Ash
Written by Ash

Boss the Barcelona Metro with Discount Tickets and Tips

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Update 06/15/20: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the local authorities have issued the following statements regarding metro use:

  • Wearing a mask is compulsory: authorities will distribute them at all stations.
  • Metro access may be limited and security checks could be carried carried out.
  • Metro schedules are now Monday to Sunday from 5:00 am to midnight.
  • Staff working can only perform essential functions in an emergency.
  • Customer service is provided by phone at 900 701 149.
  • More info on the TMB website and on their Twitter profile @TMBinfo.

Understanding the metro in Barcelona is fundamental to having a good holiday.

The 11 lines (eight classic lines and three overland trains) are as prompt as any metro system in Europe and perhaps more importantly – they’re air conditioned.

The only complaints you hear aside from spoiled locals who have never commuted a day in New York or London are tourists getting ripped off buying €2.40 single tickets.

After reading my Barcelona metro guide you won’t be one of them.

Barcelona Metro Map

Click the button below to enlarge or download your very own Barcelona metro map.

You can also grab these at the Barcelona Tourism Office at the airport or any metro stop.

BARCELONA METRO MAP

Barcelona Metro Hours

Day Hours 2020
 Monday to ThursdayFrom 05:00 to midnight
 FridayFrom 05:00 to 02:00 (Saturday)
 SaturdayFrom 05:00 all night
 SundayFrom midnight to midnight
 Holidays: Jun 23-24, Aug 16-17, Sept 23-24, Dec 31 All day/night

For those not fond of graphs here it is again:

The Barcelona metro opens daily at 5:00 am with the last train departing at 12:00 midnight. On Fridays and holidays trains run until 2:00 am.

There is all night service on Saturday evenings and holiday days of the 23rd of June, 16th of August, 21st and 23rd of September and New Year’s Eve.

Service is limited on Christmas Eve till 11:00 pm.

Frequency

  • During the day trains run every 2-4 minutes
  • At night trains run every 6-10 minutes

Barcelona Metro Tickets

To buy tickets for the Barcelona metro you’ll need to use the machines found at station lobbies. Tickets are valid for the entire Barcelona transport network including metro, bus, tram, and Montjuic funicular lines.

There is a supplemental charge for the Barcelona airport metro to the city centre: €4.60.

Tickets can be purchased using cash or credit/debit card.

All tickets have a 75 minute validity.

Prices

Locals typically buy single zone 1 tickets for €2.40 or the T-Casual card (unipersonal, 10 rides in zone 1) for €11.35.

There’s also the T-Familiar card (interpersonal up to four riders, eight rides in zone 1) for €10.00.

Keep in mind that the fares listed above do not include metro airport transport, which will cost €5.15 per ride.

Tourists usually buy the all-inclusive transport card the Hola Barcelona Card: with unlimited travel on the metro, bus, tram, funicular, and airport transport.

Prices for these passes start as low as €6.84 a day.

You can save 10% on your Hola Barcelona card buying directly from my web shop.

HOLA BARCELONA CARD
Save 10% on my ticket

Here you get the lowest prices while giving me a small commission to cover server costs and the effort and time I put in… if you would like to help the blog please reserve using the button above.

Zones

The Barcelona transport network encompasses 6 zones.

Zone 1 includes the city centre and virtually all of the city’s main attractions and best areas to stay. The odds of you leaving this area are extremely low.

Single ticket prices increase exponentially at €3.40 (Zone 2), €4.50 (Zone 3), €5.75 (Zone 4), €7.35 (Zone 5), €8.55 (Zone 6) respectively.

Here is the Barcelona metro zone map.

Barcelona Metro Passes

You can buy single tickets for €2.40 but the price and ticket machine lines are hardly ideal.

I always suggest tourists pick up a discount transport card that gives you unlimited metro access like the Hola Bcn or Barcelona Card. They save you time and money.

You can always go with the T-Casual but unlike the passes above it’s not valid for the airport.

Find out which discount card is right for you by clicking the banner below:

a tourist holds 3 barcelona discount passes in front of the arc de triomf in barcelona spain a tourist holds 3 barcelona discount passes in front of the arc de triomf in barcelona spain
City Pass, Hola Bcn, or Barcelona Card?

Barcelona Metro Lines + Attractions

L9S Metro (Orange Line)

The newest Barcelona metro line connects the city to both terminals of El Prat Airport.

It isn’t the fastest line and won’t take you to many of the main hotel, Airbnb, and hostel neighbourhoods in the city – it is primarily used for residents getting home to the outskirts.

If you want to get super central you’ll need to change lines.

Connections: the orange line meets the red line (L1) at Torrassa station, the blue line (L5) at Collblanc, and the green line (L3) at Zona Universitaria

L1 Metro (Red Line)

My favourite line crosses the city from east to west and stops in some of the city’s great meeting points like Arc de Triomf (Ciutadella Park), Plaça Catalunya, and Plaça d’Espanya.

Finding a holiday apartment along this line is about as convenient as it gets, as you’ll be able to get around with ease.

Connections: the red line meets the yellow line (L4) at Urquinaona, the green line (L3) at Plaça d’Espanya, the purple line (L2) at Plaça Universitat, and the blue line (L5) at Sagrera and Plaça de Sants.

L2 Metro (Purple Line)

This line connects neighbouring city Badalona with Parallel.

The main points of interest along this line are the Sagrada Familia church, Passeig de Gracia and its famous Gaudi buildings La Pedrera and Casa Batllo, and the glitzy neighbourhood of Eixample and the rough and ready Raval.

Connections: the purple line meets the yellow line (L4) and green line (L3) at Passeig de Gracia, the blue line (L5) at Sagrada Familia, and the red line (L1) at Plaça Universitat and Clot.

L3 Metro (Green Line)

This line sort of twists its way around the city in a U-shape and serves quite a few main attractions.

Along the green line you’ll find three stops on the famous La Rambla: Plaça Catalunya, Liceu, and Drassanes. You’ll also get to the main shopping district at Passeig de Gracia and Diagonal. A few stops along you’ll reach Plaça d’Espanya and the Magic Fountain.

You’ll also get to Park Guell (Vallcara), Barcelona FC’s stadium Camp Nou, and Labirinto di Horta Park (Mundet).

Connections: the green line meets the blue line (L5) at Diagonal, the red line (L1) at Catalunya and Espanya, the yellow line (L4) at Passeig de Gracia, and the purple line (L2) at Parallel and Passeig de Gracia.

L4 Metro (Yellow Line)

Arguably the most popular of Barcelona metro lines is most useful serving the city’s best beaches. Be careful! Especially in the summer the line can get quite busy.

Along the yellow line you’ll find the bohemian Gracia neighbourhood, the Gothic Quarter‘s central square and its Barcelona Cathedral, the upper parts of the city and the Bunkers lookout, and the nightclubs and casino of the Port Olimpic.

If you’re looking for a great beach holiday grab your accommodation along the yellow.

Connections: the yellow line meets the red line (L1) at Urquinaona, with the purple line (L2) at Passeig de Gracia, with the green line (L3) at Passeig de Gracia, and with the blue line (L5) at Verdaguer.

L5 Metro (Blue Line)

I would call this one the business line as it takes people from residential areas into the centre.

The main stop here is Barcelona’s biggest train station: Sants. From here you’ll be able to get a train to the airport, Madrid, or even France. You’ll also get to Camp Nou at Badal station and Sagrada Familia is home to Barcelona’s famous church.

Connections: the blue line has connections with the green line (L3) at Diagonal, the yellow (L4) at Verdaguer, and the purple line (L2) at Sagrada Familia.

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 Metro Tips

  • Avoid taking it during rush hour (8:00-9:00 am and 6:00-7:00 pm).
  • Changing lines could leave you a long walk at Plaça Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia and Sants.
  • Always walk further up the platform for more carriage space.
  • Miss the last train? There’s probably a night bus to get you back.
  • A good rule of thumb is to calculate 2 minutes per metro stop to get your travel time

Safety

In general the trains are well kept and quiet.

The only thing you’ll need to worry about, as mentioned before, are the petty thieves operating in tourist areas – mainly in and around the stations at Liceu, Drassanes, Placa Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia, and Sants.

Use common sense and you’ll be fine.

Get On Board in the Comments Below

Bum steer on your Barcelona metro pass?

Not sure which Canadian-Ethiopian fusion restaurant within 3 minutes walking from the northern beaches would suit your vegetarian celiac boyfriend on crutches? I’m here 😉

Drop me a line any time.

51 comments
  • February 17, 2020 at 4:37 pm
    john
    Hi Ash, We will be in Barcelona for 3 days as our first leg of our 12 days in Europe. I have been contacting the transportation people in Barcelona and they told me that the Hola Barcelona Travel card does not includes airport blue bus A1 and A2 routes. It covers metro, bus, and tram lines except airport bus transfer. Since we are staying at carrer del comte borrell, we will hop on line 9 sud then transfer at Torrassa then take line 1 to Urgell. Can you please recommend us any tapa bars or Catalonia restaurants around that area. Any informations will be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot. John
  • February 6, 2020 at 2:15 pm
    Elizabeth
    Hi Ash, We are thinking of purchasing the t-casual while in town for 5 days. Not sure if we will use all the available trips on the ticket, and I was wondering if they had an expiration date. We would like to give the remainder (if any) to my cousin (living in Madrid) so she could give them to some of their many visitors. Cheers Elizabeth
    • February 6, 2020 at 2:51 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Elizabeth, No worries then... these tickets are valid until the end of February of the year after the ticket was bought. She may have to hurry a bit, but if she visits this year it'll be fine! Cheers, Ash
  • February 5, 2020 at 4:09 pm
    Andrea
    Hi Ash! I just checked official fares for metro and it is written that a T-familiar multi-person ticket for 8 journeys in 30 days will be available from 1 March 2020. T-10 card is not sold anymore. So, which multi-person card is possible to purchase for period 06.02.-10.02.2020. Thank you in advance, Andrea
    • February 6, 2020 at 10:09 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hola Andrea, Unfortunately until the launch of the T-Familiar there will be no interpersonal cards on the market. You'll have to get a T-Casual which is singular :( Cheers, Ash
  • January 22, 2020 at 11:35 pm
    Kyle
    Hi, I’ll be arriving in Barcelona on the 9th February and my hotel is closest to Bogatell, how would you reccomebd getting to there from the airport? Thank you
    • January 24, 2020 at 5:22 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Kyle, I'd grab the Aerobus to Plaça Catalunya, walk the 200 m over to Urquinaona metro station, and then take the yellow line of the metro to Bogatell. Cheers, Ash
  • January 17, 2020 at 11:54 pm
    Jennifer
    Can the T-casual card be used for multiple people or is it just 1 person per card? Trying to decide between getting hola Barcelona or just doing T-Casual cards for our trip in April (family of 4).
    • January 18, 2020 at 9:15 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Jennifer, The T-Casual is not interpersonal but there's the T-Familiar which will give you 8 trips (interpersonal) for just over €10.00. If you're doing a standard sightseeing holiday I always recommend the Hola Barcelona because it'll cover airport transport and eliminate a lot of the hassle with buying tickets etc. That said, if you're just going to see a couple things here and there the T-Familiar is more than fine. Cheers, Ash
  • January 14, 2020 at 9:39 pm
    Cheryl Reed
    Thanks for the information about the walk to the aerobus. Sorry, when I was talking about the ticket times I was referring to Sagrada Familia and Picasso Musuem... if they are strict on that window of time you choose.
    • January 15, 2020 at 8:24 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Cheryl, Ah ok... in this case general admission tickets to Sagrada are only between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm. You're flexibly inflexible let's say. As for the Picasso Museum you can go up any time (except for the free days) and get a ticket. But the slots could be sold out and you'll be asked to come back later. Never fun! Always best to book online in advance so you get the desired slot with no chance of it being sold out. Ash
    • January 14, 2020 at 9:44 pm
      Cheryl Reed
      Also.. One more ? When I was looking at booking the Sagrada Famlia from you website.. with the English guided tour.. but I was also looking at the SF website..I was needing 1:30 (13:30) but on SF website English guided tour is only offered at certain times with 13:00 or 15:00, but your website link had the option for 13:30 on your link. Just wanted to make sure before I purchased if that was correct.
      • January 15, 2020 at 8:25 pm
        ashley
        Team Member
        Ash
        Hi Cheryl, The company on my website is different from the official tour... with the one I put on offer it's longer and with smaller groups. I've taken them all and as a result decided to offer this one on my site :) Cheers, Ash
  • November 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm
    recent
    T10 is valid indefinitely within a calendar year (however the card will expire one month after the new tariffs are released in January each year) and can be shared with other members of your group. In order for each person in your group to use the same T10 you have to put the card in the ticket validation machine and then pull it out completely - this will open the sliding doors to allow you to pass through. Leave the card on the machine surface however for the next member of your group to use the T10. Each time someone in your group uses the T10 it counts as a separate journey and the journeys are printed on the back of the ticket during validation.
    • November 11, 2019 at 1:45 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Yes! This is truth :)
  • November 3, 2019 at 2:42 am
    Elaine Lee
    Hi Ash! My husband, Richard, reached out to you last week about our hotel we booked for a couple of nights in October 2020 at Chic and Las Ramblas. In your opinion, what is the best transportation to take from the airport to the hotel and then from the hotel to the cruise terminal? And what would you suggest we visit during the couple of days we will have to sightsee prior to getting on the cruise ship? Thanks! Elaine
    • November 4, 2019 at 11:51 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Elaine, To get to your hotel I'd grab the Aerobus to the last stop Plaça Catalunya and then from here it's a short 10-12 minute downhill walk. To get to the cruise terminal you can simply walk down La Rambla to the Columbus statue and from there you can grab the cruise bus which is scheduled in coordination with cruise ships leaving. As for the sightseeing... did you have anything particular in mind? This whole site is dedicated to explaining what there is to visit in Barcelona ;) I would start with my list of top things to do. Cheers, Ash
  • October 19, 2019 at 12:31 am
    Shaun
    Firstly can I echo the comments of others, what an informative site We arrive at BCN at 1635 on Sat 23/11 and are staying at Hotel EuroPark until Tuesday 26/11 when our flight departs at 1355. I am just trying to work the best and most economical way of the two of us travelling around you great city for the first time using public transport. Any thoughts ? Shaun Ps Having seen the recent news can I also stay safe !!
    • October 19, 2019 at 12:54 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Shaun, Thanks a lot for writing with your very nice comments... I have stayed safe so far! Hopefully we're in the clear for now. About getting around I can say you're super central so can do a bit of walking... but if you're going to be doing the full sightseeing package it's certainly OK to grab a 72 hour Hola BCN unlimited transport card because it'll cover your airport transport and it's less hassle doing it this way. That said, if you're going to be doing a lot of walking or not seeing too many sites there's no shame in grabbing the T-10 card which is interpersonal and gets you ten trips for just over €10.00. Your choice :) Cheers, Ash
  • October 15, 2019 at 3:27 am
    CheapTraveler
    In order to save some money, is theoretically possible to use just 1 Hola Barcelona card for 2 people? Is there a way they monitor how many times the card is used at one station?
    • October 15, 2019 at 9:07 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hello Cheap Traveler, That would certainly be short sighted on the part of the provider of this service ;) Of course, you're only allowed to use it once per station so will need one per person. This is registered automatically by the system and impossible to work around. Ash
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