It’s not a secret that Barcelona is not the best city when it comes to driving a car. We generally would not recommend driving if you don’t really know the city very well: it is pretty chaotic and difficult, especially finding a park space in the central area. Also, for a non-Spanish driver the Spanish way of driving and the parking spaces situation can seem a bit strange.
Fortunatelly, Barcelona has a very well-developed public transport: from busses and metro that can take you anywhere, to the very popular Bicing service, that gives you freedom and comfort when it comes to moving around the city.
Let’s see what Bicing is and how it works. We have no doubts that you have heard about this service, and at least one of your friends definitely uses it frequently. Inaugurated in 2007, this bicycle sharing system has quickly become very popular among the locals of Barcelona. The purpose of it has always been to make it easier for you to travel short distances within the city. Apart from that, using Bicing is a great way of eliminating pollution, roadway noise and traffic congestion that the vehicles create in Barcelona, and, therefore, is probably the best means of transport you can choose when starting your life in the city.
If you are considering starting using Bicing, this would be interesting for you to know. Since it is the European Mobility Week (September 16 – 22), Bicing wants to encourage more people to subscribe to their service and think about the environment. If you register at the website from 17th to 30th of September and use the code SM-2018, you will be given 2 extra free months of the service.
How does Bicing work?
Using Bicing is very easy. To get your Bicing card, you just need to register at the website and pay 47,16€ ( +14€ for the Bicing Electrico). Once the registration is done, you will receive an email with confirmation and another one with an automatically generated password. After that just check your mailbox occasionally for a mail from Bicing. Once you receive your Bicing card and activate it at the webside of the service, you can start using it at any moment. You will have 30 days to activate it.
To start using Bicing, just find the nearby station and pass your card in front of the magnetic reader. The green screen will immediately tell you which slot you can remove your bike from. You will have 30 minutes to get to your destination point and deposit the bicycle at one of the nearby stations.If you don’t do it within the first 30 minutes, you will be charged 0,74€ for every 30 minutes during the first 2 hours and 4,49€ for every 30 minutes once you exceed the 2 hours. Make sure you don’t surpass the 2 hour limit for more than 3 times, because in that case you will not be able to use the Bicing service again.
After you have reached your destination, find the station with available spaces and leave your bike at the space with a green light. After that, pass your card next to the screen and wait till it says that the bicycle is returned correctly.
Note that if you don’t return the bicycle within 24 hours after you take it from the station, you will be charged 150€. Always make sure you deposit it correctly. There have been cases when a bicycle was returned, but people were penalised, because the system just didn’t recieve the information correctly.
Also, make sure it is not broken and works properly when you take out a bike.If you see that there is some problem with it, you have only 3 minutes to change it for another bike. For that, just pass your card in front of the reader again and take another bike. If you notice a problem after the 3 minutes have passed, you will have to wait 10 minuted to take another vehicle.
Tips and tricks
- If you see that there are no bicycle spaces available at the station to deposit your bike, you can pass your card in front of the reader, and it will indicate you which nearby stations have availability. Moreover, you will have 10 additional minutes at no cost to get there.
- If you still don’t know Barcelona very well, and have no clue where the stations are located, you can always check the Bicing map of availability. Just enter the dictrict name and the postal code of the area and find the nearest station. You can also enter the address and the station number to see where it is located on the map.
- Download the Bicing app. In fact, there you will find all the necessary information at any moment, such as the Bicing map, availability of the bikes and spaces to leave your bike, etc.
- Learn your routine and stick to it. What we are trying to say here is that once you start using the service to get to work or univeristy you will notice that at certain days and hours it gets pretty difficult to find either a bike to take or an available space to deposit your bike. Therefore, you should know exactly at what time you need to get to the station to be able to take or leave a bike. Beware of such typical rush hours as 8:00 in the morning in residential areas and Saturday evenings in the center.
- If the light remains green after you have deposited your bicycle, remove it and deposit it in another free space. Sometimes the stations are broken. You better make sure that the bike is returned properly every time.
- If you leave your bike correctly, but when passing the card it doesn’t recognize it, don’t panic. You can either wait a few minutes and try again, or in case it does not work either, you will need to call and let the Bicing customer service solve the problem for you. Note that you better be able to explain what happened in Spanish. If you ask someone to call for you, make sure you remain close to confirm your identity.
If you have any questions on how the Bicing service works, do not hesitate to contact us.
In case you just moved to Barcelona and need help figuring out any other procedure, you may need information on how to get your NIE card once you are in the city, to legally stay for long periods of time.