and is spoken from the French area of Roussillon down the coast as far as Alicante and including
the Balearic Islands. There are two official languages in Catalonia : Catalan
and Castilian .The Catalan coast is over 360 miles long and has many well known beach resorts
as well as numerous inland towns and villages that are well worth a visit.

 CITY  OF BARCELONA


There has been a flourishing city and port on this site for well over 2000 years.
In Roman times it was known as Barcino and part of the Roman city can still be
seen. In the Middle Ages the centre  of the city was what is now known as the
"Gothic Quarter" and there are many examples of medieval architecture around the
Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace and the building which today houses the Catalan
government (Generalitat de Cataluña) in the Plaza Sant Jaume. Near the sea can
be found the "Ribera" district with the splendid church of Santa Maria del Mar
and the Picasso Museum.
Nearby is the park of the "Ciutadella" and the famous zoo, museums and the
Catalan parliament.The Ramblas is the heart of Barcelona and here one can find stalls selling birds,
flowers, books, magazines and newspapers. There are also many bars and cafes
with tables and chairs on the Ramblas where one can sit and watch the world go
by in a unique atmosphere. In the small streets off the Ramblas there are many
types of restaurants to suit all tastes and pockets.During the 19th century the city saw a period of great expansion. Following the plan of the architect Ildefonso Cerdà, the area known as the Eixample, with its
wide streets and avenues, was built. Now in this area of the city some of the
best shops, boutiques and art galleries can be found.The church of the Sagrada Familia, designed over 100 years ago by the Catalan architect Gaudi and still unfinished, must be seen. Also the Guell Park, which
is another of his great works.In the Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village) on Montjuic can be seen reproductions
of houses and streets from all the regions of Spain and craftsmen can be found
still practising their trades. Also on Montjuic are the Olympic Stadium,
swimming and diving pools.The Paseo de Gracia is also very interesting with  typical buildings such as
" La Pedrera " and " Casa Batllo " . The most fashionable quarter is the Olympic Village with a very nice sporting harbour full of restaurants and fashionable bars .