Transportation in Barcelona

Barcelona lies to the north east of Spain, on the Mediterranean coast. One of Spain’s most popular destinations, Barcelona is well connected to all the important European cities as well as to the USA, Canada, Mexico and even Africa. It is directly accessible by air, road as well as by train from some of the major European cities, while connecting trains and flights from Madrid and other important Spanish cities link up Barcelona to the rest of the world.

The Metro is the best way for getting around Barcelona as it is extensive, punctual, air conditioned and clean.

Below you will find a handy resource concerning your transportation in Barcelona. Check out what transportation needs may be met on a tour in Barcelona. More general information on transportation in Spain is also there for you.

Barcelona Transportation Guide

Getting There

By air

Iberia Airlines, the national airlines of Spain, operates direct flights to Barcelona from major international cities. International airlines like British Airways, Veuling, Air Berlin, Spanair, Egypt Air, Air Canada, Lufthansa, KLM, US Airways and American Airlines also operate direct flights to Barcelona. Additionally, a few low cost airlines like Ryanair and easyjet also operate direct and connecting flights to Barcelona.

Bracelona International Airport, which is located in the town of El Prat de Llobregat, is 12 kilometres away from the city centre. It has two terminals, T1 and T2. T2 comprises T2A, B and C. T1 and T2A receive major international flights. T2C is the smallest airport and services domestic flights. T1 and T2 are connected by a shuttle that runs every 6 to 8 minutes. There is quite a distance between the two, so do make sure that you are boarding at the right terminal or you may lose a lot of time, literally shuttling between the two! Some flights land at the Girona Airport and the Reus Airport, both of which lie a hundred kilometres from Barcelona.

Pick up a train, bus or a taxi to get to Barcelona City from the airport. Train and bus transfers are cheaper and quicker than taxi transfers. For transport from the airport to the city (or from the city to the airport), we recommend Green Path Transfers, who offer eco-friendly airport transfers in hundreds of destinations around the world.

By train

There are direct overnight trains to Barcelona from Milan, Lisbon, Geneva and Paris and a host of cities across France and Spain. Trains are cheap, comfortable and reliable. They operate from Estació Sants, Estació de França and Estació de Passeig de Gràcia.

By sea

You can sail into Barcelona from Genoa, Rome and the Balearic Islands. Barcelona has one of the busiest ports on the Mediterranean Coast which services both, large international cruise ships and smaller ferries.

By road

The auotopistas or highways of Barcelona are well maintained toll roads. Highway A-7 connects Barcelona to France via Costa Brava and Girona. Highway A-2 connects Barcelona to Madrid, Bilbao and Zaragoza. There are several other main roads that run from Barcelona to various Spanish and French cities, making Barcelona conveniently accessible by road. Visitors can find ample parking spaces in localities away from the City Centre.

Getting around Barcelona

By metro

The best way for to get around Barcelona, it operates from 5.00 a.m. to 11 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, from 5.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 6.00 a.m. to midnight on Sundays. Tickets for the Metro can be bought from the metro stations and from savings Banks.

By taxi

The black and yellow taxis of Barcelona (with an illuminated green light on their roof to indicate availability) offer an efficient and inexpensive mode of transport in Barcelona for exploring. Licensed taxis charge as per the meter, with an additional surcharge for luggage and some of them accept credit cards. Nevertheless, unscrupulous drivers do charge exorbitant rates, so do check that the meter is on before you start. Barcelonan taxis have adapted themselves to suit the specific needs of the disabled – a commendable gesture.

By trixis

These are three wheeled cycle taxis which operate along the water front between 11.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m. Trixis are unusual and great fun. They take two passengers for a fare of € 10 to €18 for half an hour to an hour and can be hired near the Monument a Colom and La Catedral.

By bus

Buses ply all over Barcelona at frequent intervals but due to the massive traffic jams, they are not very efficient. Moreover, they do not operate in the night. At night, the Nitbus network operates between 11.00 p.m. and 4.00 a.m. These buses are distinguished by the N marked on their bright yellow exteriors and depart from Plaça de Catalunya. Tickets may be purchased from the driver.

By car or motorcycle

Hire a car or motorcycle as your Barcelona transport to get around, to explore the unusual regions of Catalonia and for excursions to places like Girona, Momtserrat, Tarragona and Costa Brava. Most international car rental agencies have their offices in Barcelona. But do not make the mistake of driving yourself around Barcelona, as traffic is thick, parking spaces are difficult to find and garage parking is prohibitively expensive.

By bicycle

If you are an avid cyclist, then simply hire a bike. Most of the main roads have exclusive biking lanes and a 72 kilometre biking path around the city’s outskirts is almost ready. However, the going gets a little tough on roads where there are no bike lanes as you have to weave your way through thick traffic jams. Moreover, it is illegal to cycle on bus lanes and footpaths.

By walking

Finally, the best mode of Barcelona transport to explore the city is on your own two feet. The City Centre is not very big and places are much closer than they seem. It is only when you walk leisurely around the city that you get a ringside view of Barcelona.