Quick guide for working remotely in Barcelona


A few months ago, I spent around a month and a half working remotely from Barcelona. The city has a lot to offer: good weather, not too expensive, active community of freelancers, entrepreneurs, startups, coworking spaces, lots of events… I really enjoyed my time there and thought I could share some of my experiences.

Housing

Neighbourhoods

Gotic
Gotic is the touristical center of Barcelona. Crowded with waves of tourist, if you’re looking for some dynamic environment, that’s the place to be. If you’re planning for a long-stay, it might not be the best choice as you’ll quicky grow bored of tourists.

Born
Less touristy than Gotic, Born has its own charm and like Gotic is very well located, close from the wonderful Parc de la Ciutadella and close from the beach.

Gracia
It’s one of the favored neighborhood of locals for living. It’s a bit further away than Gotic and Born from the beach. But you’ll really get to experience life in Barcelona as a local: very few tourist over there. It can feel like being in a small village. Bars are cheap and people go out at night (I expect some streets to be noisy, so be weary of this before renting).

Children playing football in Born

Renting

Monthly prices for a single room in a shared apartment in the center or nearby range from 200 to 400€.

Obviously there are a lot of listing on Airbnb, Barcelona is a very touristic city after all. For longer stays, I’ve seen people using Craigslist successfully, or you can also try the local version: Loquo.

Hostels

After trying a few different hostels in the city, the only one I would recommend is Itaca’s Hostel. Small hostel (30 beds) I booked for a few days at first.. ended up staying over a month, met so many nice people and had an incredible experience.

It got everything you need:

  • good location (quiet street in Gotic, unbelievable)
  • very good wifi and they constantly make sure it’s working properly
  • quiet
  • safe for your belongings (at least for a hostel, don’t be silly)
  • great staff

Moving around

Biking

Barcelona is great city for biking. Public bikes are only for locals and a NIE number is required to buy a one year plan (50€). Requirements for getting one depends of where you’re from (if you’re from EU, you should be able to get one with just your passport) and also, the police station to get it from depends from where you’re from so you’ll have to ask for that.

Public transportation

If you plan on using public transport a lot, buy a T10 (10 tickets), it’s much cheaper than buying solo tickets.

Taxis

Start with a minimum fee of 2,10€ when you get into the cab and the minimum fare is 7€. It’s usually quite easy to get one, at least when you’re near the center. You can find all needed information about the fare on TripAdvisor: http://bit.ly/1gXqQFu

Safety

Overall a safe city, you’ll hardly find yourself feeling endangered. But, you must be very aware of your belongings, especially in touristic hubs like Las Ramblas where pickpockets are everywhere. At night, beware of hookers, mostly preying on drunk people, they won’t hesitate to get very close in order to steal things from your pockets.

Working

Overall, Barcelona offers a very good wifi quality, making a great city for working remotely.

Coworking spaces

Talent garden
http://barcelona.talentgarden.org/
One of Talent Garden’s 13 campuses. Brand new, very quiet, nice place to work from (more on this later).
250€/month for 24/7 access.

BetaHaus
http://www.betahaus.es/
Probably the most famous coworking space in Barcelona.
159€/month for 24/7 access.

Makers of Barcelona
http://www.mob-barcelona.com/
This one is mostly ‘maker’ oriented.
220€/month for 24/7 access

Coffee shops

You can find many work-friendly coffee shops in Barcelona: wifi speed is usually not a problem and unlike some cities, the staff won’t be bothering you at all. I might publish a list of all the cool spots to work from in a later article, meanwhile, if you’re looking for one don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter @fpietot I’ll be happy to help :)

Federal Café in Gotic got everything you need

Meeting people

Barcelona is a very active city, with thriving communities of freelancers, entrepreneurs, travellers… making it a breeze to meet people. Here are some ideas.

Online communities

Meetup groups

Barcelona Freelancers Meetup
http://www.meetup.com/Barcelona-Freelancers-Meetup/

Two kinds of events:
- café coworking (coworking space experience in a coffee shop). Also, sometimes it’s a full day of coworking at Talent Garden (coworking space) for free. Those events are always full, so make sure to register early.
- drinks at night (not sure they’re still doing that)

Guiripreneur Barcelona
http://www.meetup.com/Guiripreneur-Barcelona/

“Guiri” is the spain equivalent to “Gringo”.
Quite a few different events, but mostly a weekly lunch called ‘Guiripreneur Geek Lunch’ where you can exchange with fellows foreign entrepreneurs over a meal. Great way to socialize.

Coworking event in Talent Garden (Barcelona Freelancers Meetup)

Sports

So many opportunities to practice sport in Barcelona: crossfire, volley ball, natation, capoeira, dancing, beach soccer…

Meetup groups
Here is the list of all the sport meetups group in Barcelona: http://bit.ly/1J4odrU

Crossfit
If you’re into crossfit, you should take a look at this: http://crossfitgala.com/en/
Very active, they organize multiple sessions a day.

Swimming
If you’re into swimming but the sea temperature it still too low, I’d recommend DIR Gracia. It’s a gym club with a 20 meters long swimming pool and spa. If you can manage to go during the day (before 6:00, while other people are at the office), it’s great setup to relax while doing some exercices. 60€ a month with inscription fees but these usually don’t apply on saturday, for this rate you can also access the gym.

Also, here is a curated list of outdoors swimming pools in Barcelona:
http://www.barcelonacheckin.com/en/r/barcelona_tourism_guide/articles/outdoor-swimming-pools

Dancing
Free salsa lessons for beginners at the Latin Room every sunday.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1557052047898092/

Rollerblading under the Arco de Triunfo

Food

Spanish culture is a lot about sharing food and the food experience. If you can avoid the very touristic places, like Barceloneta and Las Ramblas, you will enjoy some delicious food for a fair price in a nice environment.

Foodie meetup group
http://www.meetup.com/BCN-Gastronomic-Society/

They organize all kind of events related to food. Great way to discover local food while meeting people.

Lemon Pie in La Flauta. Great place to enjoy tapas.

Nightlife

Sometimes it’s good to take a break from work and have some fun. One of the best activities Barcelona has to offer is live music. From street performers to dedicated spaces like Sala Apolo, you can certainly find something that fits your tastes. These places are worth trying: Harlem Jazz Club, Obama, Sala Apolo.

Blues jam in Harlem Jazz Club

Visiting

Of course, you’re not on vacation, but, make sure not to miss these amazing spots: Sagrada Familia, Park Guëll, Montjuic, Park de la Ciutadella…

Inside the Sagrada Familia, Gaudí’s masterpiece

This is a map where you can find all the locations mentionned in this article: http://bit.ly/1J4qFyA

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