Local services in Barcelona
Barcelona has an extensive infrastructure of local services which provide its residents with everything one would expect from a modern urban metropolis. In this section we will introduce some of the main services that are available for Barcelona residents and visitors. It may be useful to bookmark this page as you´ll find all the essential Barcelona emergency numbers, including the Barcelona police, which hopefully you won´t be needing but which are good to have easy access to! Another useful contact could be the number of your embassy or consulate in Barcelona.
Bureaucratic paperwork is one of the first things that needs to be sorted when you arrive in Barcelona. This includes an NIE number (número de identidad para extranjeros, or foreigners´ identity number), and a residency permit. If you are looking for work in Barcelona or have already found employment you´ll also need a social security number. There is a good public medical service available, and everyone is entitled to sign up for free medical care at their nearest CAP (centre de atención primaria, or primary healthcare centre). In case of emergency, or for visitors that need immediate medical attention you are advised to go straight to the A&E section of the nearest hospital. Three of Barcelona´s main hospitals are the Hospital del Mar, on the Barcelona seafront, the Hospital de Sant Pau, whose magnificent modernist building also doubles up as a popular tourist attraction, and the Hospital Clinic which is also in the example.
Barcelona is renowned for being a very environmentally conscious city, and you´ll be sure to notice its many coloured recycling containers, for glass, plastics, paper and organic waste. Barcelona residents might also like to locate their nearest local library and post office.
If you´re just visiting and come from outside Europe you might need to find a currency exchange. There are several around the Ramblas and Plaça Catalunya. Three of the main Barcelona tourist information points are also located in this tourist epicentre: there is one below Pl. Catalunya, another in Palau de la Virreina which is half way down the Ramblas on the right, and a third in Palau Robert, which is on Passeig de Gracia next to Diagonal metro.