If you’re a foreigner flying into Barcelona, you’ll most likely land in Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN). Here is a brief guide on Barcelona airport transport to help you get to the city center.
Located about eight miles southwest of the city center, El Prat is the largest and most convenient airport in the Catalan capital. Befitting an airport of its stature, there are many transportation options guests can choose to get from BCN into Barcelona. In addition to the taxicabs, guests can use buses, metro transport, or car rentals. No matter what method you choose, it should take you no longer than 30 minutes to get from one of BCN’s two terminals into the heart of Barcelona.
Getting from Barcelona El Prat Airport to Barcelona city centerby Aerobus
Aerobús is the most popular bus service between El Prat and Barcelona. You’ll have no issues finding an Aerobús parked outside of BCN’s two terminals 365 days a year between 5:35AM and 1:15AM. An Aerobús usually arrives at each terminal every five to ten minutes. Depending on traffic, the full Aerobús trip from BCN to Plaça de Catalunya lasts about 35 minutes. In addition to Plaça de Catalunya, guests can get off of the Aerobús at Plaça d’Espanya, Gran Via-Urgell, or Plaça de la Universitat. A single-way ticket on an Aerobús costs €5.90 and a return-trip ticket costs €10.20.
Getting from Barcelona El Prat Airport to Barcelona city center by train
Another convenient way to get into Barcelona from El Prat is to hop aboard the RENFE-owned train, which is located in BCN’s Terminal 2. If your plane gets off at Terminal 1, then you will have to take a free 15-minute shuttle between terminals to get to the train station. Trains arrive at the airport every 30 minutes and make stops at Barcelona Sants, Passeig de Gracia, and Clot. You can change over to the Barcelona Metro at any of these stations. The ride from BCN to Clot is roughly 35 minutes. Anyone boarding the train will have to spend €4 for a one-way ticket.
Getting from Barcelona El Prat Airport to Barcelona city center by taxi
The third most common way to travel out of Barcelona Airport is via taxi service. This is by far the most expensive method, but it’s also the most comfortable. Official taxis in Barcelona are painted black with yellow sides and are well-regulated by the company Taxileader. Tourists never have an issue finding a bunch of taxis parked in front of these two terminals at any time of the day. Depending on traffic, the ride from BCN to Barcelona’s center is usually around 35 minutes and costs approximately €30. All taxis in Barcelona are metered, so be sure your driver turns his/her meter on at the start of your journey. There’s no need to tip taxi drivers in Barcelona, but it is expected to round up on your fee. Most travelers have no problems dealing with Barcelona taxi drivers, but if you have any issues you should ask for a receipt and file a complaint with the Metropolitan Taxi Institute.
While BCN is the most popular Barcelona airport, there are two alternative airports you should know about: Reus Airport and Girona—Costa Brava Airport. These airports are much smaller than BCN and both are located a little over an hour’s drive away from Barcelona’s center. Unless you’re traveling on a budget airline from within Europe, you most likely won’t have to deal with these airports. It’s highly recommended that first-time visitors to Barcelona fly into BCN because it’s easier to navigate than these two smaller airports.