Health in Barcelona: useful information, phone numbers and addresses to know

Published by in the category Advice, Useful information. Article updated 6 July, 2017. 0 comments

Here is some useful information to know in case of any health problems that arise during your stay in Barcelona. Although our fingers are crossed that you won't need them!

health in Barcelona

Even the best of us occasionally get ill… Here is some useful information to help you manage.

Before leaving: request a European Health Insurance card

In Spain it is possible for EU residents to use health insurance services as if they were insured there. In practical terms that means that your healthcare costs can immediately be reimbursed by the system in Spain.

What is the European health insurance card for?

The condition? Hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

The EHIC is valid for a year, is named, free and individual. It is provided on request to all those who are insured and who are over the age of 16.

Timeframe to receive the EHIC

The EHIC must be requested before you leave:

  • In person: you can receive it immediately or the next day
  • Online: around 10 days’ wait

If you request your card too late you can receive a printout that’s valid for 3 months and has the same effect as the EHIC.

Where to request the EHIC?

You can request the EHIC at a branch of your health insurer.

  • You will still be able to present the proof of your medical expenses from your trip once you return to your country.

Health and important telephone numbers

Emergency numbers in Barcelona

  • 112: European emergency number (operators speak English)
  • 061: Medical emergencies
  • 080: Fire brigade
  • 092: Municipal Police (Guàrdia Urbana)
  • 088: Catalan Police (Mossos d’Esquadra)
  • 091: National Police
  • The Barcelona Top Tips app has a section with useful information that allows you to phone the emergency services directly as well as the main hospitals. It’s a good idea to take it with you!

Your country’s consulate may also be able to intervene. 

Phoning abroad from Spain

From Spain you will have to slightly modify the number to phone home. For example to phone the UK, replace the first 0 with a +44 or a 0044. For example if you are calling 0203 01 02 03 04, you should change it to either +442023 01 02 03 04 or 00442023 01 02 03 04.

Here are other prefixes that work as above.

  • England: +44 or 0044
  • USA: +1 or 001
  • Ireland: +353 or 00353

If you need to reverse the charges dial:

  • 1008 for Europe or North Africa
  • 1005 for the rest of the world

Health and hospitals in Barcelona

If you fall ill or you have an accident in Barcelona, the simplest and cheapest thing to do is head to one of the public hospitals in the city. There are many of them and you will find them listed on this page. You can go there for an emergency or for a medical consultation. However, you may end up waiting a long time…prepare to be patient!

Depending on your health insurance you may be entitled to international assistance. Check the terms of your contract before leaving.

  • To stay safe, remember to use sun screen in summer, to drink lots of water and to swim only when there are lifeguards on duty.

24 hour pharmacies in Barcelona

Find the list of 24 hour pharmacies in Barcelona here.

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About the author


Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?