Are you planning to visit the city of Barcelona? Whether it be for its stunning architecture, rich culture, or lively nightlife, you must wonder about its water quality.
So, now the question is, can you drink tap water in Barcelona? In short, YES, you can drink tap water in Barcelona. Tap water in Barcelona is 100% safe to drink, according to official managerial bodies of the city.
Now, if it seems strangely amazing to you, learn how it’s made possible below. We’ll also guide you through what water you should drink when you visit Barcelona. Let’s go!
Can You Drink Tap Water in Barcelona? (Explained)
Yes, you CAN drink tap water in Barcelona. Tap water in Barcelona is safe to drink according to official sources (we’ve mentioned them below). But it may or may not suit your taste preferences due to its hardness and chlorine content.
Both the Ministerio de Sanidad (which is in charge of the quality of drinking water across the country) and the private company Aigües de Barcelona (which manages water in Barcelona) support it.
The Ministerio de Sanidad testifies that above 99% of water in the water lines of the whole of Spain (including Barcelona) is drinkable.
Sources of the Drinkable Tap Water in Barcelona
- Aigües de Barcelona mentions that most of Barcelona’s tap water comes from two rivers, Ter and Llobregat.
- In order to purify the water from these rivers, it is sent to one of Europe’s most cutting-edge water treatment facilities. It is known as the estacion de tratamiento de agua potable (ETAP).
- ETAP uses various processes such as decantation, filtration, ozonation, reverse osmosis, and chlorination to remove pollutants, microorganisms, and excess minerals from the water.
However, just because you can drink tap water in Barcelona does not mean you will enjoy it. Many people living in the city choose bottled water over tap water because it tastes better.
- Now, the main reason why tap water in Barcelona tastes bad is that it contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, which make it hard.
- Chlorine also gives the water a strong smell and flavor that some people find unpleasant.
Therefore, although the water is drinkable, the locals prefer to avoid drinking it right out of the tap. But if you have to, you CAN drink the tap water and it’s 100% safe.
What Can You Do To Get The Best Water In Barcelona?
- One option is to buy bottled water, but this has some drawbacks. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water. And it also generates a lot of plastic waste that harms the city environment.
- Another option is to use a water filter. Water filters can reduce the hardness, chlorine, and other contaminants in tap water, making it softer, clearer, and more palatable.
However, if you are a tourist in the city, buying a filter might not be a plausible option for you. In that case, you can go with the tap water as is or drink bottled mineral water.
How Costly Is Bottled Water In Barcelona For Tourists/Visitors? (Is It Worth The Price?)
The average price of bottled mineral water in Spain is around 0.64 euros per kilogram. This means that a 1.5-liter bottle of water would cost around 0.96 euros, or about $1.13 at the current exchange rate (as of 2023).
That means bottled water is quite expensive in Barcelona as well. So it’s not really economical to always drink bottled water in Barcelona.
Moreover, buying bottled water generates a lot of plastic waste that ends up in landfills or oceans. According to a report by Greenpeace, Spain is the third-largest consumer of bottled water in Europe. And it produces around 4 billion plastic bottles per year.
Only 25% of these bottles are recycled, while the rest are either incinerated or dumped. This contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, and depletion of natural resources.
Hence, if you are a visitor who wants to save money and protect the environment, you might want to drink tap water. It is safe and meets all international standards, according to official sources.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few queries that you might have in your mind:
Q1. What is the content of the water in Barcelona?
The water in Barcelona contains:
- Various carbonates
The water in Barcelona also contains chlorine.
Q2. Does the Barcelona government encourage drinking tap water?
Yes, the Barcelona government does encourage drinking tap water as part of its efforts to promote sustainability and reduce plastic waste. The Barcelona City Council launched a campaign in 2019 called “Aigua de Barcelona, la millor aigua del món” (Barcelona Water, the best water in the world).
It aimed to raise awareness about the quality and safety of tap water in the city and to dispel some myths and misconceptions about it.
Q3. How can visitors find out where to refill their reusable bottles with tap water or filtered water in Barcelona?
- One way is to use the Refill Aqua app, which shows the locations of eco-friendly businesses that offer drinkable, filtered water for free or for a small fee.
- Another way is to look for public drinking fountains, which are marked with a blue sign that says “Aigua Potable” (Drinking Water). There are more than 1,000 public drinking fountains in Barcelona.
- A third way is to ask locals for places to get fresh and tasty water in the city.
In conclusion, all of Barcelona’s governing bodies agree that tap water in Barcelona is FULLY safe to consume.
- So, whether you are a visitor or a local in the city, you can drink tap water without worrying about anything.
- In very small cases, it may not suit your taste preferences due to its hardness and chlorine content.
- You’ll then have to drink bottled water. Otherwise, you might want to consider using a water filter.