Practical information

For a pdf-version of the practical information click here.

Banks and bureaux de change
Banks are normally open from 08:30 to 14:00 on weekdays. They are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. A number of cash machines are available throughout the city and the plentiful Bureaux de Change counters are open on week-ends. Indicative exchange rate (as of May 2008): 1.00 EUR =1.55 US$

Climate and clothing
The average temperature in October in Barcelona is 19°C (66°F). Clothing should be suitable for a changeable climate. A raincoat or umbrella for occasional showers may be useful. The Mediterranean brings cooling sea breezes to the city and moisture to the atmosphere.

Credit cards
Most hotels, restaurants and shops accept major credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express) and a piece of identification (passport, ID, driver’s license) is required upon signature. However, it is also recommended that visitors carry small amounts of cash at all times. Dinners type card are not accepted in most of the places.

The currency in Spain is the EURO (€). A currency calculator can be found online at

Spain has a 220-volt AC, 50Hz electrical current and uses two-pin continental plugs. Visitors from certain countries need an adaptor for electric appliances, and an adaptor and transformer to use their 110/125V appliances.

Emergencies and Medical Care
To contact the police, fire department, or hospital in an emergency, dial 112. Emergency medical care is supplied by the municipal authorities, and hotel/congress venue staff members can direct guests to local emergency centres, hospitals, or dental clinics. Emergency treatment at Spanish public hospitals is free. Fees for non-emergency medical services are usually payable in cash, and are reasonable by international standards.

Service charges are automatically added to the hotel and restaurant bill, shops and taxis in Spain, so no further tipping is required. Tipping for an outstanding service is a matter of choice, but is not expected.

The native tongues in Barcelona are Catalan and Spanish, but English is often spoken.

International newspapers can be purchased in certain kiosks.

Prescription and non-prescription medicine is generally obtainable from pharmacies on Mondays to Saturdays between 9:00 and 20:00. A 24-hour pharmacy service is provided on a rota basis. A surcharge is payable on medicine purchased outside normal opening hours.

Postal services
Normal opening hours are Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 20:30, on Saturday from 09:30 to 13:30 and closed on Sunday.
The closest post office to the Congress venue is operating weekdays from 09:00 to 22:00 and on Saturday from 09:00 to 14:00. Avenida Diagonal, 1-3 (Centro Comercial Diagonal Mar), ES-08019 Barcelona
Tel: ++34 93 356 0509; Fax: ++34 93 356 0509

Logo Grupo Pacifico

Professional Congress Organizers

* Official Housing & Excursion Agency

Grupo Pacífico has been appointed as the Official Housing & Excursion agency for the IUCN World Conservation Congress Barcelona 2008 and is managing hotel accommodation, excursions and sightseeing tours. Grupo Pacífico is a professional congress organiser, with more than 27 years of experience with offices in Barcelona, Madrid and Zaragoza, and more than 30 multi-lingual staff.

Official Housing & Excursion Agency for IUCN World Conservation Congress
c/o Grupo Pacífico
Marià Cubí, 4 -Pral.
08006 Barcelona, Spain
Tel: ++34 93 238 8777
Fax: ++34 93 238 7488
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 09:00-18:00 (GMT +1)
Hotel Email:
Excursions & Tours Email:
Local Assistance Email:

Logo JPdL

* Official Registration Services Company:

JPdL has been appointed as the official registration services company for the IUCN World Conservation Congress Barcelona 2008 and will handle participant registrations. JPdL is a professional event organiser with more than 25 years of experience; it has offices in Montréal and other Canadian cities, and more than 50 multi-lingual staff.

IUCN World Conservation Congress Registration Office
c/o JPdL
1555 Peel Street, Suite 500
Montréal, Québec, H3A 3L8, Canada

Tel.: ++1 514 287-9898 extension 248
Fax: ++1 514 287-1248
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday: 08:30 - 17:30 EST (GMT – 5)
Website: IUCN - Register

Religious Services
Information will be available at the Excursions & Tours Desk and City Information Desk during the Congress hours.
Official Web Site from Barcelona with all the information related to religions, place of worship and religious institutions.

Please visit for information on restaurants in Barcelona.

Shopping and Local Opening Hours
Shops are normally open Monday to Saturdays from 10:00 to 14:00 and 17:00to 20:00, and are closed on Sundays. Many large supermarkets and department stores are open non-stop from 09:00 to 21:00.
Maremagnum, by the Barcelona Port, is a retail centre with various restaurants open from 10:00 to 22:00 all-year round, including Sundays and public holidays.

No smoking sign

In indoor public areas, smoking is NOT permitted by law. Smoking is not allowed on flights, buses, trains, metros and in taxis.
IUCN thanks all participants and exhibitors for not smoking in the Congress Venue (CCIB) at all times. This includes the meeting rooms, exhibition areas, poster areas, restrooms, snack bars, and within 100 metres of the main entrances and exits of the Congress Venue.

Tax-Free Shopping
In Spain there are many opportunities to benefit from Tax Free Shopping and more than 4,500 retail outlets are offering the service. Wherever you shop, ask for a Global Refund Cheque. You have to pay 16% Spanish VAT on the purchases you make, the VAT is included in the price. All visitors residing outside of the European Union are entitled to claim back the tax, if they purchased goods are of a value greater than EUR 90.16. You have to ask for the tax free cheque in the store. Visit for information.

The following taxi companies are recommended. Please refer to the travel section for additional information about fares.
Radio Taxi ++34 93 303 3033
TAxi ++34 93 307 0707

Telephone cards
The country code is 34 and Barcelona city code is 93. You always need to dial 93.

Telephone Cards with a value of either EUR 5,00 or EUR 10,00 can be purchased at post offices or in small kiosks around town, and may be used for your mobile phone if it is set up for this or cheaper calls from private or public phones.

Time zone
The time zone in Spain is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) + 1 hour.

Tourist Information
Visit for further information. The central office is located in Plaza Catalunya 17-S. Opening Hours: from 09:00 to 21:00.
A Tourist Information Desk will be available at the Congress Venue (CCIB). Timing will be advised at a later stage.

VAT refund conditions
Please refer to Tax-Free Shopping

Visa information and passport
A valid passport and/or identity card is required for all participants. Visa may be required for some countries.

The following official website of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation gives extensive information about visas and it is highly recommended to start the process a minimum of 3 months in advance. or

If a visa is required to enter Spain or any country party to the Schengen agreement, it is strongly advised to register as early as possible.

Attestation letters to assist in visa formalities are designed to help overcome administrative difficulties in certain countries. It must be understood that such letters do not imply any financial support nor a guarantee of a visa. The attestation letter can be downloaded from the registration system by those participants who have registered and paid their registration fees in full.

For specific information, please contact the nearest Spanish embassy or consulate at least 3 months before your departure to Spain.

Weights & Measures
Spain uses kilometres/metres, kilograms and litres. Metric/English equivalents:
1 kilo (kg) = 2.2 pounds
1 litre (l) = about 1.76 pints
1 kilometre (km) = 0.62 mile
1 metre (m) = 1.1 yards
1 centimetre (cm) = 0.39 inch