Nowadays it’s pretty much essential to be updated on everything that is going in the world around us. Whether your keeping in touch with family and friends, making plans and checking out all your apps on a frequent basis. There is almost nothing that will tear us away from that routine, even something like moving abroad! When living in a new country for a long period of time, having a cell phone can really help you feel secure. No matter how you intend to use it, a cell phone abroad is a good idea. The real question is, where do you start?

Do I keep my current phone or do I buy a new phone in Barcelona?

This is where it all begins, the fork in the road so to speak. Keeping your current phone and getting a new/2nd hand phone entirely are both great options for different reasons. So the first thing you must do is weigh those options. Before considering to get a new/2nd hand phone here in Spain, check up on these two things below:

1. Check for a potential travel plan with your current provider

Lots of phone companies offer some form of travel plan for when their customers go abroad for a certain amount of time. This will most likely be the most expensive option, especially for any Non-Europeans. But it never hurts to check out all of your options, especially since this transition will be nearly seamless and you’ll get to keep both your phone and SIM.

2. Check if your phone is locked and obtain a Spanish SIM card

 Notice-of-SIM-Card-ChangeAnother great thing about keeping your current phone is, it’s simply more comfortable for you. You are familiar with the device and might actually have contacts and photos saved on your phone’s memory that you don’t want to live without. But there is usually one big hang-up. Many people travel abroad, purchase their new SIM and suddenly find out their phone is locked, which means it will not accept any foreign SIM cards. It’s easy enough to fix though, you can contact your current provider to get them to unlock it. Or you can unlock your phone once in Barcelona at many different shops in the centre – but be careful, as some phones can’t be unlocked anywhere but where it was purchased. So try your best to remember to check for this before your leave home.

Your second option is to buy a “new” cell once you’ve already arrived in the city. There is no need to buy a brand new phone either, Barcelona is used to foreigners looking to buy a cheap phone to get them by during their stay and there are several second-hand mobile shops around for you to choose from. Read more here!

When obtaining your new Spanish SIM you can choose between a pay-as-you-go plan (prepaid) or a contract. Understanding the exact costs and the fine print when it comes to choosing the best SIM card deal is a bit complicated. We will explain what you need to bear in mind and watch out for. Currently best deals to get your prepaid SIM card are with Lycamobile. You won’t need to sign any papers and you add money to your phone at your own discretion.


Besides the regular voice & data packs that you can check on the Lycamobile webpage, we are happy to anounce that Lycamobile has launched some new, very cheap offers for you including:

  • Free, unlimited calls within the community (to all people who also have a Spanish Lycamobile SIM card)!
  • Cheap Internet data packages with up to 30GB of Data!
  • National & international calls packages with up to 2000 min of free calls included!
  • EU Data Roaming included!

For more details, click here! Spread the news among your friends, it will save you a lot of money!

What about this new roaming system in the EU?

If you’re a member of the European Union you should keep in mind all the changes being made with roaming between countries. These changes work great for Europeans who want to use their home provider while touring to other European nations on holiday, but the limited data usage won’t be ideal for those moving to Spain for a long-term period. Read up on the new deal here!

What about Internet for my new flat?

wifi_000If you are still on the hunt for a new place to live once you’ve already arrived in the city, you can join us at the Citylife Barcelona office for some free wifi and good company! We love guests :)!

Chances are high that your apartment will already be set up with internet and tv, considering you will most likely be looking for a room in an already occupied flat, rather than to rent an entire place yourself. Make sure that you look for this indication while you are searching for your new home. However, if you happen to  find a place without internet you will need to set it up yourself. This can be difficult as the Spanish move a little slow, so it can take a few weeks. You will need to apply for your NIE – which whether you are here to work or study you will have to do anyway – and open a free Spanish Bank Account to order and sign for an internet contract.

Alternatively, there is a very practical & economic solution offered by WifiAway which will save you money and hassle. WifiAway offers a small, portable device (router) that connects to the 4G network. It has a capacity limit of 20 GB and can be connected with up to 10 computers, tablets or smartphones! To read more, click here!

Your friendly neighbourhood travel guide,



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[…] for those moving to another country for an extended period of time. This is why we recommend using, Lycamobile, as they are found in the vast majority of EU countries and have a wide variety of cheap pre-paid […]

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