Tech can help make your study abroad experience a bit smoother and open up some opportunities you may not have discovered without it. Touching on language learning, exploration, food, fitness and money, here are 10 apps we recommend downloading before you study abroad in Barcelona.
One of the best (and free!) language learning apps that exists right now, Duolingo can teach you Spanish or Catalan (or both) in daily bite-size lessons. In fact, a study has shown that 34 hours of Duolingo is equal to one university semester of a language course! Download this one before you travel to give yourself a basic language foundation if you don’t already have one and supplement your learning with actual classes and practice speaking with locals while you’re in Spain.
Whether you’re looking for the quickest way to get from the airport to CAPA, plotting a walking route that will take you between different examples of Gaudí architecture or wondering whether it’s quicker to take a bus or the metro to wherever your destination may be, Citymapper has you covered. This brilliant app has been expanding its reach to different cities across the globe, taking the complication out of navigation and making places like Barcelona more accessible and easier to explore.
This is the official app from Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona and will give you access to operating hours for public transportation, live departure information and alerts for your journey if you’re using the bus or metro routes. Like Citymapper, it can help you plan your route in advance and access maps. When you download it, the app will kindly set the language to match what you have set on your phone.
4. THE FORK
Out and about in Barcelona and hungry but not sure where to go? Enter The Fork. This app will find your ideal restaurant based on your location and let you read TripAdvisor reviews once it filters through your options. You can browse the most-booked restaurants in Barcelona or the ones that currently have the best deals. Users also have access to exclusive offers.
5. BCN CORRE
Planning to keep up with your daily run while you’re studying abroad? BCN Corre is your friend. The title means “Barcelona Runs” and it’s all about helping you to map out and explore new running routes throughout the city. It will give you details on everything from run difficulty to pollution and pollen levels and will even teach you about different points of interest along the way.
6. JITT BARCELONA SMART CITY GUIDE
JiTT is your own personal tour guide in Barcelona. Select how many hours or days you have available and it will create a route for you. Pop on your headphones and listen to some interesting stories along the way. It will take into account opening times for recommended places to visit and where you want your journey to end. If you’ve already seen some of the sights or aren’t interested, delete them from the route or add a new place that you’d like the tour to incorporate. Bonus: It works without wi-fi so you can save your data.
7. BCN PAISATGE
This is not your ordinary city guide app. BCN Paisatge will take you to the most unusual spots in Barcelona. Try a vertical garden trail, see forgotten walls transformed to bring new meaning to their environment through murals and other artwork, and spot everyday objects and details hidden around the city that give Barcelona its character and hold stories of its history. You can also explore old shops that have preserved their original look and feel over the years.
Join in on some of the most memorable and creative dining experiences in Barcelona on EatWith, an app that will also help you connect with locals and enjoy authentic meals cooked by amateur and professional chefs. A few notable, highly-rated events that are held with varying frequency include “Around the World in 6 Courses”, “Fine Dining in an Industrial loft” and “The Best of Catalan Gastronomy on a Sailing Boat”
Need a night in or a lazy lunch from wherever you happen to be? That’s where Resto-in comes to the rescue. Whether you’re ordering food to be delivered to your apartment or from under your beach umbrella, this start-up company will have a meal to you in half an hour or less. They work with 130 up and coming restaurants around the city that serve up everything from traditional tapas to international options like sushi or Argentinian cuisine to trusted standbys like pizza and burgers
When you’re paying in Euros, everything can sound a bit cheaper, so you’ll need to pay close attention to your finances while you’re in Spain. Whatever your personal budget abroad, a great app to help keep you on your toes and your wallet closed when needed is XE, the currency exchange app. Just pop the amount in Euros into the app and it will tell you the equivalent in US dollars (or a different currency if you’re planning a trip), taking the current day’s exchange rate into account.