Barcelona is an excellent destination for business. Some might even call it the Paris of Spain, it is a metropolitan city surrounded by majestic mountains and the Mediterranean Sea.
There is a wide choice of eateries and restaurants, plenty with Michelin stars. There is also a wide range of hotels to choose from, ranging from the big chains to boutique and vintage hotels.
By some estimation, there are around 35,000 rooms available. Barcelona is also the home for significant conferences ranging from tech, insurance, pharmaceutical, and legal events. No wonder that Barcelona is a popular destination for business travellers.
As a business destination, Barcelona can be put under some of the most innovative cities in Europe. With over 100 angel investors and startup hubs for the tech industry, it looks like Europe’s Silicon Valley equivalent.
The city offers free Wi-Fi, that is across the city and with even coverage on its beaches. Barcelona is indeed a popular destination, including the masses of tourists that visit the city each year. As the second largest city in Spain, it has a bustling population of 1.6 million people within its extended city limits. Estimations are that per year around 32 million tourists flock to Barcelona to enjoy all it has to offer.
In recent years it seemed that the sheer number of tourists was putting so much strain on Barcelona’s infrastructure that it was becoming a location to avoid for the business traveller. And although it is true that Barcelona remains an infinitely popular tourist attraction, a business traveller can still make Barcelona his or her core destination. If you are smart about how you travel, where you stay and where you go, Barcelona still is a prime business destination.
Travelling from Barcelona Airport (El Prat) into the city centre, you will have plenty of options. It could be wise to avoid the touristy crowd that will take the bus, train or metro. Although all these means of transportation work perfectly fine, you might not arrive at your destination perfectly rested. With the amount of queuing, dragging your luggage along and sharing the bus, train, and metro with weary travellers who might have already been on their way for 10+ hours, you might want a bit more privacy and luxury.
The choice for a business traveller must be a Barcelona airport transfer. Basically, it’s a pre-booked taxi service which ensures you will get to your hotel perfectly rested. By pre-booking, you can avoid queuing up at the taxi rank. You also can relish the driver knows exactly where to take you. Premium services also ensure that the driver speaks English, is fully tracked and insured. Pre-booking also guarantees that it’s a flat fee you agree as you book your taxi. Especially with larger groups, ones that might require larger taxis, pre-booking gives that piece of mind knowing that everything is arranged before you even set foot on Spanish soil.
Booking an airport transfer is easy, you just enter your destination, date and time of arrival and the number of passengers and luggage pieces. You can even add your flight number so the driver can account for late or even early arrivals. You can request a wheelchair accessible vehicle and baby seats if required. All this put together should provide the most comfortable, most transparent and hassle-free experience getting into Barcelona.
When looking for a suitable hotel for a business traveller, it can be a bit tricky as you will firmly be amongst the leisure visitors. You will want to find a hotel with a good location, good Wifi and meeting space. Consider Hesperia Tower Hotel, Hotel Omm, Casa Fuster Hotel, The Level at Melia Barcelona Sky, the Crowne Plaza Barcelona, Barcelona Sants and Four Points by Sheraton Barcelona. All these hotels will offer great value for the price and will be ideally suited for the business traveller.
For entertaining and business lunches and dinners, you will want to steer clear from Las Ramblas. As tempting as it might be to have your business lunches and dinners here, it is world known for a reason. Avoid the busy Las Ramblas and seek out other, less discovered areas such as Sant Antoni, Gracia or Poblenou. Next, to having a new experience, you will also be supporting the local businesses.
You should be all set for your business trip to Barcelona. One last thing to consider is the customs and habits of Spaniards as opposed to other Western traditions. For example, Spaniards are interested in building relationships and becoming acquainted with you, before proceeding to business talk. You might need to take them up on that invitation for tapas and cervezas before closing your deals.