Take note of the universal emergency number: 112. You can also dial 062 for the Guardia Civil (Civil Guard) for mountain rescue services and other accidents.
Most of Catalonia is incredibly safe. Parts of Barcelona, however, are less so; tourists may be targeted by pickpockets or muggers, so don’t walk alone at night, and avoid the backstreets; wide avenues turn to unsavoury alleyways very quickly in this city. Carry only the essentials, and leave your passport in your hotel. Public transport, markets, ATMs and even restaurants may be hotspots – thieves follow tourists.
Most beaches outside of the popular resort areas are unguarded, although flags are often used to indicate safety. Do not enter the water if there is a red flag, undercurrents can be extremely strong. Keep an eye out for jellyfish as well. The good news is that Catalonia has a huge number of blue flag beaches, so those in Catalonia with kids can be confident of clean water.
Tap water is safe to drink in Catalonia, so bring refillable bottles to save money and the environment.
The weather is unpredictable and varies greatly from region to region. Keep an eye on the forecast if planning to trek or climb in more mountainous regions, and remember: the extreme heat can be just as dangerous as the cold, snow or fog. Take particular care if hiking around Montserrat – and never stray from the trails into the woodland.
Call the London-based Spanish National Tourist Office for safety and weather warnings on 020 7486 8077.
Due to the increasing number of climbers and skiers who get into difficulties due to negligence, Catalonia has begun to bill those who do not take adequate precautions and require rescuing.
If heading to the mountains for skiing, consult the European Avalanche Warning Services.
It is illegal to use a mobile phone when driving in Spain, even if you pull over. Completely hands-free units are permitted.