Cash and currency exchange
If you are used to debit and credit cards, you are fine in Barcelona, as cards are accepted practically everywhere. Although cash is not the most vital thing to have here, it is a good idea to have some on hand upon arrival to pay for taxi to reach your hotel or apartment. A taxi ride from the airport to the center of Barcelona typically costs about 27-30 euros.
If your flight has not arrived too late in the evening, you can exchange money right at the airport, but prepare yourself for a draconian commission charge, the amount of which is often difficult to calculate until the transaction is finalized. The same goes to currency exchange offices on La Rambla.
The most convenient and money-saving option is to have your debit or credit card with you in Barcelona and use it to withdraw money from ATMs with minimal charges.
Credit cards are accepted in all stores, restaurants, museums, at rail stations and subway stops. You may be asked to show a photo ID that certifies that the card belongs to you, but that does not happen often. We recommend to make a copy of your passport pages and carry it with you instead of the actual document. Barcelona is a permanently festive city in which it is too easy to relax and to lose sight of your belongings.
You can round up the taxi charge and tip your taxi driver some change. He will be grateful, although it is completely normal not to tip cabbies at all. In restaurants and cafes it is customary to tip 1-2 euros for a 30-50 euro dinner. Contrary to the Canadian and American tipping mores, 15% of the sum of the bill is not required.
Spain is not an expensive country to live in (if, of course, you are not investing into a villa in Costa del Sol). Dinner at a restaurant on Passeig de GrГ cia will cost you 40-45 euros on average, a taxi ride within central Barcelona could be 9-10 euros. If you go grocery shopping and spend 30 euros, you will not have to leave your apartment for a few days. 500 euros worth of clothes will chock-full your luggage with stylish garments. In spite of all these low prices, Spanish groceries and services are of outstanding quality.