We hope your stay in Barcelona will be an extraordinary experience! To help you in the process of moving here, we would like to give you some practical advice.
Where are the classes held and how would I get there?
Classes will be held in the department of English Philology, which is located in the heart of the city and can be reached by metro (Universitat stop), by bus and by Renfe -the national rail operator- (stop Passeig de Gracia or Plaza Catalunya). You find more information on public transport at the following links:
There is also a bike sharing service called BiCing, which is convenient if you do not want to buy a bike because you are only staying for one year. This is the website of BiCing: https://www.bicing.cat/es/
In which neighborhood should I find a place to live?
If you want to live near Universitat, you will pay about 400 euros per month for a single room because it is in a residential area (Eixample), very close to the touristic areas (Gòtic, Passeig de Gràcia) with many facilities, and it is well connected to other places of interest. Outside the most central area, a single room can cost between 200 euros, if it is small and expenses are excluded, and 300/350 for a bigger and more comfortable room. Whether you decide to live in a small village outside the main city or near the city center, keep in mind that the public transportation is very efficient and there are many options to travel around Barcelona.
When should I start looking for a room?
It is advisable to start looking for accommodation in August, two or three weeks in advance, then contact the owners and come for a short visit to see a few rooms, so that you will be able to move in at the beginning of September. If you start searching earlier, the rooms might not have been advertised yet, and if you start later you will miss the best opportunities, because there is a very strong demand for rental accommodation in Barcelona. Check out this webpage for some statistical data on room rentals and prices in Spain: http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2016/04/07/room-rentals-demand-strong-spanish-cities/
If you can’t see the room before flying to Barcelona because, for example, you live in another continent, remember to check if rooms have a window on the street (habitación exterior) or only on the internal courtyard/on another room of the house (habitación interior).
Don’t worry if you still haven’t got a room when you get here, it’s common to stay in a hostel searching for accommodation. Don’t forget to check boards at university and ask your new friends, don’t be shy because there is always someone looking for new flatmates!
Do I need to speak Catalan/Spanish to find a good place?
It is not strictly necessary to speak Spanish or Catalan, but before starting your search, you should become familiar with some keywords (provided here in Spanish):
alquilar = to rent
alquiler = rent (noun)
habitación = room
piso = flat
calle/carrer = street
disponible a partir del = available from (date/price)
para chicas = for girls only
para estudiante = for student
para trabajador = for worker
fianza = deposit
estancia mínima = minimum stay
gastos (o consumos) incluidos = all bills included in the rent (gas, electricity…)
gastos excluidos = only rent, other bills excluded
recibo = receipt.
We know it’s hard to ask uncomfortable questions, even to people in Barcelona who are very friendly and open, but before paying the rent don’t feel sorry about double checking the expenses (ask: “gastos incluidos?”), the deposit required (fianza) and the minimum stay (estancia mínima).
Also, it’s good practice to ask for a receipt (recibo) for the deposit with name and document number of the owner.
How will I know I'm getting a good deal?
Once you have selected a few rooms, research it by photo and/or by address on google and in other accommodation websites, to check that the owner is offering you her lowest price. It is common to negotiate, but this might require a certain proficiency in Spanish and knowledge of the average price in the area where the flat is located.
I'm ready to sign a contract. How do I finalize everything?
When making a final decision, remember that most landlords will NOT sign a contract, and even though it is your right to renounce to a room if you don’t feel safe about giving your money to a stranger, it might be hard to find a person that gives you more guarantees. If you really like a room, take your time to think about it but then grab it by giving them the deposit as soon as possible, because it is likely that they will be showing the flat to other people on the same day of your viewing.
On this link, you'll find information about a residence hall very close to the university, which is an interesting option both for temporary or more permanent accommodation:
The following websites let you browse rooms by preferences (non-smoking/no pets allowed…):
Here are some links to agencies especially for students looking for housing:
http://www.ub.edu/sae/serveis/allotjament/residencies-privades.html (a list of agencies that have an agreement with the UB)
You can check the UB website for more resources:
There are residence halls, but they must be reserved in April. More information is here: