Understanding Barcelona’s Public Transport Zones

Fares on Barcelona’s public transport network are based on zones, much as they are in London and Paris. Unlike London, the entire city of Barcelona is within TMB Zone 1. Zones 2 to 6 cover surrounding towns and cities which are also included in the integrated fare system.

One thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that the zones on the TMB map (Barcelona’s metropolitan transport system) aren’t exactly the same as those on the RENFE map (Spanish train network).

The differences are minor and only affect a few stations so it’s hard to spot if you check the individual maps online. However, if you compare the maps side-by-side you will see that there are some discrepancies, one of which is especially interesting for budget minded tourists visiting Barcelona.

Two maps of Barcelona’s public transport zones.

Spot the difference !

Firstly, Sitges and Mataró are both in zone 3 on the TMB map and zone 4 on the RENFE map. More importantly, Barcelona airport is in zone one on the TMB map and zone 4 on the RENFE map!

This means that if you purchase a single RENFE ticket from the airport to Sants train station it will cost you €4.20 whereas if you purchase a T10 card (10 journeys by bus, metro and train) the same journey on the same train will cost just €1.02.

Another advantage of the T10 is that allows you to transfer to the metro or bus as part of the same journey whereas the single train ticket or bonotren only covers the train.

Important information about the L9 sud airport metro

In 2016 the L9 sud metro line was inaugurated, connecting Barcelona Airport (terminals T1 and T2) Barcelona city centre by metro.

Despite the fact that the entire line is within metro zone 1 (check map) neither the T10 nor the standard single metro ticket are valid for the airport metro stations. Instead you have to purchase a special Airport Ticket which costs €4.60 for a single journey and which is only valid for the metro*.

Because of this I don’t normally use the airport metro stations when travelling to or from the airport (more information here).

If you do decide to use the metro to get to and from the airport then you should think about purchasing a Hola Barcelona! travel pass which allows unlimited transport within zone 1 by metro, bus, train and tram and costs €14.44 for 48 hours when purchased online. For longer stays 72, 96 and 120 hour versions are also available.

Find out more about Barcelona sightseeing passes and discount cards

If you mistakenly use a standard single journey ticket or a T10 to travel to one of the airport metro stations you will have to purchase an airport ticket in order to be able to exit through the ticket barriers.

*Note: The T10 and standard single journey ticket are valid when travelling to or from any of the other stations on the L9 sud metro line. You only need the special airport metro ticket when boarding / alighting at the airport T1 or T2 stations.

So far I’ve only spotted 4 differences between the public transport zones on theTMB and RENFE maps. Have you found any that I’ve missed?


241 thoughts on “Understanding Barcelona’s Public Transport Zones

  1. Sarah

    Hello Richard
    Thank you in advance for all the great & detailed advice you are giving.
    We are arriving to Spain BCN on 7/4/19 evening we are staying for 5 nights. Our hotel is in L’ hospitalet de Llobregat. We plan on touring Camp nou, Park guell, El raval Las Ramblas, mount Juic and few others. Which is the best travel pass to purchase for 5 of us? I think we will use metro. Also we need to book airport to hotel transfer.
    Thanks ever so much.

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Sarah,

      If I were you I’d just catch a taxi from the rank at the airport to your hotel. There are always plenty of 5 or 6 seater taxis on hand and it is cheaper than pre-booking a transfer.

      As for travel for the other days, from what you have said it doesn’t sound like you will be using public transport all that much so I think that the T-10 will work out cheaper than the Hola Barcelona pass. You can share one T-10 between the five of you and then just buy another as needed. You have to validate the T-10 once per person when travelling (ie 5 people can take 2 journeys with one t-10). Also bear in mind that the 5 of you have to stay together for the duration of the journey.

      If you haven’t seen them already I recommend take a look about this post about the Camp Nou Tour and this post which explains the different travel cards and sight seeing passes which are available.

      1. Psi

        I will give you another option – if you know that you will travel a lot using metro – don’t go for T10, take T70/30 instead – it works similar to T10 but gives you 70 journeys straight away (another difference is that T10 is valid for a whole year, where T70/30 is valid only for 30 days from the first ride). It may seem like a lot, but last time we’ve been a group of 6 for 5 days and we used two of those.
        And cost-wise it will be slightly cheaper (7xT10 = €71.2, 1xT70/30 = €60.90)
        But like I said – only if you know you will use mostly metro. If you want to make more walking then T10 is a choice to make :)

        1. Richard Post author

          Hi Psi,

          Thanks for your comment. I agree that for larger groups the T70/30 can work out well but at €60.90 a time you have to be sure that you will use all 70 journeys.

  2. Jess

    Hi There,

    We would greatly appreciate it – if you can advise if we should get the T10 ticket or HolaBCN pass for our trip this summer in Barcelona ?
    Here’s the rundown so far: we will probably arrive to Barcelona on June30 around 8AM. Then will head to hotel (near Casa Mila) drop off our luggage – after that we like to visit Park Guell. We will stay in Barcelona for 5 days. In between we plan to goto Sagrada Famila, Casa Mila and Casa Batllo, so around 1 or 2 places a day.
    Thank you for your time and hope to hear from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Jess,

      Casa Milà is near to the Passeig de Gràcia train station and is easily reached by the train from the airport. (More info about transferring from the airport here).

      It doesn’t sound like you will be using public transport that much and you won’t be using the airport metro so I think that the best choice will be the T-10 (can be shared).

      Once you’ve decided which sights you will be visiting I recommend you use the price comparison calculator in this post to see whether it’s worth purchasing a sightseeing pass.

      The post also includes a brief review of the T-10 and Hola Barcelona! Travel card.

      Whatever you decide, make sure you purchase tickets for the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell in advance.

  3. Bill vincent

    Hi I am staying in Calella in may with my wife we are going to camp nou to watch the rugby we have booked transport for airport we want a few days out at different resorts like blanes and toss’a Lloret Santa Susanna we will only go to Barcelona the once could you tell me what would be the best train tickets to buy thanks bill

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Bill,

      This is how those trips look when broken down price-wise:

      Calella – Camp Nou = train 5.00 (renfe zone 5) plus metro 2.20 (1 zone) x 4 = 28.80 (T-10 4 zones 35.25 – Callela is in TMB zone 4 RENFE zone 5 )
      Calella – Blanes = €2.55 x 4 = 10.2 (2 zone Bonotren 14.7)
      Calella – Tossa = train to Blanes plus bus to tossa 2,85 = 10.20 + 11.4
      Callela – Lloret = Train to Blanes + bus to lloret 1.85 = 10.20 + 7.40
      Calella – Santa Susanna = €2.20 x 4 = 8.8 (1 zone bonotren 9.20)

      Total number of journeys = 10 x 2 people = 20 journeys in total

      Neither the T-10 nor the Bonotren are valid for the buses from Blanes to Tossa or Lloret.

      It’s not easy to work out because you’re mixing 1, 2, 4 and 5 zone journeys but I think that the cheapest option would be to purchase one 4 zone T-10 for visiting Camp Nou plus one 2 zone Bonotren plus the bus tickets from Blanes to Tossa and Lloret.

      You would use the 6 left over journeys on the T-10 for some of the shorter journeys (Blanes and Santa Susanna) but, due to the saving offered by the T-10 when travelling to Camp Nou, they only effectively cost you €1.08 each which is cheaper than buying single tickets or another bonotren.

      Doing the maths, the total cost of purchasing single tickets for each journey works out at €97.20. If you purchase the 4 zone T-10 and 2 Bonotren plus the bus tickets as described this would cost €68.75. That’s an overall saving of €28.45.

      I recommend that you also check out this post about visiting Tossa de Mar which includes more information about the train & bus combination.

      Plus this post about the Camp Nou. It’s basically about visiting the stadium but there’s some other information that you may find useful.

  4. aneta

    hi guys!i am gonna stay in Barcelona for a few days and i am thinking of visiting Madrid too. What is the cheapest way to get there? by Train? but it’s not too cheap as I looked at it on the web ??

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Aneta,

      The AVE high speed train prices vary and are normally cheaper if purchased about 2 months in advance.

      The bus is a cheaper than the train but takes longer (7.5 hours instead of 2.5 for AVE).

      The slower Regional Express trains are also more expensive than the bus and take even longer!

      Take a look at bus prices and schedules on http://www.alsa.es

      You could also try a car sharing site such as http://www.blablacar.es

      I’ve not used blabalcar myself but have a friend who swears by it. Looking at the website the price is about the same as catching the bus.

      If you do end up taking the AVE, make sure you check out this post which will save you a couple of Euros.

  5. Mikey

    Hiya… I am arriving at BCN on 13th Feb and staying at The Mirror, Carrer de Corsega… What is the best/ cheapest route… not sure if terminal but flying with Vueling. Thanks…

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Mikey,

      Vueling flights normally land at Terminal 1

      The cheapest way to get to your hotel will be to catch the free shuttle bus from terminal 1 to terminal 2 and then purchase a T-10 travel card from the ticket machines at the train station.

      You can then take the R2 train the Barcelona Sants station. From here you take the L5 metro to Diagonal metro station which is a 10 minute walk from your hotel.

      All up this should take about an hour door to door and will cost just €1.02

      If you haven’t seen them already, I recommend you read this post and this post for more info about airport transport and tickets.

  6. Danny

    Hello Richard, im traveling to Barcelona staying at Best Western Carrer de Mallorca, 181
    08036 Barcelona
    I wanna know what my best option is to get from the airport to the hotel. Im staying 4 days and plan on going site seeing and catch a football game. Thank you in advance

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Danny,

      It depends what you mean by best and which terminal you’ll be arriving at.

      If you’re not carrying too much luggage then the Aerobus is a pretty good choice from both terminals. Catch the Aerobus to Plaça Universitat (3rd stop) and it’s a 10 minute walk from there. The buses depart every 5 to 10 minutes and thee entire journey will take about 45 minutes (including the 10 minute walk). The fare is €5.90 single or €10.20 return.

      If you will be arriving at terminal T2 then the train will take about the same length of time but with the disadvantage that there are only 2 trains per hour. Take the train to Barcelona Passeig de Graàcia station which is also about a 10 minute walk from your hotel. The advantage of the train is price, if you purchase a T-10 (more info above) then the journey will only cost €1,02.

      If you are arriving at terminal 2 and price is an issue then you could take the free shuttle bus from terminal one and terminal 2 and then catch the train. This will add about 15 minutes to your journey time.

      All this is explained in more detail here

      As you will see in that post, there are other combinations available.

      The most convenient and fastest way will of course be to take a taxi which, depending on the time of arrival, will cost around €30. If you’re carrying large suitcases then this would be the best choice.

  7. Steve

    Hi Richard
    I’m visting Barcelona for 2 days in March with my wife and 2 children. We are staying in Example area and will also be attending a Barcelona football match. What train tickets should I look to buy to cover all our travel? I will be using the train from the airport on arrival

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Steve,

      It depends on how much you plan to use public transport during your stay.

      If you just plan to take the train from the airport to your hotel and the metro to Camp Nou and maybe one or two journeys more on the metro then a T-10 would be the best choice. You can share one card between you (don’t forget to validate it once per person at the start of each journey) then when it runs out buy another etc…

      If you will be using the metro / train etc 6 or more times a day then the Hola Barcelona Card would work out cheaper (one per person).

  8. JT

    What a treasure trove of info you provide! The tip on getting a T10 to get from the airport to Barcelona city centre is such a money saving practical tip.

    Could you explain something about the zones? Let’s say if I am in zone 6 and want to go somewhere in zone 3. Do I get a zone 6 or zone 3 T-10 ie go by the furthest zone or difference in zones? Thank you!

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi JT,

      You have to purchase a ticket depending on the number of zones you will be travelling through, to a maximum of 6.

      That means that if you are in zone 5 to the north of Barcelona (Blanes for example) and you travel to somewhere that is in zone 3 also to the north of Barcelona (Mataró for example) then you will have to purchase a 3 Zone T-10. In this case the train passes through zones 5, 4 and 3.

      If on the other hand, you are in somewhere that iz in zone 3 to the north of Barcelona (Mataró for example) and want to travel to somewhere that is in zone 3 to the south of Barcelona (Sitges for example then you will have to purchase a 5 zone T-10. In this case the train passes through zones 3, 2, 1, 2 and 3.

      As above, this is up to 6 as a maximum, if you travel through 6 or more zones in one continuous journey then you only need a 6 zone T-10 (they don’t sell them for more zones).

      The only exception to this rule is if you will be catching the train between two consecutive stops which are in different zones, in this case you only need to purchase a 1 zone T-10. For example from Sitges (zone 3) one stop to Vilanova i la Geltru (zone 4) you can purchase a 1 zone T-10.

  9. Chris Han

    Hi Richard,

    Can I ask a couple of questions about ticket validating?
    We are arriving at BCN in a couple of weeks and staying in Santa Susanna.
    We will be travelling back to Barcelona a couple of times so we have decided on a 5 Zone Bonotren ticket.
    Anyhow, the questions I wanted to ask is how do we validate our ticket at Santa Susanna station?
    I believe there are no barriers at this station like many tiny stations, so are there small machines on a wall somewhere or are they validating machines in the train, as they have on the trams?
    Also, when we leave the SS station can we just walk off the platform, we don’t have to validate our ticket again to say we’ve left the system?

    Thank you for your advice

    best regards


    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Chris,

      At Santa Susanna train station there’s a ticket validating machine at the south end of the platform like the one in the photo at the bottom of this post.

      You have to validate your ticket in the machine before boarding the train. It’s best to do this shortly before the train arrives.

      If there are several of you travelling together you have to insert the ticket once per person (if you look at the back of the ticket you’ll see it gets stamped each time you insert it in the machine).

      When you arrive at Santa Susanna by train you don’t need to do anything, as you say, just walk off the station. You don’t need to validate again to say that you’ve left the system.

  10. Stephen horvath

    hi, gosh this train thing is confusing? we need to get from Barcelona airport bcn to Pineda de mar, looking on the train lines it says r2 then onto r1 to pineda? question is how much is the ticket and does the t10 ticket cover everything?
    me bieng a numpty will this t10 allow me/ us 2 adults one 8 yr old to do that journey with the one t10? if so where do you buy these from and im presuming its ok for the return journey as we would only have used it for 6?
    so please can you confirm that i dont need to buy anything else to pick the train up from the airport terminal 2?

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Stephen,

      In your case, since it seems that you will only be doing a total of 6 journeys, it will be cheapest to purchase single train tickets from Barcelona airport to Pineda de Mar.

      This will cost €5 per ticket ie. €30 in total for the 6.

      You could use a 4 zone T-10 for the journey if you want to but it would cost €35.25 and you’d have 4 unused journeys left over.

      Don’t forget that you have to validate the tickets at the ticket barrier before boarding the train at the airport. At Barcelona el Clot Aragó you don’t go through the ticket barriers again because the platforms are right next to each other.

      Tickets (single train tickets, T-10 and bonotrens) can be purchased from the machines at the train station (cash or cards) or from the ticket office (cash only).

      If you’ve already checked the route on the RENFE website you will see that they recommend changing trains at Barcelona Sants train station.

      In fact it’s better to wait and change trains at Barcelona El Clot Aragó (the 5th stop) which is a smaller station.

      The R2 Nord train from the airport arrives at platform 2 and the R1 train northbound to Pineda departs from platform 4. Literaly you just need to take the escalator up from platform 2, turn left at the top of the escalator walk about 10 paces foward and take either the stairs or the elevator down to platform 4.

      The R2 Nord trains depart from the airport every 30 minutes at **:08 and **:38 and take 32 minutes to get to Barcelona El Clot Aragó.

      When you catch the R1 to Pineda del Mar you need to make sure you get one with the final destination of Maçanet Massanes which depart every 30 minutes at **:27 and **:57 (varies slightly)

      In fact there are R1 trains heading north from platform every 10 minutes (aprox) but the others terminate either at Mataró, Arenys de Mar or Calella which are before you arrive at Pineda de Mar. Don’t worry if you get on one of these by mistake, when the train gets to its final destination just wait there for the next train to Pineda!

      The entire journey by train from Barcelona airport terminal 2 to Pineda del mar will take just under 2 hours.

      Train timetables here and here

  11. Mel

    Hi Richard,

    Oh my, you appear to be the complete expert on travel in Barcelona… thank you in advance for all the great advice you have been giving.

    We are looking to travel to Barcelona with our 2 boys aged 5 and 7 arriving on a Wednesday in October early and leaving Monday evening.

    We’re reviewing accommodation and wondering if it would be cheaper to stay somewhere further out of the city like Mataro and travel in.

    I’m looking at the T10 and the Barcelona Card (with Gaudi bundle)

    I’m currently considering the T10 on the Wednesday to get us all form the airport to Mataro then spend our first day there. Then travel in and out of Barcelona on the Thursday – Monday with the Barcelona Card. This will cost us €244 total with the Gaudi bundle included.

    Is this the best option for us?

    Will the T10 get us from the BCN airport to Mataro?

    Will the Barcelona Card get us from Mataro to the city?

    How long does it take to get into the city from there each day?

    And if we decided to spend more and stay in the city, will we need either of the travel cards to get around anyway?

    Mann thanks in advance


    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Mel,

      If you want to stay outside Barcelona then I think that Mataró (about 40 minutes away by train) would be quite a good choice. It’s a small town with a long sandy beach which is way less crowded than Barcelona. The town centre is also quite attractive and if you are interested in Gaudí you could also visit the first building he designed which is located in Mataró (and can be visited for free).

      To answer your questions:

      Without knowing which sites you plan to visit, it´s pretty much impossible to know which card will be best. I suggest you read this post which compares the most popular sightseeing cards and then compare the prices of the different passes with the cost of buying individual tickets.

      The Barcelona Card covers a large number of attractions and, if you want to see most of them, is good value for money but if you just want to see the highlights then cards like the Barcelona City Pass might work out better.

      Yes, you can use a 3 zone T-10 to get from the airport to Mataró. The 3 zone t-10 costs €27.40. Take the R2nord line from the airport to Barcelona El Clot Aragó station then the R1 from there to Mataró.

      Unfortunately, the Barcelona Card only covers transport within zone 1 (Mataró is in zone 3) so you will need to buy an additional ticket for the train. If you want to stay in a town outside Barcelona but within zone one then you could try looking for a hotel in Badalona (the area near the seafront/promenade is nice) or Castelldefels. If you use the yellow hotel search box in the sidebar then I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you ;-)

      The train from the city centre to Mataró takes 43 minutes. From the city centre to Badalona takes 18 minutes.

      For a 6 day stay and staying in the city centre, if you plan your days logically, then the one zone T-10 might be the best choice.

      As I said before, it really depends on what sights you plan to visit and the only way to know for sure is to compare the different discount cards with the cost of purchasing tickets individually online.

      I hope this helps. If you have any more questions feel free to ask.

  12. joyce chan

    Hi Richard, my husband and i will arrive in Barcelona Terminal 2 on Monday 10 September. Can you suggest what type of transportation card i need. This is our plan:

    1. from Barcelona airport terminal 2 to Sitges on monday. We will stay in Sitges all day on Monday.

    2. Tues 11, from sitges by train to calafell early morning and return to sitges at 2pm to our hotel for a swim, then we get the train again around 4ish to vilanova and spend a few hours there , then get the train back to sitges.

    3. Wed 12, from sitges by train to barcelona just to visit park guell, then on way back to sitges stop by castadefell, then from casterdefell back to sitges.

    4. Thurs 13, from sitges we go to barcelona again as our final day we stay in barcelona hotel for one night. This day we visit other areas of barcelona by foot.

    5. Fri 14, leave from placa de catalunya to get airport terminal 2 bus to airport.



    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Joyce,

      The cheapest way to do this will be as follows:

      Buy one 3 zone T-10 which you will use for the following trips (shared between the 2 of you):

      Airport -Sitges

      Sitges – Calafell

      Calafell – Sitges

      Sitges – Park Güell

      Sitges – Barcelona

      Buy one 1 zone T-10 which you will use for the following trips (shared between the 2 of you):

      Sitges – Vilanova i la Geltrú*

      Vilanova i la Geltrú – Sitges*

      Park Güell – Castelldefels

      Barcelona – Airport**

      Buy two single train tickets:

      €3.50 each from Castelldefels to Sitges.

      * If you check the map of the train lines you will see that Sitges and Vilanova are in different transport zones. However, since they are consecutive stops, you only need a one zone ticket to travel between them.

      ** The T-10 isn’t valid for the Aerobus. I suggest you read this post which compares the different ways of getting from the city centre to the airport in detail.

  13. George Tune

    Hi Richard,
    My wife and I are travelling to Mataro for a 7 day break .could you tell me the best T10 ticket to buy as we need it to cover to and from the airport to Barcelona Sants station and also travelling around from mataro

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi George,

      When you say that you want to travel “to and from the airport to Barcelona Sants” do you plan to catch the train from the airport to Barcelona Sants and then catch another train from there on to Mataró?

      If so, you’d be better off catching the train from the airport to Barcelona el Clot Aragó and then a train from there to Mataró. Both take the same length of time but the transfer at Barcelona el Clot Aragó is easier.

      If you could let me know which other towns you will be visiting and whether/ how many times you plan to travel into Barcelona (apart from the day of arrival and departure) I’ll gladly try and help you to decide which tickets you should purchase.

  14. Bal

    Hi Richard, thanks for the informative article.

    We’re travelling to Barcelona for the first time as 2 adults and 2 teenagers (13 & 17) for 4 nights, 5 days.

    We are staying in the Sant Marti district and I’m struggling a bit to figure out whether it is just cheaper to buy a 5 day Hola BCN card to firstly travel to and from the airport with all public transport options available and also include that we’ve booked in advance for the Palau de la Musica, La Sagrada, Parc Guell & Casa Batllo over 3 days.

    The other option being is to just buy a 3 day Hola BCN card for those planned excursions and also buy a couple T10 cards so we can get the Renfe to and from the airport or as we can share the T10s.

    Does this make financial sense with these options?

    Thank you.

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Bal,

      Generally speaking the break even point between purchasing a T-10 and the Hola BCN card is 6 journeys per day. Less than 6 then the T-10 works out cheaper, more than 6 then the Hola BCN is cheaper. The only exception is if you will be using the airport metro which isn’t covered by the T-10 and therfore tips the balance in favour of the Hola BCN.

      Sant Marti is quite a large area of the city, if you tell me the address of your hotel and which terminal your flight lands at I’ll give you some ideas for the best mode of transport.

      Genarally speaking, for a 5 day stay, if you plan your trip logically then the T-10 is a good choice.

  15. Michael

    Hi Richard,

    Couple of questions, if I may.

    We arrive in Barcelona on 21 August – 2 adults and 2 children (16 and 11).

    If we purchase a T10 Zone 1 ticket at the airport – are we able to use it for our journey to Marina metro station?

    Secondly, we leave Barcelona for Vilanova i la Geltru on 25 August. We will get metro from Marina/Bogatell to Passeig de gracia then train to Vilanova. We will return from Vilanova to airport on September 1.

    Can we use Bonotren10 Zone 4 ticket for both these journeys (and will it be valid for the metro journey to Passeig de Gracia) and is it the most economical way to travel?

    Many thanks for your help,


  16. Michael Williams

    Hi Richard,
    We will be leaving Barcelona on 25 August to travel to Vilanova i la Geltru. We are two adults and two children (16 & 11). We will be using the metro from Marina/ Bogatell to Passeig de gracia to catch the train to Vilanova.
    We will also be travelling from Vilanova to BCN airport on 1 September
    Would a Bonotren10 cover us for these journeys and would it be the most economical ticket?

    Finally, we can buy a T10 Zone 1 at the airport and use it to travel to Marina metro station on our arrival on 21 August?

    Many thanks in advance for your help

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Michael,

      Theres not much in it, but the cheapest option will be to purchase a 4 zone T10 which costs €35.25 and will cover the metro from Bogatell to Passeig de Gràcia plus the train.

      If you purchase a bonotren (€28.25) then you will also need to buy separate metro tickets from Bogatell to Passeig de Gràcia (€2.20 each).

      The only exception would be if you had already purchased a one zone T10 and had the 4 journeys left over.

      Yes, you can use a 1 zone T-10 to travel from the airport to Marina metro station. The easiest route would be to catch the R2 Nord train from Barcelona airport to Barcelona El Clot Aragó train station. From there you take the L1 metro (red line) 2 stops to Marina.

  17. Amanda

    Hello, which taxi company should I use for a ride to my hotel in Avinguda Fabregada, 54-56, Hospitalet de Llobregat. We are five persons and are traveling in October. Is it better to book online or just take a taxi there? A van or two ordinary taxies? The return trip, should we call a taxi or ask the hotel for help? If you book online you can add a return transfer. What do you think is best?

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Amanda,

      There’s no need to book a taxi from the airport since there will be plenty of cabs waiting at the taxi ranks when you arrive.9

      There are normally plenty of 6 or 7 seater taxis at the airport. Just tell the taxi marshall at the rank that you ar travelling together and they will put you in a 5 or 6 seater cab.

      When returning to the airport you can either get the hotel to call you a cab or use a taxi hailing app such as MyTaxi. If the hotel calls you the cab there will be a small surcharge added at the end of the journey.

      It’s not necessary to pre-book a taxi/ transfer from the airport because there are always plenty of cabs waiting so, even at peak times, you don’t have to wait long.

  18. Rania

    One adult and 4 teenagers are going to be in Barcelona for 6 days. Which tickets should we get?
    Where do you recommend to history? Culture? Buildings? Food? Things you have to see while there? Also if we go to a fotboll match where should we buy the tickets? Online or there? We are traveling in the end of October.

  19. Rania

    What’s the best card/ticket for 6 days in Barcelona for 1 adult and 4 teenagers? Does it include transport to and from the airport.

    1. Richard Post author

      Hello Rania,

      It really depends on what you plan to do, which terminal you will arrive at and where you will be staying.

      Take a look at this post which compares the most popular discount cards and sightseeing passes.

      If you will be staying in the city centre and want to visit the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Batlló and Camp Nou (for example) plus take a Hop-on Hop-off bus tour then the Barcelona City Pass would be a good choice and includes airport transfer to the city centre on the Aerobus.

      If you just want a transport pass, then for a 6 day stay I’d purchase a T-10 (can be shared between you) then purchase another one when it runs out. Note that the T-10 doesn’t cover the airport metro or Aerubus but it does include the airport train. For more info about getting to /from the airport take a look at this post.

        1. Richard Post author

          Hi Rania,

          If you want to use the T-10 to get to this address from the airport, take the R2 nord train from terminal 2 to Bellvitge (2 stops). From here you need to change to FGC trains (the FGC station is called Gornal) and take one of the following lines S3, S4, R5, R6 or L8 to Sant Josep.

          If you are arriving at terminal one, there is a free shuttle bus which takes you to terminal 2. If you haven’t done so already, i suggets you read this post which has more information about the shuttle bus and transport from the airport.

          As I said in my reply to Daisy below, for a group of 5 people, I think that a taxi is the best option for gatting to this address since it is faster, more convenient and not too expensive when shared between 5 people

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Isabella,

      The T-10 can be used on the R2 nord train and regular TMB bus routes to and from the airport (buses no. 46, N16, N17 etc.) .

      It can’t be used to get to / from the airport using the L9 sud metro or on the Aerobus.

  20. Daisy

    I just want to ask if our hotel is in zone 1. The adress is Avinguda Fabregada, 54-56 , 08901 Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spanien, the hotel is Apartamentos Aura Park Fira BCN. Is it in zone 1? Or if it is not, which zone is it in? We are 5 persons, 1 adult and 4 teenagers. Which ticket should i get?

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Daisy,

      Yes your heotel is in zone 1.

      If I were you, with a group of 5 to that location I’d take a taxi which will take about 15 minutes and cost about 25 Euros.

  21. Rhona

    Hope you can help
    I will be travelling to Barcelona and planned a day trip to Montserrat with 2 adults and 3 kids (14, 9,4). Would it be cheaper to buy a 4 Zone T10 Ticket or the individual return ticket @ the station? Do I use the same R5 line to go there?

    Thanks in advance,


    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Rhona,

      Yes FGC line R5.

      To get to Montserrat you need to take the train from Plaça d’Espanya and (assuming you don’t plan on hiking up the mountain) then either the Cable car (best views but standing room only) or the rack railway (more comfortable because you can sit down and starts earlier in the morning). Both take you to near the monastery.

      The cable car and rack railway aren’t covered by the T-10 so you would need to buy separate tickets.

      Even so, as you have noticed, it will work out cheaper for you to purchase the 4 zone T-10 plus return tickets on the rack railway/cable car

      Doing the sums (summer prices):

      3 adults and 2 children: Combined train + rack railway = €99.60

      4 zone T-10 plus 5 return tickets on the rack railway (3 adults and 2 children) = €82.35

      Note that I’ve not included the Sant Joan and Santa Cova funiculars in these calculations.

        1. Richard Post author


          You will have to puchase the rack railway tickets at the station when you arrive at Monistrol de Montserrat.

          Likewise for the cable car, tickets can be purchased at the Aeri de Montserrat station which is the stop before Monistrol de Montserrat.

  22. john

    hi my son and i will be going to NH Cornella in the late evening and asking is it best to get the Bus L77 and i am told to get off at asking is it better to get off at Cornella Center? if so will the bus inform us where the stops are and should i use the T-10 instead of getting a taxi

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi John,

      The L77 bus is a good choice for that location because it’s more direct than the metro or train. The nearest stop to your hotel is Av. Can Corts Ctra. d’Espluges (stop ID 1018) which is about 250m from the NH Cornella hotel.

      Just bear in mind that there is no dedicated luggage storage area so if the bus is full you may end up holding your suitcase or backpack on your lap.

      The bus stops are numbered but I find that the best way to know when to get off is to use Google Maps on your phone. Select your destination, choose the bus route and then keep an eye on the blue circle as it follows the route.

      Note. You can’t buy the T-10 on the bus, only single tickets. If you are arriving at terminal 1 then there is a tobacconist which sells T10s and at T2 you can buy them at the train station.

      The last bus departs T1 at 23:10.

  23. Ann Bower

    Hello! to have happened upon you site. Just starting digging in to plan a September Barcelona trip. We have a long stay in Barcelona and plan to day -trip interspersed with all the attractions of the city. I believe we will be purchasing a “Hola” card but will this cover only Region One? And for our day trips will most of our travel be on the RENEFE vs TMB? (Gerona/Montserrat/Play del Roque: hoping to use public transportation for all) . I’m so into planning this I apologize if this is too early to emailing you. Clearly hours of research ahead….

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Ann,

      It’s never too early to start planning/ask questions, in fact, the earlier the better.

      You’re right, the Hola BCN pass only covers transport Zone 1. Girona is outside of the Barcelona zone system, Montserrat is zone 5. I’m not sure where you mean by Play del Roque, do you have a link?

      You can get to Girona by RENFE trains. There are several options which vary in speed and price.

      Slowest is the commuter trains (Rodalies) which cost €8.40, take from an hour and a half to 2 hours and can only be purchased at the station. The 10 journey bono tren costs €61.45.

      Next up is the middle distance trains which take about an hour and a quarter, cost €11.25. The10 journey bono expres costs €68.35.

      The fastest trains are the AVE/AVANT which take 38 minutes and tickets can be purchased online at renfe.com the price of tickets for the AVE varies depending on the time of day, availability and how far in advance you purchase them. If you purchase 2 months in advance and are flexible about timings you should find them available at about the same price as middle distance train tickets.

      AVE and AVANT trains depart from Barcelona Sants. The slower trains also stop at other stations within Barcelona (may be an advantage depending on whereabouts you are staying in Barcelona).

      To get to Montserrat it’s best to purchase a combination ticket which includes the FGC train line R5 (from Plaça d’Espanya) and then either the cable car or the rack railway up to Montserrat. There are several options available and the basic combination ticket costs €22 return and can be purchased at the train station.

      Alternatively, you could purchase the Trans Montserrat ticket which can be purchased online or at the train station, costs €35,30 and includes the train plus cable car or rack railway, the metro to & from plaça d’Espanya plus the funiculars to the Santa Cova etc. and an audio-visual display.

  24. Tomas

    Hey Richard!

    First thanks for a great article.

    I need your help. We are in Barcelona and have the Hola Barcelona Card. Is it possible to use it to go to Castelldefels? Or do we need to purchase a ticket?

    Best regards Tomas

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Tomas,

      Castelldefels is in zone 1 so you can use the Hola Barcelona pass.

      R2 and R2 sud trains from Barcelona stop at Castelldefels.

  25. Joseph

    Hi Richard,

    I’ll be visiting Spain soon and staying in Mataro. Am I understanding the following correctly? In order to travel between Mataro and Barcelona I either need an ATM T-10 3-zone card (27,40 eur) or a Rodalies bonotren 10 viajes 4-zone card (28,25 eur).

    Furthermore, if I want to explore Barcelona using the metro, I should buy another separate ATM T-10 1-zone card.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Joseph,

      That’s right. The other alternative would be to purchase single train tickets which cost €4.20 each.

      Remeber that, apart from being cheaper, the other advantage of the T-10 is that it allows you to transfer from the train to the metro as part of the same journey. This means that if, for example, you decide to visit the Sagrada Familia first thing, you could take the train from Mataró to Barcelona El Clot Aragó then transfer to the l2 metro to the Sagrada Familia all as part of one journey on your 3 zone T-10.

      As you have already realized, it works out cheaper if you purchase a separate 1 zone T-10 for moving around within Barcelona. The other alternative for travel within Barcelona, if you will be using public transport a lot, would be the HolaBCN! travel pass.

  26. Brian

    Hello Richard,

    Please confirm that I can buy a T10 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children and travel from T2 Barcelona airport on R2N and change to Metro L4 for Bogatell at Passeig de Gràcia and this will count as 1 journey and 4 uses of the T10?

    With thanks,

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Brian,

      Yes, that is correct.

      The 1 zone T-10 can be shared by up to 10 people and allows you to transfer between different modes of transport up to 3 times within a single journey as long as the total journey time is no more than 1 hour and 15 minutes.

      Make sure you validate the ticket at the turnstiles once per person at the airport train station and then again when entering the metro station at Passeig de Gràcia.

  27. Mary

    Hi, Richard.

    Could you, please, help me to figure out the ways I can travel from Barcelona to Calella and vice versa. T10 tickets of which zone do I need to buy? And can I use these tickets to travel to Calella from the El Prat airport?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Mary,

      Calella is in transport zone 4, so you would need a 4 zone T-10 pass.

      The R1 train stops at Calella and at several stations in Barcelona including Plaça de Catalunya (the most central).

      To get to Calella from the airport, take the R2 Nord train from the train station at BCN terminal 2 to Barcelona El Clot Aragó train station then the R1 northbound from there to Calella.

      The train from the airport arrives at Barcelona El Clot Aragó platform 2, the R1 northbound departs from platform 4.

      Note that not all R1 trains go as far as Calella, some of them terminate at Mataró. In which case you just have to wait for the next R1 train going north from Mataró.

      Normally the trains which terminate at Mataró arrive at platform 4 and the ones which continue on to Calella stop at platform 1 but you should check the information screens at the station.

      1. Tanya

        Hi. A question on this reply, please, as I’m doing the same journey Wednesday (el-Prat to Calella). I was planning to only use the trains so didn’t think I would need an integrated pass – a single 5-zone ticket. Is that correct? Thanks.

        1. Richard Post author

          Hi Tanya,

          Yes, that is correct. From El Prat de Llobregat train station or Barcelona El Prat Airport to Calella you can purchase a single train ticket (5 zones) which will cost €5.

  28. Merret

    Hi Richard so I need some help here we are traveling to Barcelona in the end of of July and we are staying for 3 or 4 days (haven’t decided yet) we are 4 adults and we are staying at the radha Hotel so which is better to get a a 50/30 tickets or T10+ 8 airport tckets for us all and we are trying to go many sightseeing like Sagrada Familia and I need to ask you which shops are clothes cheap over there or an out let
    One last thing can you tell me zone 1 in metro what stations does it cover so when I search for anything I know if this this station is covered in my ticket or not thanks again for your help

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Merret,

      Unfortunately, the T50/30 ticket can only be used by one person and it’s extremely unlikely that you will use public transport 50 times in 3 days! Realistically your choice will between the T10 (which can be shared) and the HolaBCN! pass.

      You don’t need to purchase an airport ticket because the fastest and most convenient way to get to that hotel (which is in Hospitalet) is by taking the number 46 bus. The special airport ticket is only needed for the airport metro stops.

      Unfortunately, you can’t purchase travel passes on the bus. If you choose to buy a T10 then you can either buy them at the airport train station (terminal 2) or from the tobacconist at terminal 1. The HolaBCN card can be bought at the Tourist information offices at the airport or in advance online (there’s a discount if you purchase online). More information here.

      The cheapest clothes shops I know of are a chain called Primark. Zara, Stradivarius and H&M are also quite cheap. If you are interested in outlet shopping then you might want to visit La Roca village which is outside of Barcelona but easily reached using the so-called shopping buses which depart from Passeig de Gràcia.

      The entire Barcelona metro system is within zone 1.

  29. Vish

    Thanks for clearing that up. (So leaving that idea to the side!) What are your thoughts on travel tickets a family of 4 (staying in Castelldelfels for 12 days) travelling into Barcelona most days, staying on the beach in Castelldelfels for some of the time (and some other trips e.g. other local beaches)?

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Vish,

      Since you plan to tavel in to Barcelona most days then a 1 zone T70/30 would be good value for money. Having said that, it’s not that much cheaper than using several T10s so if your plans are likely to change it might be better to just purchase T10s as you go along.

      For the days that you travel to other beaches then you will have to check which zones they are in. In your first comment you mentioned Sitges, the best value way of getting from Catelldefels to Sitges and back will be a Bonotren 10 viatjes which will cost €21.75.

      By the way, just in case you haven’t noticed already. There are 2 train stations in Castelldefels: Castelldefels and Platja de Castelldefels which is near the beach. They’re both on the same line but not all trains stop at Platja de Castelldefels.

      1. Vish

        That’s super advice! After being mistaken it does seem that the T70/30 May seem the best bet. Now it’s trying to decide on the add ons for sightseeing – the inclination to see as many sights as possible vs what we can do/restricted with the kids. Now to pick your brains again! Barcelona Card I think we may do the bus tour and go to sagrada familiar and park guell, and a couple of museums/galleries and zoo.
        Do you think the prebookings or Barcelona card worthwhile in this situation. And after all your help can we shout you a drink sometime!?

        1. Richard Post author

          Hi Vish,

          Before deciding on which sightseeing pass you purchase I suggest you read this post. As you can see there are quite a few sightseeing passes available, which one is best depends on which sights you plan to see.

          You mentioned the Barcelona Card, which is one of the most comprehensive sightseeing passes.

          I’ve swapped the link which you included in your comment for a link to the official Barcelona Tourism website which sells it slightly cheaper than the site that you found.

          Before purchasing any sightseeing pass I recommend that you check the price of the individual tickets on the Barcelona Tourism website and then compare prices.

          The Barcelona Card includes free entry to a lot of museums and discounts at a lot of attractions and if you are planning to visit a lot of those sights it is good value.

          From what you said in your last comment, you’re not planning to visit that many places so I think that it will probably work out cheaper if you purchase individual tickets.

          Alternatively, you might want to purchase a Gaudi Pass for yourself and your partner and then individual tickets where necessary for your kids, both of whom are entitled to free entry to the Sagrada Familia, the older child will need a children’s ticket for Park Gúell and the Aquarium but I think you will find that the younger child will go free almost everywhere.

          Thanks for the offer of shouting me a drink! If you purchase your tickets through the links in this comment or from the ads which appear on the blog then I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you :-)

  30. Vish

    Thanks for your prompt reply, I was looking at https://cercador.atm.cat/?lang=en#/products actually the T-mes fm/fn may be a better for duration. Ah, I didn’t take into consideration that it had to be a large family (only 2 kids here!), and also I wouldn’t know what UK accreditation there is to “prove” that we would be a large family (hypothetically).


    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Vish,

      You’re welcome, I don’t think that there is a similar acreditation in the UK for large or one parent families. The FM/FN passes are for Spanish residents who have the corresponding documentation.

      In Spain, families are issued with a document called the libro de familia which lists all members of the family unit. Large or one parent families can then apply for the relevant acreditation which gives additional discounts on certain services.

  31. ana


    I am travelling to Barcelona and I was hoping you can help me. I have been reading about Hola BCN tickets as well as the T-10. I will be in Barcelona for a total of 5 days. How easy is it to get from the airport to Rekord hotel? Which tickets would you recommend on buying?
    Thank you!

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Ana,

      The Rekord hotel is pretty easy to get to.

      The easiest way would be to take a taxi.

      It’s also fairly easy to get to by public transport although you’ll need to change lines a couple of times or walk a bit.

      If arriving at terminal T2, the easiest way (least number of changes) is to catch the RENFE train, R2 nord to Barcelona Passeig de Gràcia then walk 3 blocks to Provença train station where you catch the FGC train to Muntaner (lines S1, S2, S6 or S7).

      The walk between train stations is through a scenic area and should take under 10 minutes. Alternatively you could take the metro from Passeig de Gràcia station two stops on the L3 line to Diagonal metro stop which is next to the Provença FGC station (there’s a short passageway which links them). This would save a bit of walking but, depending on connections, may end up taking longer.

      Both of these options are covered by the T-10 and Hola BCN! Travel passes.

      If you will be arriving at Terminal 1 then you could catch the free shuttle bus to terminal 2 then do the same as above but it would be easier to catch the L9 sud metro to Collblanc, followed by the L5 metro to Diagonal then the FGC train to Muntaner.

      This route is covered by the HolaBCN! Travel pas but is not covered by the T-10.

      The choice between the T-10 and the HolaBCN! travel cards comes down to how much you will use public transport.

      Generally speaking the break-even point is 6 journeys per day. Less than 6 then the T10 is cheaper, more than 6 then the HolaBCN! Is cheaper. When staying in Barcelona for 5 days, assuming you plan your days logically and don’t mind walking a bit then you probably won’t use more than 6 journeys per day.

      The only exception to this rule which may tip the balance in favour of the HolaBCN! is if you plan to use the L9sud metro from the airport which isn’t covered by the T-10 and costs €4.50.

  32. Vish

    Hi Richard
    I would be grateful for your advice too. We (2 adults and 2 kids (7 and 4)) are flying into BCN and staying in Castelldelfels for 12 days. We intend to mix some beach, sightseeing (mainly in Barcelona) and day trips (e.g. to Sitges). Reading your post, I was thinking that we may get the Hola BCN 5 days and the Barcelona Card 5 days. But then I noticed the T-trimestre family ticket quarterly at a decent price (maybe a bit of an overkill for a 12 day stay!) and combining that with a Barcelona City Pass.
    Your thoughts much appreciated.

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Vish,

      Before going into details, could you let me know which T-trimestre family ticket you mean exactly? A link to where you read about it would be good.

      The reason I ask is that the only family T-trimestre I know of is the T-trimestre FM/FN which is a special ticket for one parent families and large families (3 children or more) and which requires you to have the relevant accreditation.

      1. Vish

        Thanks for your prompt reply, I was looking at https://cercador.atm.cat/?lang=en#/products actually the T-mes fm/fn may be a better for duration. Ah, I didn’t take into consideration that it had to be a large family (only 2 kids here!), and also I wouldn’t know what UK accreditation there is to “prove” that we would be a large family (hypothetically).


  33. Kevin

    Hi, I’m travelling with my family – 2 adults and 2 children (ages 12&10). If I purchase a T10 card at BCN airport T2, for the trip from Barcelona Airport to Sants Station, will I be allowed to use the ticket for all family members? Would I just pass the ticket back to them to allow them to enter through the turnstile?

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Kevin,

      That’s correct, just pass the ticket back and the next person can use the T10.

      I’f you take a look at the back of the T10 you will see that the machine stamps the ticket once per person.

      The last digit of the number stamped by the machine is the number of journeys remaining.

  34. Kate

    Hi !) could u help me please ?)I am totally confused with these differences with timetables ) I am traveling to Sitges and I am gonna visit Barcelona for three days . First I thought I need to buy 3 zone T10 ticket . And now I am realized that I need 4 zone if I want to go to Barcelona from Sitges on train? If I use only bus ,then I could buy 3 zone ticket ?

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Kate,

      Good news, you can use the 3 zone T10 on the train or the bus from Barcelona to Sitges (and vice versa).

      As explained above, the T10 is issued by Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona and Sitges is in Zone 3 of their map.

      1. Daniel

        Hi Richard. If I am coming from the Airport and going straight to Sitges (via Rodalies to El Prat de Llobregat station), would I need a special airport ticket to get to El Prat before using the normal T-10 Zone 3 to get to Sitges?

        Or does the T-10 cover all of it from the airport to sitges?

        Thanks a lot!
        (No worries if you don’t know the answer)

        1. Richard Post author

          Hi Daniel,

          The 3 zone T10 covers the train from the airport to Sitges via El Prat de Llobregat.

          The special airport ticket is only needed if you use the metro from the airport, not for the train.


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