Ash
Written by Ash

Boss the Barcelona Metro with Discount Tickets and Tips

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Understanding the Barcelona Metro 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.

Aside from spoiled locals who have never commuted a day in New York or London, the only complaints you hear are tourists getting ripped off buying €2.55 single tickets.

But fear not; 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, the airport, or any metro stop.

BARCELONA METRO MAP

Barcelona Metro Hours

Day Hours 2023
 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 31All 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 on the 23rd of June, 16th of August, 21st and 23rd of September and New Year’s Eve in Barcelona.

Service is limited on Christmas Eve till 11:00 pm for those spending Christmas in Barcelona.

Metro in Barcelona Train Frequency

  • Daytime: trains run every 2-4 minutes.
  • Evening: trains run every 6-10 minutes
a train on the barcelona metro enters a station

Barcelona Metro Tickets

You’ll need to use the machines found in station lobbies to buy tickets for the Barcelona metro. 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: €5.15.

⚠️  Warning ⚠️: Barcelona’s top two attractions must now be booked in advance.

You can book fast track tickets to both individually or get them as part of a discount pass:

You will not be able to book these tickets on site – lock in your tickets ASAP or you could miss out.

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

All tickets have a 75-minute validity.

Related: Barcelona metro map

Barcelona Metro Prices

Locals typically buy a single zone 1 ticket for €2.55 or grab the T-Casual card (unipersonal, ten 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 the metro ride from Barcelona airport to the city centre, 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 around €7.00 a day.

You can save 5% on your Hola Barcelona card by buying using the button below.

HOLA BCN DISCOUNT TRAVEL CARD
Save 5% 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.

Add an Unlimited Transport on Top

Looking to combine the Hola Barcelona Card with the city’s best airport transport?

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 by clicking the button below:

BARCELONA TRANSPORT PASS
Grab your pass today!

Barcelona Metro Zones

The Barcelona transport network encompasses six 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.

Take a look at the Barcelona metro zone map to familiarize yourself.

the three best barcelona discount pass options

Barcelona Metro Passes

You can buy single tickets for €2.55, but the price and ticket machine lines are hardly ideal.

I always suggest tourists pick up a discount transport card that will give them 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
Get a Barcelona tourist discount pass and save money + time.

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 the most popular Barcelona hotels and Barcelona hostels where you’re likely to be laying your head. The line is primarily used for residents getting home to the outskirts.

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

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 Barcelona (Red Line)

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

Finding a Barcelona 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 Barcelona (Purple Line)

This line connects the 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 Barcelona (Green Line)

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

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

Further along the line, you’ll 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 Barcelona (Yellow Line)

Arguably the most popular of the city’s metro lines, the L4 is most useful for finding Barcelona’s best beaches. But be careful! Especially in the summer, the line gets 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, much of the best Barcelona nightlife and the casino at the Port Olimpic.

If you’re looking for a great beach holiday, check out my Barcelona accommodation finder along the yellow.

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

L5 Metro Barcelona (Blue Line)

I would call this 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 catch 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 line (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
Buy your tickets in advance from home or risk long lines + bigger prices.

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
  • Stick to a T-10 pass if you don’t require unlimited travel
  • If you plan on using the system extensively, the Hola BCN card offers unlimited travel over a chosen time frame
  • The Barcelona Card tacks on free or discounted entry to a variety of local attractions, making it a great tool for visitors
  • 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

Barcelona Public Transport Safety

In general, the trains are well-kept and quiet.

The only thing you’ll need to worry about is the, unfortunately, all too common petty thievery in and around the stations. Check out my article on avoiding Barcelona pickpockets to stay one step ahead.

In short, you’ll want to pay particular attention at the major Barcelona stations of Liceu, Drassanes, Placa Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia, and Sants.

Use common sense, and you’ll be fine.

a crowd boards the barcelona metro at rush hour

Barcelona Metro FAQs

  • How much does a Barcelona metro ticket cost?

    The cost of a ticket on the Barcelona Metro depends on the number of zones you plan to travel through. For those staying in the city centre, a one-zone trip costs €2.40. Or you can opt for the popular T-Casual card (or T-10), which allows you to make 10 trips for just €11.35.

  • How do you pay for the metro in Barcelona?

    You can either pay €2.40 for a single fare, €11.35 for a T-10 pass. You’ll find a ticket machine in each station that accepts payment using cash or a credit/debit card.

  • Is Barcelona metro 24 hours?

    The Barcelona Metro only operates 24 hours a day on Saturdays and public holidays. It typically operates from 5:00 AM to midnight (Mon-Thu) and 5:00 am to 2:00 am (Fri). Just keep in mind that exact times may vary depending on the line and the day of the week.

  • What is the best Barcelona metro pass?

    The best Barcelona metro pass depends on your specific needs and the duration of your stay. The Hola Barcelona Travel Card offers unlimited use over the chosen validity period (2, 3, 4, or 5 consecutive days). While the Barcelona Card adds free entry or discounted admission to many popular attractions on top of the Hola Barcelona card.

  • What is the T-10 pass on the Barcelona Metro?

    The T-casual, or T-10 offers users 10 trips that can be used on the metro, buses, trams, and even on the suburban train lines within Zone 1. It provides flexibility and cost savings compared to purchasing individual single tickets and is perfect for those who don’t need unlimited travel.

  • Is the Barcelona metro easy to use?

    Yes, the Barcelona metro is easy to use. It is a well-established and extensive public transportation system that covers a large part of the city and its surrounding areas. It offers clear signage in both Catalan and Spanish, and often in English, offers various ticketing options, and operates with good frequency and reliability.

  • Can you take the Barcelona metro from the airport?

    Yes, the L9 Sud metro line connects terminals T1 and T2 at El Prat Airport with Barcelona’s city centre. However, you’ll be required to change at Torrassa (L1), Collblanc (L5), or Zona Universitaria (L3) stations, depending on where you’re headed. The train operates every 7 minutes and costs €5.15 per ride.

All set for your trip on the Barcelona Metro?

By now, you should be well versed in the ins and outs of the Barcelona public transport system. And hopefully, you’ve found the Barcelona metro pass that suits your travel needs.

But before you get going, don’t forget to hit me up in the comments below if you have any additional questions.

Otherwise, all that’s left to do is take the plunge and hop on the Barcelona metro on your way to the city’s many attractions.

Safe travels🚊

71 comments
  • September 18, 2023 at 6:40 am
    travel guide
    I've always wanted to embark on a journey like this. Thanks for sharing your experiences and tips – it's super helpful for travel enthusiasts like me!
    • September 19, 2023 at 3:14 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      You're very welcome! :)
  • January 23, 2023 at 4:47 am
    DLuke
    I am flying into Barcelona Good Friday. Are restaurants open Good Friday(April 7th) and Easter Sunday(April 9th)? And where Can I find a mass schedules for churches in Barcelona held on Easter Sunday?
    • January 28, 2023 at 8:14 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hello Luke, The mass schedules have not been announced yet but when they are I'll be updating them in our Barcelona Easter post. In general expect most restaurants to be open as these are major money maker days for them. Cheers,
  • November 29, 2022 at 8:22 pm
    Michael
    Hall Ash, könnten Sie mir bitte sagen wie wir am besten vom Flughafen nach Perello 08005 Barcelona kommen? Gruß Michael
    • November 30, 2022 at 4:32 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Michael, Honestly this is kind of a transport dead spot, or at least requires more than one means to arrive. I would either take a taxi (about 35 euro) or grab the Aerobus to Placa Catalunya, then walk to the Urquinaona metro stop and grab the yellow line to Poble Nou. From there it's a 10 minute walk. If you're in a group of two or three I would get the taxi as it'll be about the same price per person. If you're alone, not in a hurry, or want to save money then the second option is fine even if it'll take about an hour. Cheers,
  • October 23, 2022 at 4:16 pm
    Nani
    Hi Ash, thanks for the helpful information you have published in here. I just wanna ask about the rush hours, does TMB tried to solve this issue of rush hours at Barcelona Metro? and what procedures TMB have done/trying to do in order to solve this issue? Actually I'm doing my Uni research but didn't find any helpful info regarding this, so if you have some good stuff that would help a lot/if you could provide any helpful websites or academic journals.
    • October 25, 2022 at 7:38 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Nani, Unfortunately I have no idea what (if anything) TMB has done to help solve rush hour issues :( Since we deal exclusively with tourists the rush hour thing has really never come up - other than 'go grab a drink on a terrace and wait it out' haha. Cheers,
  • September 12, 2022 at 7:28 am
    Krystal
    Hello, can you tell me the best way to get to Sitges from Barcelona? I am staying near El Maresme-Fòrum. Thank you!
    • September 12, 2022 at 6:47 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Krystal, From El Maresme-Fòrum grab the yellow line of the metro to Barceloneta. Get out here, walk the 200 meters to Estación de Francia and then from here you can grab the train to Sitges. Cheers,
      • September 12, 2022 at 7:24 pm
        Krystal
        Thank you so much Ash! This is the best site I've found that has really helpful information! :)
        • September 12, 2022 at 7:28 pm
          ashley
          Team Member
          Ash
          So great to hear Krystal! You're welcome -if you have any more questions you know where to ask :)
  • August 31, 2022 at 12:38 pm
    Tujan
    Thanks Ash for this detailed blog! I just want to make sure if I understand the correct usage of the T-familia card: lets say if i want to use this card for one trip then pass it along to my friend who is joining me in the same transporation, will this be considered 2 trips (becaise me and my friend have used the card) or only one? Thanks
    • August 31, 2022 at 1:37 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Tujan, Unfortunately each time the ticket is passed through the machines to open the gates it counts as another ride. Would be a great loophole if not!
  • June 28, 2022 at 7:35 am
    Amir
    Hi Ash. Thank you for putting this together. Me and my daughter will be flying into BCN in a few days and aware staying at Hilton Diagonal. What’s our best option for transport to and from the hotel? Thanks!
    • June 29, 2022 at 11:06 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Amir, Thanks for the kind words :) Honestly, there's no easy way to do this as this hotel is about as far from Barcelona airport as possible - it's inevitable to have to take two means of transport or more unless you get a taxi (which will likely be around 45 euros). I would take the Aerobus to the terminus stop at Placa Catalunya... then walk the 100 meters to Urquinaona metro station. From here you can grab the yellow line all the way to El Maresme Form. From here it's just a short walk. Cheers,
  • May 18, 2022 at 11:53 am
    Rose
    Hi, have bought Tfamiliar online. We are staying near San boi del Llobrigade, where is there a ticket machine so we can travel into Barca. I thought we would of got E tickets on the App
    • May 18, 2022 at 6:31 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Rose, From Sant Boi de Llobregat you can go to the Sant Boi train station (quite central) and some there you can claim your tickets. They've got lots of machines there and even a ticket window with attendants should you need it. Cheers,
  • December 7, 2021 at 10:29 pm
    Dave Wade
    Hey Ash! I've just booked a cruise for August 2023 from Barcelona and having done my research, I just wanted to check with you the cheapest option for 5 of us from airport to Drassanes.... so, because there is 5 of us, I can buy the t-familiar card, 4 of us use it for our integrated journey from bus 46 to espanya metro then on to drassanes - but the 5th person will have to purchase a single bus ticket to espanya and then another single bus ticket from the espanya metro to drassanes - then the same on the reverse journey - is this correct? Thanks!!
    • December 8, 2021 at 10:31 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Dave, First of all... 2023? ;) I hope you mean 2022 otherwise this might be the record for advanced planning advice given haha. Hell, it's still super early but we love the enthusiasm! Anyway, keep in mind that with TMB fare integration your Familiar fares from the airport will be valid for 75 minutes and allow for up to 3 transfers in this window. Provided the journeys are in the same zone (they are in this case) you'll be able to use them for the Espanya-Drassanes metro journey as long as the bus doesn't lag behind and get you there beyond 75 minutes. In other words, you'll only need 5 of the 8 journeys on the Familiar to get there. If the bus takes a bit longer than anticipated you will have to use 3 of the remaining Familiar journeys from Espanya and then buy two single tickets for the other travellers. This is definitely the cheapest way to get there and would naturally work in reverse as well. If you're willing to sacrifice a bit of time to save the money this is a great option :) Cheers,
  • 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
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