Ash
Written by Ash

Barcelona Airport to City Centre (7 Ways Fast + Cheap)

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There are six solid options from Barcelona airport to the city centre.

For this reason many tourists arrive in the city in complete confusion, so let’s clear things up a bit by breaking down the transfer choices and all their pros and cons.

Remember – if you can’t decide what to take then write me with your lodging information in the comments below and I’ll be quick with a suggestion!

Let’s leave the airport behind and start our holiday, shall we?

How to Get From Barcelona Airport to City Centre

First off let’s get oriented.

There are typically 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.

You can expect to take about 30 minutes to one hour to get central from Barcelona Airport.

Prices range from €2.20 to €35.00.

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 reservas@barcelonaturisme.com.

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 Airport to City Centre Options

The Aerobus

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

It’s super convenient because one leaves for the city centre every 5 minutes and its long operating hours cover every flight. The first bus leaves at 5:30 am and the last at 1:05 am from both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 (including Terminal 2C with EasyJet).

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

Aerobus tickets are only €5.90 one way (€10.20 return).

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

  • High price-quality ratio.
  • Free WiFi aboard.
  • 6 USB plugins per bus for charging access.
  • CCTV for maximum luggage security.
  • Spaciousness due to frequency/passenger caps.
  • Wheelchair access + reserved disabled seating.
  • It terminates in Barcelona’s most central point: Plaça de Catalunya.
  • Children under 4 go free.

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 and support this blog by buying using the button below.

AEROBUS
Best price online

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

You can also get return Aerobus tickets buying the super-saving Barcelona City Pass.

With this pass you also get line-skipping entrance to Sagrada Familia and Park Guell plus a ride on the famous Bus Turistic. On top of this you get 20% discounts on virtually any of Barcelona’s attractions.

If you’ve got all of the above planned it makes no sense not to save the time and money.

For more info on the City Pass click the button below:

CITY PASS
Save time + 20%

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)

The driver normally shouts out the city centre stops above but it doesn’t hurt to ask them beforehand. You’re also free to press the buttons to select any stop.

Again the last stop is the unforgettable square Plaça de Catalunya, right near La Rambla.

Barcelona Airport to City Centre by Bus

I call this one the slow and cheap option.

If you’ve seen our list of city transport options you’ll know that the Barcelona airport bus is number 46 during the day and N16,  N17, and N18 at night. They 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).

The bus is included in the Barcelona Card and Hola Bcn discount cards.

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.

Drivers also won’t have change for large bills so please have something small at the ready.

Barcelona Airport to City Centre by Metro

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

I’ve done a little test run and wasn’t particularly convinced of the effectiveness.

The number one reason would be 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 very important con: a single ticket costs €5.15 and is pretty expensive – it’s not even valid on the classic T-Casual discount card.

If you absolutely have to take it remember that it’s included in the Hola Bcn and Barcelona 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.

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!

Barcelona Airport to City Centre Train

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 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 5:08 and the last at 23:07. For either direction please check the train times on the official Spanish railways website – I don’t wanna be blamed for a missed flight 😉

Again, the Barcelona airport train is valid with the Hola Bcn and Barcelona Card.

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 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.

Barcelona Airport to City Centre by Taxi

It’s no secret the quickest transport from Barcelona airport is Barcelona’s yellow and black taxis.

Like most airports you’ll need to grab your airport taxi after waiting in a designated line. You won’t be able to hail them like on a normal street, but for added convenience you can also reserve them in advance:

I recommend you get a free airport taxi quote using Taxileader using 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
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!

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 €4.00 per day.

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

LUGGAGE STORAGE
From €4.00 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 🙂

889 comments
  • June 30, 2019 at 3:05 am
    Irene
    We will be arriving in Barcelona from Madrid flying Iberia at 2:15 we are staying at the hotel gaudi transport recommendations? And also restaurants for breakfast near us. Cheers Irene
    • June 30, 2019 at 11:23 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hola Irene, You can take the Aerobus from either airport terminal to the terminus stop (Plaça Catalunya) and then from here it will be a short walk, downhill about 20 minutes. From there, there will also be the option of taking a quick taxi for about €5-7 if you're packing heavy bags or super tired after traveling. For breakfast near you I recommend going to La Boqueria Market (Pinotxo specifically), Granja Viader, or Caravelle. Cheers, Ash
  • June 30, 2019 at 12:20 am
    Val
    We will be staying on Carrer Coroleu. We are a group of 3 with only small backpacks What do you recommend for getting from the airport to our place? Also we have a 630 am flight leaving Barcelona. I am guessing a taxi or MyTaxi are the best options. Recommendations? Thanks!
    • June 30, 2019 at 11:20 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Val, Yes indeed you are correct on the return trip... being quite far out and on the opposite side of the city from the airport (not to mention it being really early) means the best option is to grab a taxi, preferably with MyTaxi since booking is a breeze and you'll get a €5.00 discount. To get to the hotel I'd take the Aerobus to the first stop at Plaça Espanya and grab the red line of the metro here... and take it all the way to Fabra i Puig. From here it'll be a short walk. Ash
  • June 29, 2019 at 6:48 am
    Elizabeth Larson
    We are staying at the Condes- any recommendations on the fastest way to get there. We also need to head to the beach festival right after checkin at our hotel. Fastest way to get there? Cost is not as important as speed. Your website blogs are amazing!
    • June 29, 2019 at 10:12 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Elizabeth, Thanks so much for your kind words :) I would take the Aerobus from either airport terminal to the terminus stop (Plaça Catalunya) and then from here it will be a short walk, maybe 7-10 minutes up Passeig de Gracia street. From there, there will also be the option of taking a quick taxi for about €5-7 if you're packing heavy bags or super tired after traveling. To get to the beach I'd hop on the yellow line at Passeig de Gracia and take it down to the seaside... again, without knowing what festival it is I can't say which stop but it'll probably be Barceloneta, Ciutadella Port Olimpic, or Bogatell. Cheers, Ash
  • June 29, 2019 at 5:08 am
    Maci
    Hi there! We won't be coming until November, I like to plan things in advance :), but it will be our first time so any advice you have would be much appreciated! We will be arriving on a Friday around 5:00pm and will be staying at the H10 Montcada, which transport option do you think would work best? Thank you!
    • June 29, 2019 at 10:03 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hola Maci, I would take the Aerobus from either airport terminal to the terminus stop (Plaça Catalunya) and then from here it will be a short walk, maybe 7-10 minutes and slightly downhill. From there, there will also be the option of taking a quick taxi for about €5-7 if you're packing heavy bags or super tired after traveling. Cheers, Ash
  • June 27, 2019 at 11:12 pm
    Robyn
    Hi - just found your website! We arrive tomorrow night at 20:20. What’s the fastest, most cost effective way to get to private accommodation on sepulveda 23 08015, please? A bit confused bet booked a taxi/private car/aerobus and public transport. What do you suggest? TIA
    • June 28, 2019 at 11:31 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Robyn, In my opinion a taxi would be a waste of money when you can grab the Aerobus for €6.00 and get off at Plaça Espanya (first stop)... from here it'll be just a short walk, 5-6 minutes tops :) Enjoy! Ash
    • June 27, 2019 at 11:13 pm
      Robyn Duncumb
      Ps we are 3 with 2 pieces of luggage.
      • June 28, 2019 at 11:33 am
        ashley
        Team Member
        Ash
        Indeed, even with 3 it'll be about half the price of a taxi to take the Aerobus, and barely any longer time-wise :)
  • June 26, 2019 at 3:36 pm
    Olivia
    Hi, we land at the airport at 8:20pm and staying at BCN Urban hotels Bonavista. What would you suggest the best way to get to the hotel is? Thank you :)
    • June 27, 2019 at 10:36 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hola Olivia, I would take the Aerobus to Plaça Catalunya and then from there grab the green line of the metro up to Diagonal. From here it'll be a short 6-7 minute walk. Ash
  • June 21, 2019 at 10:52 pm
    Julie
    Family of 3 arrive in Barcelona in the afternoon and are staying at Passeig de Gracia in Eixample. Can you suggest the best way(s) to get to our hotel? Many Thanks.
    • June 22, 2019 at 12:03 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Julie, I'd grab the Aerobus to Plaça Catalunya and from here it'll be just a short walk since the square is connected with Passeig de Gracia. Ash
  • June 21, 2019 at 4:56 pm
    Lo
    Hola,thank you for all the tips. I will be in transit at Barcelona airport aug12. I have 8 hours between flights.I will be flying to New York and can't miss my flight! lol Do you think I will have time to do anything in Barcelona? If yes, what are your suggestions ? Mutes gracias :)
    • June 22, 2019 at 11:49 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Lo, Of course you have time! I would take the Aerobus to Plaça Catalunya and then walk up Passeig de Gracia to see the two Gaudi mansions called Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. Then I'd take the metro from Diagonal to Sagrada Familia and check out the church. From here you could grab some tapas at El Celler del Vermut... if you had time you could head back to Catalunya to grab the Aerobus and perhaps walk down the famous Rambla and check out the Gothic Quarter. All could be done in maybe 4-5 hours... :) Ash
  • June 21, 2019 at 9:32 am
    Martha Gudiel
    What would be the best transportation for a group of eight to go to hostal sant pau on passatge de flaugIer.
    • June 21, 2019 at 11:46 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Martha, I would grab the airport train to Passeig de Gracia and then change for the yellow line of the metro here... and then take that to the Hospital Sant Pau stop, from here it's just a short walk. Ash
  • June 20, 2019 at 8:39 pm
    Brenda Rodriguez
    can you please tell me the best method to get to two different places from this airport landing at 8:45 AM #1 to Sagrada Familia #2 to Carrer Nou De Sant Francesc, 26, Barcelona Catalunya 08002 I am trying to determine whether to go straight to Sagrada or go to the Air B&B first. Also, if you happen to know if there is a luggage storage facility near Sagrada Familia? Thank you
    • June 21, 2019 at 12:08 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Brenda, I would check out the map on Stasher to find some luggage storage places. There are 3-4 in the area around Sagrada. You could go from the airport to Sagrada by taking the Aerobus to Plaça Catalunya, walking 200 meters up to the Passeig de Gracia metro station, and grabbing the purple line from there to Sagrada Familia metro stop. Would take just under an hour. To get to the Airbnb you'd take the same Aerobus to Plaça Catalunya and then from here it's just a 15 minute downhill walk or you can take a quick taxi. Would take maybe 45 minutes. Ash
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