Written by Ash

How to Get from Barcelona Airport to City Centre


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.


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.

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:

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:

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.

Download now
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:

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:

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 🙂

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 🙂

  • June 28, 2021 at 8:58 pm
    Hi Ash, We have planned our vacation in the middle of September and are starting in Girona, touring the Costa Brava, and then finishing in Barcelona. What is the best way to get from the Barcelona Airport (Lufthansa) to Girona?
    • June 29, 2021 at 9:12 am
      Team Member
      Hi Susan, Normally there would be a bus service from T1 to central Girona but at the moment it is not running due to COVID and the future is very much up in the air. I would check back closer to the date to see if they've relaunched the service - the website is the bus company Sagales. Your second option (provided you don't just straight up rent a car) will unfortunately have to be taking a train into central Barcelona (to Sants Estacio) and grabbing a second train to Girona. Trains can be booked using the Renfe website. Cheers,
  • May 30, 2021 at 4:23 am
    We are staying at the Ohla Barcelona in the Gothic Quarter in October. What would be the best way to get from the airport to the hotel.
    • May 30, 2021 at 10:52 am
      Team Member
      Hi Karen, That's an easy one :) Just grab the Aerobus and take it to the terminus stop at Plaça Catalunya and from here it's about a 7 minute walk. Cheers,
  • May 24, 2021 at 9:24 pm
    Going to Carrer del Vallespir, 90, 1º 1ª, Barcelona. How would you get there?
    • May 26, 2021 at 9:57 am
      Team Member
      Hi Melissa, Normally I would recommend grabbing the airport train from T2 but since this terminal is closed your only/best option will be to grab the Aerobus to Plaça Espanya (the first stop) and from here it'll be a 10-12 minute walk or a quick taxi. If you've booked for later on in the year though it's very possible that T2 will be re-open so please do check back before you go. Cheers,
      • May 26, 2021 at 9:58 am
        Team Member
        Oh! And in the event you take the T2 airport train (once COVID closures are in the past) you'd get off at Sants Estacio - from here it's a short walk.
  • March 10, 2020 at 12:03 am
    Just need confirmation as there has been some time between our planning stages. Please recommend one best pass for purchasing tickets prior to arrival to: Sagrada Familia with an English guide, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, Casa Vicens, Park Guell, Picasso Museum, and Monserrat. Also best recommendation for Public transportation to Casa Fuster. Thank you in advance for your thoughtful guidance.
    • March 10, 2020 at 10:31 am
      Hi Mona, I highly recommend the Barcelona City Pass, it comes in different options, make sure you select the one with the audioguide for Sagrada Familia (it's the 98€ one). Casa Fuster is not opened to tourists as it is a private luxury hotel, I suggest that you visit Casa de les Punxes and the Hospital de Sant Pau instead.
  • March 8, 2020 at 2:18 pm
    Hi, great site you have here :) I'm thinking of flying in with my bike. Am I able to take it on the bus or train from the airport to town, do you know? Either in its box or after I have unpacked it. Thanks Peter
    • March 8, 2020 at 8:47 pm
      Hi Peter, you can bring your bike with you on the R2 train from T2 to city center and on the Aerobus. As far as the subway is concerned, bikes are only allowed from 5 AM to 7 AM, from 9 to 5 PM and from 8.30 PM until the end of service.
  • March 4, 2020 at 4:10 am
    Hi Lucille, Thanks in advance for your help! Also, I’m part of the I’m Off to Barcelona Facebook page. There are four of us staying at Plaça de Tetuan, 25. What is the best way for us to get from/to the airport to/from our Airbnb? Also, we are arriving on a Sunday and leaving Saturday. Does it make sense to get the Hola BCN card?
    • March 4, 2020 at 10:55 am
      Hi Laura, The Hola BCN card always make sense if you plan to move around Barcelona only by public transports ;) There are several ways to get to your Airbnb from the airport: - Train R2N to Passeig de Gracia and then metro L2 (Badalona Pompeu Fabra) to Tetuan. It takes around 45 minutes but trains from the airport run every half hour. (Included in Hola BCN or €4.50+ €2.40) - Aerobus (Not included in Hola BCN) to Plaça Universitat then metro L2 to Tetuan. It takes around 50 minutes. - Bus 46 to Gran Via - Mandoni, then bus H12 to Metro Tetuan. It takes around an hour. (Included in Hola BCN or 2 x €2.40) Let me know if you have any further questions ;) Cheers, Lucile
  • March 1, 2020 at 6:55 pm
    richard Adams
    hi staying in hotel example whats the best way to get there from the airport thanks
    • March 2, 2020 at 12:45 pm
      Hi Richard, I can't find this hotel, are you sure the name is right? :)
      • March 2, 2020 at 2:03 pm
        Sorry lucile it’s the ohla eixample wondering what’s the best way from the airport thanks
        • March 2, 2020 at 3:12 pm
          Don't worry, thank you ;) The cheapest and fastest way to reach your hotel from the airport is by metro L9S to Collblanc and then the line L5 to Diagonal. If you plan to buy an unlimited travel card like the Hola BCN, this transfer is included! Otherwise, the metro from the airport costs €5.15. Let me know if you have any questions. Cheers, Lucile
  • February 28, 2020 at 3:23 pm
    Hi we're arriving on 10th April (Good Friday) and are staying at Castelao 206-208, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat - we are staying until Tuesday 14th April and will need to get about the City for those four days (2 adults and 2 Children) what would be the best travel card to buy for us? Thanks
    • March 2, 2020 at 12:26 pm
      Hi Kelly, I recommend the Hola BCN, an unlimited travel card. This card also includes bus 46 or metro L9S from the airport to your accommodation ;) Let me know if you have any questions! Cheers, Lucile
  • February 28, 2020 at 1:42 pm
    Hi, I will be landing at the El Prat airport on Friday, around 1 pm. My Airbnb is located on Carrer de Corsega, 644. What is the best form of transportation for the same? Thanks!
    • July 22, 2021 at 12:27 am
      Hi Lucille, I'm flying in on the 3rd of August into BCN airport. I'm staying in Casa Gracia Hostel. Could you advise the best way of transport from the airport to the hotel please? :) Thank you.
      • July 27, 2021 at 3:36 pm
        Team Member
        Hola Sam :) I'd grab the Aerobus to Plaça Catalunya and from here it's about a 15 minute walk or you can take the metro up two stops to Diagonal station - from here it's just a two minute walk. Cheers,
    • March 2, 2020 at 12:20 pm
      Hi Anushka, I recommend the metro L9S to Zona Universitària and then the line L5 to Sant Pau | Dos de Maig station :) It takes around 50 minutes and the metro from the airport costs €5.15. Cheers, Lucile
  • February 22, 2020 at 3:18 pm
    Hi, We arrive late on Monday 24th Feb (around 11pm) staying on Carrer De Llull. What will be the best way to get from the airport to our hotel? Thank you.
    • February 23, 2020 at 9:24 pm
      Team Member
      Hi Steph, Carrer De Llull is extensive and covers multiple neighbourhoods in the city. Can you be more specific? It would really depend on where you're going. A cross street or even hotel name would help! Cheers, Ash
      • February 23, 2020 at 9:37 pm
        Hi Ash, we are staying at The Travel Lodge Poblenou. 170 Carrer Llull. Thank you
        • February 24, 2020 at 10:33 am
          Team Member
          Hola Steph, Ah ok, great :) In this case I'd grab the Aerobus to Plaça Catalunya and then from here I'd walk over to Urquinaona metro station (about 200 meters) and take the yellow line down to Llacuna. From here it's just a short walk. Cheers, Ash
          • February 24, 2020 at 10:38 am
            Hola Ash, Thank you so much for your advice. Great site :)
Load more comments
Leave a comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *