Getting your NIE

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So you’ve bagged a new job in sunny Spain…what now? Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS! But wait…don’t you need to get an NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero or Foreigner’s Identification Number)? You must have heard the difficulty and effort in firstly getting an appointment set up, and secondly obtaining the NIE card. But fear not…I have been through it all and I am here to offer my advice and support in the blog below! Find out how I obtained my NIE in virtually half a day!

Firstly, from personal experience, I would definitely say don’t stress! It may seem like a daunting experience and very last minute, but that is generally how the system works. It is more laid back and it will get sorted as long as you have all the documents required. In most cases (but not all!), you will need the NIE application form (EX-15) – there is also a translation in English but remember that the form you submit must be Spanish! – passport, photocopy of passport and 2 small passport-sized photos. Normally, you will also need a letter from your workplace office to confirm your employment. You will also be required to pay a small fee. Check the website for up-to-date requirements – http://www.interior.gob.es/en/web/servicios-al-ciudadano/extranjeria/ciudadanos-de-la-union-europea/numero-de-identidad-de-extranjero-nie-

Once you have all the documents, you are one step closer to getting your NIE! One option to obtaining your NIE is to book an appointment online. This is often tricky, but it can be done! Use the official website – https://sede.administracionespublicas.gob.es/pagina/index/directorio/icpplus – which will show you any available appointments. Make sure to check very early in the morning as the appointments will go very quickly!

I was unable to get an appointment before I went to Spain, so I took the more daunting route. I was due to work in Barcelona the week after and I really needed to obtain the NIE as soon as possible. I was very stressed! The way I obtained my NIE in a day was to queue outside at a police station very early in the morning. I woke up at 3am and caught a taxi to Sant Adrià de Besòs (a police station in Barcelona that I had been told about previously). When I arrived at around 4am, there were already 4 or 5 people in the queue ahead of me. We all waited until 9am when the police station opened. Approximately 10/12 people in the queue get seen for an appointment on the day. We were issued a ticket with a time to come back for our appointment. Mine was 11am so I headed to a local café to indulge a little. At 11am, I arrived back at the police station, where I was taken to a waiting room with a number. After waiting, a lady called out my number and my appointment began.

I had to hand over all my documents, including my passport, photos, a letter from work and my UK student status letter as I was on my placement year. After this, it seemed I had met all the requirements and I was told I had to go to a specific bank close by to pay the fee that they had given to me on a piece of paper. I took this and paid the fee. Then, I had to come back to the police station. I was finally issued the NIE and was able to leave and take the rest of the day off to relax and recover.

Although this seems like a long process, it only took up half a day and once I had it, I was able to begin my employment. My top tip: make sure you get to the police station very early as there is a heavy demand for NIE appointments! I hope that this has not put you off but instead, given you hope that it can be done very quickly and easily!

Happy Friday blogging! x

Top 3 Day Trips in Barcelona

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Barcelona is a top European destination with hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking to its city centre to experience what it has to offer. The hustle and bustle of this city and the atmosphere is amazing however, there are places in Barcelona where you can enjoy the tranquility and amazing views that the city has to offer. These are unique to the city and make Barcelona so much more than just another European city. Experience a different side to the city. Here are my top 3 day trips that I would recommend visiting in Barcelona!

1) Montserrat

My top choice is Montserrat! Here, you can take in the stunning views, relax and even reflect outside of the hustle and bustle of city life! It’s a perfect day out which you can enjoy alone or with friends and family.

The start of the journey begins at Plaça Espanya. Here, you have to take the R5 train (to Manresa), getting off at either Aeri de Montserrat or Monistrol de Montserrat. If you want to get the cable car up to the Monastery, get off at Aeri de Montserrat. However, if you want to either hike or get the funicular up to the Monastery, get off at Monistrol de Montserrat.

When you reach the monastery, you can visit the Basilica of Monserrat, the Art Museum of Monserrat, Sant Miquel’s Cross and the Santa Cova Chapel. There are also a number of outdoor stalls – in which locals sell various food products and products – cafes, a restaurant and a souvenir shop. You can also hike around the mountain to higher points and enjoy a picnic or relax infront of the stunning views.

It is definitely worth visiting if you have the time!

Montserrat

2) Mount Tibidabo

A trip to Mount Tibidabo is also an excellent way to enjoy a family or/and friends day out! There are various ways of getting there, however I would recommend getting the T2A bus from Plaça Catalunya, which runs every 20 minutes.

The first thing you see when you get off the bus is the absolutely stunning architecture of the ‘Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazón.’ It is free to enter this church and take in the breath-taking views from the outdoor grounds. For a small cost, you can go right up to the top of the church’s viewing platform, directly underneath the statue of Christ.

Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazón

You’ll also find the highly popular amusement park here! It has a great retro look and is so much fun with a range of classic fairground rides. There are also food stalls and ice-cream stands around the park if you are feeling a little peckish. There is even a Xurreria stand!

The mountain is also a great place for walks. There are many paths across the mountain to explore and enjoy. There is also green spaces to enjoy, especially if you have bought your own picnic along with you.

Mount Tibidabo

3) Montjuïc

There are several ways to get to Montjuïc. The quickest route and the one that I used to get is the funicular situated in Parallel metro station. However, if you want a more scenic route, you can use the Montjuïc’s Cable Car or Port Cable Car in Barceloneta.

At the top of the mountain, stands Montjuïc Castle. You can enter the historic castle for a small cost, however it is free to enter on Sundays after 3pm! There are also temporary exhibitions that you can see but these will depend on when you visit. The views are simply stunning, and you can walk around the castle grounds to take them all in!

If you are interested in art, there is an amazing, contemporary art museum here called ‘Fundació Joan Miró,’ dedicated and featuring works from the famous artist, Joan Miró. There are numerous pieces of art from paintings to sculptures are more!

Barcelona’s 1992 Olympic Park is also situated in Montjuïc. The Olympics played an enormous, vital role in transforming the way the world sees Barcelona as an important European city. Here, you will be able to find the main Olympic Stadium, Palau Sant Jordi and the architectural statement that is The Telecommunications Tower.

As you venture down Montjuïc, you will be able to see the Palau Nacional which hosts the MNAC(National Art Museum of Catalunya). The building itself is just so beautiful and is surrounded by stunning views and greenery. Inside, you will be able to explore thousands of art work pieces and various expositions.

At the bottom of Montjuïc, you will find the Magic fountains. There are fountain shows here that must not be missed! These shows last around 15 minutes and are totally free. They do get busy often, so I would recommend getting there early and securing your spot. I would also recommend taking some drinks or food along and relax as you watch the show!    

Thank you for reading my blog on the Top 3 day-trips in Barcelona! I hope you have enjoyed reading this and that it has opened your eyes that Barcelona is much more than just a standard, European city! x

My Top 5 Bars in Barcelona

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Did someone say bar??? If you are like me and love to socialise, Barcelona is certainly the place to be. With hundreds of bars throughout the city, you will be spoilt for choice. Barcelona’s bars are such great places to meet up with old friends and even make new ones! Here are my favourite affordable bars to visit when in Barcelona!

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1) Bar Jardí

Carrer de la Portaferrissa, 17, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Nearest Metro: L4 Jaume I or L1, L3, L6, L7 Pl Catalunya

Located at the back of a shop and up the stairs, is this secret, hidden gem of a bar. This rooftop bar is totally unique and is a great place to relax and unwind. Although the menu of drinks on offer is small, the quality, affordability and freshness of the drinks definitely makes this bar stand out.

Bar Jardí, Barcelona

2) Dow Jones

Carrer del Bruc, 97, 08009 Barcelona, Spain
Nearest metro: L4 Girona

Ever heard of a stock-exchange bar? Well you have now! For an exciting and completely unique experience, Dow Jones is a must! The prices of all drinks fluctuate throughout the night, leaving you in control of when you buy your favourite drinks. There are also crashes when the prices of drinks hit an all low, creating a mad rush to the bar to get the best deals.

3) The Coconut Club

Carrer Marina, 19 – 21, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
Nearest metro: L4 Ciutadella | Vila Olímpica

For a bustling atmosphere with great music, visit The Coconut Club. Located near to Barcelona’s beach nightclubs, this bar is the perfect place to start your night out! Although slightly pricier than the other bars listed here, the quality and atmosphere is something to be a part of!

The Coconut Club, Barcelona

4) Sub Rosa

Carrer d’en Rauric, 23, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Nearest metro: L3 Liceu

Located off one of the many narrow side-streets in the Gothic Quarter, Sub Rosa offers a diverse variety of drinks in a uniquely designed small bar. It is a great place to meet friends and there is even a Happy Hour, meaning drink’s prices are very affordable.

Sub Rosa, Barcelona

5) Broders

Carrer de Còrsega, 232, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Nearest metro: L6, L7 Provença

This colourful and Latin American-themed bar is another great place to meet friends and family. Enjoy a range of cocktails, beers and wine here along with a delicious range of food! It certainly has an authentic vibe!

Whenever I’m in Barcelona, I enjoy spending some of my free time at these bars and I hope that you do to! So sit back, relax, socialise and enjoy the atmosphere! x