Barcelona is easily accessible through all major modes of transportation including a major airport, train station and cruise port. One of Europe’s busiest cities, Barcelona boasts a comprehensive, easy to use, public transportation system.

By Air
Barcelona Airport, El Prat (BCN) is about 17km (11mi) from the centre of Barcelona. It is the second largest airport in Spain, and the largest on the Mediterranean coast. The airport is connected to the city by highway, commuter train (Barcelona Airport railway station) and scheduled bus service. There are 2 different terminals, on opposite sides of the runway: The new Terminal 1, opened in July 2009, is now the main one.

Three other area airports with train and bus service into Barcelona are: Girona Airport (GRO), 103km/64.2 mi to the northeast, Reus Airport (RUES), 77km/48mi to the south and Sabadell (QSA/LELL), 20km/12mi to the north.

By Boat
There are 9 terminals at the Barcelona port, 7 of them cruise terminals. The ports are at the foot of La Rambla (Barcelona´s most famous Boulevard, also often referred to as Las Ramblas), which runs through the city center.

By Train
Barcelona is a major hub for RENFE, the Spanish state railway network, and its main intercity train station is Barcelona-Sants station. The AVE high-speed rail system – designed for speeds of 300km/h (186mph) – was extended from Madrid to Barcelona (Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line) in 2008. Generally, Barcelona has high-speed rail links with major cities of Spain. Rodalies and the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) run Barcelona's widespread commuter train service.

By Bus
Barcelona has several bus stations: Barcelona Sants (Sants Estacio), Catalunya Station, the Estació del Nord (Northern Station) and Placa Espanya. The Barcelona bus services all area airports, the city of Barcelona and neighboring cities. Use the Barcelona Bus website for time tables with a handy calculator for how long the bus ride takes vs. walking. For ticket and fare information visit http://www.barcelonanord.com

By Car
Two semi ring roads, The Ronda de Dalt and the Ronda Litoral, form a circle around Barcelona with access to most of the city's suburban neighborhoods. There are two important entrances to the city, one to the south and one to the north. The northern entrance is called the Nudo de la Tinitat and this is where all the important roads and motorways enter the city (the Maresme, Girona-Costa Brava-France Sabadell-Terrasa Manresa routes). The southern entrance is where all traffic traveling up from the Mediterranean coast enters the city (Castelldefels or from Tarragona) and it is also where traffic from the interior of Spain (Lerida-Zaragoza-Madrid etc) enters the city.

Both entrances are connected to the two major ring roads. Once you get near Barcelona choose whether you want to use the Ronda de Dalt or the Ronda Litoral to enter the city regardless of whether you are entering the city from the north or from the south.

Getting Downtown

From the Airport

By Train
The cheapest way into town is to catch the local RENFE Rodalies/Cercanias train line. Renfe 'Aeroport' station is 10 minutes via a free shuttle from Terminal 1 to T2 and a short walk from T2 B through an overhead walkway. Trains run every 30 minutes. The fare one-way to downtown is €3.15, or €8.25 for a 10-journey travel card. The train takes about 25 minutes.

Once in Barcelona, the train stops at Barcelona Sants Estaciò (the main station) and Barcelona Passeig de Gràcia (as central as can be, leaves you right in front of the famous Casa Batllò house by Gaudí).You can connect to Metro if you're going to other areas. For some suburban destinations outside Barcelona it may be better changing trains at El Prat de Llobregat (south), or continue to El Clot-Arago (north).

There is also line number 46 urban bus to Plaça d'Espanya and NitBus 17 to Plaça de Catalunya (via Pl. Espanya) - you can buy one-way tickets for €1.40. You can use T-10 cards on these buses as well, but the only places to get a T-10 card are at the train station or from the Tabaco kiosk in front of T2 at the airport.

By Bus
AeroBus is an affordable and reliable way to get to Downtown Barcelona from the airport; single ticket price starts at €5.30. Aerobuses run every 5 minutes, every day of the year. The trip takes approximately 35 minutes. The route covers strategic stops in the city. You can buy your ticket from the staff at the bus stops (payment in cash or by credit card), at the automatic sales machines (payment in cash or by credit card) or from the bus driver (cash only payments). The Aerobus ticket does not allow for transfer to any other type of transport.

A1 bus serves T1 , A2 has stops at B-C parts of T2, both A1 , A2 run to Pl. Catalunya square (at the top of Las Ramblas), stopping on the way 3 times in the city: Plaza Espanya, Gran Via C.C. x Urgell St., and Plaza Universitat. From these stops you can walk, take the Metro, urban buses or taxi to your final destination.

By Taxi
If you arrive with a lot of luggage, the easiest way to get from BCN to town is by taxi. It is likely to cost about €30 (traffic dependent) for up to 4 persons. Minivans licensed for 5 or 6 are less frequent. Check with the driver before you begin your journey - it is good to have the address of your hotel printed in Spanish, as chances are good the driver won’t speak English. Taxis can be booked and paid for online at http://taxibarcelonabcn.com/ .

At http://www.taxibarcelonatransfer.com  you will be able to reserve your barcelona airport transfer without paying in advance and the driver will be waiting for you with a plate displaying your name. With  this taxi company you will be able to arrange your transfer for up to 9 seater taxi, minibus or minivan.

By Rental Car
There are five different car rental companies located within Barcelona Airport – Avis, Europcar, Hertz, National Atesa and Sol-Mar. The drive is approximately 30 minutes, a relatively simple journey south of the city. To save money try to hire a car from brokerage companies like Barcelona Car Rental. Unless you’re planning to visit attractions outside the city center, a rental car is not recommended for most tourists.

From the Port
The Blue Bus runs from all the Cruise port terminals to the monument of Christopher Columbus and back. The walking time from the Christopher Columbus monument to La Rambla is about 1 minute, and the nearest Metro is Drassanes (Green Line, L3), which is only about 5 minutes walk from the monument. Once at the metro you will have a good transport connection to the rest of the city. The price of the ticket is €1.45 for a single and €3 for a day return. The tickets can only be purchased with cash on the bus. You cannot use the T10 transport ticket on this bus service.

The port is also a short taxi ride to the city centre.

Getting Around
Transportation in Barcelona is comprised of public subways, buses, and private taxis, tour buses, etc. The public transportation system, Integrated Fare System, means you can use different modes of transport (metro, urban, metropolitan and interurban buses, tram, Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya trains and Rodalies de Catalunya trains) on a single travel card. Under this system you can use four different modes of transport and make three changes within an area and period of time established for the number of zones for which the travel card is valid.

By Metro
Barcelona has an excellent underground transport service, with an integrated rail transport network which allows any number of travel combinations. This network connects the center of Barcelona to each one of the city's neighborhoods, as well as providing access to its surrounding cities. Check the underground map to find out which station takes you closest to where you want to be.

Buying a T-10 card is the best option. The T-10 provides 10 trips which can be used for more than one person at the same time. Just validate your ticket once for every person traveling. If you plan to use public transportation regularly, consider buying multi-day tickets.

Metro fares are zone based and a day pass can cost up to €17.5. Children and senior pay reduced fares. Purchase tickets online or at Metro stations.

Walking
Barcelona is a beautiful city best appreciated on foot. It is a large city, but there are many neighborhoods great for a stroll, including Barri Gotic (Historic or- Gothic Quarter) Las Ramblas and the waterfront.

By Bicycle
Barcelona uses the Bicing service, a bicycle service understood as a public transport. One hundred Bicing stations are strategically placed throughout the city, with row upon row of red and white bicycles. When you purchase a user card, you can take a bicycle from any station around the city, use it anywhere in the urban area, then leave it at another station. The yearly pass costs €24 and gives registered members access to the bicycles as often as necessary. Keep in mind that the bikes are intended as a means of transport and not a leisure vehicle. Each bicycle ride should not exceed 30 minutes. If you keep the bike longer than the time allotted, you are charged €0.30 for each additional 30 minutes.

By Bus
Barcelona’sTMB has a total of 108 bus lines and a fleet of 1,080 vehicles, all adapted for people with reduced mobility, that guarantee a modern, efficient, environmentally friendly bus service. For a full list of bus routes and fares visit http://www.tmb.cat/en/linia-de-bus

For a more touristy experience try the Bus Turístic, a double decker tourist bus, with three different routes included in one ticket and 44 stops at tourist attractions. Adult fares are €20.7/day.

By Taxi
Barcelona has a metered taxi fleet governed by the Institut Metropolità del Taxi (Metropolitan Taxi Institute), composed of more than 10,000 cars. With their black and yellow livery, Barcelona's taxis are easily spotted. Check with the driver before you begin your journey - it is good to have the address printed, as most drivers do not speak English.

By Tram
TRAMMET, operates the city's two modern tram networks, known as Trambaix and Trambesòs. The historic tram line, the Tramvia Blau, connects the metro to the Funicular del Tibidabo (both operated by TMB). The Funicular de Tibidabo climbs the Tibidabo hill, as does the Funicular de Vallvidrera (FGC). The Funicular de Montjuïc (TMB) climbs the Montjuïc hill. The city has two aerial cable cars: one to the Montjuïc castle and Port Vell Aerial Tramway that runs via Torre Jaume I and Torre Sant Sebastià over the port.

By Car
Roads in Barcelona are laid out on a grid system which helps your orientation when driving around the city. Drivers in Barcelona tend to be more patient than in other parts of Spain and they pay more attention to road signs as well. Parking lots are rare, multi-story car parks are expensive and even minor parking offenses will result in your car being impounded. Parking costs average €15.90 for 24 hours, depending on the lot. Most travel resources strongly advise tourists not to discover Barcelona by car.

Getting to the Beach
Barcelona is listed first among the Top 10 Beach Cities in the world by National Geographic. Barcelona contains seven beaches, totaling 4.5km (2.8mi) of coastline. Sant Sebastià and Barceloneta beaches, both 1,100m (3,610ft) in length, are the largest, oldest and the most frequented beaches in Barcelona.

The Metra Yellow Line stops at Ciutadella Vila Olimpica and Barceloneta beaches. If you’re looking for a nude beach, the Yellow Line also stops at Poblenou beach, a popular tourist attraction. Stiges Beach can be accessed via train from Sants station, journey time approximate 30 minutes.

Left Luggage Facilities
There are numerous locations to store your luggage when traveling in Barcelona.

Rates & Locations:

  • El Prat Airport. €5 per day.
  • Estació Barcelona-Sants, Sants-Estació. Lockers €4.50 per day. Open daily 5:30am-11pm.
  • Estació Nord, Arc de Triomf. Lockers €3.50-5 per day, 90-day limit.
  • Plaça Catalunya, Consignas, C/-Estruc 36, €5.50/day, every day except New Year.