Ash
Written by Ash

How to Get from Barcelona Airport to City Centre

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Here’s a guide on the best options from Barcelona airport to the city centre (and vice versa).

In general expect about 30 minutes to an hour to get central from Barcelona Airport, with prices ranging from €2.20 to €35.00 depending on your method of choice.

Stuck? Drop us a message in the comments and we’ll help you find the best way 🙂

How to Get From Barcelona Airport to City Centre

First off let’s get oriented.

There are three airports reaching Barcelona but today we’re talking about the biggest (44 million passengers) and closest (12 km from the city centre): El Prat (BCN).

For the other two options please check out my pages on Girona Airport or Reus Airport.

Terminals

It’s very important to know that Barcelona airport is made up of two terminals.

Terminal 1 handles the majority of traffic including overseas fights.

Terminal 2 handles mostly low-cost carriers from Europe.

Before choosing any Barcelona airport transport make sure you’ve double checked the terminal – if you arrive at the wrong one you’re looking at a 20 minute shuttle (minimum) to get to the other.

Barcelona Airport to City Centre Options

The Aerobus

I call this the fast bus because it takes only 35 minutes.

It’s super convenient because it covers both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 with a wide schedule that runs:

  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Every seven minutes between 5:07 am and 12:34 am
  • Every 20 minutes between 12:54 am and 4.54 am

It’s impossible to miss – just walk outside either terminal and see the classic blue Aerobus logo.

Aerobus tickets are €8.90 one way (€13.20 return) and kids under four go free.

Many tourists have spoken to me about the advantages of Aerobus like:

  • Low price.
  • Free WiFi aboard.
  • USB plugins post-flight for charging access.
  • Spaciousness due to frequency/passenger caps.
  • Wheelchair access + reserved disabled seating.
  • It terminates in Barcelona’s most central point: Plaça de Catalunya.

Tickets are bought directly online – just make your purchase then show a printed or mobile copy aboard the bus.

You can buy your advance tickets online and support us at no extra cost by using the button below.

AEROBUS
Best price online

Aerobus stops:

  • El Prat Airport
  • Plaça Espanya
  • Gran Via (at Calle Urgell, inbound)
  • Carrer Sepulveda (at Calle Urgell, outbound)
  • Plaça Universitat (only inbound)
  • Plaça Catalunya (the most central point in Barcelona)

Be sure to check the Aerobus Facebook account for any news regarding strikes, road closures, event/marathon interruptions etc.

Add an Unlimited Transport Pass on Top

Looking to combine the Aerobus with a discount all-in-one Barcelona transport pass?

Thanks to Tiqets you now have the option to package a one way or return ticket on the Aerobus (up to a €13.20 value) with the unlimited transport Hola Barcelona Card – you can book the Barcelona Transport Pass clicking the button below:

BARCELONA TRANSPORT PASS
Grab your pass today!

Metro to Barcelona Airport

From February 2016 the metro connects Barcelona with El Prat (line L9S).

One downside is that it doesn’t stop anywhere in the city centre – for this reason it’s probably better for residents than for tourists. It also makes quite a few stops and as a result isn’t the swiftest of options.

Another downside: unlike regular metro fares a single ticket costs €5.15 and is pretty expensive – it’s not even valid on the classic T-Casual discount card.

When Should I take the Metro?

  • If you’re staying near a metro stop on the green line between Zona Universitaria and Parallel.
  • If  you’re staying near the red line between Torrassa and Glories.
  • If you’re staying anywhere along the orange line.

Where do I get the Metro?

From Terminal 1 it’s basically right outside the arrivals. At Terminal 2 you’ll need to walk about ten minutes outside the arrivals and you’ll find it near the overland train service. In both cases just follow the red M sign.

Important: if you buy a transport discount card directly at the airport it’ll cost you more than doing it online.

Airport Bus to City Centre (Bus 46)

This is the cheapest way to get to the city centre from Barcelona airport – but the benefits basically stop there.

Bus number 46 during the day and N16,  N17, and N18 at night will get you there, but all run less frequently than Aerobus at every 20 minutes and take longer to get to the city – a 50 minute trip.

You’ll find the Barcelona airport bus right outside the terminals. Just follow the signs.

The price is just €2.40 one way (€4.80 return).

Careful: You may end up having to take additional transport to get to your destination as the bus only arrives to Plaça Espanya (from here you can take the metro on to more central areas).

I only recommend taking the bus to the city centre under the following circumstances:

  • You don’t feel like spending the extra €3.00 on the Aerobus.
  • You don’t mind taking 30-60 more minutes for the trip.
  • You have no problem standing in a crowded bus.
  • Your hotel, Airbnb, or holiday apartments are in the city’s southwest (there are many stops).

Remember: if you’re staying in classic city centre neighbourhoods like El Born, El Gotico, or Gracia you’ll certainly need another form of transport.

CAREFUL: if you’re taking the airport bus using the discount cards mentioned you’ll need to buy them in advance online as they aren’t sold on board.

tourists lining up outside casa batllo in barcelona spain tourists lining up outside casa batllo in barcelona spain
Skip lines and save money buying tickets online!

Trains from Barcelona Airport

This option takes the same time as the Aerobus but departs every 30 minutes.

It also has a more limited running time with the first train leaving for the city centre at 5:42 and the last at 23:38.

Trains run every half hour and the journey takes 30-40 minutes.

A single ticket costs €4.50.

I’d recommend taking the Barcelona airport train under the following circumstances:

  • Your flight arrives in Terminal 2 before 10:30 pm.
  • You’ve got accommodation near Sants Estacio, Passeig de Gracia, or El Clot-Arago.
  • You’re in no rush and can afford waiting 30 minutes after getting bags etc.
  • You don’t mind massive crowds.

Careful: If you arrive in Terminal 1 you’ll have to wait for a free shuttle to Terminal 2 before taking the train. They run every 5 minutes but this will easily add another 20 minutes to your trip.

The first return train leaves the city centre at Passeig de Gracia at 5:42 and the last at 23:07. For either direction please check the train times on the official Spanish railways website.

Advice: walk about 20 metres up the platform to the part that’s not covered to have a better chance at getting a seat.

Another tip: if you’re equidistant to both Sants Estació and Passeig de Gracia make sure you grab the Barcelona airport train at Passeig de Gracia.

Not only can you do some last minute photography at Casa Batllo and La Pedrera, but since it’s one stop ahead on the line your chances of getting a seat at peak times increase dramatically.

Barcelona Airport to City Centre by Taxi

The quickest way from Barcelona airport to downtown is Barcelona’s yellow and black taxis.

Like most airports you’ll need to grab your airport taxi after waiting in a designated line, but for added convenience you can also reserve them in advance:

I recommend getting a free quote and booking your taxi using Taxileader with the button below:

TAXILEADER AIRPORT
Book my ride now

In both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 you’ll find taxi stands right outside after following the signs. There should be a designated worker wearing a fluorescent vest to show you to your car.

There is a minimum charge of €20.00 but you’ll pay €30.00 – €35.00 to get central (T1-T2)

You may encounter extra fees for baggage, late night rides, and rides on holiday. It’s recommended to familiarize yourself with these fees by reading the brochure on the back of the seat.

You can pay by card but it’s recommended to tell the driver in advance.

The maximum amount of passengers is 4. If you need taxis for a larger group call in advance at +34 933033033 – you’ll be charged a €4.30 van supplement.

For complaints and lost items make sure you ask for a receipt (un recibo).

Barcelona Airport to City Centre Ridesharing

With the onset of Uber and others I couldn’t ignore Barcelona’s ride-share app Free Now (formerly MyTaxi).

If you’re looking to get to the city centre fast with no hidden fees and no run arounds this is a highly recommended option. A typical Free Now tariff should run you about €27.00-€35.00.

The best part? You’ll pay even less signing up through my Free Now portal.

For a €5.00 discount on your first trip with Free Now simply insert the promo code ‘ashley.pil’ once you’ve downloaded the app.

FREE NOW ANDROID
Download now
FREE NOW IPHONE
Download now

Barcelona Airport Private Transfer

If you’re travelling with a group of 12 or more people it’s a wise choice to book a private transfer service that will take you from the terminal to your accommodation.

I suggest grabbing a quote on the Suntransfer website for the best prices.

An example: if there are 8 adults, 3 children, and 1 infant the cost of a transfer from the airport to central Barcelona and vice versa costs around €120.00 euros (5 euros pp each way).

Suntransfer also has car seats for kids up to 4.

tourists listening to tour guide alvaro garza in the gothic quarter barcelona spain tourists listening to tour guide alvaro garza in the gothic quarter barcelona spain
Discover the secrets of the old city with Alvaro!

Tourist Discount Passes for Airport Transport

To save money I recommend buying a tourist discount pass with airport transport included.

There are two tourist discount passes that include unlimited transport + your airport connection: the Hola Bcn and the Barcelona Card.

  • The Hola Barcelona Card gives you unlimited transport from €6.84 a day.
  • The Barcelona Card gives you unlimited transport + a ton of attractions from €9.00 a day.

Buying Tourist Discount Passes Online

It is strongly recommended to buy these passes from home to get a 10% online discount on both the Barcelona Card or a 5% savings on the Hola Barcelona Card.

For buying links and an in-depth explanation of the passes click the button below:

TRANSPORT PASSES
Which is right for you?

Pickup Points + Refunds

The pickup point for the Barcelona Card is at the Barcelona Turisme window right outside arrivals.

You’ll find these windows at either Terminal 1 or Terminal 2. They’re open daily from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm and close only on Christmas and New Year’s Day.

If you can’t make it during these hours you’ll have to pick the tickets up at Plaça Catalunya.

If you change your mind just let the Tourism Office know in advance and they’ll refund your money. To do this simply mail [email protected]

For the Hola Barcelona Card it’s even simpler:

  • Open your email and the get the voucher number from the purchase receipt.
  • Take the voucher number to any city metro station (airport included).
  • Insert the voucher number at the red ticket machines.
  • Collect your Hola Barcelona Card.
  • Use it!

Barcelona Luggage Storage

In both airport terminals (T1 and T2) you can take advantage of a left luggage storage service (consigna de equipajes in Spanish) to lighten the load.

In Terminal 1 luggage storage is in the hall on floor 0 (P0) known as La Plaza. It’s open 24-7, 365 days a year. Prices range from €6.00 for a 2 hour deposit up to €10.00 per 24 hours.

In Terminal 2 the luggage storage area is located right at check-in under the word Consigna.

Prices are the same as Terminal 1 but opening hours are from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Not keen on airport luggage storage?

It’s much cheaper to store your luggage in the city centre at Calle Estruc 36 – right off the city’s main square Plaça Catalunya.

Storage is available daily from 8:30 am to 9:30 pm with prices starting at €4.50 per day.

You can book this Barcelona luggage via the official Turisme Barcelona website clicking below:

LUGGAGE STORAGE
From €4.50 a day

There’s also another interesting offer at Stasher – here you’ll select your date, hour, and deposit duration and be given a map of the city and all the potential licensed partners to ‘stash’ your bag.

The service costs €5.00 for 24 hours.

If you use the code BCNHACKS you’ll get a 10% discount and I’ll also get a small commission that helps me keep this blog up and running! Everybody wins 🙂

STASHER
Find your luggage spot now

Really Get on Board in the Comments Below

If you’re still not sure how to get from Barcelona airport to the city centre make sure you write me in the comments below with your hotel/hostel address and I’ll let you know the best way in!

Also don’t be afraid to join the airport discussion by first giving me a like on Facebook and then joining my group I’m Off to Barcelona – here you can ask any questions, air out grievances, and chat with thousands of Barcelona travelers.

Anything goes!

And remember: for any other questions about your Barcelona vacation I am here so fire away.

Adios 🙂

932 comments
  • September 18, 2022 at 10:58 pm
    Kay
    We will be staying at Hotel Jazz in October. What is the best transportation from the airport? If it is bus or metro, can we bring luggage, perhaps a checked bag size and 1 carry-on each? Thank you for your help
    • September 19, 2022 at 8:32 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Kay, Hotel Jazz is super easy using the Aerobus. You can bring all your luggage aboard. You will need to get off at the penultimate stop, Universitat (watch the screens, it'll come up there), and from there it is just a 50 meter walk. Cheers,
  • September 9, 2022 at 2:13 am
    Tom
    Hi Ash. What is your suggestion for getting from BCN to Pelai, 6, Ciutat Vella around 10 am on a weekday? Thanks in advance.
    • September 9, 2022 at 7:24 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Tom, You couldn't get any closer with the Aerobus unless they drove you right through the window! Just make sure you get off at the Placa Universitat stop (the penultimate one). It's about a 50 meter walk from stop. Don't mess around with cabs... they'll be 30 euros more expensive to save you 10/15 minutes. Cheers,
  • June 21, 2022 at 9:06 pm
    Katerina
    Hi Ash we arrive Saturday 2nd at 2:30am super crappy hour. Is there no transport other than taxis during that time? Haven't booked hotel yet as don't know what to do, any suggestions? Thinking maybe to book something for Saturday close to hotel or probably from Friday as not sure i can find anything to allow us to stay Saturday at 3am. Any suggestions? Thanks! Awesome page BTW! Great job!
    • June 23, 2022 at 11:17 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Katerina, The Aerobus runs 24-7 and there are 4 major stops - Placa Espanya, Ugrell, Universitat, and Placa Catalunya. These are all fairly common tourist areas with long lists of hotels. I would simply book the Friday night at a hotel close to one of these stops... let them know in advance you'll be there around 3:30 am. Unless you're willing to hang around until check in time on the Saturday (likely around 2 pm) it's a bullet you're going to have to bite. At the end of the day you're still going to get 6 or 7 hours of sleep so you're basically getting your money's worth :)
  • May 24, 2022 at 6:56 am
    Fatima
    Hi very good article, what would be best option from airport to melia sarria please
    • May 24, 2022 at 9:42 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Fatima, Unfortunately this area is a bit in an airport transport dead spot, so you'll need to take two different methods. I would grab the Aerobus to Placa Espanya (it's the first stop they call) then grab the D40 bus (from the backside of Las Arenas shopping mall, where the park is) - get off the bus 10 minutes later at Josep Tarradellas - Av de Sarrià. From here it's just a 3 minute walk. Cheers,
  • April 20, 2022 at 8:42 pm
    Shelly
    My husband and I are taking a cruise out of Barcelona on May 8th. What would be the best option from El Prat to Grand Hotel Central located on Via Laietana, 30 Ciutat Vella? It looks like there might be a train station nearby but the map is somewhat confusing?
    • April 22, 2022 at 11:02 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Shelley, Unfortunately there will be no direct options as the train station near the hotel doesn't connect directly to the airport. If I were you I'd grab the Aerobus to the terminus stop (Plaça de Catalunya) and then from there walk the 10-12 minutes. If you've got a lot of luggage you could also get an 6-7 euro taxi from there. In all, this would run you about 20 euro as opposed to the 30-35 euro taxi fare and won't even take that much longer. Cheers,
      • April 22, 2022 at 10:18 pm
        Shelly
        Ash, I forgot to ask about the return trip to the airport. Our flight is late morning after the cruise ship docks so would it be best to just try to get a taxi or is there other options from the Port of Barcelona D'Adossat Terminal Moll Adossat?
        • April 25, 2022 at 5:17 pm
          ashley
          Team Member
          Ash
          Hi again Shelley, Unfortunately if you wanted to get transport, or even get back up to Plaça de Catalunya for the Aerobus it's going to be a bit of a hassle involving the metro, some uphill walking etc. I would just get a taxi. Maybe you can even find somebody to split the ride with you, as there are a lot of folks heading that way upon arrival. Cheers,
      • April 22, 2022 at 10:08 pm
        Shelly
        Thanks so much!
  • March 25, 2022 at 7:02 am
    Pavol
    Hi Ash, amazing article, good job. Can you pls advise me what is the best way to get from Airport Prat to Sicilia, 166-170, Eixample? (Arriving Saturday 27th around 2pm). Thank you.
    • March 25, 2022 at 3:46 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Pavol, Thanks :) This is always a tough one, being in this area. It's so close to transport, but can feel miles away with heavy suitcases! Honestly, there are no direct trains or buses to this specific spot from the airport. What you're going to have to do is take the Aerobus to Plaça Catalunya and then from here you have three options. - Walk the 18 minutes (you basically get off the bus, take a right in front of the Corte Ingles, and follow the same street almost the whole way) directly to the hotel. - Take a quick taxi (it'll probably cost €8), - Walk to Urquinaona metro stop from Plaça Catalunya and grab the red line one stop closer to Arc de Triomf - that said, by the time you get into the metro, buy tickets (just to go one stop!), board, and get out... it's almost just as quick to walk, not to mention cheaper. I wish there were better options but unfortunately this is a rare 'dead spot' in the city transport map. That said, it's quite central and a nice area! Cheers,
  • February 16, 2022 at 3:27 pm
    Jon
    Hello, my wife and I are cruising from Barcelona, and are spending a day before and after in Barcelona. Once we return from the cruise we will have the day to sightsee and then we have booked a hotel near the airport since we have an early (6am) flight the next morning. What are your suggestions for baggage storage during the day while we explore. Also, suggestions for transport to the hotel, which is in the Sant Boi de Llobregat area. Thanks!
    • February 18, 2022 at 11:16 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Jon, Normally I'd suggest heading up to Plaça Catalunya and utilizing the luggage storage near there. For a cheaper yet more labour intensive option this is just fine. That said, if you're looking for utmost convenience you can also try Bags and Go, which allows you to leave your bags near the cruise port and have them delivered to your hotel. I haven't used it myself but it's definitely worth checking out. As for the hotel in Sant Boi de Llobregat, it's a fairly large area so without knowing the exact location it's a bit hard to say. I know there's a train station there which has easy access but no idea whether the hotel is easy access to there. Feel free to drop me a line with the hotel address and I can advise further. Cheers,
      • February 18, 2022 at 5:47 pm
        Jon
        Hi Ash, thanks for the reply. My initial thought was to utilize the luggage storage options near Placa Catalunya as we are staying nearby for the night before the cruise, and will be familiar with the area. I was looking at your Stasher link; does that seem to be the best option. For the hotel stay prior to our departing flight, the hotel is at Carrer de les Alberedes, 16, 08830 Sant Boi de Llobregat, which seems to be pretty close to the airport (and the hotel even advertises an airport shuttle). Our plan was to taxi to the hotel, but would be open to other transportation options if they made sense. Thanks again!
        • February 21, 2022 at 11:10 am
          ashley
          Team Member
          Ash
          Hi Jon, Indeed, I'd use the Stasher link so it's all booked... will be cheaper than Bags and Go. Also, when moving around with big bags knowing the area beforehand is a huge plus to say the least :) As for the hotel, you're in a great spot near the airport but it doesn't look to be near any transport routes so taxi is the best best for sure. It'll be about 20 minutes from Plaça Cataluna... the taxi stand is right in front of the Hard Rock Cafe so should be easy. Anyway, let me know if you've got any more questions. Hope you enjoy the holiday :) Cheers,
          • February 27, 2022 at 2:26 pm
            Jon
            Thanks again for all your help. We are excited for our trip. Another question that doesn't really have a matching article, so I thought I would ask it here. We have CDC vaccination cards that we are bringing with us, but have heard that we could go to a clinic/pharmacy to have our CDC cards "converted" to an EU Digital Covid Certificate with a QR code. Is that something that you would recommend? We will be visiting several ports/countries during our trip, will having the EU version make things easier?
            • March 2, 2022 at 4:17 pm
              ashley
              Team Member
              Ash
              No problem Jon :) Sorry in the delay getting back but I'll try to explain as well as I can. Unfortunately we're still down about 90% traffic-wise since pre-pandemic and so I don't get to talk to a lot of tourists to get my hand on the pulse. I can tell you that I had two friends visiting, one with an American vaccination and one with a Brazilian one - and neither had any problems getting into restaurants or bars or anything of the like I would say it's not necessary. That said, if it's free and just takes a few minutes to do the conversion I'd probably do it since you're visiting multiple ports and you never know what might go down. I can only unfortunately speak for Barcelona and don't know how it may be in other areas. Cheers,
  • October 4, 2021 at 6:11 pm
    Lucy
    Hi Ash, Firstly thank you for superb information about traveling from the airport El Prat to city center. We are a couple and we are landing to BCN on saturday 9.10. at 13:30. What is the cheapest way to get to the hotel Sant Antoni near Sagrada Familia? T-10 Casual is applicable also for Train? Thank you very much. Lucy
    • October 5, 2021 at 6:15 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Lucy, Thanks for writing :) The T-10 Casual is indeed usable for the train... I would take the train from T2 and get off at Passeig de Gracia. From here you can switch to the metro... walk underground to the purple line and grab it to Monumental. From Monumental station your hotel is just a short walk of 2-3 minutes. Cheers,
  • August 10, 2021 at 6:57 pm
    Edit
    Hi I checked and read everything on the topic, so if I am right I can take the T-casual for the train, right? In this case my trip to the hotel costs EUR 1,135. AT least if I manage to reach it in 75 minutes. :D
    • August 13, 2021 at 7:09 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Edit, I'm not sure what you mean by €1135 euro and what train you're referring to... if you could let me know that would be a great help ;) Cheers,
  • August 8, 2021 at 11:58 am
    Linda Palmer
    I'm so pleased I have found your site. Fantastic current news that I've used to update my plans for visiting Barcelona. Thank you. I would like your advice on getting from the airport to my hotel in Plaza Palacio/Pla de Palau. I had emailed the hotel for information on the easiest way, but they only replied with get a taxi!! I'm an 'older lady' travelling solo. Your thoughts please Ash
    • August 8, 2021 at 8:43 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Linda, Indeed, a taxi will run you around €30.00 and will be the quickest way with the least amount of hassle - the square you're referring to is in a slight dead spot as far as direct airport transport goes. Meaning, to get here you'll need to take more than one mode of transportation. I would take the Aerobus to the terminal stop at Plaça Catalunya and then from there walk across 200 meters to Urquinaona metro station. From here you can grab the yellow line of the metro to Barceloneta, which is just a short walk from the plaza. If you're traveling light it's certainly a fine option... and will only about 30% of the taxi price! Cheers,
      • August 9, 2021 at 1:35 pm
        Linda
        Thanks Ash, I'm very grateful. You have confirmed what I thought would be the easiest (and cheapest) way.
        • August 10, 2021 at 5:26 am
          ashley
          Team Member
          Ash
          You're very welcome Linda :) If you've got any more questions feel free! Cheers,
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