Barcelona - Internet, Wifi and Phoning
Internet Access in BarcelonaInternet access is good in Barcelona.
Wifi is available in most cafés, restaurants, malls and hotels and also the Internet speed is OK. There are several cellular companies operating in Barcelona and they give you good wireless Internet access. You can buy a local Sim (with your passport) with a pre-paid plan and you will also receive roaming for most Europe (for the same price).
To get Internet in Barcelona you have basically 3 options :
1. With a Wi-Fi (or cable) Connection :Your hotel, restaurant or café may provide you with a Wi-Fi connection (or a cable connection). Most of the times the wifi is free if you consume a drink or you stay at the hotel, other times the business asks for a special fee.
2. With a Local Sim of one of the cell phone Networks
Internet access is important for you and you want to be independent
from the wifi networks in cafés and hotels, then buy a local SIM from one of
the local cellphone (cellular) networks and make a pre-paid
Roaming with a European SIM :
In Europe, by law, if you have a European SIM (a SIM card bought in a European country), then you can use your phone in most central Europe, with the same prices, like at home. It is also applicable for the pre-paid plans. So, for example, as a tourist, you can buy your SIM in Italy, make a pre-paid plan for one month, then after 1 week you arrive to Barcelona and continue to use it normally.
Your smartphone will connect automatically to one of the local cellular operators, usually the one with the strongest signal (sometimes, the operators have contracts between them, so you will be connected automatically to a specific operator).
From my experience, the roaming works OK, but sometimes there are delays in the connection. A local SIM is better, technically.
Don't forget to "turn on" the roaming option on your smartphone (configuration menu), otherwise it won't work.
Orange, Vodaphone and Movistar.
From my experience Orange is the most friendly to tourists, they have a good pre-paid plan.
- For Orange : One of the shops is near plaza de Cataluńa at "6, Paseo de Gracia" (it is a very large avenue).
- For all cellular operators : 7 floor of the big department store "El Corte Ingles" in plaza Cataluńa.
- There are many shops of all the cellular companies in central
Passport : Don't forget to bring your passport in order to buy the local SIM.
How much does it Cost to use Internet in Barcelona ?
Example of cellular Prices In 2017 :
- A new local SIM + Package of Internet of 5 GigaBytes : 20 Euros. See an explanation about the packages.
- Price of using wifi in a café or hotel : usually free.
- There are also some Internet cafés in Barcelona (with computers), they are called "Locutorio" (they have almost disappeared because people are using their smartphone).
One of the coffee is in plaza Sant Jaume (the municipality square) and there is nice view from the window, on the second floor.
How is the Internet speed in Barcelona ?Good. See this worldwide connection speed comparison.
- The total amount of data that you can get (the more you use
Internet, the more you consume data)
- The speed that you will get the data (How fast the Internet pages
be displayed on your device)
- For how long (days, hours) you will be entitled to get internet.
The Speed : As long as you are within your Data allowed in your package, you get it at the maximum speed that the company can deliver, and it is pretty fast. When you have finished your Data, they don't cut you, but they deliver the internet at a very low speed, one that may be enough to view a simple Internet page but not to make, comfortably, a voice call with Skype.
The Time : When you buy a pre-paid package, it fixes the amount of Data you can use and the total length of time that you can use it.
For example, lets say you have bought a package including 6 GigaBytes of Data and valid for 1 month. If one month has passed and you have used only 5 Gigas, you have lost 1 Giga.
On the other hand, if you have finished your 6 Gigas in just 1 week, you have 3 weeks left of Internet at low speed.
Note 1: If your package is finished and you have credit (money) in your pre-paid account, you may still use Internet but they can charge you by minute. Beware of that option, it may be very expensive. Protect yourself from this by disabling the Data Transfer on your smartphone.
Note 2: Don't get confused :
Megabits per second (Mbps) and Kilobits per second (Kbps) is about speed
Megabytes (MB) and Gigabytes are an amount of data.
If you need Cellular Internet on your Laptop or Tablet - Tethering
Your laptop can receive wifi, but unlike your smartphone, it usually
cannot get cellular reception. Thankfully it is possible (and very
easy) to transfer the internet of your smartphone towards your laptop,
it is called Tethering.
You can do it with a cable or wireless (wifi). The speed you get is like the one you get on your smartphone. Wireless is the easier option because with a cable you may miss a driver.
Here are the general steps:
1. Make sure you receive internet on your smartphone.
2. It depends on your smartphone, if it is an Apple or Android and which version, but generally you should go to the "settings" and search for a menu with a name like "tethering" or "hotspot" or "transfer of data".
3. You will find an option to make it wireless or with a cable. It is easier wireless. If you choose the cable option, then the one you use to charge your smartphone may be fine.
4. You will also find a menu in which you can see the wifi password (and change it if you want), you will need that password in order to connect your laptop to this wifi network.
Another option to get cellular Internet on your laptop is with an Aircard, but I don't see why you would do that, if you have a smartphone.
An Aircard is a small device (looks like a thick USB key) that can gets internet from a cellular company (wireless), it is connected to the laptop via a USB socket. Inside the Aircard, you should put the SIM of the cellular company you want to use. You can buy an Aircard from one of the cellular companies or on the free market (but then make sure it can work with any SIM and not just a certain cellular company).
- You should have a valid pre-paid or post-pay subscription with a
company, the same company of the SIM you inserted into your smartphone.
If you are using the SIM of your country make sure it includes
International use. If it is a pre-paid plan, check that your have
credit (with the special number the company
provides for that). Make sure the plan includes also Internet (usually
- Make sure the "allow cell phone data receiving"
is enabled on your
smartphone (this is different than wifi reception). You should find it
in the "settings" menu of your
- Make sure your smartphone is not in a "flight mode" (the mode that cuts all communications)
Phoning from BarcelonaLets assume that you have your own phoning device like a Smartphone (you are human, right ?).
Two options :
1. Via an Internet connection :If you are connected to the Internet, you can make phone calls with a software like Skype. A software like Skype lets you make free phone calls in case your destination has also skype or you can call to regular phones and mobiles for very low rates.
2. Via traditional cellular voice with a cellular company :You can buy a local SIM from one of the local cellular operators, choose a pre-paid plan, and then you can make international phone calls. You can also use a SIM from your country (roaming).
More on Barcelona, on this site :
- Where to Stay in Barcelona - Potential Zones for your Hotel.
- Frequently Asked Questions about Barcelona - Weather, Feasts, Costs...
- Barcelona Tour - How is Barcelona, get the feeling of the city.
- What to Visit in Barcelona - The Tourist Attractions and how to Arrive.
- Shopping Zones and Commercial Centers in Barcelona.
- Barcelona Nightlife - Where to Drink and Dance in Barcelona.
- Barcelona Transport - How to arrive from the airport, metro, buses, trains, outside town...
- Barcelona Cost - Typical prices in Barcelona, change money...
- Barcelona Internet - How and where
to buy a local SIm, cost...
- Vegetarian Restaurants and Fast-Food in
Barcelona - Eating Healthy.
- Barcelona Maps - Google maps with points of interest for tourists.
- Barcelona Photos - Nice photos of the city.
Useful Products for the Trip Hidden pocket to carry cash, padlock, Universal plug adaptor...
If you liked this tour of Barcelona, see also the tour of Bangkok, and especially the Khaosan Survival Guide (the Backpacker's famous street).
Tour of Tel-Aviv city, with a lot of Info and Maps.
Visit - What to Pack ? - the Visual List that will help you not to forget things before your trip.
If you need a simple and flexible Travel Insurance (Health), fill the dates and you will see the price.
See my Vegetarian page. Why be Vegetarian ? What to eat ?
See my Salsa Dance page. Salsa main Styles. Why Dance Salsa ?
Listen to basic Words In Spanish , Words in French , Words in Hebrew
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