Current events in Barcelona

Old Oct 6, 17, 10:14 am
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Current events in Barcelona

First time visit to Barcelona coming up. We are excited but looking from afar the protests seem to have been quite intense.

For the frequent/experienced visitors: is this something to be concerned about?

We really would like to visit Barcelona but probably not at the expense of being in the midst of political unrest. The strikes are a lesser concern although certainly would not be great to visit while these are ongoing.
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Old Oct 6, 17, 12:34 pm
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I would say there's very little issue for visitors at the moment. The main precaution I would take is carrying a fair amount of hard currency in case things go sideways in a hurry, but safety concerns are minimal. Protests tend to be in just a couple spots and most of life is still going on as normal.

That said the situation is very dynamic and we don't know where it's going, so definitely keep posted but as of today I would still say it's no real issue for tourists.
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Old Oct 8, 17, 8:19 am
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Really appreciate the insight! Carrying cash sounds like a good idea. I'll monitor the situation closely.
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Old Oct 8, 17, 2:51 pm
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I'm not sure about the advice to carry lots of cash. It would seem to me that there is a far greater likelihood of said cash getting lost/stolen in the ordinary course of your travels, than there is of you being suddenly unable to pay for things with card due to some extreme banking meltdown.

That said, LupineChemist is based in Spain so no doubt has more of a feel for the situation than I do from my armchair in London.
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Old Oct 8, 17, 11:30 pm
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Yeah, I'd add not to carry the cash on you, but keep some in the hotel safe.

And by "fair amount" I mean probably 300€ or so. Enough to get to Madrid/Valencia and then work things out from there.

Again, the possibility is very remote that things get to that point, but it's looking like they are going to declare independence and there are lots of things that can go wrong. Say they try to take control of El Prat and then AENA would be forced to shut down the airport until the Spanish government can guarantee control.
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Old Oct 9, 17, 4:47 am
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I don't understand, it's not like Spain still uses the peseta and it's suddenly going to devalue. Will cards suddenly stop working?

For a weekend trip I would usually have €500 cash on me anyway... if you aren't used to carrying medium amounts of cash then yes I'd be more concerned about being pickpocketed
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Old Oct 9, 17, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by LupineChemist View Post
Yeah, I'd add not to carry the cash on you, but keep some in the hotel safe.

And by "fair amount" I mean probably 300€ or so. Enough to get to Madrid/Valencia and then work things out from there.

Again, the possibility is very remote that things get to that point, but it's looking like they are going to declare independence and there are lots of things that can go wrong. Say they try to take control of El Prat and then AENA would be forced to shut down the airport until the Spanish government can guarantee control.
The Spanish government has 200 special anti-terror agents (Guardia Civil's Grupo de Acción Rápida) stationed in El Prat.

The possibility of anyone gaining control of the airport is quite remote, but it they may force the airport to close.
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Old Oct 9, 17, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by schrodingerdog View Post
The Spanish government has 200 special anti-terror agents (Guardia Civil's Grupo de Acción Rápida) stationed in El Prat.

The possibility of anyone gaining control of the airport is quite remote, but it they may force the airport to close.
I was in Thailand in 2008 during that civil war/protest/whatever you want to call it that shut down BKK for 6 days. it was a nightmare trying to rearrange flights.
I am due to land at BCN on Oct. 23 and then board a cruise ship Oct. 25. if for some reason the airport was shut down, my flights connects through Madrid so I would request to get off there and make my way to Barcelona and the cruise by train, bus, or car.

I hope the Catalans realize the damage to their image and the local economy that forcing the airport to close to prove a point would do.
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Old Oct 9, 17, 3:45 pm
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Yeah, think it makes sense to carry/deposit in hotel room enough cash to get out of the Barcelona if need be. My main worry is BCN shutting down and then having to rearrange travel through other means.

At what point do airlines become more cooperative in rebooking travel arrangements? We booked with TAP (through Lisbon) and I can't find any notices regarding the situation in Barcelona. Is an official travel advisory by the State Department required in order for airlines to e.g. waive their rebooking fees?
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Old Oct 10, 17, 2:59 am
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Originally Posted by randompants View Post
At what point do airlines become more cooperative in rebooking travel arrangements? We booked with TAP (through Lisbon) and I can't find any notices regarding the situation in Barcelona. Is an official travel advisory by the State Department required in order for airlines to e.g. waive their rebooking fees?
Barcelona is not at the stage of travel waivers at the moment. That might change if independence is declared, but as it stands the city is operating as normal.
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Old Oct 10, 17, 5:24 am
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I'll be there in a few weeks myself for our annual visit. As I always drive to Barcelona, I'm more worried about road closures. I'll be coming down from Andorra, but leaving along the coast route to Perpignan.

I don't think banks or credit card networks will be taken down at all, by either side. They get so much VAT revenue from the tourists and other associated taxes that they would never do that. Madrid will crack down in other ways that won't shut off the flow of money.
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Old Oct 10, 17, 5:29 am
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Barcelona not advisable

Some ships have already changed that port of call to Valencia; plenty industries have changed their headquarters to other spanish cities. If not today, as announced by the independentis leader, independence will be declared in weeks.
As central Gvment has announced to act strongly against the indendence declaration (whatever that means), rest assured they,ll be plenty inconveniences for tourists.... blocking streets, roads and highways, as well as strikes.
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Old Oct 10, 17, 5:32 am
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And when it comes to road closures are we talking Barcelona, or all of Catalunya?
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Old Oct 10, 17, 5:44 am
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
And when it comes to road closures are we talking Barcelona, or all of Catalunya?
Last Wednesday blocked highways in all of Catalonia.

We have no idea what will happen in the future.
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Old Oct 10, 17, 9:19 am
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Originally Posted by cloclobel View Post
Some ships have already changed that port of call to Valencia; plenty industries have changed their headquarters to other spanish cities. If not today, as announced by the independentis leader, independence will be declared in weeks.
As central Gvment has announced to act strongly against the indendence declaration (whatever that means), rest assured they,ll be plenty inconveniences for tourists.... blocking streets, roads and highways, as well as strikes.
Actually, only one cruise line has announced they are subbing Valencia for Barcelona as a port call. None of the cruises have changed Barcelona as a turnaround port including mine, Oceania, scheduled to depart Oct. 25. Today there are 3 ships in port seen on cruising.me which tracks ships. This could all change in an hour or so based on what is said i the speech to catalan Parliament and Madrid's reaction.
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