It happens to everyone: we arrive to a new city and, despite having consulted the schedules, despite knowing perfectly where our chic & bohemian apartment is, despite we studied the map and guide of the city, we cannot help but to feel disoriented in that place -sometimes hostile- that it is an airport.
Although there are usually good indications, the hordes of other travelers, the kilometric terminals full of corridors, shops and posters with arrivals and departures can disorientate us at times. So, in order not to get lost and to get en route towards Barcelona city as soon as possible, we offer a practical and comprehensive guide to know how to get from Barcelona’s airport to the city center. Stop looking: you have the answers to all your questions here.
Barcelona Airport (officially known as Barcelona Airport – El Prat and with the BCN international code) is located only 15 kilometers away from the capital, between the municipalities of El Prat de Llobregat, Sant Boi and Viladecans, which gives a strategic point for both cultural visits to Barcelona and to other leisure places like the coastal side Costa Dorada (where the theme park Port Aventura is), El Garraf (with the beautiful village of Sitges that is its main attraction) and Costa Brava (just 100 kilometers away and perfectly connected by train).
It has two terminals: T1 and T2, both connected by a continuous bus system and with all the necessary facilities to serve travelers: network of direct transport to Barcelona, full of restaurants, duty free stores, etc.
Depending on which terminal we are arriving to, we can move directly to Barcelona by train, metro, taxi or bus, and the trip will take between 20 and 50 minutes to complete the way to the city.
Going from Barcelona’s airport to the city center by train
The train service to Barcelona (known in Catalan as Rodalies) can be taken from T2, connecting the roads to the terminal by a covered walkway in red and white colors visible from any of the exits outside the airport.
It is one of the most desirable ways of transport because it stops in different strategic places of the city (the more centric would be Passeig de Gràcia, right in front of the marvelous Casa Batllò by Gaudi) in just 25 minutes, and with connections to the rest of Catalonia and the country through the Sants train station (in just 20 minutes).
The train has a frequency of 30 minutes, the first departure is at 05:42 and the last at 23.38 h (you can check all the schedules on the website of RENFE) and the service has a cost of 4.5€, which still can still be cheaper if we get a bonus of 10 single journeys (T10) also valid for metro and bus throughout the metropolitan area of Barcelona (it costs 9.8€)
If our flight leaves us in the T1 and we still want to take the train, there’s a free shuttle bus between terminals, with a constant frequency while the airport is open.
Going from Barcelona’s airport to the city center by subway
Recently a new line called L9 Sud has been created, and it connects the southwest zone of Barcelona with the airport via subway through stations that transport us to the Fira de Barcelona, the university area or the Camp Nou (F.C. Barcelona stadium), where we have connections to the rest of the city.
It has a frequency of 7 minutes and costs €4.5 per way (for the two metro stations located at the airport, one at T1 and another at T2, T10 is not valid, although is valid the combination with tourist cards that can be purchased at the same airport). It takes about 35 minutes to complete the journey between the T1 and the University area. You can find more details on the Airport website.
Going from Barcelona’s airport to the city center by taxi
The most convenient way to move to the center of Barcelona is the taxi, but also the most expensive.
We can find a taxi stop at any airport exit, specifically at the T1 next to the bus station and the subway exit, and there are three more spread over the T2.
The rate for any trip from both terminals to the metropolitan area of Barcelona is set around 20-30 Euros and only varies at night, if you go with more than 4 passengers, with excess of baggage or if you want to go to the charge dock of the port. Some reference rates are:
Barcelona’s Airport – Plaza Catalunya
- Weekdays: 26€ approx.
- Holidays, weekends and nights: 30€ approx.
Barcelona’s Airport – Plaza España
- Weekdays: 23€ approx.
- Holidays, weekends and nights: 26€ approx.
Barcelona’s Airport – South of Castelldefels
- Weekdays: 23€ approx.
- Holidays, weekends and nights: 25€ approx.
Barcelona’s Airport – Port de Barcelona (17.5 km approx.)
- Fixed rate: 39€.
Going from Barcelona’s airport to the city center by bus
There’s two bus options available from both terminals: the coach company Aerobus, a private shuttle service to Plaza de España and Plaza Catalunya, with a constant frequency, making the trip in 20-25 minutes and a cost around 6 euros, and the 46 bus line, with a frequency of about 30 minutes covering the route to Plaza de España in about 45 minutes.
The bus line has a cost of a single ticket for any of the metropolitan transport: 2 euros, and you can also pay with the T10 card.
As you see, it’s easy to move from the airport to the city of Barcelona in all types of transport, for a price range that goes from 2 to 30 euros and taking between 20 and 50 minutes. Now all you have to do is to discover this exciting city and enjoy your apartment with breakfast included. Welcome to Barcelona! Have a nice trip!