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Bureaucracy in Barcelona

First steps in the new city

Opening a bank account is much simpler than you might think. Some universities in Spain and even companies partner with a bank and offer special conditions and advantages for their students and employees.

The documents you will be required to provide are:

  • Your ID card or passport
  • Proof of address
  • NIE (or temporary NIE), NIE is the Número de Identidad de Extranjero (Identity Number for Foreigners)
  • Proof of study (only students)

When living in Spain, it’s mandatory to have a NIE number to open a bank account, get a mobile phone contract or get a job.

You can apply for one at a Police Station and you’ll need to have an appointment. The police station for those who are EU residents is at Rambla Guipúscoa, 74, and for Non-EU residents, Passeig Sant Joan nº 189.

Remember to take a proof of residence and a government-issued ID with you when registering. You may be given a temporary NIE before getting a permanent one after a few months. It costs €9,64.

Spain has three main phone operators: Vodafone, Movistar and Orange. They all offer more or less the same and have similar prices.

The city of Barcelona and its metropolitan area are inside the Zone 1. With the same monthly pass that you get, you can use any kind of public transportation. If you want to go outside of the city, we suggest you check the zone of your destination to avoid any possible problems.

Important: Uber, Taxify or Kapten are not present in Barcelona and Cabify has strict rules, so make sure you check them out before getting one. FreeNow (MyTaxi) is available.

If you like to move around by bicycle, we recommend to check out Bicing, Barcelona’s bicycle sharing system .


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