How To: Barcelona Airport to City Center in 30 minutes ✈️

Getting from Barcelona Airport to the City Center is easy & cheap. I'm sharing here an overview of your transport options.

Barcelona Airport

Welcome to my comprehensive guide for getting from Barcelona Airport to the city center.

Planning a last minute trip to Barcelona?
Here are some of my favourite places to stay & things to do:

🛌 Places to Stay:
1. Ohla Barcelona (best luxury hotel with a rooftop pool)
2. Yurbban Ramblas (fantastic location & modern rooms at a fair rate)
3. Hotel Nouvel (cheap, but decent hotel in the city centre)

Top Activities & Tours:
1. Get the Hola Barcelona Card & get unlimited use of public transport (you wont regret this!)
2. Make sure you book Sagrada Familia Skip The Line Tickets as the lines get super long
3. Take a Tapas & Wine Food Tour with a local guide

In this guide, I’ll provide you with all the necessary details for your journey, including bus, train, metro, taxi, and pre-booked taxi options.

I’ve been traveling to Barcelona every year for the past 3 years (and I’ve got a trip planned for this year, too) so I know the airport and the city very well.

Barcelona
Get ready to explore one of the best cities in Europe!

Barcelona’s main airport, where you’ll land, is called Barcelona-El Prat Airport and it’s located very near the city itself:

This guide is designed to make your transition from landing at Barcelona Airport to reaching your hotel in the city center as smooth as possible.

Let me help you navigate your way from Barcelona Airport to the city center without any unnecessary detours.

Aerobus – the official airport express bus 🚌

Barcelona Airport bus to city center

Taking the Aerobus from Barcelona-El Prat Airport to the city center is a swift and cost-effective option.

This shuttle service, with lines A1 and A2, ensures a smooth 35-minute ride to the heart of Barcelona, costing only 7.50€ for a one-way ticket.

The A1 Aerobus departs from Terminal 1, while the A2 starts at Terminal 2.

Locating the Aerobus stops at Barcelona Airport is straightforward.

At Terminal T1, the Aerobus stop is conveniently situated one floor below the arrivals hall. To reach it, simply walk to the lower level of the arrivals terminal.

Once there, turn left towards a descending ramp, and you’ll find yourself directly in front of the Aerobus stop.

If you’re arriving at Terminal T2, the process is equally simple. As you exit the arrivals hall, the Aerobus stop is located to the left.

Where does the bus stop?

Airport bus stops

Each route makes three strategic stops in Barcelona:

  • Plaça Espanya
  • Gran Via-Urgell
  • Plaça de l’Universitat
  • The final stop at Plaça Catalunya (in the heart of Barcelona)

Bus schedule

aerobus barcelona

These buses run daily all year round, including holidays.

Both services operates from 5:35 am to 1:05 am, and from Plaça Catalunya, for the return journey, it runs from 5:00 am to 12:30 am.

The frequency is every 10 minutes early in the morning and late at night, and every 5 minutes during the peak hours of 6:50 am to 9:45 pm.

Airport express bus tickets

Purchasing Aerobus tickets is straightforward. While you can buy them at the airport terminals or directly from the bus driver, I highly recommend purchasing them online to avoid delays, especially during busy periods.

Get your tickets here (with free cancellation).

Online tickets are the same price as on-site purchases.

For families traveling with young ones, it’s good to know that children under four travel for free.

Using the Aerobus is a convenient way to navigate directly from Barcelona Airport to the city center, especially if you want to save time and avoid the complexity of multiple transfers.

If you’ve yet to book your hotel, check out my massive guide on the best areas and places to stay in Barcelona.

The Aerobus is my preferred way of getting from Barcelona Airport to the city center.

Taxi – the easiest & fastest way option to your hotel 🚕

Barcelona Airport taxis
Barcelona’s official taxis are easily recognizable by their black and yellow colors.

When I arrive in Barcelona and need to get straight to my hotel or I’m tired from travelling, I’ll get a taxi.

Taking a taxi from Barcelona Airport to the city center is a straightforward and quick option, particularly suitable for groups of at least two people or families.

It combines the ease of door-to-door service with the efficiency of direct travel. The taxi points are prominently located at the exits of Terminals T1 and T2, with abundant taxis available.

The well-organized queue system reflects Barcelona’s general approach to public services.

Taxi prices from Barcelona Airport

Unlike some cities, there’s no fixed fare from the airport to the city center. The minimum charge for any taxi trip originating from the airport is 20€, which includes all additional fees like the airport surcharge of 3.10€.

This means the fare will be at least 20€, even for nearby destinations.

Be aware that night rates apply from 8:00 PM to 8:00 AM, which might affect the overall fare.

A taxi ride to the city center typically takes 20 to 25 minutes, with the cost generally ranging between 30-35€, depending on your terminal of departure and exact destination.

Pre-booked taxi with English speaking driver

Pre-booked taxi from Barcelona airport to city center hotel

For those seeking a more predictable experience, pre-booking a taxi can be a great alternative.

Companies like Welcome Pickups offer services where all drivers speak English, removing any language barrier and adding a layer of certainty to your journey.

I’ve used Welcome Pickups all over Europe and have had great experiences. They’re always on time and drive very well.

This can be especially comforting if you’re new to the city or traveling with family and prefer to have a smooth, pre-arranged transportation option right from the airport.

The prices depend on your destination, but you’ll know it when you book online.

Taxi price from Barcelona airport to city

For example, a ride from the airport to a hotel on the Rambla will cost €39.

Get a quote here.

Renfe – train to the city center in 30 mins 🚄

Barcelona Airport train to city center

A slightly cheaper option is by train.

Taking the train from Barcelona Airport to the city center is a highly efficient and economical option.

With a single journey costing only 5.15€, it is a budget-friendly mode of transport.

Here’s what you should know:

Terminal Access

The train service operates exclusively from Terminal T2. If you arrive at Terminal T1, a free, easily identifiable green shuttle bus will connect you to Terminal T2.

Locating the Train Station

In Terminal T2, follow the clear signage to the Renfe station, Spain’s national railway company. The train station is a mere 3-minute walk from the terminal.

Barcelona City Stops

Running on the R2 North line, the train halts at two central stations in Barcelona: Estació Sants and Passeig de Gràcia.

These stops offer convenient access to various key areas in the city.

Here’s a great video about taking the train in Spain:

Travel Time and Frequency

The trip from T2 to Barcelona city center takes about 30 minutes. Trains operate from 5:42 am to 11:28 pm, approximately every 30 minutes.

For return trips, the first train from Passeig de Gràcia departs at 5:08 am and the last at 11:07 pm, reaching Estació Sants about five minutes later.

Buying Tickets & Hola BCN Card

hola bcn public transport ticket
The Hola BCN Card is a great option for exploring the city by public transport.

Tickets are available at the Renfe station in T2, where you can use both ticket machines and staffed counters.

Hola BCN! Card Option

hola bcn airport train

For convenience, consider the Hola BCN! card, which covers your airport to city center transfer and all other public transport within Barcelona.

This card is a practical and cost-effective choice for easily navigating the city. It’s also valid for many of the most famous attractions and things to do in Barcelona.

Metro – public transport from both Terminals Ⓜ️

Metro in Barcelona

The metro from Barcelona Airport to the city center is a convenient option for travelers.

Both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are connected to the metro network via Line 9 (L9 Sud), making transit into the city quite straightforward.

Here’s what you need to know:

Route

While Line 9 directly connects the airport to various parts of Barcelona, it doesn’t go directly downtown.

To reach central locations like Universitat or Plaça Catalunya, you must transfer at Torrassa for the red line.

For other popular destinations like Provença, Diagonal, or Sagrada Familia, change at Collblanc for the blue line.

Get an understanding of the Barcelona metro in this video:

Station Access

The metro stations are conveniently located at the exits of both T1 and T2 terminals, and they are well-marked.

Travel Details

The journey takes about 30 minutes, and the fare is 5.15€. The L9 Sud operates with a frequency of every 30 minutes.

See more about the different lines and service updates on the official website.

Tickets

You can buy metro tickets at the station using vending machines and ATMs.

Alternatively, the Hola BCN card is also valid for the metro.

As previously mentioned, this card is a great option as it covers all your journeys in the city, including the airport transfer.

Using the metro is a practical choice for those seeking a direct and cost-effective way to reach Barcelona’s city center, with the flexibility to navigate to various key destinations within the city.

It’s important to note that if you take the metro from the city to the airport, you must buy a special airport ticket.

Standard single tickets, T-casual, T-grup, and other special travel cards like event tickets or the T-Escolar are not valid for airport travel on the L9 Sud metro line.

So, if you arrive at the airport metro station with an invalid ticket, you will need to buy an Airport ticket to exit.

Still unsure how to get from Barcelona Airport to the city?

Kristoffer Fons from Destination Well Known in Barcelona
Big smiles in Barcelona 😀

As we conclude this guide on getting from Barcelona Airport to the city center, I hope you now feel well-equipped to make an informed choice about your transportation.

Whether you prefer the Aerobus’s efficiency, the train’s economic appeal, the metro’s direct route to the public transport network, or the convenience of a taxi or pre-booked service, Barcelona offers a range of options to suit your needs.

If you have any questions or need further clarification on any aspect of your journey from Barcelona Airport to the heart of the city, please feel free to leave a comment.

I’m here to help ensure your travel experience is smooth and enjoyable.

Websites I use to book my trips 👇

Booking.com has the best offers on hotels and unique places to stay
GetYourGuide is the best place to book tours & activities with free cancellation
This power bank is the one thing I never travel without
Welcome Pickups is the best & safest place to pre-book airport transfers

Psst 👀 Have you subscribed to my Youtube channel and my Instagram where I provide more useful travel tips?