Written by Ash

Barcelona Public Transport Guide + Travel Card List


A local like me is still learning the Barcelona public transport system.

I can only imagine what tourists feel like stepping into the city cold turkey. The variety of options for getting around Barcelona can get downright confusing.

Let us depart on a journey together then shall we?

Here’s your guide to mastering the city’s public transit, seeing what you need to see, and most of all saving money using discount transport cards.

Barcelona Public Transport

First off some advice: standard zone 1 single tickets go from €2.40 and up. It’s possible to cut this price in half by getting yourself an all-inclusive discount transport pass.

If you’ve got any questions about the passes write me in the comments below for custom advice.

The Metro

The metro is fast, efficient, and air-conditioned.

With 8 lines it’s almost impossible not to find a station near your apartment or hostel. You’ll always find access for people with disabilities. It’s intuitive and easy to navigate so basically… just take it!

Trains run every 2 to 3 minutes. On weekends you may wait 4 to 5 minutes for your train while nights after 10 o’clock it runs at 7-8 minute intervals.

Barcelona Metro Map:

Complimentary maps are found in the stations as well as being plastered pretty much everywhere else. If you’re prone to getting lost make sure you pick one up.

You can also grab your Barcelona metro map in advance online.

Barcelona Metro Hours:

  • Sunday to Thursday from 5 am to 12 am.
  • Friday from 5 am to 2 am.
  • Saturday from 5 am and open all night.

Barcelona City Bus and Night-Buses

In Barcelona buses and night buses cover the entire city grid. It’s a great mode of transport because it allows you to see some of the city’s top attractions up close.

Keep in mind though there are some downsides:

  • You need an advanced sense of direction!
  • It’s slower than the metro.
  • You may have to stand.
  • Without a Barcelona transport card each ride will cost you €2.40.

Barcelona’s red buses run every 8-15 minutes from 5 am to 10 pm depending on the line. At night you’ll find the yellow nit bus (night bus) which runs every 20-30 minutes.

This website will help you find your bus but be careful setting the filters before your search.

Starting from January 2017 all Barcelona buses should have free wifi – but don’t expect supersonic speeds.


I’m happy to report that taking a taxi in Barcelona is remarkably simple.

On main streets I rarely wait more than a minute. Barcelona taxis are black and yellow and a green light indicates a cab is available while a yellow light indicates they’re taken.

Prices are affordable. Consider €8.00 to €15.00 as the average price for rides within the city.

From the airport to the city center you’ll be charged about €35.00 to €40.00. Every driver must use a meter but it’s possible that at the end of the ride you’ll be charged a slightly higher price.

There may be an extra charge applied for rides to the airport, large luggage, or night fares.

Free Now

Starting in 2017 another transport option is to use Barcelona’s taxi booking app Free Now.

Never before has booking one of the city’s regulated black and yellow taxis been so easy – it’ll save you time hailing cabs and the odds of being taken for a ride are zero since the route is preplanned, like Uber.

Downloading the app is also a great chance to take advantage of my €5.00 reader discount. Simply insert the code “ashley.pil” upon sign up and you’re set to go.

For more information see how to sign up with Free Now.

Hop on Hop Off Bus

The best transport to see Barcelona if you detest walks or are traveling with kids.

This hop on hop off bus counts three different lines and will take you to pretty much every main attraction in the city. The roofless upper deck is a great place to get some sun and soak up the 360 degree view.

The free audio guide and app will make you a Barcelona expert in no time. And there’s WiFi.

You’ll also get €200.00 of vouchers toward attractions, shopping, restaurants, and more.

Prices start at €28.00.

For more information read my article on Barcelona’s famous Bus Turístic.

Save 7% on my ticket
sagrada familia passion façade under construction sagrada familia passion façade under construction
Saving 20% on attractions is just the beginning!

Cable Cars and Funicular

Montjuïc Cable Car

With unspoiled views from 184 metres above the city, the open-air architecture museum Poble Espanyol, and its famous castle no trip would be complete without a trip up Montjuïc and this is a great way to do it in style!

Float 84.5 metres above the city and take in the incredible city views as you ride the Montjuïc cable car. The 750 metre run leaves from Avenida Miramar and stops at Montjuïc park and Montjuïc Castle.

A return ticket costs €12.78 per for adults and €6.60 children between 4 and 12.

If you buy tickets online Tiqets will give you a 10% discount.

Book my tickets now!

Just print out the vouchers that they email you and head straight for the cable car. To get there you’ll need to take other transport options like the funicular, the Bus Turistic, or bus #150.

Montjuic Cable Car Hours 2022

  • Jan-Feb: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Mar-May: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
  • Jun-Sept: daily from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
  • Oct: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
  • Nov-Dec: daily from 10:00 to 6:00 pm

Port Vell Cable Car

Not to be mistaken with the Montjuïc cable car, even if this one takes you on a magical ride high above Barcelona as well. This one was built in 1926 and its distinctly ‘antique’ cars are a dead giveaway of this.

It isn’t included in any of the travel cards either and has the disadvantage of being sold solely in person – you’ll have to line up at ticket counters to go. Tickets cost €11.00 one way and €16.50 return.

Consult their departure schedules online.

The Port Vell Cable Car leaves from the Torre de San Sebastién, a few steps away from the beaches of Barceloneta and stops halfway at Torre di Jaime I (the port) and continues to Avenida Miramar at the foot of Montjuïc.

Port Cable Car Hours 2022

  • Winter: 11:00 am to 5:30 pm (closed Dec 25th).
  • Summer: 10:30 am to 8:00 pm

The Montjuïc Funicular

This is the cheapest way to get up Montjuic. We’re talking about a train that goes up the side of the mountain and is not suspended in the air.

It’s also valid with any Barcelona travel card. You won’t get a view since it’s more like a type of covered metro that slowly moves uphill, but we’re taking this for value anyway.

The funicular is caught at Parallel (green line L3) metro station and leaves you at Avenida Miramar where the Montjuïc cable car leaves.

Single tickets for the funicular cost €2.40.

Barcelona Scooter Rental

Can’t you just imagine yourself cruising around all Mediterranean-like by renting a scooter?

Cooltra is the highest ranking scooter rental agency on Tripadvisor and is known for its reliable service and rigorous safety and inspection standards. And you can get one for as little as €25.00.

Booking your scooter using my discount code ‘BARCELONAHACKS’ gets you a €10.00 discount.

Book my scooter now and save €10.00


With a climate so mild getting around by bike is not only possible but suggested. The benefits of renting a bike in Barcelona are as follows:

  • It’s good exercise.
  • Better for the environment.
  • There are more than 200 km of bike lanes to take advantage of.
  • It gives you access to streets unreachable by public transport.
  • Prices start at just €5.00.

For the cheapest and most reliable service with flexible rental windows check out my article on Barcelona bike rentals.

Careful: the red and white bikes you’ll spot around the city (Bicing) are only for residents.

a pan of seafood paella at bodega joan restaurant in barcelona spain a pan of seafood paella at bodega joan restaurant in barcelona spain
Get a paella tasting menu at the legendary Bodega Joan!

Barcelona Transport Tickets

To figure out which Barcelona travel card is right for you I’ve made a list below – so you can spend more time planning a real Barcelona itinerary than worrying how you’re gonna pay for the bus.

These all-inclusive Barcelona public transport tickets include access to the following:

  • Metro.
  • City buses.
  • Ferrocarril (overground rail services).
  • Transport from the airport to the city center.
  • The Montjuïc funicular (not to be confused with the Montjuïc Cable Car).

Keep in mind if you’re traveling outside zone one (rare since zone one is massive) you’ll need to pay extra. Those of you with kids? You’ll be happy to know kids under four travel free.

On the metro your validated single ticket/pass will be valid for 120 minutes.
When taking the bus your validation entitles you to travel to the end of the route – except on ‘Bus del Barri’ local buses and circular lines where the circuit technically never ends.
In the event you’re transferring from bus to metro or vice versa within the validation window you can put the ticket in the machine and it won’t charge you another ride: it’ll simply beep and spit it back out but let you in/on.

The Hola BCN Card

The Hola Barcelona Card is a discount tourist travel card with unlimited travel. You won’t have to worry about buying new tickets. It comes with a 48, 72, 96, or 120 hour validity and prices start at €14.76.

You can buy your Hola BCN card online from Tiqets and you can pick it up at any of the red metro ticket machines (airport included) – easy peasy!

Save 10% on my ticket

The Barcelona Card

This one is for more than just getting around and that’s why I’ve dedicated an entire article to this popular Barcelona travel card.

On top of unlimited travel it also includes free entry and discounts on attractions, museums and other activities. If you’re here for culture or shopping or both this one is highly recommended.

Like the Hola BCN this card comes with a 72, 96, or 120 hour validity and prices range from €43.20 to €56.70.

If you buy in advance online you’ll save 10%.

Save 10% on my ticket

The Barcelona Pass

The new player in the Barcelona travel card game. It includes tickets to La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell – allowing you to skip hours of lines by having your entrance printed out in advance.

On top of this you’ll get return tickets on the best Barcelona airport transport with Aerobus, a one or two day pass on the Bus Turistic, and 10% discounts to virtually every main attraction in Barcelona including restaurants, museums, flamenco shows, and more.

It also gives you 10% off the Hola BCN public transport pass.

It’s the only ticket that allows you to have the whole holiday planned from the comfort of home – all the tickets including the 10% discounted ones can be bought online which means no lines.

Save time + 10%

The T-Casual

It’s common for locals but doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right one for you. T-Casual tickets cost €11.35 and include 10 public transport rides with a 1 hour and 15 minute validity.

This card is not valid for the metro from the airport.

The T-Casual ticket can be bought at every metro or train station.

A comparison? The mathematics say if you’re going to travel more than six times a day (very probable) the Hola BCN is the transport card to get.

If you buy one in 2022 it’ll be valid until February 28th 2023.

T-Familiar (March 2020)

The T-Familiar (8 trips, interpersonal, €10.00) is a ticket for people who only need to make a few trips. It’s valid for 75 minutes and expires after 30 days.

These are decent options for local commuters but not optimal for travellers: with a small group even the interpersonal T-Familiar can easily be used up in just one trip across the city. You’ll be spending lots of time buying more tickets.

Another issue is they are not valid for trips from the airport.

a spread of modern tapas at season restaurant in barcelona spain a spread of modern tapas at season restaurant in barcelona spain
Get a gourmet tapas tasting menu at Season!

Transportation From the Airport

One of the most common questions I get is how to get from the airport to the city centre.

The main options are the Aerobus, the metro, the bus, and the airport train from Terminal 2. The metro is more suited to residents on the outskirts and is not connected to the centre.

The other options run to Sants Estacio, Plaça de Espanya, Plaça d’Espanya, and Passeig de Gracia.

I suggest looking at my article on airport transport to find the right one suited to you.

Barcelona Public Transport Zones

With 6 zones covering nearly 300 different towns things are a bit confusing at first.

The good news? The odds of you going outside zone 1 are virtually zero unless you’re going to beach side towns like Sitges. None of Barcelona’s major attractions are found outside this area.

Check out this Barcelona public transportation zone map just to be sure.

Get at Me in the Comments Below

You must be exhausted after all that reading, how did you find it?

Let me save you even more time – if you’ve got any questions about travel cards, Barcelona public transport, or anything else regarding your holiday in Spain get at me now in the comments below.

Also don’t be afraid to join the Barcelona transport discussion by first giving me a like on Facebook and then joining my group I’m Off to Barcelona – here you can ask any questions, air out grievances, and chat with thousands of Barcelona travelers.

Anything goes!

  • July 6, 2019 at 3:25 pm
    hi! thank you so much for doing all this amazing work with your blog!!! amazing stuff!!! question, i will spend few days in barcelona with my 14 years old son. i was wondering if riding the bikes is safe enough and if it might be too difficult? and, if you know the app cabify, could you make a comment about that and using it in barcelona, in terms of prices compared to public transportation and security? cheers, daphna
    • July 7, 2019 at 11:10 am
      Team Member
      Hi Daphna, Thanks so much for the kind words, glad to have you writing :) Barcelona is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world and there are plenty of bike lanes as well as pedestrian only streets. I wouldn't worry about the danger at all and it's a great and fun way to get around. About Cabify... it no longer operates in Barcelona, though when it did it was super convenient with modern and clean cars. I have no issue with them at all! Obviously though it's much more expensive than public transport... maybe 8-10x more for the average trip. Cheers, Ash
  • July 3, 2019 at 5:11 am
    Hi, Thanks for all this awesome information. What is the best way to get from Barcelona airport to Barcelona Sants Railway station? Thanks!
    • July 3, 2019 at 9:13 am
      Team Member
      Hi Talia, Thanks for the kind words :) I would take the airport train (R2) directly to Sants Estacio... it's only 27 minutes and is the only direct option. Cheers, Ash
  • June 12, 2019 at 7:10 pm
    Hi Ash, Is the train to Monseratt included in the Barcelona card? What's the best way to travel going there, and the best time to go during summer (end of July)? I'd appreciate all the input/feedback that I could get. Thanks! P.S. Your site is the best! Extremely helpful and very informative! Kudos!
    • June 13, 2019 at 11:54 am
      Team Member
      Hi Russell, Thanks so much for the kind words, I am glad to help! :) Unfortunately the train to the foot of Montserrat will not be included in the pass as it's outside of Zone 1 in the TMB network. To get there you'll have a variety of options... for independent travellers it's simply a matter of getting train tickets and then deciding on the funicular or the cable car to get you the rest of the way. There are also package deals that do all the work for you, buses etc... If you haven't seen already please take a look at my post on Montserrat as I break down all the options there. As for the time to visit... I would recommend going during the week if possible, if you're around on Monday or Tuesday it's probably the best to avoid the crowds. It gets pretty hectic on the weekend, especially on Sundays. Ash
  • May 25, 2019 at 2:28 pm
    Hello, Let me start by telling that your site has a great content. I can schedule my trip only after you info.:) I am traveling to Barcelona 6-13 of July with my husband and staying at "Ayre Hotel Caspe". Considering that we have a 7 nights stay, we would like to have the freedom to use the metro, visit places and sit on the beach. I wanted to ask you, which travel card you think is more right for us? (I am thinking at Barcelona City Pass combined with Hola Bcn 5+2 days). I try to make a route/ activities for these days, so any suggestions would be welcomed! Thank you for your advices and keep up the good word!
    • May 26, 2019 at 5:33 pm
      Team Member
      Hi Paula, Thanks so much for the kind words :) About the passes it's a tough thing to say without knowing your complete list of attractions. Please let me know what's on the list and I can advise you further... all I can say in general is that for well done sightseeing trips this pass is amazing, convenient, and will save you money. I definitely recommend it provided you want the Bus Turistic, Sagrada Familia, and Park Guell. About the Hola BCN... I don't see a need for 7 days worth if you're going to be fairly central and spreading out the attractions. Not to mention the fact you'll have gotten your bearings after 3-4 days and be walking more, have more attractions out of the way etc... I would get a 48 or 72 hour pass for a few days and then see. That way you don't commit to so much money and end up wasting it. Of course, you can always get another if you wish! As for the route I would follow the 3 day itinerary post (it's actually 4!) on my blog and then plug in a few more things from my list of top things to do. And spend a bunch of time on the beach ;) Also please take a look at my post on visiting Barcelona in June as there will be a ton of events. If you're looking for some more custom advice please let me know what you're interested in and I'll be quick with a tip :) Ash
  • April 18, 2019 at 12:06 pm
    Hi Ash, First of all a great information site by you!!. I'm travelling to the city next week for 2 whole days, so could you please recommend possible places that I can visit. i will be staying at Fabrizzio's Petit (C/ Bruc 65 2º 2ª BARCELONA C.P. 08009), so was bit confused to go with a T-10 or do a Hop-on Hop-Off. Also, i'm a big Football fan so will be visiting Camp Nuo on the first day and big foodie as well. Hope to hear from you soon. Many Thanks, Rohan
    • April 18, 2019 at 1:48 pm
      Team Member
      Hi Rohan, Since you only have two days it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a 2 day Bus Turistic pass and then simply supplement the rest of your transport (including airport) by using a T-10 card. That way you don't splurge out for the two day pass but still can get around cheaply. I would recommend following the first two days of my 3 day itinerary, taking away or adding as you wish... it is the most economical time-wise for seeing the main sites. You could simply put Camp Nou in on day 1 instead of Park Guell. And then start with Park Guell on day 2. If you're a foodie I'd recommend Louro. I went there myself for a sampling and it was so good and so central (usually what my readers want) that I asked them to set up a no money down reservation form for my readers. They’re open Easter Sunday. I have more info about it in this Facebook post. Other great options would be El Nacional or Somorrostro. Hope this helps :) Ash
  • March 25, 2019 at 1:06 am
    Brian King
    Hello again Ash, Sorry for not reading all the posts/comments, but do you have any info on using Renfe from the airport to the City? We are visiting Barcelona for 3 days next month on a budget so was only planning on walking around and paying in advance for Sagrada Familia and the Chocoloate Museum. So, travelling from T2 to Holiday Inn Express Barcelona - City 22, I was considering purchasing a T-10 (travelling to and from the airport only) for 2 adults with 14 and 12 year old daughters. It looks like we can get the R2N train going to Sant Celoni and changing at Passeig de Gracia with a short walk to get the L4 Metro to La Pau and getting off at Llacuna to walk to our hotel. Is this right and would only be 4 uses of the T-10 to our hotel and 4 travelling back to the airport? Or do you recommend another way of travelling that you suggest with 2 girls that's not too pricey? Does the official Sagrada Familia website sell beat the line tickets as it's not clear as it just gives a time? I'm only looking at the basic tickets (no audio guide) as my 14 and 12 year olds won't be interested in the audio guide! With thanks,
    • March 25, 2019 at 8:04 am
      Team Member
      Hi Brian, You can indeed grab a T-10 and use it for the four of you aboard the airport train. Simply take it to Passeig de Gracia and then change for the yellow line of the metro... from here you'll take it to Llacuna and then walk. This is by far the cheapest option... the other would be to grab the Aerobus and then the metro but that would cost about €25.00 for the four of you, at that point it's almost better shelling out another €12.00 and grabbing a taxi. For Sagrada the official site has skip the line tickets so if you get them there you'll bypass the lines no worries :) Ash
  • March 15, 2019 at 5:11 pm
    Ash, We r party of 4 and plan to purchase city passes. Does city pass cover round trip Aerobus tickets. Or only covers return ticket. If we use Aerobus what station we need to get off to reach Carrer de Provença. Thank you
    • March 16, 2019 at 9:16 am
      Team Member
      Hello Sohrab, It is round trip indeed, so not to worry! You'll get two open trip tickets so you can use them whenever you want. Provença extends for quite a long ways so it really depends on what block you're at... could you give me a number? Cheers, Ash
      • March 16, 2019 at 3:50 pm
        Thank you for your prompt response, The Number is 203
        • March 16, 2019 at 6:31 pm
          Team Member
          Hi Sohrab, OK! If you get off Aerobus at Plaça Universitat (the third stop) it'll be just a 15 minute (slightly uphill) walk to your hotel... which isn't bad at all. It's a nice neighbourhood full of bars and energy so a nice little walk. That said, from there if you were feeling tired or overburdened with suitcases it would be a very cheap taxi to get up there as well. Ash
  • February 26, 2019 at 4:39 am
    Luna McNally
    Ash, Argh! I'm still struggling with which transport passes to get for myself and my husband. We are arriving from San Francisco Thursday morning via BCN and will be staying at the Hotel Porta Fira until Monday March 4, as my husband is attending a business conference in that area. (In the meantime, I'll be spending as much time in the Old City by myself as I can, probably starting this Friday - Thursday I'll be toast due to jet lag.) But Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I'll be on my own and heading into the city each day from the Fira district, likely on the metro. I suspect my husband will be a captive that whole time. Monday morning we will be free, and relocate to the Hotel Jazz in the center of the city, where we will stay until we fly out on Thursday March 7. We got the City Pass with two days of the tourist bus - unfortunately I didn't realize they have to be consecutive so I wasted some money - as we'll be out of the city on Tuesday for Dali and sightseeing together on Monday and Wednesday. We are both in good shape and don't mind some walking. Monday afternoon we are booked for Sagrada Familia, and Monday evening (20:40) we are booked for the Origins experience at Casa Mila. Wednesday it's Casa Batllo at 10:00 and Park Guell at 16:00. I've tried to leave SOME open space in our schedule! What's going to be the best option to get us from the airport to the Fira area and then serve me/us for the rest of our trip? I know the L9 takes us right there, but your writeup on the T10 says "This card is not valid for the metro from the airport." Because we will not be able to tour together from Friday - Sunday, getting the same long-term Hola BCN cards doesn't really seem to make sense? Help - my brain is fried. Thanks!
    • February 26, 2019 at 10:35 am
      Team Member
      Hi Luna, Not to worry, all your scheduling looks fine here and it doesn't look too overbearing... I think you're gonna have a good time ;) When you say La Fira you're referring to the one at Plaça Espanya yes? In this case the Aerobus included with your City Pass will bring you right there (it's the first stop) so I wouldn't worry about anything else. Since you'll be alternating days of off and on it doesn't seem obvious to me that the Hola is a good bet... you should probably get the T-10 card which is not time dependent. You could both use it whenever you want without worrying about the time expiry. Ash
      • February 26, 2019 at 6:36 pm
        Luna McNally
        Thanks! How about the airport situation? Do I have to just buy a single ticket to get from the airport to the Fira Europa station (which is where our hotel is - it's the Hotel Porta Fira by the Fira Barcelona Gran Via exhibition center), and then get a T-10? What's that about it not working at the airport? I don't think the Aerobus stops there.
        • February 26, 2019 at 6:44 pm
          Luna McNally
          Never mind I answered my own question from your great article on Airport Transport here: I see that I'll pay EU 4,30 for a single ticket on the orange line from the airport, and can pick up a T10 at any point after that.
          • February 27, 2019 at 11:37 am
            Team Member
            Exactly! Looks like you didn't need my help :) Please let me know if you any more assistance however. Ash
  • November 25, 2018 at 8:56 pm
    Mia Wilson
    My family will be traveling to Barcelona on 12/31/18- 1/8/19. Our 3 boys are 20,16 & 14 yrs old. I am having a hard time figuring out what cards we should buy. The City pass seems like a waste since they will get discounts and/or have free entrance into some of the museums. We want to go to Sagrada, Parc Guell, Picasso, Miro, & Camp Nou for sure. We do not need transport from the airport and do not want to do any tourist bus. Should we get the T-10, Hola BCN, BCN card or would the city pass be beneficial? Our Airbnb is in The Eixample district off of carrer d' Aribau and Carrer d'Arago, and I am sure we will be needing public transportation from this area? Thank you for any input!!
    • November 26, 2018 at 11:16 am
      Team Member
      Hi Mia, Since you're not interested in the Bus Turistic and the airport transport you won't be able to extract enough value from the City Pass. You'll be staying quite central but also keep in mind the only attraction within easy walking distance (about 20 minutes) is the Picasso Museum. Yes, you'll be in great position to go walk down into the Gothic Quarter and the restaurants and cafes of Eixample etc but you'll need transport. In this case you could get the Barcelona Card which includes your entrance for Fundacio Miro and Picasso Museum plus unlimited transport... the money might be close but the flexibility is what you like on holiday because you can get discounts on meals, guided tours, bike rentals, pretty much everything you might do on the fly. Not to mention you get a cool guide, map etc. That said, if you're on the fence about those extra activities there's no shame in buying all of these tickets individually and then simply using T-10s to get around. It's super easy since they're interpersonal. Personally I like the flexibility of having the pass come in handy in pretty much everything that can be done, but that might not be your personality ;) Just make sure you book the single tickets online in advance to get the best prices and skip lines. Ash
  • October 14, 2018 at 6:08 pm
    We will be in Barcelona in November for 7 days. We dont want to push oour programme so we will plan our daily facilities there but the most important thing is that we want a ticket for all our transportation. Bus metro and train. Which one is the most wise to choose? Because barcelona card doesn;t include our last day.!
    • October 15, 2018 at 11:41 am
      Team Member
      Hi Christina, The best pure transport card for tourists is the Hola BCN card. I would grab it for the first 3-4 days and then get a feel for the city... if you need another you can always buy one, or simply switch over to the T-10 travel card at this time. Ash
Load more comments
Leave a comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *