Three international airports serve Barcelona and the surrounding area with flights to and from the UK, Spain and other European countries.
When visiting Barcelona, it’s best to fly to Barcelona Airport, which is located 14 kilometres south of the city centre and is the largest of the three airports. There are frequent bus, train and metro connections to the city centre.
Girona – Costa Brava Airport and Reus Airport are both located about a hundred kilometres from Barcelona and, although there are direct buses, they don’t run as frequently and take considerably longer.
Having said that, if you plan to combine your trip to Barcelona with a few days in Girona, Tarragona or towns on the Costa Brava or Costa Daurada, it may be better to fly to one of these airports.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that both Girona and Reus airports have frequent flights from regional airports in the UK, mostly served by Ryan Air or other budget airlines. If you live near to one of these airports, the proximity of the departure airport might outweigh the inconvenience of the longer bus journey upon arrival at Barcelona.
The other reason you may decide to fly to Girona or Reus airport is the price. There are often cheap flights available to both airports and, even after adding the bus fare, it may be less expensive than flying directly into Barcelona.
If you decide to take this route, make sure you check connections carefully before booking your flights.
In this post, we take a look at all three airports and outline the transport options available when arriving and departing Barcelona.
Barcelona Airport (BCN)
Barcelona El Prat Airport is the second largest airport in Spain and receives an estimated fifty million travellers each year. The airport is split into two terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
The main terminal (Terminal1) was inaugurated in 2012 and handles the majority of Barcelona’s scheduled passenger flights.
Terminal 2 dates back to the 1990s and is mostly receives charter flights and budget airlines including EasyJet and Ryan Air.
The airport is located fourteen kilometres south of the city, and there are frequent busses and trains and a metro line which connects directly to the city centre.
How to get from Barcelona Airport to the city centre
There are taxi ranks at both terminals. A taxi to the city centre will take between twenty and forty-five minutes, depending on which terminal you arrive at and which area of the city you are staying in.
All taxis are metered, but you can expect the fare to be around €35 for up to four people travelling to the city centre. There are surcharges for extra passengers, luggage and journeys after midnight.
The Aerobus is an express bus service from the airport to the city centre. The journey takes approximately thirty-five minutes, with departures from both terminals every ten minutes (the exact frequency varies slightly).
Tickets cost €5.90 and can be purchased at the airport or online in advance.
There are also regular buses from the airport to Plaça d’Espanya, a short metro ride from the city centre. Buses depart every thirty minutes and take around forty-five minutes.
A single bus ticket costs €2.40
Trains run every half hour from the station at Terminal 2 to four stations in Barcelona. The nearest station to the city centre is Passeig de Gràcia.
Trains depart every thirty minutes and take twenty-five minutes to transfer to Passeig de Gràcia train station, a ten-minute walk from the city centre.
A single train ticket costs €4.60
There are metro stations at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 with departures every 7 minutes, more frequently at peak times.
Unfortunately, the metro line doesn’t run directly to the city centre, and most visitors will have to change lines during their journey. Depending on where you are staying in Barcelona, the journey will take approximately 45 minutes.
A single metro ticket from the airport costs €5.15.
The Hola Barcelona Travel Card gives unlimited travel on the Barcelona metro, commuter trains, tram and TMB buses within transport zone 1 and can be used when travelling on the airport train, metro and bus number 46. It is not valid for the Aerobus.
If your flight arrives at Barcelona Airport, I recommend you read my in-depth guide to transport to and from the airport which includes detailed information about all the options listed as well as some that I haven’t included here.
Also, check out this post which compares the different sightseeing passes and travel cards which are available.
Girona – Costa Brava Airport (GRO)
Girona is a medium-size city, approximately 100 kilometres northwest of Barcelona. The medieval city centre is one of the best-preserved in Europe and was featured in series six of Game of Thrones.
Although smaller than Barcelona, there are plenty of things to see and do to keep you busy for a couple of days, not to mention plenty of good restaurants and bars.
Girona also makes a good base for visiting The Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres and the beaches and towns on the Costa Brava including; Cadaques, Roses, Tossa de Mar, Pals and Lloret.
Girona Airport is approximately 12km from the city centre, and there are direct buses from the airport to Girona and Barcelona.
How to get from Girona Airport to Barcelona city centre
The best way to transfer from Girona Airport to Barcelona is by bus. Bus company SARFA run direct buses from Girona airport to Barcelona Estació del Nord bus station.
The journey takes approximately an hour and a quarter and departures are scheduled to coincide with the arrival of Ryan Air flights. Barcelona Estació del Nord is near the Arc de Triomf metro station on metro line L1.
There isn’t a train station at Girona Airport, to transfer to Barcelona by train you have to take either a bus or taxi from the airport to Girona city centre.
Bus numbers 601 and L-28 run from the airport to Girona bus station. The journey takes about twenty minutes, and the bus station is right next to Girona train station.
From Girona train station there are frequent AVE, Middle Distance and commuter trains to Barcelona. The train journey takes between 40 minutes (AVE) and 1.5 hours (commuter trains).
A taxi from Girona Airport to Barcelona will cost approximately €150 and take about an hour and a quarter. Please note that this is an estimated price; it may end up costing more.
Reus Airport (REU)
Located 110 kilometres south-west of Barcelona, Reus is the second-largest city on the Costa Daurada. Birthplace of architect Antoni Gaudi, the city is known for its Art Nouveau architecture and wine production (especially Vermouth).
Reus Airport is the main point of arrival for tourists visiting resorts on the Costa Daurada including Salou, Pineda, Miami Playa, Cap Salou, Tarragona and the PortAventura World theme park.
Reus airport is approximately 5km from the city centre and 11 km from Tarragona.
How to get from Reus Airport to Barcelona city centre
The most convenient way to transfer from Reus Airport to Barcelona is by bus.
Bus company Hispano Igualdina run direct buses from Reus airport to Barcelona Sants bus station. The journey takes approximately ninety minutes, and the timetable varies depending on the time of year. Buses are scheduled to coincide with the arrival of Ryan Air flights.
Centrally located, Barcelona Sants is a transport hub, and the bus station is next to the Sants Estació metro station on the L5 and L3 metro lines and Barcelona Sants train station.
Bus tickets aren’t available online; you can purchase them at the Hispano Igualdina ticket office at the airport or on the bus.
There isn’t a train station at Reus Airport, to transfer to Barcelona by train you should take either a bus or taxi from the airport to Reus city centre.
Bus number L50 runs from the airport to Reus train station, and the journey takes about 10 minutes.
There are frequent Regional and Regional express trains from Reus train station that take between ninety minutes and an hour and 45 minutes to travel to Barcelona.
A taxi from Reus Airport to Barcelona will cost approximately €160 and take about an hour and a quarter. This is an estimated fare, I recommend you check the price with the taxi driver before setting off.