Finding a place to live
How do I find an apartment?
There are several ways to go about finding an apartment. The first would be to ask other students if they want to room with you or ask if they have any leads on an open room. Finding a place to stay using room sharing apps works, too. Badi, ShBarcelona and Spotahome are commonly used for short-term stays (1-6 months), and other sites, like Idealista, for longer stays (11 months or longer).
Need more information? Click here for our pdf full of information.
Cost of living
There are many things to take into consideration when moving to a new country, and your perspective of prices change depending on where you are coming from.
Compare the cost of living in your city to Barcelona on this page and clear a clear idea of what to expect. As a rule of thumb, a furnished room in a shared apartment will cost you around 500€, bills included, sometimes a bit more. If you are lucky, a bit less.
Make sure the apartment has an internet connection and consider the proximity to public transit options.
Getting around and settling in
How do I reach the school on my first day?
Metàfora is located at Carrer de Papin, 29, 08028 Barcelona. It is in the Sants neighborhood, a ten minute walk from the Sants Station and a 20 minute walk from Plaça de Espanya. The L1 (Red Line) or L5 (Blue Line) both have stops just five minutes walking distance from the school, as well as the V5 bus. Find the route that works best for you with Google Maps.
If you have not purchased a local SIM card yet and you are not sure if you have Mobile Data or Wi-Fi on the go, take a screenshot or print out the directions so you can get to school without internet connection.
Since it is the first day of school, it’s advisable to leave early in order to arrive on time. Everything will be new and finding your way around may take longer than you expect.
If you arrive a few days before school starts, you can also plan a rehearsal journey; this way you can familiarize yourself with the route and find your way at ease.
How do I get around the city?
There are many options for moving around the city. If you prefer taking in the sights on your daily commute, you might choose to walk or bike.
If you prefer to get somewhere quickly, the metro and bus lines will take you anywhere in the city as easily as walking or biking.
You can purchase tickets in most metro stops for one trip, ten trips, or an unlimited monthly pass. This same ticket is valid for both the metro and bus. Don’t forget to take advantage of personal discounts (senior, youth, disabled, family, subsidized).
Link to Barcelona’s public transport page (metro, bus, tram) and Metro map
To and From the Airport: the Aerobus costs 5,90€ and has several stops from Plaça Catalunya to Plaça de Espanya. A taxi fare should cost around 35€ to 40€ from Barcelona city center Plaça Catalunya to Barcelona airport including 2 suitcases. More information about taxis here.
Where can I buy…?
You may find that the essentials that you need aren’t where you would find them in your home country. Here is a list of typical essential items and where to find them:
Groceries and general personal products – shop for these in convenience stores such as Condis or Caprabo, or head to a bigger grocery store like Aldi, Lidl, Consum, Mercadona, Bon Preu.
Medicine, specific personal health products, pain killers, etc. – for most of these items you will need to visit a pharmacy or farmacia, which is indicated by a green plus sign and easily visible on almost any street.
Home goods – items like towels, sheets, kitchen accessories – for more economic products, go to any Bazar shop. Higher quality home goods can be found at IKEA, Primark, Leroy Merlin, and Corte Ingles.
What if there is an emergency?
To contact emergency services in Spain, call 112 from any telephone.
Spain has three emergency services: the police (policía), the fire brigade (cuerpo de bomberos), and the ambulance service (ambulancía). When you call 112, the operator diverts you to the relevant emergency service.
If you need to make a non-emergency doctor’s visit, check where the nearest CAP (Health Center) is in your neighborhood and call the number to make an appointment. If you have private insurance, find out (google search) where the insurance’s clinic is located and call ahead to make an appointment.
Metàfora has a list of English speaking doctors, if you need help.
Museums, Art Fairs and events in Barcelona
Barcelona is itself an art hub, home to several exciting art events. At Metàfora we try to include these as much as possible in our activities, encouraging students to feel part of the professional art scene, where they – no doubt – belong.
Major contemporary art museums and centers in Barcelona:
MACBA Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Barcelona – MACBA aims to encourage enjoyment and interest in art and contemporary culture through a transformative impact and aspiration among individuals and society. Metàfora’s all year (not short term or part time) get a free year card fro free visits.
CCCB – a multidisciplinary cultural center that deals with the key challenges of contemporary society through different languages and formats, with an extensive programme that includes major thematic exhibitions, series of conferences and literary meetups, film screenings and festivals.
Fundació Joan Miró – a center for the study and dissemination of Joan Miró’s work and contemporary art, the Fundació also organizes temporary exhibitions of 20th and 21st century artists as well as academic activities and projects in collaboration with other institutions and organizations.
Fundació Antoni Tàpies – created in 1984 by the artist Antoni Tàpies to promote the study and knowledge of modern and contemporary art. The foundation takes a plural, interdisciplinary approach and aims to set up cooperative ventures with experts in different fields of learning to contribute to a better understanding of contemporary art and culture.
- Fabra i Coats – Art Factory is a municipal facility that aims to cater to every stage of creative and knowledge-production processes—research, investigation, creation, production and exhibition—and ensure that they are introduced into the established dissemination networks and circuits.
La Virreina Centre de la Imatge – La Virreina Center de la Imatge is a public and free institution dedicated to contemporary art in Barcelona. Located in Les Rambles and as a passage towards the Raval district, in recent years it has focused on exploring the ideological and aesthetic uses of images.
This is a selection of yearly art events we recommend attending:
SWAB is Barcelona’s international art fair celebrated every year in October
Barcelona Gallery Weekend with free talks and walks takes place in September or October
Tallers Oberts BCN (Barcelona Open Studios) are held in May. This is an opportunity for students to network by visiting artist studios all over the city.
Making the most of Barcelona’s creative weave, Metàfora also adds its grain of sand to several art events:
A screening event as part of LOOP, Barcelona’s biggest video festival, usually showcasing advanced student’s video art and usually held in November
the Art Libris, an artist book festival, where Metàfora habitually participates with a stand in this event for art schools and universities organized by the design school EINA.
the Art Nou gallery festival for young artists under the guidance of an established visiting curator celebrated between June and September.