New expats, long-term students, and tourists all need a phone, if not at least a SIM card, to adapt to Spain’s international phone coverage. In Spain, getting started with this is quite cheap due to the company and government regulations requiring a Spanish number for incoming or outgoing calls. With a Spanish mobile phone or SIM card, life in Spain becomes much easier. Here are a couple of places to consider buying a phone or SIM card in Barcelona.
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Vodafone, Orange, and Movistar
These are the big three telecommunication companies in Spain with their own respective stores scattered all over Barcelona. If you have a preference for one of them, you can go to their individual stores to buy a smartphone or SIM card. If unfamiliar with any of them, you can do a little research and comparing online beforehand, but all of them are a good option to go with because they have various prices and packages based on how much data you need for calls and texts. In Ciutat Vella, Movistar and Vodafone stores can be stumbled upon quite easily, and Orange has their own special store in one of the Corte Ingles stores (read below) and along Passeig de Gracía. Again, the choice is based on preference and what deal is the best for you, so look into them before making a decision.
El Corte Inglés
In El Corte Inglés, the largest department store chain in Europe, the major phone carriers and brands can all be found inside the massive store. If you’re closer to one of these places than an individual store and you are interested in clothing or other electronics too, then go on in to browse. Inside, you can also find the main companies listed above as well. Samsung and Telecor also have mobiles and SIM cards compatible with your needs.
The Phone House
As part of the Phone House/Carphone Warehouse chain all over Europe, this store offers a range of smartphones and SIM cards from all the major telecom companies. They have various mobile phones at affordable rates for unlimited data to make phone calls and send text messages locally and outside the country. The Samsung Galaxy and iPhone are included, and those who have their own phone already can buy a compatible SIM card. Look up where the Phone House nearest you is located because they’ve got quite a few stores scattered throughout the city in every neighborhood, including those at the addresses listed below.
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There may be some issues at first with a new mobile number in Barcelona because all the messages from the service provider come in Spanish. So for those who are learning Spanish, the texts alerts and voicemail navigation will be a bit of a barrier. If you can get over that, however, getting a Spanish phone number will make things much easier in Barcelona. Having a mobile of your own with a local number is very important here, so don’t hesitate to get a phone or SIM card as soon as possible upon arrival in Barcelona.