How to Get From Barcelona Airport to the City Centre

This post outlines the options available for getting from Barcelona airport to your hotel, hostel or apartment. Which one is best for you depends on several factors including; arrival time, number of people in your party, which part of the city you are staying in and your budget.

Please note that this information refers to Barcelona Airport, also known as Barcelona el Prat or simply BCN (the airport’s IATA location code). Some airlines misleadingly refer to Reus airport and Girona airport as Barcelona Reus and Barcelona Girona.

I ‘ll write about both of these airports in a separate article since they are NOT in Barcelona.

Tourists at Barcelona airport
Barcelona Terminal T1

By Taxi

A taxi from Barcelona airport to central Barcelona takes about 30 minutes and costs around €30. All Barcelona taxis are metered, the exact price depends on a combination of distance and the time taken for the journey. There are supplements for airport pickups and journeys after 8pm or on weekends. You can get more information about the tariffs here and here. Check the duration and cost a taxi to your hotel with this online taxi route calculator.

There are taxi ranks outside both terminals (T1 and T2)

Signs at the top of the ramp down to the taxi rank at Barcelona airport
To The Taxi Rank at Barcelona Terminal 1

Terminal 1 Taxi Rank

As you leave the baggage reclaim area, you will come to a metal barrier where people wait to meet arrivals. In the area behind the barrier you will see a large “TAXI” sign and a door leading to the ramp down to the taxi rank (see photo).

There is normally a uniformed attendant at the bottom of the ramp who will tell you which of the waiting taxis to take.

Terminal 2 Taxi Rank

Terminal 2 is divided into 3 sections A, B and C. Taxis wait on the road directly outside section B.

As you come out of baggage claim you will see signs directing you to the taxi Rank.

Please note that if you are arriving early evening on a weekday, the journey may take longer due to heavy after work traffic entering the city.


By Aerobus

The blue Aerobuses are a fast shuttle service between the airport and Plaça de Catalunya. Buses depart every 5 or 10 minutes from 5:35am until 1am (Terminal 1) or 6am until 1am (Terminal 2). The fare is €5.90 one-way or €10.20 return.

The journey takes approximately 35 minutes from Barcelona airport to the city centre and there is free Wi-Fi on board so you can let your family and friends know that you have arrived safely, update your facebook status or do some last minute trip planning.

The Airport bus at Barcelona T1 terminal
The Airport Bus or “Aerobus”

Tickets can be purchased from the driver (cash only – no large notes), from vending machines at the stops (Airport and Pl. Catalunya only) or online in advance from the Aerobus website. Tickets purchased online are valid for one year from the date of purchase.

The buses stop at Plaça de Espanya, Gran Via (near the Urgel metro station), Plaça de la Universitat and Plaça de Catalunya. Route maps to and from terminal 1 and terminal 2

To the Aerobus from Terminal 1

As you leave the baggage claim area, go straight ahead so that you pass between the taxi ramp and the “Caffe de Fiorre” coffee bar.

There is a large sign which guides you to the ramps down to the buses. (Shown in the photo at the start of this article).

To the Aerobus from Terminal 2

There are Aerobus stops directly outside the arrivals hall of Terminal 2 (used by easyJet and Ryanair as well as some other budget airlines)

The Aerobus is NOT covered by TMB tickets or travel cards such as the T10 or Hola Barcelona!.

It is however covered by the Barcelona City Pass which also includes skip the line entry to the Sagrada Familia, and Park Güell as well as the Hop on Hop off tour buses. Find out more


By Train

The train from Barcelona airport to the city centre
The airport train takes aproximately 20 minutes

Trains run every 30 minutes from the train station located at Terminal 2.

The journey time is around 20 to 25 minutes, depending on which of Barcelona’s train stations you choose to get off at. The first train is at 5:42 am and the last departs at 11:38 pm Train Timetable

Tip: If you purchase a T10 multi-trip ticket you can combine the airport train with the metro and bus as one journey for €1.02.

A single train ticket from the airport to the city centre costs €4.20 and can’t be used on the metro or buses.

Alternatively you can purchase a Hola BCN! transport pass which gives unlimited travel on the metro, buses, trams and commuter trains within zone 1 (including the airport train and metro).

Donload a FREE Map of Barcelona metro and train stations

To the Train Station from Terminal 1

There is a free shuttle bus which runs from terminal 1 to terminal 2. The journey takes under ten minutes but you should allow about 15 to 20 minutes in total to get from terminal T1 to the train station.

As you leave baggage reclaim, walk straight ahead so that you pass between the taxi ramp and the caffe de fiorre coffee bar. You will then see a sign which guides you to the ramps down to the buses. For the shuttle bus it is best to take the ramp down to the right (just before the Europcar car rental desk).

On arrival at terminal 2 you should follow the Green line painted on the ground. As you enter the terminal building, turn back on yourself and go up the escalators. You then walk for a couple of minutes along the covered bridge which leads to the train station. There are also lifts available.

The free airport shuttle bus seen from the escalator at Barcelona T1 airport
Airport Shuttle Bus

Train tickets can be purchased from the machines on the right-hand-side as you enter the station. The machines accept credit cards or cash (Euros). I recommend you purchase a T10 multi-trip ticket for this journey, here’s why.

To the Train Station from Terminal 2

There’s a covered bridge linking terminal 2B to the train station. If you arrive at terminal T2B, turn left as you exit baggage claim then follow the signs to the train station. There’s a yellow line on the ground which leads to the escalator up to the covered bridge. From T2A, turn right as you leave baggage claim and follow the signs to the train station. Allow 5 minutes to walk from baggage claim to the train station. Terminal 2C is easyJet departures only.

Which Barcelona Train Station ?

Upon Arrival

The airport train stops at the following train stations in Barcelona:

  • Aeroport
  • El Prat de Llobregat
  • Bellvitge
  • Barcelona Sants
  • Passeig de Gracia
  • El Clot – Aragó

Which station you should choose when travelling from Barcelona airport to the city centre depends on where you are staying:

Barcelona Sants – This station is close to Plaça Espanya and Montjuic and connects to metro lines L5 and L3. It is also Barcelona’s main train station with AVE, long distance, middle distance and commuter trains serving all of Spain.

Passeig de Gràcia – This station is the closest to the centre of Barcelona (Plaça de Catalunya and the Gothic Quarter) and connects with metro lines L2, L3 and L4.

El Clot-Aragó – This train station is convenient for Poblenou, Clot and the northernmost part of the Eixample (especially if you plan to take a taxi from the train station to your hotel). It connects with metro lines L1 and L2 and some local train lines.

For more information, check the Barcelona Metro/Train/Tram plan here

Going to the Airport

Barcelona El Prat Airport is the last stop on the line – Aeroport


By Metro (Underground / Subway)

Sign indicating how to get to the metro station at Barcelona airport terminal 1
Metro station sign at Barcelona airport

The new metro from Barcelona airport opened on February 12th 2016. The new line which is called L9 sud runs from the airport to the university in the south-west of the city and has 15 stops:

Airport T1, Airport T2, Mas Blau, Parc Nou, Cèntric, El Prat Estació, Les Moreres, Mercabarna, Parc Logístic, Fira, Europa-Fira, Can Tries-Gornal, Torrassa, Collblanc, Zona Universitaria.

The metro departs every 7 minutes (more frequently at peak times) from 5am to midnight Monday to Thursday, 5am to 2am on Fridays and non-stop from 5am Saturday to midnight on Sunday.

The airport metro ticket costs €4.60 – Standard single trip metro tickets and the popular T10 travel card CAN NOT be used on the airport metro

The HolaBCN! travel card which offers unlimited travel on the Barcelona metro, bus and tram network from as little as €14.44 for 48 hours (online price), can be used on the airport metro and can be purchased at the ticket machines in the station or in advance online.

The L9 sud metro from Barcelona airport doesn’t connect directly to the city centre centre. Most visitors will have to transfer to another line at either Torrassa (L1) or Collblanc (L5) and you may have to make more than one change to get to your hotel. Check the metro map here.

Mobile World Congress participants will be interested to know that the journey time by metro from the airport to the congress takes 22 minutes.

To the Metro from Terminal 1

As you leave the baggage claim area, go straight ahead so that you pass between the taxi ramp and the “Caffe de Fiorre” coffee bar. Keep walking straight ahead and you will see red metro signs above the escalator which leads down to the underground metro station (see photo above).

To the Metro from Terminal 2

The metro stop at terminal 2 is located underground next to the train station. Follow the directions given above and when you arrive at the train station you will see the entrance to the metro to the left.


By Regular Bus

Colourful signs at Barcelona Airport
Signs above the automatic doors leading down to the bus stops

During the day (from 5am to 11:50pm) bus number 46 runs from both airport terminals to Plaça d’Espanya. Unless you have already purchased a T10 or Hola BCN! ticket, the journey costs €2.20. This is a Little cheaper than the Aerobus but has the disadvantages of being slower, less frequent (2 per hour) and not having as much space for your luggage.

Route Map and Timetable Bus No. 46

Unfortunately the only places that you can purchase a T10 ticket at the airport are the train station at terminal T2 or at the tobacconist in terminal T1.

The Night Bus

If you are on a tight budget and arrive in Barcelona after the trains and Aerobus have stopped then you could take the night bus.

The bus route N16 takes you from T1 and N17 from T2 to the city centre.
The fare is €2.20 and there are buses every 20 minutes.

N17 Route Map and Timetable

I do not recommend the night bus unless you are staying near to Plaça de Catalunya or one of the other stops on route. If you arrive after the Metro has stopped running and have to connect to a second night bus your total journey time could be very long.

When arriving at Barcelona late at night I prefer to spend the extra money on a Taxi.

Other Public Bus Routes

There are also buses from the airport to Castelldefels, Sant Boi, Sant Joan de Llobregat and  Cornella as well as further afield including Lleida, Tarragona, Tossa de Mar, Roses and Cadaqués.

TMB Website – ALSASARFA


By Uber or Cabify

Uber and Cabify are not currently operating in Barcelona.


By Private Transfer

If you prefer to have someone waiting for you when your flight arrives then you may like to pre-arrange a private transfer with Book Taxi Barcelona.

By booking your transfer in advance you benefit from a fixed fare which is paid up-front via Paypal or credit card. Your driver will then track your flight and be waiting for you in the arrivals area holding a board with your name on it.

They also offer additional services such as bag drops, children’s booster seats, minibuses and vehicles adapted to carry electric wheelchairs or scooters as well as private transfers to/from the cruise port and other cities nearby.

Book your private airport transfer online


By Hire Car

There are several car hire companies at Barcelona airport including Europcar, Avis and Hertz. I do not recommend hiring a car to get to your hotel. A car will be of little use during your stay in the city. Even if you plan to spend a night in Barcelona and then leave the next the morning I would still recommend that you pick up your hire car on the day you depart.


Which To Choose?

There is really no single best way to get to or from the airport to Barcelona city centre. Which is best for you depends on things like budget, time of arrival, where you will be staying, how many people are travelling in your group, how much luggage you are carrying and personal preference. Generally speaking:

  • Staying near Plaça de Catalunya, Plaça de la Universitat or Plaça de Espanya? Take the Aerobus.
  • Staying anywhere else in the city and without too much luggage? Take the train and/or metro.
  • Arriving late/ in a hurry/  bulky or heavy luggage/ prefer to be dropped right in front of your hotel? Take a Taxi.

Note: All prices and fares mentioned in this post were checked and updated in January 2019.

More information about Barcelona airport here

373 thoughts on “How to Get From Barcelona Airport to the City Centre”

  1. Hi!

    Me and my wife are arriving at BCN on Vueling (Terminal 1) and are staying at Hotel SB Glow. I believe the closest Metro station is Glories. What’s the best way to get there from the airport?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Jeff,

      If I were you, for that location I’d do the following:

      Catch the free shuttle bus from terminal 1 to terminal 2 (more info in the article above) and then catch the train from terminal 2 to Barcelona – El Clot Aragó train station. From here it will take you about 10 minutes to walk to your hotel.

      Alternatively, if you don’t want to walk so much, you could take the metro line L1 one stop from El Clot Aragó (the metro station is called simply Clot and is part of the train station) to Glòries and then walk from there (5 minute walk).

      Depending on how lucky you are with connections, this will take about an hour and, if you purchase a T-10 ticket at the train station (share one between you) will cost €1.02 per person.

      More information about the T-10 in this post>>

      If that sounds like too many changes, then you could catch the L9 metro from the airport to Torrassa and then catch the L1 to Glòries. This will also take about an hour but unfortunately you can’t use the T-10 ticket on the L9 metro from the airport, so it will cost you slightly more. You must either purchase a Billet Aeroport (airport ticket) which costs €4.60 or a Hola Barcelona travel pass (there’s more info about travel passes in the article I linked to above).

      Alternatively, depending on your arrival time, a taxi to this location will take about half an hour and cost about €40.

  2. Hi Richard
    We are visiting Barcelona for the first time and we are staying at an AirBnb address is Carrer de Roger de Lluria. We will have some luggage with us as its a two week stay, would the train work and then walk the rest or would you recommend a private transfer?
    thanks
    Jack

    • Hi Jack,

      Depending on where you are staying on Carrer Roger de Llúria, the train can be a good option. I don’t know how much luggage you will be travelling with but, if you take a look at a map, the section of Roger de Llúria from Plaça de Urquinaona to Carrer de Aragó is basically flat, after that it’s a bit uphill but not too bad. If you let me know exactly where you will be staying and which terminal your flight lands at I’ll be able to give you some better advice.

      Alternatively, a taxi from the taxi rank at the airport will cost around €30. There’s no need to pre-book because there are always plenty available.

  3. Hi,

    I will be visiting Barcelona on October 14-17. Any recommendations for a place to stay in the city center that doesn’t cost more than $60/night?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Travelmarin,

      I’m not the best person for hotel recommendations in Barcelona because I haven’t stayed in a hotel or hostel here for a long time now.

      60 US dollars (about €50) is low end here so if you want to stay central and are travelling solo I think you’d be better off looking at staying in a hostel. If you don’t mind sharing then you can get a bed in a dorm or shared room for about €25 or even less.

      I’ve heard good things about the Sant Jordi Hostels Rock Palace which is in a central location and gets decent reviews.

  4. Hi again Richard,

    Just to say we got the train and its was a great service. Also using the t10 card meant it cost us about 5 euro to get into Barcelona city centre.

    Thanks

  5. We arrive about 11:00 am on an American airline from the USA. We check intoo the Vasanta Hostal Boutique . Casp 31 on September 5th. What is the best public transportation for us to take and what would be our stop

    • Hi Kay,

      Your flight will land at Terminal 1 and your hotel is 2 blocks (5 minute walk) from Plaça de Catalunya.

      If I were you, I’d catch the Aerobus. Plaça de Catalunya is the last stop, the journey takes about 35 minutes, buses depart every 5 minutes.

      If you take a look at the route on Google maps, the Aerobus stops just in front of the El Corte Inglés department store.

  6. Hi,

    We will be staying at hotel Cuatro Naciones with senior in our party. Any suggestions as to the best way to travel from the airport to our hotel??

    Thank you,

  7. Hi Richard,

    We are staying near to Carrer d’Arago.

    I believe it is around a 10 minute walk.

    Would you think the train is doable with luggage and 3 children or should we get a taxi.

    Thanks again

    • Hi Alan,

      If you use public transport at home with your family, you shouldn’t have any problems in Barcelona.

      The trains are modern and clean and the area where you will be walking is flat and scenic.

      If you change your mind, a taxi from the airport to that location will take about 25 minutes and cost about €30

  8. Hi,
    I am traveling to Barcelona arriving Friday 9th at 10.30am.
    I am a group of 5 with 3 children.
    I am staying at Carrer d’Aribau and am thinking of getting the train.
    I would buy a T10 pass.
    What station is best to travel to and then would I transfer to metro?
    Thanks

    • Hi Alan,

      It really depends on where you are staying on Carrer d’Aribau exactly, it’s a pretty long street.

      If you’re staying near to Carrer de Valencia, then it’s only about a 10 or 15-minute walk from Barcelona Passeig de Gràcia train station which is the fourth stop on the airport train line.

      If not, then you may want to combine the train with another mode of transport (most likely the metro)

      If you tell me the name or address of your hotel, I’ll tell you what I think would be your best option(s).

      By the way, there’s been talk of a possible strike by airport security staff this Friday which may cause delays at the airport. Obviously, it will mostly affect people who are departing from BCN (security checks after check-in) but you may find that the airport is more busy than usual.

  9. Coming to Barcelona in October with easyjet and staying at Hotel Ronda House. What’s the best way to get there? We land at 18:05 BCN.
    Our return flight is 22:05 so advice for return also appreciated.

    • Hi Debbie,

      The easiest way would be to catch a taxi from the rank outside the airport terminal which should normally cost about €30 and take about 25 minutes.

      Having said that, if you are arriving on a weekday at 18:05 (allow about 30 minutes to collect your bags) you are still within the evening rush hour. There may be heavy traffic at the entrance to Barcelona and it could take longer and cost a bit more.

      It would, of course, be cheaper by public transport.

      Easyjet flies to and from terminal 2 so, for this location, you could catch the train to Barcelona-Passeig de Gràcia train station followed by the L2 metro 2 stops to Sant Antoni metro station which is a 5-minute walk from your hotel.

      This would take between 45 minutes and 1 hour depending on how lucky you are with connections.

      Note: there is some walking involved: 5 minutes from the airport terminal to the train station, 5 minutes from the train to the metro (the train station is linked to the metro by a tunnel) and then 5 minutes from the metro to your hotel.

      If you purchase a T-10 pass at the train station, this journey would cost just €1.02. More info about the T-10 pass in this post.

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