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CURRENCY

Barcelona has always been more expensive than other European cities, however prices are still lower than those along the French border. A coffee or beer in a bar in general will cost round 1.50€ (standing) or 1.75€ (seated). A small glass of wine in a bar costs about 1.50€. Refreshments: from 2 to 3€ per bottle. Ham and cheese sandwiches cost from 5 to 8€. Prices vary widely depending on the area of the city, in particular, where the concentration of tourist sites is higher, prices tend to go up.

The price of taxi service in the city is around 5€ per km, though do bear in mind that during peak hours it may get more expensive. A single ride bus or underground ticket costs 2.15 €. A ticket to the cinema can reach up to 9€ and the daily press or international news between 4.50€ and 6.50€.

Note that if you are traveling with a currency other than Euro, depending on the shifting points, the exchange rate may vary due to commission fees. Therefore it is convenient to compare these beforehand; this also stands for the amount of money you are planning to travel with; the higher the amount the longer it might take for it to be available.

CREDIT CARDS

It is advisable before travelling to notify your credit card company, so that they are aware of a purchase limit and are warned if this is exceeded.

Register all your numbers, such as credit cards and telephone contact numbers, to call in case your cards are lost or stolen, and keep them in a safe place. Both MasterCard and Visa have general contact numbers that you can call (collect if you are abroad) in the event your card is lost.

If you plan to use your credit card for cash advances, you will have to apply for a PIN at least two weeks before travelling.

Programs of dynamic currency conversion are increasingly widespread. Vendors who use this method of payment should inform you if they want the charge fees to be paid in dollars or in local currency, even though they might not always do so. If you decide to proceed in such manner, it is advisable you ask if there is a fee or a commission for the transaction. With American Express, DCC, cards this is no option. Do please note that in Barcelona, many restaurants do not accept American Express.

Lost cards numbers: 

American Express (800/5284800 in the United States; 336/3931111 to collect from abroad www.americanexpress.com)

Diners Club (800/2346377 in the United States; 303/7991504 to collect from abroad www.dinersclub.com)

MasterCard (800/6278372 in the United States; 636/7227111 to collect from abroad www.mastercard.com)

Visa (800/8472911 in the United States; 301/9671096 collect from abroad. www.visa.com)

Toll free numbers:

American Express (900/814500.)

Diners Club (900/801331 24-hour toll-free within the US 514/8771577; Spanish customer service)

MasterCard (900/971231 or 900/974445).

Visa (900/991124 or 301/9671096.)

CURRENCY AND EXCHANGE

On the 1st of January 2002 the European currency unit, the euro (€) entered in circulation in Spain and other countries such as Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Portugal. The euro notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euro bills; coins are worth 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 euro cent, 1 euro and 2 euros.

Please note that not all stores accept 500€ notes for fear of counterfeits since they are not that frequently used.

If you need to know what the value of your currency is against the euro you can use any of the following websites:

Oanda (www.oanda.com)

XE (www.xe.com)


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