Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain after Madrid. It is located on the Mediterranean Sea, about 120 kilometers south of the Pyrenees and the border to France. Within the city area live about 1.62 million people. This makes Barcelona the eleventh largest municipality in the European Union, and the second most densely populated megacity in Europe after Paris.
The first human settlements in Barcelona date back to Neolithic times. The city itself was founded by the Romans who set up a colony called Barcino at the end of the 1st century BC.
For over 200 years, Barcelona was under Muslim rule, and, following the Christian reconquest, it became a county of the Carolingian Empire and one of the main residences of the court of the Crown of Aragon.
From the 15th to 18th centuries Barcelona entered a period of decline, while it struggled to maintain its economic and political independence. This struggle ended in 1714, when the city fell to the Bourbon troops and Catalonia’s and Catalans’ rights and privileges were suppressed.
The 20th century ushered in widespread urban renewal throughout Barcelona city, culminating in its landmark Eixample district, which showcases some of Barcelona’s most distinctive Catalan art-nouveau, or modernista, buildings. The Catalan Antoni Gaudí, one of the most eminent architects, designed buildings such as the Casa Milà, the Casa Batlló and the Sagrada Família church, which have become world-famous landmarks.
The freedoms achieved during this period were severely restricted during the Civil War in 1936 and the subsequent dictatorship. With the reinstatement of democracy in 1978, Barcelonasociety regained its economic strength and the Catalan language was restored. The city’s hosting of the 1992 Olympic Games gave fresh impetus to Barcelona’s potential and reaffirmed its status as a major metropolis.
In 2004, the Forum of Cultures reclaimed industrial zones to convert them into residential districts. An example of the renewed vigor with which Barcelona is looking towards the 21st century
In a ranking of cities according to their quality of life in 2018, Barcelona ranked 43rd out of 231 cities studied worldwide. According to the Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report 2020, Barcelona holds a European top position in terms of value for money for luxurious living.
Getting to Barcelona
Barcelona Airport – El Prat is the main airport in Barcelona, located 16 km southwest from the city center, and the main airport of Catalonia. Barcelona Airport features high-tech processing, high international security standards, world-class duty-free shopping, a number of fast casual dining restaurants, and all the regular amenities such as mobile phone kiosks and forex exchange outlets. For more information:
Barcelona Time is in the Central European Time Zone. Central European Standard Time (CET) is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).
Spain is in the Eurozone and the euro (EUR/€) is its official currency. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 2pm) and at the “bureaux de change” also open every day in Barcelona city center.
Health and Medical Services
Spain presents no special health risks, meaning you do not have to get inoculated before going to Barcelona. Commercial processing, handling, cooking, and serving foods obey very strict Spanish laws, which makes the food safe for consumption. The quality of the food is excellent, and Barcelona has some of the top restaurants in the world. The tap water is also treated and therefore, drinkable. The quality of the Spanish healthcare system is very good, with professionals that will treat you with care and attention. Some of the doctors and staff in the clinics and hospitals speak English, but itis always better to have a couple of Spanish medical terms memorized or written down, just in case you have difficulty communicating what you are feeling. Barcelona benefits from a warm sunny climate and wearing sunscreen and a hat whenever outdoors during the day is recommended, particularly between 10am and 4pm.
Catalonia has its own language: Catalan. Most of the people who live in Barcelona are bilingual and speak Catalan and Spanish, which is also an official language. Street names and most road and transport signs are in Catalan. Many restaurants, especially those in the city centre, have menus in several languages. Many people from Barcelona understand English and French. Here are some of the most frequent Catalan expressions translated into Spanish, English and French, which will help you get around the city. Look up a word or expression: Pdf vocabulary list.
Although Barcelona is sometimes windy, its protective semicircle of mountains shields it from the harsh, cold winds that blow out of the north and west. The average annual temperature is 16 °C; January is the coldest month, averaging 9 °C, and August is the hottest, at 24 °C. Precipitation amounts to about 600 mm per year. Average temperature in May: max. 24 °C – min. 16 °C. Average days of rain in May: 2 days.
In Spain, the standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. The power plugs and sockets are of type F (two round pin plug: also known as “Schuko”). This socket also works with plug C and plug E. Most Europeans do not need to buy an adapter plug for Spain. Swiss and US need an adapter.
For more information
A selection of hotel room accommodation of various types and categories have been negotiated at special rates and pre-booked for Delegates attending the ISF World Seed Congress 2021.
Hotel reservations will be handled by our Logistics Team through an online reservation portal dedicated to accommodation bookings for the ISF World Seed Congress 2021 registered participants. Please note that the link to access the accommodation platform is on page 2 of the final confirmation participants received once finalised.
Hotel reservations made by non-registered participants will be cancelled without further notice.
Hotel reservations unpaid by participants will be cancelled withour further notice.
Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis upon availability. You may therefore proceed with your hotel reservation only after your Congress registration is confirmed.
Cancellation and booking changes policy for: Accommodation
Following your registration at the Congress you will receive a confirmation containing a link to access all information about cancellation policies for Accommodation.
Transfers from/to the airport
There are no Congress organized transfers from/to the airport. Therefore, you may take a taxi, Uber or use the public transportation, at your own expense.
Taxis are available at Barcelona – El Prat airport, as well as throughout the city center. More information are available: www.taxi.amb.cat.
Barcelona Aerobús (A1 and A2) are also available. For further information about the Barcelona Aerobús: Tel. +34 902 100 104. You can buy tickets at VisitBarcelona Tickets.
There are also night bus (N17 and N16) that operate from Ronda Universitat / Plaça Catalunya to Barcelona Airport T1 and T2, stopping at Pl. d’Espanya. Further information about the night bus service to Barcelona Airport is available on the website: www.ambmobilitat.cat.
Barcelona has several public transportation.
Metro and FGC : Barcelona currently has eight metro lines and it also has an urban and metropolitan rail network the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat (FGC) which cover a huge part of the city. For further information about Barcelona’s metro and rail services: Metro: Tel. +34 902 075 027 | www.tmb.cat / FGC: Tel. 012 | www.fgc.cat
Tram: The Tram route provides easy access to Barcelona’s major industrial areas, shopping centres and residential zones. There are 2 Tram lines in Barcelona: the Trambaix (T1, T2, T3) and The Trambesòs (T4, T5, T6). For further information about Tram services: Tel. + 34 900 701 181 | www.tram.cat
Bus: Barcelona has a transport fleet of more than 1000 buses which operate on over 100 routes and connect all the city’s districts and the metropolitan area. For further information about Barcelona’s bus network: Tel. +34 902 075 027 | www.tmb.cat
Transport passes can be used on the metro, Barcelona’s tram, city-centre lines of the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat (FGC).
Transfers from/to Hotels – Congress venue
There are no Congress organized transfers from/to Hotels and Congress venue.
The Palau de Congressos de Catalunya is located on the prestigious Avenida Diagonal of Barcelona with a maximum of 30 minutes by public transportation.
Not available this year in Barcelona.
Entry Regulations and Visa application
Requirements for visitor’s visas differ from country to country. Please visit the website of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get information on entry and visa requirements: http://www.exteriores.gob.es/
Please note that only finalised participants will be able to require for the invitation letter.