Ash
Written by Ash

Boss the Barcelona Metro with Discount Tickets and Tips

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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
  • May 30, 2019 at 6:28 pm
    Amanda
    Hi there! I'm so happy I stumbled on your site. Is transportation to TIBIDABO AMUSEMENT PARK (on Metro T2A) included in the Hola BCN card? I can't seem to locate the route. Thank you!
    • May 31, 2019 at 9:33 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hello Amanda, I'm happy you stumbled upon the site too, hope I can help :) In my article on Tibidabo I explain how to get up there on the cheap with your discount pass... it's the third option! Please take a look and let me know if you have any questions :) Ash
  • May 12, 2019 at 3:41 am
    David
    Hi Ash, Thanks for all the great posts... getting a lot of useful info (that we are in desperate need of at the moment). My wife and I will be bringing our 2 and 4 yr old girls to BCN for a month (5/27-6/27)... we're trying to figure out what the best/cheapest ticket option is for the whole month. Looks like its either the Hola BCN or T-10 card. What would you recommend? Thanks! David
    • May 12, 2019 at 4:00 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi David, Thanks so much for writing in with the kind words :) First of all know that kids under 4 ride free on the TMB network so no need to worry there. About which pass for the adults though it's tough to say without knowing... where are you staying? A lot depends on how central you are because your amount of trips can add up if you're a bit far out. How much site seeing will you? Do you anticipate being out and about a lot? I would usually recommend an Hola BCN at the beginning for a few days while you get your bearings and then decide from there. At any rate though if you give me a better idea on your business in the city I can maybe suggest better :) Cheers, Ash
      • May 20, 2019 at 11:32 pm
        David
        Hi Ash, We are staying in the Eixample neighborhood and will most likely be on the move most days going around the city to local parks/site-seeing. We'll probably be doing a day trip out of the city once or twice a week, but mostly staying around the main attractions in the city. Let me know if that narrows things down at all. Thanks!
        • May 21, 2019 at 10:37 am
          ashley
          Team Member
          Ash
          Hi David, In this case since you have so much time I would play it two ways... I'd start a 3 day Hola BCN pass for the heavy sightseeing days, while you get your bearings etc, and then gauge the usage. If at this point you're not getting full value for the pass I'd switch to the T-10 and use it that way. Locals all use the T-10 for their standard commutes (about 2-3 rides max per day) and I imagine as you'll be doing less and less travelling and more walking as you become experts this is all you'll need. Cheers, Ash
  • May 1, 2019 at 12:54 am
    Julie
    Ash, I feel like I need to keep saying what an amazingly useful, informative and comprehensive site you have created. Gigantic kudos to you and I am so appreciative of all of the information in one place. With the information on your site, I have planned almost my entire trip. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. So one last question, or maybe two. We will be arriving into BCN and staying at the AC Barcelona Forum. We will have a Hola BCN 2 day card and I believe that taking the R2Nord to Passeig de Gracia and switching to the metro to the L4/El Maresme Forum exit is the best public transportation option. Do you agree? Also, on our last day our flight leaves from BCN at 6:30pm to Newark. I feel we should be on the train to the airport no later than 3pm and considered storing our bags at Locker Barcelona and having a stroll through the Park de la Ciutadella with brunch at Picnic. Do you think that is a good time frame? If you are free, you are welcome to join us for brunch. Thank you, Julie and family
    • May 1, 2019 at 10:55 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Julie, Thanks so much for the kind words... it means a lot and makes all of this work worthwhile :) Regarding the airport transport you're absolutely right... this is the easiest way to go about it using the Hola BCN card. No need to involve any buses or trams (which Google tends to do) to complicate things. As for the last day you're right again... I'd aim to be there 2-2.5 hours in advance which means shooting to leave via train at Passeig de Gracia at 3 pm is the best bet. Just make sure you're mindful of the hour since the trains only run twice an hour (at :02 and :32)... if you get there a minute late you'll be losing 30 minutes waiting for the next one. About brunch did you mean that you'd be having a picnic in the park or are you referring to a restaurant? At any rate this is perfectly fine, just make sure you give yourself a decent amount of time to get back to Passeig de Gracia (about a 30-40 minute walk or maybe 15 minutes via metro). About the invitation not knowing the exact date I can't say... I am in and out of BCN quite a bit at the moment and will be all summer but if I can't attend I will no doubt be there in spirit ;) Ash
  • December 22, 2018 at 6:11 pm
    Ron
    Hi, thank you for a marvellous website!!! A quick question, for the Metro you have mentioned "Service is limited on Christmas Eve till 11:00 am". Is that a mistake and was it meant to be 11:00 pm instead of am? The TMB website lists it as 11pm for the metro on 24th December. https://www.tmb.cat/en/barcelona/operating-hours-metro-bus
    • December 23, 2018 at 5:16 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Ron, My hero! You've discovered a typo that I've now updated... sorry for the confusion, it is indeed open till 11 pm on Christmas Eve. Ash
  • November 18, 2018 at 12:02 am
    Connie Morreale
    I am so confused by the many things I've read on different sights. The best fit for us will be the T10. I was under the impression it could get us to the airport via the RENFE. Is this true. Also, the same question in reverse....from the airport to Passeig d Gracia
    • November 18, 2018 at 1:15 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Connie, Yes there is a train from airport to city centre (Sants, Passeig de Gracia, or Clot) and vice versa... it can be used with the T-10. For more info check out my airport train portion of the airport guide. Ash
      • November 18, 2018 at 5:51 pm
        Connie Morreale
        Boom!! What a relief...thanks
  • October 17, 2018 at 6:31 pm
    simon
    HI there , Im going to barcelona from thursday to monday morning, staying in badalona, whats the cheapest ticket option to get from badalona to barcelona and also airport connections!many thanks.simon
    • October 18, 2018 at 3:26 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Simon, Depending on where you are in Badalona the best and cheapest way to get to central Barcelona is simply using the purple line of the metro - this is still Zone 1 of the TMB system and so it won't be any more expensive for you. From the airport you'll have to grab the Aerobus to Plaça Catalunya and then walk 200 meters up to Passeig de Gracia station to grab the purple line of the metro... from here you'll get to Badalona in about 30 minutes. If you could let me know exactly where you're staying in Badalona I could give you some more precise indications... Ash
      • February 12, 2020 at 1:06 pm
        Steve
        Hi Ash Great site - so much information. One-Stop-Shop! May I ask if the above is correct? "grab the Aerobus to Plaça Catalunya and then walk 200 meters up to Passeig de Gracia station" The map I have says 13.4km! Many thanks
        • February 13, 2020 at 10:34 am
          ashley
          Team Member
          Ash
          Hi Steve, No problem at all! :) And yes... the Aerobus stops at the latter which is the very centre of the city. I'd hope your hotel is around there and not around a different one 13.4 km away in some suburb ;) It should be just a few minute walk. Cheers, Ash
        • February 12, 2020 at 1:12 pm
          Steve
          Hi Ash Looks like my "user error" Placa Catalunya and Placa de Catalunya are in fact two different places! I assume Aerobus stops at the latter? (Does it originate there on the return journey?)
  • August 3, 2018 at 1:57 am
    Haine
    Sorry another question, can the T10 be shared between two or several people? Thank you!
    • August 3, 2018 at 12:13 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Yes, T10 cards are interpersonal! Just pass it back to your friend or family member on the metro or re-reun it in the machines as many times necessary on the bus.
  • October 26, 2017 at 7:47 pm
    Caroline
    Hi! I'm going to be spending a semester in Barcelona and will be using the metro a lot I'm sure. Which pass would you suggest I use? Is there a pass that would last me that amount of time?
    • October 27, 2017 at 7:46 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Caroline, If you're looking for a transport with no tourist stuff know that all locals use the T-10 card (9.95 for 10 rides)... it ends up being the cheapest straight up metro pass. You could also go for the 50-30 (50 trips in 30 days for 42.50) if you're certain you use it a lot. I suggest you start with the T-10, calculate how many trips you've used, and see if you need to 'upgrade' to the 50-30. Best of luck :) Ash
  • July 11, 2017 at 9:58 pm
    Karolina
    Hi there, Myself and my boyfriend are visiting Barcelona in August. We'll be staying there for 7 nights, and most likely to use the metro as our main public transport option as we're staying near the Europa/Fira station. What is the best travel card that you'd recommend us to purchase? As well as that, I'd like to visit Monseratt too. Do the travel cards include trains too? Thanks!
    • July 11, 2017 at 10:25 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Karolina, For a straight up and no-nonsense transport pass I would recommend getting a 120 hour Hola BCN Card. For the last two days you could consider getting an additional 48 hour card. It'll take care of your airport transport + all your metro, bus, and overland train needs. Such low hassle and it'll save you money if you're getting around a bit. If it's your first time visiting though and you've got a lot of the main attractions in mind then I'd recommend taking a look at the Barcelona City Pass. First off it includes entrance to things you're going to see anyway. Second, it lets you book everything from the comfort of home and skip lines (long in summer) at the best attractions. Third, it'll give you a 20% discount voucher for pretty much anything you'll do in Barcelona including Montserrat. While it isn't a transport card it does give you 20% off the aforementioned Hola BCN Card. If you're seeing Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and want a cool bus tour + plan on seeing Casa Batllo, Casa Mila' and others this is the best way to save money and time. Again, feel free to write me with a list of what you want to see and I can tell you better. But with seven days I imagine you're seeing a ton of stuff so you might as well save 20% on all of it ;) As for Montserrat the standard travel cards aren't valid since it's outside zone one - but travel instructions/tickets will be available in the tour packages offered with the City Pass, or any other for that matter. Cheers, Ash
  • May 11, 2017 at 8:47 pm
    Julianne McKell
    In June we will be arriving on a cruise ship that will be docked from 12-8pm. Is the Hola BCN card a good deal for that length of time? Would it cover the cost of the shuttle from the port to the metro station? I have looked at the Hop On Hop Off option but my concern for that is figuring out when we will be near the Sagrada Familia. We will be buying the tickets online sometime before we leave. I have read that it is better to tour the Sagrada Familia first thing in the morning (which isn't an option for us) or later in the afternoon. So, I would guess that going straight to the Sagrada Famiia would not be the best choice. What would you suggest? Thanks!
    • May 12, 2017 at 9:27 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Julianne, Thanks for writing Even with the cheapest Hola BCN (48h) I just don't think you'll get the kind of value to make it worth it in only 8 hours. Especially if you're gonna take the Bus Turístic. In fact, aside from transfer from the port you could use the Bus Turístic as your sole means of transport and keep that money for a nice lunch, or god forbid an emergency taxi back should things not go as planned First I'll ask you to find out (if possible) which ferry dock you'll be arriving at. If it's either the WTC (World Trade Centre) dock or the Sant Bernard dock you'll easily be able to walk to the nearest Bus Turístic stop. If not, I'll recommend taking the PORTBUS (€4 return) to the Bus Turístic stop at the Christopher Colombus statue. It's usually less wait and cheaper than a taxi. For the Sagrada Familia you're a bit handcuffed on the time but it's a necessity. My main problem with the crowds is that it creates giant hour long lines - if you buy your tickets in advance online like you say you'll avoid this problem. So visit away even in the afternoon I would grab the Bus Touristic from the port and go immediately to Sagrada Familia and get that out of the way (your guided tour can be easily timed for about 2 pm or even a bit later). After 90 minutes you'll have 3-4 hours to get back on the bus and admire some sights and even get off to admire a couple up close (Park Guell and Casa Batllo would be my recommendations) or have a snack. The time restrictions certainly aren't ideal but it's doable! Ok, let me know if you have any other questions about your Barcelona stop over because I'd be happy to help. Cheers, Ash
      • May 12, 2017 at 11:28 pm
        Julianne McKell
        Thanks, Ash! I appreciate your advice. Do you recommend using the Tourista buses? If we choose not to use the Tourista buses but instead use the metro would it be a more efficient use of our time? And if we go that route, would it be better to buy the BCN pass or the 10 ride card? Thanks! Julianne
        • May 13, 2017 at 2:48 pm
          ashley
          Team Member
          Ash
          Hi again Julianne, I don't think the metro would be a more efficient use of your time unless you had one more very specific attraction in mind that you just had to visit (as in, visit properly). In this case you could get a T-10 (better value than Hola Bcn) and very systematically visit what you want. The question becomes... what exactly are you hoping to see? If you have one or two more specific attractions you can't miss I can let you know the best way... but if you're unsure and just want to see a bit of everything then the Bus Turistic is a good option and one I always recommend to cruise ship passengers on little time. Also, once the PORTBUS drops you off you'll have to walk up to Drassanes metro station, take the green line up to Passeig de Gracia, and then change to the purple line to get to Sagrada... you'll essentially be skipping over the entire city centre by staying underground, which would be a shame because the city is really alive these days! It will also likely be a bit slower. Not too mention stuffy. Anyway, let me know a bit more about what you wanna see and maybe I can get the perfect itinerary arranged... if not in the meantime I'm recommending the Bus Turistic. Cheers, Ash
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