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Which Airport to Fly to When Visiting Barcelona? Top 3 Barcelona Airports

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Barcelona is an easy choice for a getaway but one question always looms: Which airport should you fly into when visiting Barcelona?

With three Barcelona airports the choice may not be immediately obvious.

So, let’s break them down so you can decide which Barcelona airport to fly into.

Which Airport to Fly Into in Barcelona: Barcelona Airports + Airport Codes

barcelona airport to city centre

Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN)

El Prat Airport is the primary international airport in Barcelona and its surrounding areas.

Located just 14 kilometers southwest of the city center, it’s the second-largest and busiest airport in Spain, right after Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas.

If you’re flying in from overseas this is the airport you’ll be going through.

If you’re looking to dust off an epic Barcelona itinerary in as little time as possible, this is the airport in Barcelona for you.

Time to Barcelona city centre: 20 minutes.

Pros of using El Prat:

  • Proximity: It’s closest to Barcelona’s city center, making airport transfers to the city centre quick and convenient.
  • Connectivity: Being a major hub, BCN offers a plethora of direct flights from numerous global cities.
  • Transport Links: Exceptional ground transport options, including buses, taxis, and the metro get you central quickly.
  • Amenities: The best shopping and food of any of the Barcelona airports.

Cons of using El Prat:

  • Busyness: Due to its primary status, this Barcelona airport can be bustling, especially during peak tourist seasons.

The best way to get to central Barcelona is using the Aerobus (€9.75, departs every 5 minutes):

AEROBUS
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Girona-Costa Brava Airport (GRO)

Located 90 kilometers northeast of Barcelona, Girona-Costa Brava Airport is a secondary airport that primarily serves budget airlines and charter flights, especially those catering to the European market.

This is essentially a Ryanair airport and you won’t find any overseas flights here.

Time to Barcelona city centre: 70 minutes.

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Pros:

  • Budget Flights: If you’re flying within Europe, especially on low-cost carriers, Girona might offer better deals.
  • Costa Brava Access: For those whose main itinerary revolves around the Costa Brava region, Girona can be a strategic entry point.

Cons:

  • Distance: It takes about an hour or more to reach Barcelona’s city center from Girona.
  • Limited Global Flights: Direct long-haul flights are much fewer compared to other Barcelona airports.

The best way to get to central Barcelona is using the Girona Airport bus (€17.00, departs with every arrival):

GIRONA AIRPORT BUS
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barcelona bus to reus airport with palm trees at station

Reus Airport (REU)

Reus Airport, located approximately 100 kilometers south of Barcelona, is another smaller airport that caters primarily to budget carriers.

Of all the Barcelona airports, it is served by the least companies – the main airlines here are Ryanair and Vueling (the Ryanair of Spain!).

Time to Barcelona city centre: 80 minutes.

Pros:

  • Costa Dorada: If your travel plans include exploring the beaches of Costa Dorada, flying into Reus might make sense.
  • Tarragona Visit: The historic city of Tarragona, known for its Roman ruins, is closer to Reus.

Cons:

  • Limited Flights: Most flights to Reus are seasonal, catering to holidaymakers during specific times of the year.
  • Transfer Time: Expect a transfer time of over an hour to get to Barcelona.

The best way to get to Barcelona city centre is with Suntransfer:

Suntransfer Reus-Barcelona
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Key Considerations When Choosing A Barcelona Airport

  1. Destination Priorities: If Barcelona is your primary destination, BCN is the logical choice for top Barcelona airport. However, if coastal areas like Costa Brava or Costa Dorada top your list, consider Girona or Reus, respectively.
  2. Budget: While El Prat might have numerous flight options, Girona or Reus might offer more wallet-friendly fares, especially on budget airlines.
  3. Transfer Costs: Factor in the costs (and time) of transferring from the airport to your primary destination. Sometimes, the money saved on flight deals might be offset by transfer expenses.
  4. Flight Availability: Depending on where you’re flying from, direct flight availability might make one airport more favourable than the others.

Barcelona Airports FAQ

  • How many airports in Barcelona?

    Barcelona has one main international airport, which is Barcelona-El Prat Airport (IATA code: BCN). It is the primary airport serving the city and the surrounding region.

    There are two airports in Barcelona a bit further out in Girona (70 min away) and Reus (80 min away)

  • How far is Barcelona airport from the city centre?

    Barcelona El Prat Airport is 14 km southwest of the the city centre and it can be reached in as little as 15 minutes with a taxi, or 20-25 using public transit (train or bus).

  • What airport for Barcelona?

    The best airport for Barcelona is Barcelona El Prat (BCN) as it’s the closest to the city centre by far – it also is the only one with overseas flights coming in. Girona (GRO) and Reus (REU) are primarily for discount airlines from continental Europe and charter flights.

Need More Info on Airports in Barcelona?

Barcelona, with its myriad attractions, promises an enchanting experience.

But your trip’s success starts right from choosing which of Barcelona’s airports is best for you.

Whether you opt for the bustling BCN, the strategic Girona, or the smaller Reus, ensure you weigh the pros and cons in line with your itinerary and preferences.

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