The Spanish can seem very abrupt, and use ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ minimally. They find the Anglo-Saxon method of constantly using these words insincere – in Spanish it’s all in the intonation and delivery. There is little sense of personal space here, but that can mean that, for example, people will greet and say goodbye to strangers when they enter or leave a lift.
The Articket is excellent value and allows entrance into the CCCB, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Fundació Joan Miró, MACBA, MNAC, and Museu Picasso. You can buy it at any of the participating venues. The Bus Turístic price includes a book of discount tickets for a range of attractions around town.
British Consulate: Avda Diagonal 477, 13º, Eixample (00 34 93 366 62 00; gov.uk//world/spain)
Emergency services: 112 – Fire, police or ambulance
Tourist office: Plaça Catalunya, Eixample (00 34 93 285 38 34; barcelonaturisme.com)
Telephone code: Dial 00 34 for Spain from abroad. There are area codes (93 for Barcelona) but they must always be included, even from within the Barcelona area
Time difference: +1 hour
Flight time: London to Barcelona takes around two hours
After stints living in Seville and Madrid, in 2001 Sally Davies settled in Barcelona’s El Born, a stone’s throw from Ciutadella Park and the Santa Caterina market, two of her favourite places anywhere.