Barcelona El Prat Airport
Barcelona International Airport (BCN), also known as El Prat, is a major transport hub of the city of Barcelona and the whole Catalonia.
You can check in for your flight only at the respective terminal T1 or T2, and since they are 7 km apart and there is little information available at the train station and bus stops, it's good to know which terminal you need before arriving at the airport. AENA provides information about the allocation of airlines to terminals.
Barcelona rivals Madrid for the number of intra-European connections, with many flag carriers serving both. Barcelona is also one of the European airports best served from the countries of the former Soviet Union (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan etc.), with direct flights to even less frequented airports, operated mostly by local carriers from those countries. There are also many connections to countries of North Africa. The Madrid - Barcelona route used to be among the busiest in the world but the arrival of high speed rail has greatly dented demand. For the traveler a sustained and fierce competition on price is the visible upshot of this development.
Eurowings flies from most major German cities (with connections to Lufthansa and other Star Alliance flights) and Transavia to Paris and airports in the Netherlands (where you can connect to AirFrance-KLM flights). Jet2 complements that with flights from airports in the UK. There are also many charter flights to Barcelona, especially in high season, for which you can increasingly buy tickets independently of a package holiday you may not wish to take.
By metroSince 2016, Metro line L9S runs from both airport terminals to the very south edge of Barcelona. Trains run every 7 minutes, but there is no direct connection to the city centre nor any Barcelona highlight. Summing the 25-30 minute trip on L9S, 5 minutes for changing lines as L9S runs very deep underground, and at least 15-20 minutes on a connecting line, you should expect an hour ride to get to the city centre.
Also, the metro has a special fare for both airport stations: €4.50 single fare, T10 (10 ticket) travelcards are not allowed. When going to the airport by metro, remember to buy a special "airport" ticket before boarding - if you reach the airport with the wrong ticket, you'll be forced to pay €4.50 regardless of whatever you've already paid. Travelling by metro between terminals also costs €4.50, while there is a free bus connection between T1 and T2.
So, unless you're going to the Fira, the metro is your worst option as it'll be more expensive and slower. And even if you're going to Fira, you might consider taking the train for just one stop and then change to L9S. That way, you can use T10 travelcards and you'll end up paying just €0.99 for the trip.
AeropuertoThe airport train station has facilities for disabled people: escalators, lifts, etc.
R2 Nord suburban train service (departures 05:42-23:38 every 30 min) connects terminal T2B with the Barcelona centre: Barcelona Sants station (travel time is 22 min to the airport), Passeig de Gràcia station (27 min), El Clot-Aragó station (30 min). It is sometimes a faster option to reach the airport. The fare is €4.10. Do not confuse it with R2 and R2 Sud trains, which do not have a stop at the airport. Also this service does not terminate at Estació de França as R2 Sud does, instead it goes through the center of Barcelona and into the suburbs, so it is important to know at which station you should get off.
The train is also an efficient and cheap option to get into or in from other parts of Catalonia, because of the region's tariff system. A 1 hr 30 min train ride north along the coast towards Calella or Blanes (next to Lloret de Mar) can be as little as €5 (from/to the airport). Certainly cheaper than the €10 airport bus of the Costa Brava region, which takes almost as long.
It is quite counterintuitive, but the newer and busier T1 does not have a direct railway connection to the city. To get a train from T1 you first need to reach T2B by an airport shuttle bus (free; runs every 5-10 minutes), so plan for an extra 15 minutes of travel. (It is planned to build a direct train connection to T1 by 2020.)
The airport is inside zone 1 of Integrated Fare System (see Barcelona's Get around). You can buy a single-ride on the R2 Nord to and from the airport, however, if you buy a multi-ride pass to use during your stay, then this pass allows you to ride the R2 Nord to and from the airport.
Line #46This bus line runs every 20 minutes from either of terminals (downstairs at T1) via El Prat de Llobregat to Plaça Espanya. The journey takes 35–45 minutes.
AerobusA shuttle bus service between Barcelona Airport (terminals 1 & 2) and Barcelona's city center: all along Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes to Plaça Catalunya, city center (beside El Corte Inglés). Buses depart every 5–10 minutes dependings of the terminal. A journey takes aprox. 35 minutes. The buses are adapted for persons with reduced mobility (PRM) and dispose over a wide space especially designed for luggage, also offer free wifi on board and they give you a Free Barcelona map with the purchase of your ticket. Buses are heavily air-conditioned in the summer: have something extra to wear during the journey.
Nitbús lines N16, N17Aerobuses stop running at midnight, but you can catch a Nitbús night bus service instead. The ride from Plaça Catalunya to Airport El Prat takes about 40–50 minutes). The buses stop at several important points of the city on its route: Plaça Espanya, Gran Via-Urgell, Plaça Universitat and Plaça Catalunya.
Line L77Rapid bus connecting the airport with the Sant Boi station (L8, FGC lines to Martorell, Igualada and Manresa, including Montserrat) and Cornellà Centre (Metro L5, tramway and Renfe R4)
By taxiTravelling by taxi is a convenient, but expensive, way to get from the airport to the city centre, especially if you have a family or a lot of luggage. All official Barcelona taxis are black and yellow. Taxi service is generally very good, clean and reliable.
You will find a taxi rank outside any of the main terminal exits Terminal 1 (T1) or Terminal 2 (and of the 3 buildings of Terminal 2 - T2A, T2B or T2C). Look for the sign pointing to the nearest taxi rank. The taxis operate all night and there are several hundred of them, so you don't have to worry about not being able to catch a cab.
The journey to the city centre takes 25 to 40 minutes, depending on road conditions. If you are travelling from Terminal 1 rather than Terminal 2, this will add an extra 4 km to your journey and take 5 minutes more. Expect to pay (by normal traffic conditions on a workday) around €30 for the journey into the centre from T2 and €40 from T1. There is a surcharge for each bag you're carrying, and an additional surcharge for Barcelona Cruise Port destination. You'll find the rates displayed inside the cab. Exact price will depend on time and road conditions.
Children under the age of 12 must be seated in the back seat of the car and supervised so that they do not distract the driver. Eating, drinking and smoking are not permitted during the ride, even if the driver and passenger agree otherwise. The taxi is legally required to admit blind passengers accompanied by seeing eye dogs.
If you have special needs (i.e. wheelchair, special luggage, travelling 5 or 6 people) is better to book your taxi in advance. Many local companies provide prepaid booking services. You can see the list at Institut Metropolità del Taxi and Barcelona Tourism Bureau websites.
ParkingThere a number of options with different tariff plans. The airport's web site advises to save time and money and book online.
T1 and T2 are linked by a free shuttle bus (every 5 to 10 minutes). So, if, for example, you arrive at T1 and wish to take the train to the city centre, you need to transfer on one of those buses (travel time 12-15 minutes).
The bus has 4 stops: T1 Departures (at the 3rd floor), T1 Arrivals (at the ground floor), T2B and T2C.
There is a separate shuttle bus which connects the both terminals with a long stay parking area.
Eat and drink
- Cafes, pre-security check. Few options, sub-standard fare. Food at Ars is awful and not cheap. Pans & Company have almost no hot meals. For more options in Terminal 1 go to 3rd floor: better food and restaurants, but more expensive.
- Cafes, post-security check. Many options, all close at around some time between 22:00 and 23:00.
- Duty-free shops. Open from 06:00/06:30 to 21:30 (a few to 22:00). Shops are numerous and some are hard to find elsewhere in the city. After security check, most shops are before the passport control; there are only one or two afterwards.
Tax-free shopping refundOffice closes at 22:00 without compromises. After that time checks can be processed only by mail: complete your tax-free forms with your passport data and addresses, have them stamped by the customs office (a window next to arrivals gate door; they don't ask to see your purchases); put them into the envelope you were given in the shop—and wait for several months.
Airport infomation T1
Tourist infomation T1
Left luggageThe deposits are located at the both terminals.
Left luggage T1phone: +34 932 971 213
Left luggage T2phone: +34 932 971 272
phone: +34 933 758 6009 rooms and 1 suite are available either for overnight stay or for day use (3-6 hr, 10:00-18:00)
The nearest hotels are located at the town of El Prat de Llobregat and Zona Franca of Barcelona near the port.
- El Prat de Llobregat is the nearest town to the airport
- Barcelona – the city begins just across the river El Llobregat
- Castelldefels is the closest resort to the airport – just a few km west
- Colònia Güell — is a tiny settlement famous for its modernist architecture. It is located on the railroad to Montserrat.