Getting to Barcelona from ‘El Prat’ Airport
Barcelona ‘El Prat’ Airport, is a major transport hub and fields flights from all over Europe and beyond. It has two main terminals: T1 and T2 (this last is in turn divided in terminals A, B and C). You can move between main terminals with a shuttle bus, while A, B and C are within fairly walking distance. Check here to find the terminal where your airline operates.
The airport is only about 10 km away from the city. Taxis are frequently available and they cost around 25€. You can take them in front of any airport terminal at the taxi stop (you have to wait in line). The taxis can be easily recognized for their black and yellow colours, they all have meters and most of them accept credit cards.
By Airport Shuttle Bus
The Aerobus A1 line stops in front of terminals A, B and C.
- It travels along Gran Via to Plaça Catalunya and there is a stop in front of the Hotel Plaza (by the Venetian Towers of Plaça Espanya).
- Buses depart every 6-9 minutes and the journey time is about 30 minutes (although it can take longer during rush hour)
- It costs 4.05€ one-way (7€ two-way).
- Aerobus A1 schedule and map (here)
By Regular Bus
There is also a regular bus that connects the airport and Plaça Espanya (L46).
- To get the Hotel Plaza you should leave in ‘Pl. Espanya’ (Most buses have a screen inside that show the name of the next station). You will notice you are there because there are two big Venetian-style towers and a fountain in the center.
- Note it may take longer since it stops more times than Aerobus.
- The cost of the journey is 1.35€ (same as RENFE ticket). You can buy single tickets on the bus but you need to have small bills.
- Regular Bus L46 Schedule and map (here)
A cheaper option is the half-hourly RENFE suburban train. The train station in the airport is very close to Terminal A (you will need to cross a long covered bridge to get it). The train takes you to Barna Sants Station, from where you can connect to other places using subway (‘Sants Estació’ station) or many buses. A single ticket is 1.35€ and you can buy them from the ticket vending machine at the airport train station. There is also a T10 ticket for ten trips that costs 7.70€
- RENFE official page for schedule and maps (here).
In order to get the Conference Hotel from Barna Sants train station you can:
- Take the subway: Take metro Line-3 (green one, see map) direction to ‘Canyelles’ and leave in ‘Espanya’ station (just two stations, around 10 minutes). All metro exits are located in Plaça Espanya just next to Hotel Plaza.
- Or you can even just take a 10 minutes walk (see map).
Regular public transportation stops running at midnight, but you can take the Nitbus N17 night bus service instead (Nit Bus N17, between 22.00 and 05.00).
- It covers the ride from Airport El Prat to Plaça Catalunya, it has a stop in Plaça Espanya as well and takes around 30 minutes.
- NitBus N17 schedule and map (here)
Getting to Barcelona from other catalan airports
There are two other smaller airports in Catalunya only 100km far from Barcelona. They are located in Reus and Girona. There are frequent flights to most important European cities operated by low-cost airlines (mainly Ryanair) and for both airports there are special bus shuttles to the center of Barcelona city:
- From Girona, you can reach Barcelona by bus in 1h15min (see schedules here and here). It will leave you in ‘Estació del Nord’ bus station (see map). The easiest way to get to the Conference Hotel is taking the Metro Line-1 in ‘Arc deTriomf’ station and leave in ‘Espanya’ station just in front of the hotel.
- From Reus, you can reach Barcelona by bus in 1h20min (see schedules here). It will leave you in ‘Barna Sants’ train station. From there you can follow the same instructions than getting from the Barna Sants train station to the conference hotel.
Getting around Barcelona
The best way to move around the city of Barcelona is using public transportation: either by metro (subway), Bus or Tram. Especially in August the city is not too crowded, traffic is quite low so it is a good idea to use the buses.
The metro can take you to many places. Stations are marked on most maps. Every station has a detailed scheme of exits to the city. A one-journey ticket cost €1.35, so it's probably best to buy a multi-person 10-ride ticket for €7.30 (called a T-10). These tickets are also valid on the buses, trams and metropolitan train (e.g. to the airport). Pay attention to the fact that sometimes to get from one line to another, or to another transport type, you need to exit and then enter through a new pay-gate. In this case, if you had a one-journey ticket, you need to get a new one. In the case of the T-10 you will be charged only once if the difference between checks is less than 75 minutes.
Barcelona has more than one hundred lines of buses across the city. In all bus stops on the street sides you will see the schedule and map of the lines stopping there and, at the opposite side of the bus stop glass, a full map of the bus lines of Barcelona. Some bus stops have a monitor with waiting times or you could even use the iBus service to get bus information on your mobile phone. As in the metro case, a single ticket costs €1.35 and the T-10 can be used as well.
Night Bus Service
Moving around Barcelona at night is different but also very easy. Metro is closed from 1am to 5am (from 2am on weekends). The public transportation around the city at night is the NitBus service. All them either leave from or pass through Plaça Catalunya, so getting there at night and wait for the next one to your destination area is the easiest way. The single ticket is a little bit more expensive (€2,20) but the T-10 works as well in this service.
In addtion the the single ticket and T-10 card, 1- to 5-day public transport tickets are available which allow unlimited travel on the metro and bus networks (€15 for two days). These are excellent value. You can buy them in any metro station. Be sure to look after them well as bent or damaged cards will not be read by the ticket machines (such cards can be replaced at one of TMB's customer service centers).
I want to go to...
An extremely useful website is ‘Vull anar’ (I want to go…) ). You just need to enter the information of your starting an end points (street address or a famous place) and it will tell you which are the best options for your itinerary using public transportation (metro and bus) with a detailed explanation and the time it takes.
There is also the Bus Turistic. It links all of the Barcelona tourist sites you could possibly want to visit. It has three routes, including a northbound and a southbound line which leave from opposite sides of the Plaça Catalunya. You can buy tickets valid for one day (€20) or two consecutive days (€26).
Transport Information on your cellullar
You can have quick access to Barcelona transport information through your mobile device. You can have a map viewer, route planner ‘I want to go’, transport locator ’Where am I’, consultation waiting time ‘ibus’ and all the information you need. Check this link for further information.
It also recommended walking across the city. If the distance is not that long it is a good option to catch your map and take a walk. For example going from Hotel Plaza to the city center in Plaça Catalunya is a 25 minutes walk. And it is very difficult to get lost in the grid-shaped streets in the ‘Eixample’ area. In addition, Barcelona is a very safe city both to live in, and to visit. However try to follow some rules in order not to present yourself as a target for pickpockets.
Taxis zip their way all over Barcelona. The taxis can be easily recognized for their black and yellow colours, they all have meters and most of them accept credit cards. The "lliure" or "libre" sign in the windshield or a lit green light on the roof of the car signals a vacant car. On weekend nights, however, you might have to wait up to 30 minutes to grab one. Passengers waiting for taxis form lines at popular spots. Taxis prices are set in Barcelona. The price for a taxi during the day (6 a.m. until 10 p.m.) is €1.15 plus €.69 per km. After 10 p.m. and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, the cost is €1.30 plus €.88 per km. More info can be found at the taxi commission's web site.
City Council Online Map and Guide
A very good complement to the transport information is city map provided by the city council. You just need to enter a location and select in the right side menu the type of information you want to see in the map (transportation, accommodation, culture and leisure, restaurants, social services, healthcare…).