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
  • 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
  • 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
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