Transport Options for El Prat Barcelona Airport City Centre
A locals guide for Barcelona Airport transfer options by cheapest, fastest, most frequent and easiest for getting to downtown Barcelona.
Summary of Travel Options to & from Barcelona Airport
Barcelona Airport, also known as El Prat Airport or Josep Taradellas Airport is Catalonia's largest Airport with Catalunya having secondary regional airports in Girona and Reus.
Barcelona airport consists of two terminals, T1 and T2.
- Free Terminal transfer shuttle bus
- Barcelona Metro
- Taxi if in a hurry, minumum fare 21 Euros
Transfers between Termial 1 (T1) and Terminal 2 (T2) is via:
Is there a monorail or tram between T1 and T2? No. Make sure you go to the correct terminal or you will need to use a shuttle bus (with stops outside of T2B (below the bridge) and T1 (outside level 0). Allow upto 20 minutes for the shuttle bus between terminals taking into account passenger loading times. The Metro which has stations outside of T1 and T2 (20 minutes including walking time.) The airport terminal transfer Bus is free, the Metro is not.
Terminal 1 is the new modern building shaped like an aircraft. Most long distance international flights depart from here as well as the national carriers of Spain and other countries.
Terminal 2 is where the European low cost / budget carriers operate from. The building dates from the 1970s and is divided into three main zones for departures and arrivals T2A, T2B and T2C. Travel between the zones of terminal 2 is walking via an internal atrium, distance 1Km aproximantely.
This Link Shows the terminal for each airline operating out of Barcelona airport. Verify with your carrier if in doubt.
Getting to and from Barcelona Airport
- R2 SUD Rodalies Train
- TMB metro Line 9 Sud
The most common and recommended tranport methods between Barcelona Airport and barcelona city centre, from cheapest to most expensive, are:
Getting to & from Barcelona Airport by Renfe Rodalies Train
- Pro: Only rail service to go to the centre of Barcelona.
- Pro: Cheaper (1.135 Euros) if used as 1 trip of a T-casual Zone 1 ticket. (10 trips for 11.35 euros)
- Pro: 30 minute train ride to passeig de Gracia.
- Con: Only goes to Terminal T2. Use free transfer bus between T1 and T2 (20 mins journey)
- Con: Trains every 30 minutes from 05:15 to 23:15 daily.
Renfe (National train operator) runs a train service from Central Barcelona to the airport.
The Renfe Rodalies train to the Airport is my preferred choice but only if I am flying from terminal T2.
Renfe Rodalies (R2 NORD line) trains to and from the airport pass via Barcelona-Sants and Barcelona-Passeig de Gracia in the centre of Barcelona.
To connect with regional, AVE, and other Rodalies lines change at Barcelona-Sants.
To check train times use this Link.
Getting to & from Barcelona Airport by TMB Metro
- Pro: Goes to both terminal T1 and T2
- Pro: Trains every 5-8 minutes from 05:00 till midnight and later at weekends.
- Pro 2 day, 3 day, 4 day and 5 day and more, unlimited travel passes within the Barcelona metropolitan area, called hola BCN, can be purchased which include return trips to the airport T1 and T2 via the Metro network.
- Con: An airport metro single journey ticket costs 5.15 euros to get to the airport. Use Hola BCN card.
- Con: the metro L9 sud to and from the airport does not pass by the centre of Barcelona but via the outskirts of south Barcelona terminating at Zona Universitaria. To get to the centre change onto the blue or red metro lines from L9 Sud.
TMB (Transports Metropolitans Barcelona) runs a metro service to and from Barcelona airport to the outskirts of south Barcelona via L9 SUD.
The Metro L9 Sud is my preferred transport choice, BUT ONLY if I am flying from terminal 1.
Tickets that include Travel to the Airport by Metro
Getting to & from Barcelona Airport by Chauffeur
it is also possible to book a 4, 6 or 8 seat private car to drive you to and from the airport from your hotel.
Note: when booking airport pick up allow time to clear customs and baggage reclaim because the driver can only wait one hour outside the airport as per airport regulations.
- Pro: Goes to both terminal T1 and T2
- Pro: Door to door service
- Con: More Expensive than Train, Metro or AeroBus
Getting to & from Barcelona Airport by Taxi
- Pro: Door to door direct service.
- Pro: For flights that are early or late when public transport is infrequent, order a taxi in advance.
- Pro: Journey time of 20 to 30 minutes.
- Pro: for more than 4 people, people carrier vehicles and wheelchair enabled vehicles are available. ask the taxi assistant at the airport taxi rank.
- Con: Taxi pick up or drop off has additional fees applied: 4.30 Euros supplement for airport.
- Con: Minimum journey to airport is 21 euros even if your only going a few Kms.
- Con: Expect to pay around 35 euros (including supplemental fees) from the Airport to The centre of Barcelona by taxi.
Barcelona's official taxi's are the black and yellow cabs and both terminal T1 and T2 have a taxi pick up and drop off service to and from anywhere in Barcelona Metropolitan and the suburbs.
Taxi is my prefered choice when I have elderly relatives visiting or if I am travelling to the airport with two or more people to share costs.
Getting to & from Barcelona Airport by AeroBus
- Pro: Two routes, One for T1 and the other for T2.
- Pro: One way fare is 5.90 euros, Return 10.20 Euros
- Pro: It is a direct transport service from the centre of Barcelona (Plaza Catalunya and Plaza Espana) to the Airport terminal T1 or T2.
- Pro: Journey time of 30 to 35 minutes and the busses have wifi and USB charging onboard.
- Pro: Purchase a One way ticket online so no wasting time at ticket machines.
- Con: It is a bus! If it is busy you may not get a seat, It is a bus!
A private bus company that provides transfer from the airport to the centre of Barcelona.
Getting to & from Barcelona Airport Low Cost Options
There are a range of commuter bus routes that operate during the day and night to and from the airport that can be done as a trip on the T-casual card or single fare of 2.40 euros. Note that these busses stop frequently and could take up to one hour or more to get to the airport.
TMB route 46 bus from Plaza Catalunya to Airport T1 and T2.
Night Bus N18 from Plaza Catalunya to Airport T1 and T2.
Night Bus N17 from Plaza Catalunya to Airport T1.
Night Bus N16 from Plaza Catalunya to Airport T2.
Note: These busses would not be my recommended transport option to get to the airport because of the long journey time and frequent stops. The cost is the same as the R2 Rodalies train line and only about 3-4 euros cheaper than the Aerobus or Metro.
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