How to Get from Barcelona Airport to City Centre
Getting from Barcelona Airport to the city centre is fast and easy if you prepare in advance.
Barcelona is one of the major cultural and economic centres in southwestern Europe. Since the Olympic game, the city has especially received much international attention.
I visited Barcelona from Madrid to visit some historic buildings. Many of them have been registered as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium is also located in Barcelona. Moreover, Barcelona has busy large cruise terminals! Barcelona is one of the major cruise port in Europe.
Cruise lines provide you with a shuttle from Barcelona Airport to City Centre. However, it is costly. You also have to wait for other cruisers and get on the shuttle together at the airport.
In this article, you will find detailed information on transfer from Barcelona Airport to the city centre. Transportation for Barcelona airport to city transport is well organised. You have some choices in transfers. Save money by using public transport from Barcelona Airport to City Centre.
I. Barcelona Transport
Barcelona is the second-largest city
Barcelona has a safe and clean public transportation system. You can have some choices to transfer from Barcelona Airport to the city centre. Bus, train, metro, tram and taxi, all the transportations are available in Barcelona. Barcelona Airport is 13 km and Barcelona Cruise Terminals are 6 km away from the Barcelona city centre.
Pay extra attention to your luggage and pockets. Protect your valuable staff from pickpocket.
In case, are you travelling to Barcelona from Madrid Airport or Madrid city centre? Find out an article on Madrid Airport to City Centre and Barcelona.
Where are the Best Places to Stay in Barcelona?
Las Ramblas, the Gothic Quarter and Eixample areas are known as Ciutat Vella. You can have immediate access to the city’s transportation hub and plenty of places to visit on foot. Ciutat Vella is the place you book accommodation while you stay in Barcelona.
The Best 4 Areas to Stay in Barcelona
Plaça de Catalunya – the central Barcelona and the city’s transport hub
Las Ramblas – Barcelona’s most famous street
The Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic in Catalan or El Gòtic, Barrio Gótico in Spanish) – the historic and old town of Barcelona
Eixample – north side of Plaça de Catalunya for Antoni Gaudí’s La Pedrera and Casa Batllo around Passeig de Gracia
Find out more information on Barcelona hotels near the cruise port.
Barcelona’s Important Train Station
Plaça de Catalunya Train Station
Plaça de Catalunya train station is Barcelona’s transport hub. It is located at the heart of Barcelona. The train station is also connected to Plaça de Catalunya metro station (Red Line, L1) and (Green Line, L3). Aerobus is also directly going to Barcelona Airport.
Barcelona Sants Station
Barcelona Sants Station is the city’s largest railway station. Many national and international trains are departing and arriving from this station. The Renfe train
Metro: L5 and L3. Bus: 27, 32, 78, 109, 115, H10 and V17.
Things to Do in Barcelona
Montjuïc Castle and Magic Fountain
Park Güell – you need to book in advance
La Rambla – famous street
Camp Nou – Barcelona Stadium
Casa Milà – La Pedrera
II. Barcelona Airport to City Centre
Barcelona-El Prat International Airport (a.k.a. El Prat Airport, IATA: BCN), is the major international airport in Barcelona. The Barcelona El Prat International Airport is the closest airport to Barcelona city centre. The airport is located about 13 km southwest of central Barcelona (source).
The international flights mostly depart and arrive at Terminal 1 (T1). LCC flights use Terminal 2 (T2). Metro and Aerobus are operating at both terminals. The Renfe train is departing from Terminal 2 and no service at Terminal 1.
Barcelona Airport Transfer General Tips
- Get cash in advance for public transportation, with less than 20 EUR notes. Cash is available to get it at ATM in the airport. It is also inconvenient to find it and get cash while you carry a heavy suitcase.
- Barcelona is unfortunately known for a pickpocket. The airport is the busiest place in the city. Give extra attention to your pockets and luggage. If you have much luggage, MRT is not recommended to use due to pickpocket.
Which transport options are available?
1. Aerobus – the most convenient and quick with a low cost
2. Taxi – expensive but reasonable price for a few people and much comfortable
2. Renfe – the cheapest but need to carry luggage
4. Metro – a local train, inexpensive but need to carry heavy luggage
5. Rental Car – explore the beautiful countryside by car
Getting from Barcelona Airport to City Centre
(Cost is Euro (EUR) on February 2019)
1. Barcelona Aerobus
Barcelona Aerobus is an express bus service. It is safe and clean. Aerobus is the best from Barcelona Airport if your hotel is close to the bus stops. It is operating between the airport to the city centre from early morning to midnight.
As soon as you left the Arrival Exit with your suitcase, find a sign ‘Bus’ and go downstairs with an escalator. You can find Aerobus as it is clearly written so on a bus. Catch the Aerobus at either Terminal 1 or Terminal 2.
Aerobus Bus Stops
Aerobus A Route:
Airport Terminal 1 >> Plaça España >> Gran Via – Urgell >> Plaça Universitat >> Plaça de Catalunya (City Centre)
Aerobus B Route:
Airport Terminal 2 >> Plaça España >> Gran Via – Urgell >> Plaça Universitat >> Plaça de Catalunya (City Centre)
Barcelona Aerobes Ticket Fare: 5.90 EUR
Return Ticket: 10.20 EUR valid only 15 days)
Operation: Monday to Sunday, every 5 to 10 minutes from 5 am to 1.05 am
Duration: 35 minutes
How can you buy an Aerobus ticket?
You can directly purchase the ticket from an Aerobus driver. Only cash and less than 20 EUR note are accepted. There is a ticket machine at the bus stop, but it only accepted a credit card for payment so I did not use it. Instead, I purchased it from a bus driver.
2. Barcelona Airport to City by Taxi
The most convenient and stress-free Barcelona airport transfer to a hotel is a taxi, especially if you are with your family or with much luggage.
- Find a sign ‘TAXI’ and go downstairs with an escalator.
- You will find a taxi rank.
- Catch only a ‘registered taxi‘. They are coloured with ‘black and yellow‘ and have a meter.
How much is a Taxi from Barcelona Airport to City Centre?
Travel Time: less than 30 minutes if traffic is smooth
Rate: about 30 – 35 EUR plus an airport surcharge 3.10 EUR
Luggage: 1 EUR per one luggage and max 4 luggeages
Taxies are reliable in Barcelona. I never had any problem with them. They charge only on the meter and surcharge. Ride only on a registered black and yellow taxi. And with a green illuminated light on top. You feel safe and comfortable.
Taxi surcharge can be:
Airport and cruise port surcharge
Each big luggage such as a suitcase
Can you pay by a Credit card?
Some taxi drivers prepare credit card payment but in my experience, they don’t have the device. Cash is commonly accepted in Barcelona. If you have big notes, drivers may not accept either. It is suggested to prepare cash before you get a taxi. If you really need to pay by credit card, ask a taxi driver before you get on.
Do you tip to taxi drivers in Barcelona?
Tipping is welcomed but not required. Taxi drivers are not expecting it so you do not need a tip. If you wish to give a tip, it is 5 to 10% of the taxi fare.
It there Uber in Barcelona?
Uber is not official in Barcelona and is not accepted by the Spanish government. Uber is currently operating in Madrid. It might return to Barcelona.
3. Renfe Train in Barcelona
The cheapest Barcelona Airport transfers is the Renfe train service. The R2 Nord Renfe train service connects between
Renfe Train S
Aeropuerto (the airport train station)
Passeig de Gràcia
Barcelona Sants (a.k.a Sants Estació)
*Metro is connected to these Renfe stations.
Barcelona Airport train station is Aeropuerto and is located at Terminal 2. Your flight arrives at Terminal 1, as most of the flights do. You need to move to Terminal 2 by Barcelona airport shuttle service. It is free, operating every 5 to 10 minutes, and takes about 10 minutes to go to Terminal 2.
Follow the sign ‘Shuttle Bus‘. You can find it easily anywhere in the terminal. The Shuttle Bus sign is also on the floor, just in front of your foot. Follow the green lines. A shuttle bus will take you from outside of the Terminal 1 to the Renfe train station entrance.
Single ticket: 4.1 EUR
Operation: about every 30 minutes from the airport to the city centre
Travel time: about 25 minutes
You can purchase a T-10 card at Barcelona Airport to save money. It costs 10.02 Euro for 10 tickets (Metro and public bus cost about 2.15 EUR for a single ticket.) T-10 card is available for Metro, Tram, public bus and the Renfe train. A single ticket from Barcelona airport to the city centre already costs 4.10 EUR. If you transfer within 75 minutes, it is also free.
Important: the T10 ticket is not valid at the stops Aeroport on the airport Metro link and Aerobus express.
4. Barcelona Airport to City by Metro
Barcelona Airport L9 Metro link
L9 Metro link does not go to the major city centre. You need to transfer to other Metro line. However, if your hotel is located near the Metro station, it is convenient. If you have a lot of luggage, it is not recommended to use Metro due to a safety reason. Pickpocket happens often on Metro.
Barcelona Metro L9 link connects between Barcelona Airport and the city centre. Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, both have Metro terminals, called Aeroport T1 and Aeroport T2.
Airport Metro L9
Single ticket: 4.60 EUR
Operation: every 7 minutes
Travel Time: 32 minutes to Zona Universitaria
*Important: T-10 Ticket is not available to travel from/to Aeroport station on Metro.)
If you are going to Plaça España and Plaça de Catalunya, get off at Torrassa station and change to L1 line.
Barcelona Metro L Line
5. Rental Car
There are 7 car rental companies in Barcelona Airport. Sixt, Europcar, Avis, Budget, Hertz, Enterprise and Goldcar offer their services. All car rental offices are located at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. You can easily find them.
In Terminal 1, the rental car companies
In Terminal 2B, you can find the front desks for car hire services at the main exit hall just after customs offices.
Bonus Tip!: Visiting Information for Barcelona!
- Travel Visa Information
- Currency: Euro (EUR) Go to a currency converter
- Internet: Free WiFi access in Barcelona Airport
- Barcelona Weather Information
- Spain Public Holidays
The cheapest way from Barcelona Airport to City Centre is the Barcelona Metro. It costs 4.60 for a single ticket. If your accommodation is close to the train stations, Metro is the best.
Actually, TMB bus 46 is the cheapest. It cost 2.20 EUR for a single ticket. It is a city bus and is not an airport shuttle. There is no space for suitcases and is not convenient for you and other passengers.
The second cheapest option is to take the Barcelona metro. A single one-way ticket will cost you €4.60, you save more per ride if you buy a multi-trip pass. Lastly, the third cheapest way is to take Aerobus. A single ticket for the shuttle costs €5.90
Metro, however, is not recommended if it is your first time to visit Barcelona due to pickpockets. The best convenient hustle freeway for airport transfer is Aerobus. It costs 5.90 EUR. You can take a seat and relax after handing in your suitcase.
The fastest and the most comfortable way to go to the city centre from the airport is by taxi. It is a door to door service.
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Next reading >> Hotels in Barcelona near Cruise Port
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