23 July 2019 | While best efforts have been made to verify the accuracy of the information, it should be used as guidance only. If you have updated information please contact policy@etoa.org.

17 October 2019 | Please note: these destination pages are usually accessible to ETOA members only. ETOA reserves the right to open them to public access when circumstances dictate, and has done so for this page due to the current situation in Barcelona. We are reassured that the authorities are taking appropriate steps to assure business continuity and visitor safety should public demonstrations or other forms of street activism take place. 

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Safety and demonstrations

17 October 2019

Due to current demonstrations in Barcelona, travel may be disrupted. A list of announced demonstrations can be found here (11-18th October 2019) – the list may not be exhaustive. A general strike is expected on 18 October. Visitors are advised to follow updates on below channels (most updates in Catalan/Spanish):

Ajuntament de Barcelona / Turisme de Barcelona: On 16 October Ajuntament de Barcelona (city hall) released a statement about the current events and security in the city. Furthermore the Barcelona Tourism Consortium has a call centre for tourists and visitors to answer any questions or incidents. This service is operational daily from 8am to Midnight and can answer queries in different languages. The telephone number is (+34) 93 285 3834. If necessary, the opening hours will be extended. Visitors can find updates on the current situation on the tourist office’s official Twitter account.

Public transport: On TMB’s official website visitors can check for service status and disruptions on metro and bus lines. Specific information about the strike on 18 October here. They also update their Twitter account frequently. We have been in contact with TMB and their current information is: “Due to possible traffic alterations in the city, we inform you that the service of Barcelona Bus Turístic may be affected. For more information please contact +34 934 655 313”

National and international trains: Updates on travel disruptions are announced on Renfe’s Twitter account as well as on their website.

Airport bus: AEROBUS BCN is updating their Twitter account in case of delays and disruptions.

Airport: Aena, operating Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport, is updating travelers in case of further disruptions on their Twitter account. Information about the situation can also be found on the airport’s website. Travelers are advised to contact their respective flight operators for details on specific flights.

Sagrada Familia: Follow their Twitter account about regarding updates on closures.

Please contact ETOA on policy@etoa.org if you have any questions, comments or updates on the situation.

You may have seen reports related to levels of street crime in Barcelona in recent weeks. Client safety is of paramount importance, and we have been in close contact with our partners in the city to understand the situation, and what measures are being taken to assure visitor safety. Below is the official response to the reports from Barcelona Activa (Ajuntement de Barcelona).

ETOA has a country representative based in Barcelona, and good relationships with city, province and region, and we are confident that progress will be made. Barcelona responded fully following a rise in reported pick-pocketing of tourists in the past, and they are fully aware of the significance of public perception of safety on intention to travel and future sales. As was Paris following similar concerns: the city deployed more police and improved the process of reporting a crime, a necessary step for insurance as well as justice. Poor reporting processes worsen the harm caused through lost time which could have been spent enjoying the destination, and provide insufficient deterrence if it is felt that visitors will not go to the trouble of reporting crime.

We will push for improvements in all aspects. Meanwhile, usual precautions for a crowded city remain advisable: care taken when using cash machines; use of zipped bags worn across the body; particular attention on public transport and in spaces popular with tourists.

If you have any information you would like to share with us so that our dialogue with the authorities is as useful as possible, please email policy@etoa.org.

“Barcelona is a safe city, as pointed out by the main European indicators, which place it in the average of other cities such as London, Paris or Madrid.

In recent months, some criminal episodes have been recorded, in isolation, and a percentage increase in petty crimes, phenomena that are common to many other global cities. These specific events have received during the summer intense media attention, which has been able to contribute to magnify the perception of insecurity.

The whole of the municipal government is committed to strengthen security, working in coordination with the Government of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Government of Spain. A Local Security Board was convened at the beginning of the summer to coordinate the police and judicial agents and promote legal modifications against the multi-incident crimes.

A police reinforcement has been launched, especially in sensitive areas such as the Olympic Port and in overcrowded areas, and in the next few weeks the Generalitat de Catalunya will increase the number of police forces in the city. At the same time, research work is being strengthened, and police activity has increased, with coordinated operations between the two police forces to fight, for example, against thefts on the underground network.

With regard to the people who visit the city, the City Council has made available advice published in 9 languages ​and has transferred to the consulates and economic agents of the city their full disposition to collaborate in what they require.

Apart from the information on security issues, it should be noted that the city has continued to function at full capacity during the summer, with a high hotel occupation and a new record for visitors during the month of July, which continue to give Barcelona a very high valuation. In the autumn, it is planned to host four large medical conferences and sports and cultural events that ratify the normal running of the city.”

Tax

Barcelona levies an overnight tax on visitors staying in commercial accommodation (taxa turística) including cruise ship passengers.

Please click on the right hand banner 
to find out rates and further information.  

Access and Mobility

A temporary low emission zone operates in the city from 7:00 to 20:00 Monday to Friday (working days) for cars and old vans. The zone becomes operational the day after an episode of high air pollution is declared by the Ajuntament (city government).

Coaches are exempt until 1 January 2020 when the low emission zone is made permanent from 7:00 to 20:00 Monday to Friday (working days). Coaches will then be required to meet at least B yellow sticker (Euro 4/5) of Distintivo Ambiental.

From 2025, the low emission zone is expected to be extended beyond the city of Barcelona to the metropolitan area, hours to be determined.

Further information here and here.

Access and Coach Parking

Live traffic information

Information about Barcelona’s public transport managed by TMB can be found here.

The Sant Felip Neri square, Gothic Quarter, Barcelona is closed for all visitors between 10.30 to 11.30 and 13:30 to 15:00 on weekdays as students from Sant Felip Neri school use the square during this time. The closure is due to safety.

Attractions

These attractions are selected due to high demand and/or operational issues. If you think we should include others, please contact policy@etoa.org.

Attractions based in Spain outside of Barcelona can be found here.

Attractions based in Madrid can be found here.

If you are a member attraction of ETOA and would like your attraction featured on this page, please contact policy@etoa.org.

Last updated 3 October 2019

The Casa Milà, known popularly as La Pedrera, is a remarkable building, a combination of fantasy and functionality that has made this piece of architecture an essential part of any visit to Barcelona. It was the last private residence designed by architect Antoni Gaudí and was built between 1906 and 1912. La Pedrera was declared a Human Heritage site by UNESCO in 1984.
The museum offers a variety of activities to the travel agencies; day-time visits and night-time tours, with a commission.

The museum offers guided tours in different languages, sites to rent, exclusive visits for FIT, groups and events. Different kind of visits and workshops can be organised in order to improve the experience in La Pedrera. It is only the museum’s own accredited guides who can provide guided tours.

Official website can be found here, opening hours here. Bookings open at least six months in advance and can be made either via email or the online portal. The museum offers special rates for students, children and seniors. The rates will change in 2020 and will be updated here.

It is recommended to visit in the afternoon as it is less busy. Groups up to 30 pax are allowed.

For more information about various visits, cancellation and payment policy, please contact the Sales Department.

Contact information:
Monica Andreu
monica.andreu@lapedrera.com
+34 686 846 072

Information about tickets can be found here.

All groups must be accompanied by an official guide accredited by the Government of Catalonia. More information about group tickets and process can be found here.

General rules regarding group visits are below:

  • Groups must have between 10 and 40 people.
  • Groups of more than 30 people cannot visit the museum.
  • Individuals may not enter with group tickets.
  • Official guides must use a transmitter system for the tour.
  • If the guide does not want to do the explanation, the group must purchase the group audio guides for €7 per person.

ETOA Update, June 2019: Members have shared frustration regarding Sagrada Familia’s current booking process and are reporting lost bookings through their inability to book groups at Sagrada Familia.

Operators are being asked to log onto the online booking system, often with only a week’s notice to access tickets 2 months in advance. When logging in, tickets have already been booked up within minutes.

It has also been reported that it is very difficult to contact the reservation team, with emails put in a queue and left unanswered.

ETOA met with Sagrada Familia in June and will communicate any useful information when possible.

Guiding regulation

In Spain, guiding (Guía turístico) is a partly regulated profession (regulated by regions – Comunidades Autonomas).

Guiding is not regulated in Catalunya.

Museums and Patrimonio Nacional (Royal palaces, castles and some museums) are not part of the regional guiding regulations, and guides need to have a licence to be able to guide in these places.

Please click on the right hand banner to read more about guiding regulations in Europe and the ETOA tour guide ID card. 

Public holidays and opening hours

Local public holidays in Catalunya can be found in this document, page 10.

Events and seasonality

Barcelona Turisme has created a webpage with upcoming local events listed.

ETOA activity

Our local Spain Country Representatives Jorge Traver and Joanne Cadier as well as Market Manager Leyre Raimundo are focusing on developing the local membership base as well as our relationship with local authorities, attractions and other stakeholders.

In Barcelona, ETOA joined our partner NECSTouR’s ‘Better places to Live, Better places to Visit’ event in April 2018 as well as a workshop jointly organised with the Ajuntament on the development of its tourism marketing strategy in November 2018.

In June 2019, ETOA held a networking drinks reception at La Pedrera celebrating our 30th anniversary.

ETOA has set up a working group in Barcelona, meeting 2-3 times a year exploring tourism’s challenges and opportunities in the city. If you are interested in hearing more about the working group, please contact policy@etoa.org.

Jorge Traver

Jorge Traver
Country representative, Spain
jtraver@etoa.org
+34 629 088 344

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ETOA staff - Joanne Cadier

Joanne Cadier
Country representative, Spain
jcadier@etoa.org
+34 645 683 643

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Leyre

Leyre Raimundo
Market Manager, Spain & Portugal
lraimundo@etoa.org
+44 20 3325 5030

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Resources

Ajuntament de Barcelona (city hall) are sharing data regarding visitors in the destination. Data and resources can be found here.

Barcelona’s strategic tourism plan 2020 can be found here.

City tourism: Operators update

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