Online | The
offical Barcelona sites
Local authority Barcelona site Top 10 Barcelona site
The Bcn.es site is the official local authority (Ajuntament
de Barcelona) site. It regularly wins prizes as one of the best,
nay, the best in Spain. Now, that's not saying a lot, it must be
said, but bcn.es does have a vast amount on it, if you are prepared
to do a lot of patient searching.
Among other things, it has a good section on getting
and a good one on education.
For tourist information, the new Barcelona
Tourist Board site
is probably a better bet, but the "News" and "Agenda" sections
on the Bcn.es home page are also excellent sources of what's on now .
•Top recommendation #1: the interactive
street map (note that you
have to scroll off the first screen in order to be able to enter
the street name you are looking for).
•Top recommendation #2: Use the search box and the site map rather
than the navigation in order to find out what's really there.
•Score: First time visitor 8/10; Long-term resident 8/10
English, Spanish, Catalan
•We liked: The "Agenda" on the
home page as a good source of what's on in Barcelona
•Not so hot:
Familiarising yourself with what is actually there
Autonomous government, Generalitat site
The official Generalitat (the autonomous Government of Catalonia)
website says it is "is a point of reference for the people
of Catalonia and around the world who want to know more about the
official bodies, the people and the actions which go together to
make [it] up".
It also reckons, "what's more", that you can "find
practical information, easily and quickly [ahem!], about living
here or getting to know our country from a political, social or
The main sections include Generalitat, Catalonia, Living, Working,
Business and Studying and it also has links to the various local
government departments and their websites. This is your site if
you're looking for them.
Gencat.net has a ton of stuff on it - though for a first time
visitor to Barcelona annoyingly little of it is in English. Like, "I'm
interested in learning Catalan". "Ok, here's a ton of
stuff - you speak Catalan, right?" "No, actually".
Now is that dumb or what?
•Top recommendation: Use the site map if you want to stand any
chance of finding anything
•Score: First time visitor 3/10; Long-term resident 5/10
•We liked: "Advices
for gathering and eating wild mushrooms"
•Not so hot: Too much stuff, too hard to find.
Open Administration of Catalonia
Cat365 is, it says on its home page, "the fast track for municipal
procedures" and invites you to "get to know it". Hm, sounds interesting...
"What to do when..." That sounds interesting, too.
Perhaps it's hypocritical of us here at monolingual Barcelona
Online to slag them off when it then says "The page requested
is available in the following languages: Catalan"; but we think
a really "open" administration should give you a choice of
languages, and that happens with annoying frequency on this site.
And it would be a bit more practical, too. "I've just had my wallet
nicked..." Let's see: "Per fer més aclaridor aquest
procés, us proposem..." Sorry?
The main sections are "Your life", "Assistance
and Subsidies", "Procedures
and Handling", "Citizen Involvement", "Citizen
Services" (including things like Health and Education), "Business".
The site does include useful stuff like
"Requirement to benefit from the health service" but... you get the idea, huh?
The site also has information on Catalan
•Top recommendation: Learn Catalan (no, actually, we mean
that seriously; if you want to really belong in Barcelona, you're
going to have to make the effort)
•Score: First time visitor 1/10; Long-term resident 1.5/10
•Languages: English, Spanish, Catalan and Aranes (spoken
in the lovely Vall d'Aran in the Pyrenees)
•We liked: Realising how easy Catalan is, particularly if you
start with some knowledge of Spanish and French
•Not so hot: The beastly rules for pronouns
Traffic and transport site
Generalitat maintains, among others a "mobility
and traffic" site. It has information on public transport, roads
(including weather and traffic reports), other means of transport
(including bikes) and a fair number of useful links to other sites.
One link people are always asking for: road
maps showing places
•Top recommendation: A lot of patience - there's is stuff
here that is of interest if you trawl for it, like the routes (walking,
bike...) from the Palau Robert.
•Score: First time visitor 1/10; Long-term resident 4/10
•Languages: Spanish, Catalan
•We liked: The mountain bike routes we eventually got to
•Not so hot: 304 broken links (we counted
Pssst! About those wild mushrooms...
Look, they're the non-hallucinatory kind, and it's a
pecularly Catalan autumn tradition to nip off into the woods to
pick them... Absolutely delicious cooked with butifarra sausage.
Pssst! Have you got a guide?
Yes, here's a guide in Spanish.