How to Get from Barcelona Airport to City Centre Fast & Cheap
The Barcelona airport to city centre trip doesn’t have to be stressful, as long as you’re landing with the knowledge I’m about to share here.
With five ways of getting from Barcelona airport to the city you’re going to have a lot of choice.
Let’s find out the best way to get to the city centre for you and your budget.
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.
Barcelona 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 the best 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 airport shuttle (minimum) to get to the other.
Barcelona Airport to City Centre Options
I call this the fast airport bus because it takes only 35 minutes (the city bus on the other hand takes about an hour)
In my opinion, it’s the best way to get from Barcelona airport to the city because it 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
- From both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2
It’s impossible to miss – just walk outside either terminal and see the classic blue Aerobus logo.
Aerobus tickets are €9.75 one way 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 + seating reserved for Barcelona travellers with disabilities.
- 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 Aerbosu tickets online and support us and our work using the button below.
- 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)
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 with the unlimited transport Hola Barcelona Card – you can book the Barcelona Transport Pass clicking the button below:
Metro to Barcelona Airport
Is there a metro from Barcelona airport to the city? From February 2016 onward, yes.
The Barcelona metro connects Barcelona with El Prat via line L9S.
Careful though: 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 – you’re better off ponying up a few extra euro for the Aerobus.
When Should you take the Metro from Barcelona airport?
- 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 Barcelona airport?
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.
Related: How Many Days Should I Stay in Barcelona?
Airport Bus to City Centre (Bus 46)
When thinking of how to get from the airport to the city this is the cheapest way – 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 60 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 €5.00 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).
This bus runs from 4:50 am to 11:50 pm to the airport and from 5:30 am to 11:50 pm to the city centre.
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.
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 fastest 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:
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) for getting from Barcelona airport to downtown.
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.
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.
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:
Barcelona Airport Left 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:
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 🙂
Barcelona Airport to City Center FAQ
How far is it from Barcelona Airport to the city centre?
Barcelona International Airport (aka Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat) is 14.8 kilometers (9.1 miles) from the airport.
Is there a train from Barcelona Airport to the city centre?
Yes, a national RENFE train service departs from Terminal 2 of Barcelona airport every 30 minutes. The train trip to the city centre takes approximately 25 minutes.
How long from Barcelona airport to the city centre?
The average trip to the city centre with most modes of airport transport is about 40 minutes, while taking a taxi takes about 25 minutes depending on traffic.
How do you get from Barcelona airport to the city centre?
To get to the city centre from Barcelona airport you can take the city bus (46 or N17), the RENFE train from Terminal 2, the Aerobus rapid bus, or a taxi.
How much from Barcelona airport to the city centre?
The prices for Barcelona airport transport are as follows:
- TMB Bus 46 (or N17 at night): €2.40
- RENFE Train from Terminal 2: €4.60
- Aerobus (25 minute Rapid Bus): €9.75
- Taxi: €30.00 (T1) or €35.00 (T2)
Still Looking for the Best Ways to Get to Barcelona from Barcelona Airport?
Getting from Barcelona Airport to the city center isn’t rocket science, but if you’re still stuck make sure you write me in the comments below.
Also, don’t be afraid to join the airport to Barcelona city centre discussion by joining my group I’m Off to Barcelona – here you can ask any questions, air out grievances, and chat with thousands of Barcelona travelers.
Best of luck with your Barcelona airport transfer 🤝
March 1, 2020 at 6:55 pmhi staying in hotel example whats the best way to get there from the airport thanks
March 2, 2020 at 12:45 pmHi Richard, I can't find this hotel, are you sure the name is right? :)
March 2, 2020 at 2:03 pmSorry lucile it’s the ohla eixample wondering what’s the best way from the airport thanks
March 2, 2020 at 3:12 pmDon'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 pmHi 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 pmHi 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 pmHi, 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 amHi 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 pmHola 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 pmHi 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 pmHi, 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 pmHi 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 pmHi Ash, we are staying at The Travel Lodge Poblenou. 170 Carrer Llull. Thank you
February 24, 2020 at 10:33 amHola 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 amHola Ash, Thank you so much for your advice. Great site :)
February 16, 2020 at 4:56 pmI'm staying Silken Diagonal, Avinguda Diagonal, 205 How do we get from BCN
February 17, 2020 at 12:55 pmHola Mandy, I'd take the airport train to El Clot Arago and from here it's just a short walk. Cheers, Ash
February 13, 2020 at 9:24 pmThank you for this. Would you please let me know if train or aerobus would be best and the best stop for me? Thank you very much! Address: Carrer de Sepúlveda, 95, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
February 14, 2020 at 10:22 amHi Kristy, No problem! I would grab the Aerobus and get off at Gran Via-Urgell (the second stop) and from here it'll be a short walk :) Cheers, Ash
February 12, 2020 at 9:17 pmHi Just purchased Aerobus tickets via your link and I have received a confirmation email, but no actual tickets. Bit concerned as the Aerobus website makes reference to the driver scanning a QR code, but there isn't one on the confirmation email Many thanks Steve
February 13, 2020 at 10:54 amHi Steve, Thanks for writing in and making the purchase to help out the blog :) Apologies you're having trouble here. I have never heard of this happening before. Was it via Ticketbar or Barcelona Turisme? I would get in touch with them immediately with the email address they've provided and they'll be quick with a response. As a last resort you'll likely be able to get on using the document they sent you. Please let me know how you get on, Ash
February 13, 2020 at 11:07 amGood morning! Your reply arrived just as I was logging in to say that the tickets arrived this morning, so all good! May I respectfully suggest that you edit the page to make it clear that it is Placa de Catalunya to avoid others making the same mistake? Staying at the Claris on the first night (thank you Hyatt Reward Points!) and at Aparthotel Allada for the next three. Any comments on them would be appreciated! Been a few times to Barcelona. Have booked Segrada Familia this time and looking forward to seeing it again - last time must have been about 15 years ago when you had to walk around cement mixers and building materials!! Not even sure it charged then? Will also probably go to 7 Portes for the fourth time. As much for the service as the food - they made my wife feel so special :) Many thanks for your help - need any t-bags, cheddar etc. bringing over? LOL. Steve
February 14, 2020 at 10:18 amHi Steve, Thanks for the suggestion... I didn't even know there were two. It's the Catalan equivalent of going to "Times Square" in NY and then seeing another one way outside of Manhattan in some unremarkable suburb. When I search for every combination of these words on Google it still comes up as the main one in the city centre. I don't know what you saw! So strange. For the hotels I can't comment from personal experience but can say I've heard good things about both. I prefer the area near the Aparthotel as it's near the park and beach, and the area just offers so much more as far as walks/cafes and that sort of thing. I saw Sagrada for the first time in 2006 myself so I know what you mean... the inside was completely in scaffolding and was hard to see. Now it's opened up and super bright, really nice! If only they'd hurry up on the main façade. 7 Portes is great as well. A touch of class never heard anybody eh? Picasso used to eat there. It's a great special occasion place. If you're looking for eats around Aparthotel I'd go for Fismuler, Elsa & Fred, or Spaccanapoli (if you want an authentic Naples experience, great pizza)... I just moved into the area myself and these are my go-tos. As for the tea bags and cheddar... thanks for the offer :) luckily we've got that covered in most of the shops in Barcelona... I spend 6 months in Russia last year and can't say the same for them lol. Cheers, Ash
February 14, 2020 at 6:53 pmHi Ash Thanks for the reply. I want onto Google Maps on my laptop and typed Placa Catalunya - auto-suggested a location in the neighbourhood called Sant Boi De Llobregat. Go figure! Thanks for the food places - TBH we like to eat where locals eat local food (especially after 7 Portes prices!!) Café type environment (as opposed to restaurant if that makes sense) is fine. I know of some great tapas places, but what about meals? I also like to cook, so will be hitting the markets! Cheers! Steve
February 15, 2020 at 8:47 pmHi Steve, So strange... Sant Boi is miles away and on nobody's radar haha. Anyway, don't ever tell a Spanish person that tapas isn't a meal ;) In fact it's pretty much universally how Spaniards eat dinner when they go out. So much so that I can't think of any local type places without this type scene. What do you mean by meals? Cafes for me are just for sandwiches, muffins etc and can't really do dinner in a place like that. Not sure how to answer! I've got a post on the best cafes in the city if needed. Cheers, Ash
February 16, 2020 at 12:41 pmHi Ash! Not dissing Tapas at all - my wife in particular loves the "lots of tasty things" style of eating! What I meant is somewhere that is the type of place a local would go to eat - does not offer "reconstructed" dishes, "foamed" dressing or a sauce which consists of four dots on a plate! (and bear in mind I was a trained chef) I think a lot of places are in danger of losing local dishes in favour of something like pizza or KFC - and if I want a pizza I'll go to Italy [/rant off] For example, in the USA we love "mom & pop" style and Amish places. Good honest fresh food at a good price in unpretentious surroundings - I'm finding that these are dying out in major cities which is a great shame. Old Bloke signing off LOL
February 17, 2020 at 12:54 pmHola Steve, I know exactly what you're saying... and though there's a time and place for that reconstructed stuff and random, coloured dots of flavor on plates with unsatisfying portions... I rarely feel the need to go to anything like that. Give me fresh, honest, and rustic any day of the week! When I think of Mom & Pop type places I think of Bodega Joan, El Celler del Vermut (near Sagrada), Can Paixano (be prepared to stand!), and Xiringuito Escriba. There are little blurbs about all of them in my restaurant article. Hope this gets you on the right, tasty track! Cheers, Ash
February 12, 2020 at 7:20 amHey buddy, arriving on Feb16th 8pm (T2c)leaving 19th 5pm. Staying at Petit palace Boquería on carrer de la Boquería near las Ramblas. We have pre booked tickets for Camp Nou . We would also like to do a hop on hop off tour. Is there an “all in one” pass that covers public transport and tour buses? And also will the HBC or city pass get us to the camp Nou? Finally, your advice on getting to our hotel bearing in mind the time we arrive into BCN. Great site, simple and to the point.. appreciate your any advice Regards Dean
February 12, 2020 at 11:24 amHola Dean, Thanks for the kind words on the blog, always happy to help a reader out :) As far as I know there isn't an unlimited transport pass that also includes the Bus Turistic. As far as Camp Nou... the Hola Barcelona Card will get you there as it covers all transport within Zone 1 of the TMB network. The City Pass however does not include any transport unless you use the included Bus Turistic (the hop on hop off bus) to get to Camp Nou - which is doable, but slower. If you were doing it as part of a greater tour of the city it'd be fine. But using the bus just for transport to a scheduled attraction visit isn't recommended. The hotel can be reached by taking the Aerobus to the Plaça Catalunya stop (the last one) and then walking the 10 minutes down La Rambla. Alternatively you could get a cheap taxi but it won't be necessary unless you have mobility issues or something similar. Cheers, Ash
February 12, 2020 at 1:26 pmCheers buddy Just one more quicky. If we get a separate “ hop on hop off” ticket will one of the routes takes us past the camp nou? So In theory we could kill two birds? Sighting tour and stop off for our footy tour? Again thanks for your time Dean
February 13, 2020 at 10:39 amHola Dean, No worries :) The Bus Turistic does indeed have a stop at Camp Nou so you can easily get 'two birds stoned at once' if needed ;) Just make sure you leave plenty of time to arrive as the bus tour times depend on traffic. Cheers, Ash
February 11, 2020 at 10:55 pmWe arrive two days before a Carnival cruise and are booked at Tryp Barcelona Apolo hotel and what's the best method of transport for first timers from airport to hotel and to the port. We are also looking at the Dequesa Suites Barcelona and any comments on transportation to and from or general information on each property would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
February 12, 2020 at 11:01 amApologies I'm a bit off in the calculations though... Tryp Apolo is much closer to the Port Bus stop. Duquesa Suites will be maybe a 20 minute walk. If it comes down to convenience for transport then Tryp would win!
February 12, 2020 at 10:59 amHi Sol, For starters let me say that both of these hotels are very convenient for getting to the cruise terminal. They'll both be about 5-6 minutes' walking from the Port Bus stop at the Columbus Statue. Easy peasy. As for the airport transport. For Tryp Barcelona Apolo I would take the Aerobus to Plaça Espanya and then walk the 15 minutes down Paral-lel (OR take the green line of the metro two stops down to Drassanes) to the hotel. For Duquesa Suites I'd take that same Aerobus to the last stop (Plaça Catalunya) and then walk over to Urquinaona metro and take the yellow line of the metro down two stops to Barceloneta. From here it's just a short walk. As for any other comments unfortunately not having stayed in either I can't say much from personal experience. I would say that the Duquesa Suites are in a nicer area, near the beach and arguably the best area of the old town: El Born. As for the quality of the hotels I would yield to the thousands of reviews found online :) I've heard good things about both. Cheers, Ash
February 11, 2020 at 12:36 amHello, Thanks for all your help in assembling this website! We are staying at the Hotel Astoria (Hotel Astoria, Carrer de París, 203, 08036 Barcelona, Spain) and our flight arrives in the afternoon. We are a party of four with a mix of hand/checked luggage. What do you think is the best way to arrive to our hotel?
February 11, 2020 at 12:38 pmHi Jackie, I'd normally recommend a combination of the Aerobus and metro but if you add it all up for 4 people it's going to cost around €30.00 so you might as well just grab a taxi from the airport. It'll be quicker and I'm sure you can all afford to pony up the extra €1.50 each :) Cheers, Ash