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First week in Barcelona as a student

Are you a student and are you going to study in Barcelona, then you should definitely read this blog! We will walk you through your first week Barcelona with necessary tips and tricks that you don’t want to miss. So that you can not only visit the most beautiful places in the city, but also meet other students.

Where to stay as student?

If you are looking for a student flat in Barcelona the first step is to decide in which neighbourhood the flat should be. This is a very important decision because the neighbourhood will make your stay in Barcelona and the way of life you will have during your stay.

The neighbourhoods are very divers, so you must find a place that suits your personality. Some places are very quiet, for the ones who like peace, but there are also neighbourhoods that are very touristic and busy, for the ones who love the tourist atmosphere.

We have listed a number of neighbourhoods for you as a student.

  • Gràcia neighbourhood

This is the ideal neighbourhood for the student who likes a sociable and busy environment. It is an ideal environment to meet up with friends, to go out or to go to the festivals that are organized there. In addition, there is a great cultural atmosphere in this place.

  • Les Corts neighbourhood

This neighbourhood is for the students who like peace and is very loved by student because it is very close to the campuses of Autonome Universiteit van Barcelona and Technische Universiteit van Catalonië. There is a good connection to the center and there are many facilities for students close by.

When looking for a flat, the next important point to consider is your budget. For example, you can share a flat with other students or stay at a university residence.  

How to move around in Barcelona?

Depending on the neighbourhood you are staying in and your wishes during your stay, you will have to travel through Barcelona to go to school, to cultural activities or beautiful sights. There are two easy and inexpensive ways to travel that we would recommend.

  • Biking system

There are bicycles throughout the city that you can rent for a low amount. You must buy a subscriber card to use it. 


  • Public transport

As a student, public transport is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to travel. The subway can be very confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it you can travel anywhere. You can take out a monthly subscription or a 10-ride card, depending on the amount you must travel.

What and when to eat?

Spaniards love good food. They eat no less than 5 times a day and very extensively. Something we are not used to here in the Netherlands. That is why we have listed a few facts for you that you should know about the eating habits in Spain.

  • They eat hot twice a day
  • They have lunch between 14:00 and 15:30 (important meal)
  • Lunch is eaten with a starter, main and dessert
  • After 21:00 they only start with dinner, this is an easier meal.

Now that you have learned a little more about the eating habits, we have here several Spanish dishes for you that you should eat.

  • Churros! Very tasty to take as a snack
  • Paella with fish (also possible with meat nowadays)
  • Escalivada, grilled vegetable dish with olive oil
  • All tapas dishes! Spain is certainly the land of tapas 😊

Of course Spain has many more tasty dishes that you should not miss during your stay.

What and when to eat

Activities and must sees  

If you are staying in Barcelona for your studies, this is of course also a good time to explore all of Barcelona. Barcelona has many beautiful cultural places that you should visit, but there are also many things that are just super fun to do. We have therefore selected the best cultural and fun activities for you based on our experiences and experiences of other students, which you should have been to during your stay.

The best cultural activities

Visiting cultural places is of course great fun, but we know that you as a student prefer to spend as little money as possible on them. We have therefore selected only free cultural activities in Barcelona for you, so that you can save money for a nice drink in favourite cafe in Barcelona with your fellow students.

  • From Thursday to Sunday evening, you can enjoy spectacular shows with light and music at the fountains of Montjuïc for free.
  • Visit the beautiful and famous Plaça Reial square (near Las Ramblas) in Barcelona. On the square you will find old buildings, slender palm trees and modernist lamp posts. In the middle of the square, you will find a beautiful fountain.
  • The Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia is a fine example of a cathedral with Gothic architecture and is one of the few cathedrals to visit for free, a real must see!
  • Do you want to enjoy a nice view? Then visit Turó de la Rovira, here you have a 360-degree view of the city. And especially from Bateria antiaèria del Turó de la Rovira, also known as the Bunkers of Carmel.

Fun activities for students

As a student you also want to have fun and luckily there are many great things to do in Barcelona. We have chosen the best activities from our own experiences, which we think you should have done without a doubt.

  • Go with your friends to Tibidabo, a super fun amusement park in Barcelona.
  • Visit the rooftop bar at Hotel Condes to have a drink with your fellow students and friends and enjoy the beautiful view of the city.
  • You never have enough outfits, so if you fancy a day of shopping then Passeig de Gracia is the place to be. You will have a fun day out and will undoubtedly return with many nice outfits.
  • And finally, we recommend visiting one of the many hidden hotspots in Barcelona to take beautiful Instagram photos. To see the most beautiful and unique hidden hotspots click here.

How to meet other students?

When you come to Barcelona as a student, you are naturally curious about the stories of other students who have been studying in Barcelona for some time. Where do students meet? What are the nice places? And which cafes are a must have? We will go through these questions with you!

It is quite difficult to just look for other students in a foreign city. You don’t know where they stay or often go and what events they attend. Fortunately, we have a super handy app for this! The Meetup App brings students from different countries together. This way you can meet with them but also see which events they organize. Ideal for getting to know each other better, but especially for sharing experiences and tips.

After a long study day, you want nothing more than to have a nice meal or drink in one of the student cafes in Barcelona. Now let’s put together a handy list of where to find these cafes!

  • The Lime House: The pleasant prices surprise many students. I have also been here myself and I recommend one of the cocktails!

Location: Metro L4 Jaume I or Arc de Triomf L1
Carders 31
08003 Barcelona

  • Crêps al Born: Especially among young people, this is a hip café where you can not only eat the most delicious crêpes but also have a drink in the evening.

Location: Metro Barceloneta L4
Paseo de Born 12
08003 Barcelona

  • L’Ovella Negra: Place to be! Students like to come here not only for the cheap price, but also because activities are often organized in the evenings. A bar with a relaxed atmosphere and popular for real nightlife.

Location: Metro Bogatell L4
Carrer de Zamora 78
08012 Barcelona

  • Bonita Bar: During the day you can enjoy a tapas or lunch here after a day at the beach. But also, nice to drink a cocktail later in the evening.

Location: Metro Barceloneta L4
Carrer I’Amirall Churruca 6
08003 Barcelona

Curious about more student cafes? In the Meetup App you can see which cafes students recommend more.

The Meetup App can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google Play.

The student benefits in Barcelona

As a student you naturally want to make optimal use of all the advantages that studying in Barcelona offers. By using your university ID card you get discounts at many places such as cafes, restaurants and shops. Ideal to request this during your studies!

During my stay in Barcelona, I also bought an ISIC card in addition to my university ID. ISIC stands for “International Student Identity Card”. This card can be purchased for €11,- and gives you a discount on shopping, restaurants, but also travel by public transport. In Spain the ISIC card is recognized as an ID card. This makes it easy to show your documents such as passport.

Don’t panic if you lose your ISIC card. You can also download the ISIC app on your phone. This way you have your ISIC card with you digitally and it is clear in 1 overview at which shops or restaurants you receive a discount.

After you have been officially registered at your chosen university in Barcelona, ​​you can apply for the ISIC card online at www.isic.org. The card will arrive by post within a few days so that you can immediately take advantage of your student discount.

The ISIC app can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google Play.


In this blog, we guided you through your first week in Barcelona as a student. We have listed the most important details for you.

In the first instance it is important to look in which neighborhood you want to stay, 2 attractive neighborhoods for students are: Gràcia neighborhood and Les Corts neighborhood. To then discover the city you need a means of transport. As a student, public transport and the biking system is most attractive for traveling around to school or other cultural activities such as visiting the Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia or fun activities such as shopping at Passeig de Gracia, which you can plan yourself.

During your stay you will also have to get used to eating in the city, there are very different customs when it comes to food and you should definitely try Spanish meals such as Churros, Pealla and Tapas.

If you have already explored all that a bit, it is time to get to know other students, this can be super easy via The Meetup App or you can visit one of the student cafes.

Finally, there are a number of useful benefits for students that you should definitely use, such as discounts on restaurants, travel and shopping that you get with a university ID card.


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