Living in Barcelona

Barcelona is a great city to live in! Between the sea and the mountains you will find a lively city full of opportunities and fun. Why Barcelona?
  • Because it is Safe – Barcelona is among the 15 safest cities in the world.
  • Because it is Attractive for talent – Barcelona was the 20th most attractive city in the world for global talent in 2017.
  • Because is Digital – Barcelona is among the 10 most attractive European cities for digital business.
  • And because it is an example against climate change – One thousand entities have signed the “Barcelona Commitment to the Climate”.
Data extracted from the Barcelona City Council website
The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona, is also a leading city in terms of science. The Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) ecosystem throughout Catalonia is made up of:
  • 12 universities and 36 university research institutes
  • 40 research centres in Catalonia devoted to excellence in research
  • 9 hospital institutions that carry out excellent research in biomedicine
  • 16 scientific and technological parks for the transfer and use of knowledge
Data extracted from the Catalan Government website


Three of the BIST centres and the MELIS-UPF can be found in the city of Barcelona. IBEC and IRB Barcelona are part of the Barcelona Science Park (Parc Científic de Barcelona, PCB), located in the Les Corts district. Both Les Corts and its neighbouring district Sants are good options for accommodation as there are many student flats. ICFO is in Castelldefels and ICN2 and IFAE are in Cerdanyola, both cities are well-connected to Barcelona and have a lively university environment. And finally, ICIQ is located in Tarragona, near the campus of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Through the Barcelona Centre Universitari (BCU), the Housing Anywhere or the UPF Accommodation websites you can find various accommodation options in Barcelona.  

Services / Health

Through the links below, you will find useful information about health and services.


BIST has a very active community of about 2,500 people. Each BIST centre holds events to promote networking within their community, while BIST itself organises various events every year to reinforce the collaboration among our centres. To meet people outside the laboratory, UPF offers cultural and sport services, in addition to Catalan and Spanish courses. The ESN community in Barcelona is another good resource. Last but not least, if you are considering learning Catalan in a unique and different way, check out the Apparella’t App to find a language partner!