BARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona-El Prat airport is located right on the edge of the city. There are several available transit options to get you from the airport to the city centre, where La Rambla, Plaça Catalunya, and the beaches of Barceloneta all await.
4 ways to get into the city: bus, metro, train, or taxi
Everyone’s plans are different, and the option that is best for your holiday will be based on your budget, your arrival time, and the length of your stay.
One of the best options available for transiting to and from the airport at any hour is the Aerobús. “The Aerobús operates circular 24-hour shuttle services between both airport terminals, Plaça Espanya, and Plaça Catalunya. The buses are labelled as A1 for terminal one, and A2 for terminal two,” said El Nacional En.
Tickets are €12 for a round trip at time of writing, and can be bought online ahead of time or in person when boarding the bus, though buying online will ensure a smoother experience. Save your ticket and use it to get back to the airport when it’s time to leave.
From either plaça, you can either start exploring the city right away or switch to the main metro network to get anywhere else you need to go. If you’re planning a longer trip, a €20 T-Usual metro pass, which gets you unlimited transit within the city proper for a month, will be absolutely worth your while: it works on the subway, the trams, and the city buses.
The metro Line 9 connects directly to both airport terminals. A regular single-use or 10-use ticket won’t allow you to access the metro at these stops, but travellers without a valid unlimited or multi-use transit pass can buy a special single-use airport ticket for €5.15, which will allow you to get from the airport into the city and then connect to reach any destination you please.
The metro operates from 5am to midnight most days. On Friday nights it is open until 2am, while on Saturdays it operates continuously all night. Be sure to plan around operating hours if you’re planning on arriving, or leaving, in the early morning.
If you’re planning to stay for less than a week, one good option is the Hola Barcelona travel card, which allows unlimited use of public transit for two, three, four, or five-day periods, with prices scaling from €16 to €38. The Hola Barcelona card includes metro service from the airport to the city proper for no extra charge, which means no worrying about airport tickets.
The suburban rail service operated by Renfe is also an option if your flight arrives at or leaves from terminal two, the smaller of Barcelona’s two airport terminals. The R2 Nord line leaves from the BCN Airport train station (located next to terminal two) for Maçanet-Massanes every 30 minutes, and connects to several metro stations in the city. “Your best options are to disembark at Passeig de Gràcia (for the city centre) or Sants Estació (for Plaça Espanya or other rail connections). Note that airport terminal one is a fifteen-minute bus trip away from terminal two,” said El Nacional En.
A one-way ticket on the train costs €4.60, while the T-usual, T-casual (for any 10 trips) or Hola Barcelona tickets are also valid. Like the metro, the rail service operates 5am to midnight. If you want to return to the airport the same way, just remember that the R2 line splits into three, and you want R2 Nord, as it’s the only one that goes directly to the airport.
Taxis are a more expensive option, but will also be quick and reliable. Due to an airport surcharge, a taxi ride into the city centre will be at minimum €20, and likely run you about €30-40 total. If you are travelling in a group or a family, this option may be more economical than buying everyone individual tickets on a train or bus.
Once inside the city, taxi rides are cheaper, and available taxis can be easily found via the app FreeNow.
Produced in association with El Nacional En
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager