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Visiting Barcelona as a tourist is really fantastic: the city is wonderful in many ways and is tailor-made for people. Often you leave in the morning and don't return to your hotel until the evening because there are so many things to do in the city! There is just one small detail that is often neglected in this idyllic world of holidays... the battery life of our beloved smartphone and the presence of the internet.
The Internet today has become our gateway to the world, especially when we are on holiday, and we need a map to help us find our way around. Thanks to the new European initiative called "Eurotariff", it will always be cheaper to use your phone service abroad, even to the point of not having any additional cost to the tariff we already have with our phone operator. This initiative was implemented as of 15th June 2017. Despite this, it is worth knowing which points in the city offer a free WiFi connection.
Let's start from the beginning. When we fly to Barcelona and land at El Prat Airport, there is always a moment when we need to notify the family of our arrival in the city. " Mum, I've arrived, all is well!" We have all written a similar message on a journey. If we do not have any data at that time, we can use the free connection at the airport, which is fully operational and secure. Then the suitcases arrive and we have to leave, we can go to the metro (from 2016, the L9 line stops at terminals 1 and 2), or we can take a taxi, or get in line to catch an Aerobus. This modern bus with frequent routes has a very good open wifi connection, which can be used by passengers during the whole trip. Very useful if you need to arrange a meeting with someone who is waiting for you in Barcelona!
Currently 38% of Barcelona's buses offer free WiFi for passengers. The last phase of implementation of the wireless network in the city's urban buses was completed at the end of March 2017, activating the service in the 1,003 urban vehicles at the time of the Mobile World Congress, an event that always attracts many people to the city. As for the metro, however, tourists will be pleased to know that all 14 metro stations already have WiFi connections, including the following: Universitat, Espanya, Arc de Triomf, Sagrera, Diagonal, Parallel, Catalunya, Sants, Sagrada Familia, Liceu, Passeig de Gracia, Lesseps.
In Barcelona you can find the Internet in the city and use the free connection made available by the Town Hall (Ajuntament). In fact, there are some " Wifi hot spots," which can be recognised by the small blue logo in the shape of a diamond with a white "W". This is where it is possible to connect to the public internet network, and the quality of the connection is not always the best. In fact, in most of the city's museums a connection is available to visitors and if we stop for a coffee at the bar or a delicious snack (it won't be easy to resist in Barcelona) you can choose a place with free WiFi inside, often marked with a sign with the wave symbol on the entrance door (there are many in the city!)
An alternative in the use of the maps in the smartphone is to arrive at the information point and the tourist offices (in Barcelona there are 5, the main one in the underground of Plaza Catalunya). But how to get to the points without a map? You could also download them in advance and save them on your phone in offline mode, but what happens if the battery of our smartphone runs out?
For some months now, the Barcelona metro has been offering another really useful service - charging points for smartphones on the L2 trains. In addition to the chargers already installed in December 2016 in four stations of this line, TMB in collaboration with the Catalan company Yupcharge, has decided to go further and install chargers in the trains' carriages. In the Barcelona metro, it is possible to charge your smartphone together with other people who have no battery and are in a position to make an emergency call. For example, there are four USB ports available for the chargers, and they are located at both ends of the train. The service is free!