Barcelona: how to get from El Prat airport to the city center
Barcelona: how to get to and from the airport

Barcelona: how to get from El Prat airport to the city center

Barcelona International Airport is the second largest airport in Spain in terms of size and passenger traffic after the capital’s Madrid Barajas. The Catalan air hub is located 10 km from the center of Barcelona and serves 85 airlines, including Russian airlines: Aeroflot, Russia, S7, Ural Airlines and Red Wings. El Prat is the main port for airplanes of the Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling.

The airport has two terminals: T1 — for scheduled flights, and T2, which serves mainly charters and low-costers.

The full name of Barcelona Airport is Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat and its international code is BCN. It has been in operation since 1916, and a new terminal T1 opened in 2009.

You can get from the airport to the center of Barcelona by train, bus, metro or cab.

Map of public transportation from Barcelona Airport
Map of public transportation from Barcelona Airport

Metro from the airport to Barcelona

Since 2016, metro trains have been running to all airport terminals — the L9 Sud line. The subway has not yet been completed to the end. Now the final station is Zona Universitaria, from which you will have to get to the center. The construction of the line is planned to be completed by 2024, then the trains will run throughout the city.

In terminal T1, the metro stop is located on the ground floor, while in T2 it is next to the train station. The L9 Sud line trains require a separate ticket, the «Billete aeropuerto», while the standard Barcelona metro passes can only be used if they are monthly.

You can buy tickets at terminals at the metro entrance or online at the Barcelona Metro website.

  • Travel time is 32 minutes and the interval is 7 minutes.
  • Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 5:00 to 00:00, Friday from 5:00 to 2:00, weekends from 5:00 Saturday to 11:59 Sunday.
  • The «Billete aeropuerto» costs €4.6.
  • Barcelona Metro website.
Metro stops on the L9 Sud line
Metro stops on the L9 Sud line

Electric train from Terminal T2 to Barcelona

From Terminal T2, it is more convenient and faster to get there by Renfe Cercanías train, route R2.

It is easy to find the train at Terminal T2 — numerous signs will show you the way to the train station. You can buy a ticket at the terminals at the entrance, plastic cards and euro cash: coins and banknotes are accepted.

The electric train from the Airport makes three stops in Barcelona: Barcelona — Sants, Passeig de Gràcia, El Clot — Arago. In the reverse direction, you can get to Terminal T2 from any of these same stations.

  • The travel time is 20 minutes and the traffic interval is 30 minutes.
  • Mode of operation: from the Airport to Barcelona Sants from 5:42 to 23:38, back from 5:13 to 23:14.
  • Ticket price: one way — 4,2 €, if you buy a season ticket for 10 trips — 2,83 €, children under 4 years old — free of charge. Up to 10 people can ride on the T10 pass at the same time. It is also useful if you plan to travel from Barcelona to the suburbs within 2 zones. Map with Renfe zones.
  • Renfe’s website with schedule.

Express bus from the airport to Barcelona

You can get to the center of Barcelona (Plaça Catalunya) by special buses — Aerobús. Linea A1 runs from Terminal T1 and Linea A2 from T2. The bus makes several stops in the city and has special places for luggage.

Stops in Terminal T1 are located on Floor 0 (arrival area) and Floor 3 (departure area). In Terminal T2, stops are located at the Sector B exit (arrivals area) and at the bus station near the Sector C exit.

You can buy tickets at terminals, on the Aerobús websiteor from the driver for cash.

  • Travel time is 35 minutes.
  • Traffic interval: from T1 — 5 minutes in the afternoon and 10 minutes in the early morning and late evening, from T2 — 10 minutes.
  • Mode of operation: daily, from Plaza Catalunya to the Airport from 5:00 to 00:30, back from 5:30 to 1:30.
  • Tickets: one way — 5,9 €, round trip (valid for 15 days) — 10,2 €, children under 4 years old — free of charge.
Aerobus traffic pattern
Aerobus traffic pattern

City buses from the airport to Barcelona

From all airport terminals to Barcelona you can take the city bus #46. The final stop in the city is Plaça España. Unlike the Aerobus, the city bus makes many stops along the way, so it takes longer to get there.

In T2, the stops are located at the exit of Sectors B and C, and in T1, the stops are located at Ground Zero.

  • Travel time: from T1 — 35—55 minutes, from T2 — 25—40 minutes, depending on road conditions.
  • Traffic interval: 13 — 16 minutes.
  • Hours of operation: 4:50 to 23:50, daily.
  • Fare: 2.4 €, you can buy a T10 pass for 10 trips on Barcelona public transportation for 11.35 € and use it for further trips on public transportation in Barcelona.
  • Bus #46 stops and timetable.

Night city buses to Barcelona

At night, bus number 17 is available from Terminal T1 to Plaça Catalunya in Barcelona, and bus number 16 from T2. The night route with stops at both terminals is No. 18.

  • The traffic interval is 20 minutes and the travel time is 1 hour.
  • Fare: 2,2 € or T10 season ticket — 10 trips for 10,2 €, from 2020 — 2,4 €, T10 season ticket — 11,35 €.
  • The schedule depends on the time of year: N16, N17, N18.

Cab from El Prat airport

Cab service in Barcelona operates around the clock, so it is convenient to get there at night or in a company. All cars of the cab service in Barcelona are painted in black and yellow colors.

Cab stands are located on the ground floor of T1 and at each sector of the T2 terminal. To get a car, you need to come to the entrance of the parking lot, where you will be met by a staff member and helped to get into the car.

Cab fares are fixed and can be viewed on the official website: 4 types of fares depend on the day of the week and time of day.

  • Travel time: 25 — 45 minutes depending on traffic congestion.
  • Approximate cost of a cab from the airport to Plaza Catalunya: on weekdays — 26 €, on weekends and at night — 30 €.

The distance between the two airport terminals is 4 km. Therefore, be careful when choosing a public transportation route. If you do get off at the wrong stop, you should know that there is a free shuttle bus between the terminals, with a travel time of 20 minutes and an interval of 5 — 10 minutes.

Shuttle movement scheme between Barcelona airport terminals
Shuttle movement scheme between Barcelona airport terminals