Living in Barcelona
Barcelona is the administrative and cultural capital of Catalonia. It is a city with over two thousand years of history and with an architectural, artistic and cultural heritage that make it a very attractive destination for thousands of tourists, students, researchers and entrepreneurs every year, who come to the city to broaden their perspectives or simply to have a good time in a great place.
Barcelona has scored very well in different international rankings, which have dubbed it one of the best cities to live in, to study in and to do business in. The European Cities Monitor considers it the top European city in terms of the standard of living of its workers, based on parameters such as public services, medical care, infrastructure, educational level and the environment, and the sixth most attractive European city for doing business. Meanwhile, the International Congress and Convention Association ranks the city the second best place in the world for the organization of international meetings. Barcelona ranks among the top international cities in terms of education as well.
Catalan, the official language
Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is a city with its own culture and its own language: Catalan.
Catalan is the official language of the institutions that make up the HUBc. The links below will take you to resources where you can find out more:
· Language learning activities of the Linguistic Services Department of the University of Barcelona: This link will take you to all the information about Catalan language courses given at the University of Barcelona.
· Courses and services offered by the Consorci per a la Normalització Lingüística: This organization was created by the Catalan administrative authorities (the Catalan government (Generalitat), provincial councils, county councils and town and city councils) to offer a set of services to facilitate learning of the Catalan language by anyone who might be interested.
· Parla.cat: This virtual space makes various online services available to users to help them learn Catalan.
· Intercat: This is a set of electronic learning resources related to Catalan language and culture, designed primarily for exchange students visiting Catalan universities.
Getting around in Barcelona
Barcelona offers a wide range of public transport options to help you get around inside the city, which are important to know about in order to reach the different sites of the HUBc:
· Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona: This link will take you to a site containing all the information about TMB services, with maps and timetables of the public bus and metro network that will allow you to get around in Barcelona and from Barcelona to other cities in the metropolitan area. The website includes the I want to go… service, which provides information about different transport alternatives between a certain point of departure and arrival.
· Commuter trains - RENFE: The train is another transport option for travelling between Barcelona and other cities in the metropolitan area, and also offers service within the city of Barcelona itself.
· Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya: This is an option that is somewhere between the train and the metro, and a high-quality and very convenient way to get around in the city and between Barcelona and other urban centres in the surrounding areas.
In addition to information about learning Catalan and the different transport options offered by the city, the website of the Barcelona City Council can help you find out about the vast number of cultural and tourism events and sights Barcelona has to offer, in case you have the chance to get to know the city a little better.