Getting from El Prat to the city centre
By Duncan Rhodes
First things first… how do you get into the city centre after touching down at the aeropuerto? Keep reading to find out all your transport options, from reserving a transfer in advance to hopping on the metro or grabbing the Aerobus (great convenience to affordability ratio!). You can use the Quick Menu on the left to navigate.
Barcelona airport, also known as El Prat Airport, is 13km South West of the city and easily accessible by taxi, bus and train (see below for more). The airport’s two terminals, T1 and T2, serve over 30 million air passengers a year, and unlike at many major city airports getting past security, passport control and customs is relatively brief and painless… so you’ll be on the beach in no time!
As you might expect from any modern aeronautical facility, Barcelona airport has ATMs, bureaux de change, left luggage/security lockers, and plenty of restaurants and shops to while away any waiting times. WiFi hotspots are also available at T2 although you will have to pay for the privilege.
Getting to/from Airport to City Centre
By Private Transfer
There are a number of companies who will offer to take the minor stress of getting from El Prat to either your hotel or apartment or other destination, such as the cruise port, by organising your airport transfer for you. Not always as cheap as navigating your own way there, many travellers prefer the peace of mind of having an English-speaking driver meet them at arrivals to make sure nothing goes wrong on the day:
If you’re looking to book a private transfer then we can recommend this reliable local-based travel agent and tours specialist. To reserve a vehicle simply go to the reservations page of their website, where you can book either a car (4 seats), van (7 seats) or mini-bus (12 seats) and you could end up paying as little as 8 euros per person if you’re a large group.
A classic case of a company that “does what it says on the tin”, this highly professional outfit will have a driver with your name on it waiting in arrivals come rain or shine – or 5 hour delays – for when you touch down. They even monitor flight arrival times to make sure you’re not left waiting in the cold (…ok, this being Spain you’ll be waiting in the warm more likely, but still!). Reserve now, pay nothing up front, simply settle with the driver on the day. Check their website for rates.
Easy to book and affordable, with this company you will be met at arrivals by your driver and taken door to door to your final destination. They use the same fleet of vehicles as authorised by the Barcelona Transport Authorities, which includes Mercedes sedans, or for larger groups mini-vans or minibuses. You can also order eco-taxis with wifi. As well as being able to pick you up from both Barcelona terminals they can also pick you up from Girona, and they can also deliver you to/from the cruise terminal and other popular transport nodes. It’s as simple as filling out the form on their website…
Grabbing a cab from the rank is the quickest and easiest method of transport to get from El Prat to Barcelona city centre if you haven’t reserved a transfer ahead of time (see above). How much does a taxi cost on the fly? At last count around 35 euros to the centre. Everything should be done on the meter so you’re very unlikely to be ripped off, although knowing a bit of Spanish will certainly help avoid any embarrassing situations. Journey time 20-35 mins.
An express bus service called the Aerobus runs from Plaza Catalunya to Barcelona airport and vice versa at regular intervals – every 5 to 20 minutes – and is definitely a cheaper alternative to a taxi, especially if you’re flying solo. It runs from 5.30am to 1am seven days a week, 365 days a year. The Aerobus 1 (A1) takes you to Terminal 1 and, you guessed it, the Aerobus 2 (A2) takes you to Terminal 2. Tickets currently cost just over 6 euros. It’s a good idea to buy in advance and then you won’t have to queue to buy a ticket (enabling you to board quicker), or get stuck with the wrong change: you can buy tickets online via the official website.
Since 2017 it’s been possible to get into the city centre via metro. The L9 (orange line) runs around every 7 minutes and stops off at both terminals before carrying passengers to the edge of town, where you can switch onto the red, blue or green lines at Torrassa (L1 – red line), Collblanc (L5 – blue line) or Zona Universitària (L3 – green line) and continue your journey. It’s not the quickest to be honest, especially when compared to the zippy Aerobus, however depending on where your hotel is it might be a convenient option. You need to buy the appropriate ticket which costs €4.6, one way to any station on the metro network. (NB: you cannot use your T10 metro ticket).
You can board a train to the city centre from ‘Aeropuerto’ train station just five minutes walk from T2, aka Terminal 2. They are not as regular as the buses (approx. every 30 mins) or as convenient for luggage, and if you land at Terminal 1 you’d have to take a bus to Terminal 2 first (ie. only consider this option if you flying in or out of T2), but on the plus side a ticket is just over 3 euros and journey time only 18 mins.
The train calls at central stations Sants, Passeig de Gracia and Clot and you can check the timetable here. Similarly you can do the same journey in reverse to arrive at El Prat. Nota bene: you can change onto the metro at any of these stations.
Should you ever find yourself at the wrong terminal at Barcelona airport fear not – free and regular shuttle buses will ferry you on your way to your flight. They stop outside the main entrances, just keep an out for the green and blue buses that say T1 – T2 at the front.
Need more info? Needless to say we’ve got some wise advice on booking flights to Barcelona for you to check out which could save you a bob or two.
Other Nearby Airports
Meanwhile if you’re flying into Reus, then head to our guide on getting from Reus Airport to Barcelona.
Similarly if you’re flying to Girona, then we have an article on getting from Girona airport to Barcelona too!
If there is any information missing on this page, please comment below and we’ll endeavour to answer all your questions! Click onto our listing in our Services section to see the exact location of El Prat Airport on a map.