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Guide to public transport via trains, metro, busses & trams

Public transport guide for Barcelona and Catalunya such as TMB Metro, busses & trams | Renfe Rodalies, Regional & Ave Trains | FGC Trains | Nord Bus terminal.

Updated: May 29, 2022

by: Barcelona Travel Hacks

Views: 667

Public Transport Networks summary for Barcelona & Catalunya

Barcelona and Catalunya are exceptionally served by Metro, tram, rail and Bus networks.

Barcelona Metro

This is a predominantly an underground railway network that serves Barcelona city. Run by transports metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB). Trains run from 5:30AM till midnight on a weekday. Friday nights it runs till 2AM and On Saturday services are all night.


Barcelona Rodalies rail Network

This is a commuter rail network for the Barcelones region that is run by the Spanish national rail operator Renfe. Trains run from 05:30 with the last trains arriving in Barcelona between 23h and midnight. The network comprises six fare zones.


FGC rail network

This is a Catalan owned railway service consisting of two major branches. The Llobregat anoia lines run from Plaza Espana to Montserat, Manresa and Igualada. The Valles lines Run from Plaza Catalunya to Sant Cugat, Sabadell and Terrassa. Additionally, the FGC operates some small branch cremallera (mountain racked railway) lines.


Catalunya Regional rail Network

This is a regional rail network that is run by the Spanish national rail operator Renfe. Trains run from 05:30 with the last trains arriving in Barcelona between 23h and midnight. Catalunya is divided into four regions, Barcalones, Girona, Tarragona and Lleida. The regional rail network interlinks the four regions and provides commuter services in the regions outside of Barcelones.


High speed rail AVE, AVENT and TALGO

The high-speed rail network is separate to the regional and commuter network and was built recently within the last 10 years. The high-speed trains link major cities within Catalunya to the rest of Spain and parts of France.


Sants Station Renfe railway hub

Sants is the main Renfe hub in Barcelona and is a large station with about 15 platforms. Sections of the station are dedicated to the different types of each Renfe rail service. Click here for useful information about how to find your way round Sants station.


Busses and Trams within Barcelona

There is an extensive bus and night bus network in Barcelona city run by transports metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB). There are two main tram branches, One in Diagonal Mar - Glories area. The other Serves Diagonal Zona Universidad to Cornella de Llobregat.


Commuter busses in Catalunya

Towns not served by a rail connection usually have a bus service. Depending on the size of the town and demand for transport, these bus services can be frequent or only once or twice day. There are multiple bus companies that serve in Catalunya and I will detail individually for each attraction that can be reached by a bus. Most busses depart from the airport, The Sants station bus hub or the bus hub in Estacio del Nord.

TMB for Barcelona Metro, Tram & Buses

Transport Metropolitans de Barcelona runs the metro service, Trams and Barcelona city busses.

TMB tickets

Barcelona city busses, Tram and metro are fare zone 1 within the integrated fare zone system. Tickets are classified as multi person or single person usage.

I generally use a T-casual ticket to get around the city. This is a ticket that allows me to make 10 trips. A trip is defined as a journey where I can change from one transport system to another on the same trip as long as the change occurs within two hours of last passing my ticket through the ticket gate machines. I have used T-usual unlimited trips monthly tickets before when commuting to an office on a daily basis.

There are also muti-person tickets, tickets for young people and families. Check the TMB website to find your best ticket.

In Barcelona we do not buy bus tickets on the bus but use a TMB ticket. TMB tickets can be purchased at Metro stations, Renfe Stations, FGC stations, some tobacco stores and some news stand stores.

When you board a bus or tram in Barcelona you have to validate your ticket by inserting it into one of the machines on the bus or tram. Ticket inspectors do perform checks by scanning your ticket to ensure you are not taking a free ride. Fines start from 100 euros.


TMB COVID-19 information

For COVID-19 metro, tram and Barcelona city bus restrictions and safety, consult this section of the TMB website. Currently the metro is running from 05:30 till midnight all days.


Planned works / Engineering works / Service outages

The TMB website has a comprehensive real time service update section. For Metro and for Busses.

There is also the option to signup for real time service disruption updates via email or the TMB app.

Renfe Rodalies Commuter Rail for Barcelona Suburbs

The regional rail network has three main branches:

The north Branch served by R11 and RG1 lines to Girona, Figueres and Portbou or Cerbere (in France).

The southern Branch served by R14, R15, R16 and R17 lines, serves towns in the Tarragona region along the costa durada to interior towns.

The Western Branches served by R12, R13 and R14 lines serves towns between Manresa and Lleida and between Tarragona and Leida.

The Renfe website is a mess and it can be tricky sometimes to find the relevant information. There is no specific section on the website for Regional services so I will attempt to run through the main points here.


Renfe Regional train tickets and train times

Regional train times can be checked on the main Renfe webpage.

The results table of the search shows train times and fares for outbound and return trains. Not all tickets can be purchased online. Tickets that have to be purchased at the station in ticket machines are 3.5% more expensive.

For frequent travellers, there are a number of passes if you make the same journey multiple times for work or leisure. For more details see this section of the Renfe website.


Renfe Regional train Travelling with.

It is possible to also travel on Regional trains with pets, luggage and sports equipment such as skis, bicycles etc. The bicycle area is Normally at the front of the train. You may be refused entry to the train during rush hour in the morning if the train is really crowded. Dogs must also be wearing a muzzle.

Renfe Luggage policy. You can carry up to 3 pieces of hand luggage onto the train, provided that the sum of the three does not exceed 25 kg and The maximum dimensions allowed are 85cm x 55cm x 35cm.

Renfe bycicle policy For Regional trains the rules are the same as Media Distancia (Mid-distance), Cercanias or Feve trains.

Renfe pets policy States that pets can be transported in a carrier with one pet per passenger. I have travelled on Regional trains with small dogs outside of a carrier but with a muzzle. However it is best ask at the station before travelling as rules might depend on the line.


Planned works / Engineering works / Service outages

For the Renfe Rodalies and Regional train services the Gencat website can be consulted to check if there are any planned engineering works or major disruptions to service.

The information in English is only a brief overview. For more details about start date/time and end date/time of engineering works, this link can be used. For the major works greater detail is provided but the information is only available in Spanish.

Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya Commuter Rail

This is a Catalan owned railway service consisting of two major branches:

The Llobregat anoia lines run from Plaza Espana to Montserat, Manresa and Igualada.

The Valles lines Run from Plaza Catalunya to Sant Cugat, Sabadell and Terrassa.

The FGC website has recently been upgraded but it is still a bit confusing to navigate and, in my opinion, worse than the previous version! Here are some tips on how to find information.


FGC Train times

When checking train times on the FGC website you must first select the llobregat Anoia or Valles lines.

From here you enter the origin station. Which loads another page with an auto completing form.


FGC Traveling with.

It is possible to also travel on FGC trains with pets, luggage and sports equipment such as skis, bicycles etc. The bicycle area is at the front of the trains. You may be refused entry to the train during rush hour in the morning if the train is really crowded. Dogs must also be wearing a muzzle. For more information consult the Norms and terms of service page of the FGC website.


FGC Rail Network Tickets

The FGC rail network is part of the TMB integrated fare zone system of Barcelona. There are six zones and single or return tickets can be used as well as monthly or season tickets for the relevant zone. Information about the integrated zoned fare system can be found here.

On the integrated TMB commuter rail map you can check what zone a station is in.

The FGC website has PDF files for each ticket type per zone. For example you might want a monthly two zone season ticket or a return ticket to a station in zone 4.


FGC Cremallera lines

I have detailed the Cremallera trains where they apply to a specific attraction.

Renfe Regional Rail to Lleida, Girona & Tarragona

The regional rail network has three main branches:

The north Branch served by R11 and RG1 lines to Girona, Figueres and Portbou or Cerbere (in France).

The southern Branch served by R14, R15, R16 and R17 lines, serves towns in the Tarragona region along the costa dorada to interior towns.

The Western Branches served by R12, R13 and R14 lines serves towns between Manresa and Lleida and between Tarragona and Leida.

The Renfe website is a mess and it can be tricky sometimes to find the relevant information. There is no specific section on the website for Regional services so I will attempt to run through the main points here.


Renfe Regional train tickets and train times

Regional train times can be checked on the main Renfe webpage.

The results table of the search shows train times and fares for outbound and return trains. Not all tickets can be purchased online. Tickets that have to be purchased at the station in ticket machines are 3.5% more expensive.

For frequent travellers, there are a number of passes if you make the same journey multiple times for work or leisure. For more details see this section of the Renfe website.


Renfe Regional train Travelling with.

It is possible to also travel on Regional trains with pets, luggage and sports equipment such as skis, bicycles etc. The bicycle area is Normally at the front of the train. You may be refused entry to the train during rush hour in the morning if the train is really crowded. Dogs must also be wearing a muzzle.

Renfe Luggage policy. You can carry up to 3 pieces of hand luggage onto the train, provided that the sum of the three does not exceed 25 kg and The maximum dimensions allowed are 85cm x 55cm x 35cm.

Renfe bycicle policy For Regional trains the rules are the same as Media Distancia (Mid-distance), Cercanias or Feve trains.

Renfe pets policy States that pets can be transported in a carrier with one pet per passenger. I have travelled on Regional trains with small dogs outside of a carrier but with a muzzle. However it is best ask at the station before travelling as rules might depend on the line.


Planned works / Engineering works / Service outages

For the Renfe Rodalies and Regional train services the Gencat website can be consulted to check if there are any planned engineering works or major disruptions to service.

The information in English is only a brief overview. For more details about start date/time and end date/time of engineering works, this link can be used. For the major works greater detail is provided but the information is only available in Spanish.

Renfe High Speed Rail Network (AVE, AVLO, AVENT & TALGO)

The Adif high-speed rail network is separate to the regional and commuter network and was built recently within the last 15 years. The high-speed trains link major cities within Catalunya to the rest of Spain, primarily via Madrid. Note that ADIF maintain the infrastructure (tracks, stations, tunnels, bridges, etc. Renfe operate the trains.

Information on the Renfe website is disorganised and confusing so I will try and give a summary of the services and routes.

Renfe run various services over these High speed lines:

AVE - Alta Velocidad Espana are high speed trains for long distance journeys from Madrid to all the major cities of the autonomous regions.

The AVlo is a new low cost AVE service

The AVANT are high speed trains that perform commuter services within a region using the high-speed rail network

Talgo trains were the old long-distance trains that ran on the slower medium distance train tracks. Also offered were very cheap overnight sleeper trains. Talgo services were discontinued 22 June 2020.

The high-speed trains depart from Barcelona-Sants station. Passengers for these services pass through airport style security with x-ray machines. Allow time for this security check, minimum half an hour before train departure.


Renfe High-speed train times and tickets

Renfe High-speed train times can be consulted on the main Renfe webpage.

The results table of the search shows two tabs: train times and fares for outbound and return trains. For Ave, AVlo and AVANT trains I recommend purchasing tickets online.

Clicking on a train will produce a popup at the bottom of the window to select the train and add it to your cart. Repeat process for return train and follow onscreen instructions to process payment.

For frequent travellers of the AVE and AVANT services, Renfe offer multiuse tickets and passes on the website.


Renfe High-speed train Travelling with.

The rules about travelling with luggage, animals, bycicles are strictly enforced on AVE and AVANT trains.

Hand luggage is limited to two bags per customer with a total weight of 20kg and the size of the larger luggage item not exceeding 70cm x 50cm x 25cm.

Travelling with bicycles on AVE or AVENT is tricky and Renfe has strict rules. I have never seen Bicycles on AVE trains and I suspect you will get turned away by security by default. The rules can be read from the above link but I would recommend going to the AVE and AVANT ticket office at Sants Station and asking specifically.

Travelling with pets is also theoretically possible but I have never seen it done. The rules specify max weight of the animal 10 Kg and in a carry container with minimum dimensions of 60cm x 35cm x35cm. The rules section also specifies that the container has a means to remove any residue from the animal! I would recommend going to the AVE and AVANT ticket office at Sants Station and asking specifically. Guide dogs are allowed.

Barcelona-Sants Station Renfe Railway Hub

ADIF maintain the infrastructure (tracks, stations, tunnels, bridges, etc.) Renfe operate the trains.

Adif maintain plans of all the stations on thier website which can be downloaded. Below is the plan for Barcelona-Sants station. I have added additional notes to indicate which ticket machines to use for each type of train service.

Estacio del Nord - Principal Bus terminal for Barcelona

Estacion del Nord is the main bus terminal for Barcelona and is located next to Ard de Triumf Metro and Rodalies train station.

I will detail bus services per attractions as there are too many bus operators and routes to make a concise guide here.

8 Downloadable PDF Documents

Click on any one of the 8 PDf documents to view in full screen and download.

2022 Barcelona Metro Map

2022 Barcelona Metro Map

Author: www.tmb.cat

2022 Barcelona Bus Map

2022 Barcelona Bus Map

Author: www.tmb.cat

2022-renfe-rodalies-map

2022-renfe-rodalies-map

Author: www.renfe.com

2022 Barcelona Commuter Rail Map

2022 Barcelona Commuter Rail Map

Author: www.fgc.cat

2022 Renfe Regional Map

2022 Renfe Regional Map

Author: www.renfe.com

2022 Renfe Avant MD Network Map

2022 Renfe Avant MD Network Map

Author: www.renfe.com

2022 ADIF Barcelona-Sants Station Plan

2022 ADIF Barcelona-Sants Station Plan

Author: www.adif.es

2022 Estacio del Nord Barcelona Bus Terminal

2022 Estacio del Nord Barcelona Bus Terminal

Author: www.barcelonatravelhacks.com

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