Living in Barcelona

Why Barcelona?

Why choose Barcelona for your undergraduate, postgraduate or master’s degree? Barcelona is an innovative and socially inclusive city with an open spirit. It’s an easy city for people looking to start a new project, build a new company, or dive into a lifestyle with a Mediterranean flavour.

Design is part of Barcelona’s DNA; the discipline permeates its urban spaces, in its public facilities (Design Hub), museums (Design Museum), art galleries, associations (FAD, BcD, etc.), exhibition halls and showrooms, as well as restaurants, bookstores, and establishments with their own unique identity. The city is a real magnet for creatives and designers from all over the world, who are drawn by the latest trends.

Elisava is located on La Rambla, in the heart of Barcelona, just a short stroll from the Mediterranean Sea, in one of the most emblematic parts of the city, recognized internationally for its historical and cultural relevance, and also for its vitality. La Rambla, the Gothic Quarter, buildings, museums, shops and many of the city’s sights are accessible on foot from the university.

Cosmopolitan, urban, with internationally recognized architecture, culture and gastronomy, fantastic quality of life… it’s a vibrant city. This fact is acknowledged and admired from afar: the European Commission recently ranked Barcelona in third place in the ranking of cultural and creative cities in a continental study.

Barcelona is a point of convergence in a fertile technological ecosystem of small companies and start-ups, with great connections with other key cities. It’s a dynamic city; a city of many beginnings. Because, above all, Barcelona is a city of futures.

Arc de Triomphe
Monument to Columbus
Visiting Barcelona

If you come to study at Elisava and you need a place to live, the university has agreements with different residence halls and accommodation services that offer special conditions.

Check out the list of residences
What to do in Barcelona? Museums and cultural institutions

Every year, more than 200 different exhibitions (permanent and travelling) are organized by museums, civic centres and architectural monuments. If you’re an art fan, you can visit a different exhibition every day for a year without seeing the same thing once.

Creation factories and creative spaces

Throughout the city’s history, design, technology, music and the arts have taken root to create a unique immersive laboratory open to anyone looking to build their skills in a creative environment. The city’s industrial tradition has been transformed, and it has become a hub for creativity. Barcelona turned its focus from manufacturing to creation, giving rise to new uses for old spaces.

A hub for creativity, entrepreneurship and technology

Barcelona is well known as the headquarters for a large international cohort of technology companies and start-ups.

Shopping, design and inspiration

Like every big European city, Barcelona has a healthy shopping tradition. Passeig de Gràcia, opened in 1827, is the main shopping thoroughfare with all the luxury brands. The different neighbourhoods offer their own shopping experiences with markets, pop-ups, and traditional stores. It would be impossible to list all the options!

Restaurants, cafés and prix fixe places

Barcelona has a great selection of restaurants, for all tastes and all budgets. In addition to its more traditional offer, the city is home to award-winning chefs from around the world, like Ferran Adrià, Carme Ruscalleda and Sergi Arola. Barcelona is a city that celebrates 100% Mediterranean gastronomy. In the kitchen, simplicity rules. The ingredients come first, although they are also pushed to the limits through new ideas from young chefs.

Time for a vermouth

Vermouth and wine bars. Vermouth isn’t just a drink, it’s a communal Sunday celebration. The tradition has been revived by many bars and wine shops in Barcelona, where you can enjoy meeting up with friends, family and neighbours.

Parties and festivals

In Barcelona you can go out somewhere new every night. If you love festivals, you should know that Barcelona has more than 200. Festivals of all kinds, in every field of interest, all year round. We’d bet you can find a different festival every weekend.

Green Barcelona, sport in the city

Thanks to its great weather and its ideal size, Barcelona is the perfect place to practice a sport, in one of its many outdoor spaces. It’s an urban parkland full of places for playing all kinds of sports.

Getting out of town

Barcelona is many cities in one. The historic neighbourhoods have their usual splendour, the beaches and surrounding mountains offer endless charms, but the possibilities don’t end there. The area around the city is also perfect for weekend getaways, day trips or spur-of-the-moment adventures.

Transport Metro

Barcelona has 12 underground lines that will take you to practically every corner of the city, at a frequency of about 3 minutes during the week. TMB metro passes are also valid on the bus, tram and NitBus networks, on the FGC and on Renfe trains (Zone 1).

Check out the metro map here.

There are different types of tickets for purchase: the T-usual is valid for 10 trips on any of the network transports; the T-casual is a transport pass valid for unlimited travel during one month; if you are under 25, you can get a T-jove pass valid for 3 months. If you have any questions, or would like more information on fares or timetables, check out the TMB website.

City buses and NitBus

Barcelona’s bus fleet includes more than 100 lines to service every corner of the city. All TMB buses are adapted for people with reduced mobility, and Barcelona’s bus service enjoys uninterrupted circulation thanks to the night bus service (NitBus).

Check out the map of bus lines here.

Bicing and electric Bicing

Bicing is Barcelona’s bicyle sharing service (both regular and electric). A simple, practical, sustainable service that you can use wherever and whenever you want. The first 30 minutes of each journey are included in the annual subscription fee. After that, you will pay a few cents depending on the time you use the bicycles, with a maximum of two hours each way.


If you aren’t familiar with the concept of motosharing, this service offers the possibility of renting an electric motorcycle for your transport needs, paying only for the minutes you use it. You’ll find a helmet inside the motorcycle’s storage compartment, which will open when you activate it. Each motosharing company has a mobile application that lets you locate the nearest motorcycle, reserve it and use it to go wherever you want. The motosharing services in Barcelona include Yego, eCooltra, Avanza, SEAT, and MÓtosharing, among others.

Other transport

In addition to the metro and the bus, the city has six tram lines, funiculars, bus stations and long-distance trains, a high frequency of taxis and an international airport.

Public transport in Barcelona
MNAC – National Museum of Art of Catalonia
MACBA – Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona
Elisava, located in La Rambla