From touchdown to downtown – getting from Barcelona’s El Prat Airport to the city centre
To save you an unnecessarily long transit time, this article gives you all the information you’ll need when it comes to your travel options from Barcelona’s El Prat airport to the city centre. Whether you travel by bus, train or taxi, the info here should ensure you have a smooth and easy transition between the airport and your GowithOh city break apartment.
This is an airport bus service
that leaves from both Terminals 1 and 2 (A, B and C) and travels directly to the centre of Barcelona. There are four main stops in the centre: Plaça Espanya, Gran Vía (at Urgell), Plaça Universitat and Plaça Catalunya
. When you leave the airport, head straight to the bus stop and you’ll see a light-blue bus, with Aerobús on the side.
The journey to Plaça Espanya
takes around 25 minutes, depending on the traffic, and around 40 minutes if you stay on the bus to its final destination at Plaça Catalunya.
If you choose to hop on the Aerobus for travelling back to the airport, you just need to make sure you get on the right bus – A1 for Terminal 1 departures, and A2 for Terminal 2. The number of each service is displayed clearly on the front of the bus. If you do happen to catch the wrong one, all is not lost – there are connections between the two terminals.
A single journey on the Aerobus (‘un billete sencillo’) will costs 5.90€, while a return ticket (‘ida y vuelta’) comes in only slightly cheaper at 10.20€. A return ticket is valid for a total of nine days, and you can pay the driver directly on the bus or purchase the ticket from the machines next to the bus stop. The machines accept both cash and credit cards, whereas drivers will expect exact change.
The advantage of this option is that it’s fairly cheap, reliable and fast – buses leave every five minutes every day of the year, starting at 05:30. There’s also usually plenty of room for luggage.
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Public buses from El Prat
Another option is to catch a public bus from the airport to the city centre. This isn’t for those in a hurry, however, and there’s frustratingly little room for bulky luggage.
The advantage, of course, is that this is the cheapest solution. A single journey ticket costs 2€ or you can use a T-10 ticket (10-journey ticket valid on Barcelona buses and metro), which costs 9.80€. Buses generally leave from Terminal 2 but also from Terminal 1 before heading in the direction of the city centre.
Throughout the daytime, the service to look out for is line 46
. This is the only direct line between the airport and Plaça Espanya. It operates from 05:00 till midnight.
If you’re travelling during the early hours of the morning, the night service (‘Nuit N17′), is especially for you and operates from midnight to 05:00. The main stops are at Plaça Espanya and Plaça Catalunya and buses come every 20 minutes.
You can catch a train from Terminal 2, which will take you directly to Barcelona’s city centre. Trains run from 6:08 to 23:38, and stop at various stations – Sants, Passeig de Gràcia
and Clot. If you’ve got further to go, all three stations are connected to the metro system. Trains leave every half an hour
If you arrive into Terminal 1, you’ll first of all need to catch a free connecting bus to Terminal 2.
At the moment it isn’t possible to take the metro directly from El Prat airport to Barcelona city centre. Work is ongoing to connect metro line 9 to the centre, but for the time being, you can use a standard metro ticket to catch a train from the airport. A single ticket costs 2€ or if you’re going to be using the metro a lot while in the city, you might be better buying a T-10 ticket (10-journey ticket valid on Barcelona buses and metro) for the remainder of your stay.
Travelling by taxi tends to be the most expensive way of reaching the city centre from the airport, but it’s generally also the fastest and most comfortable. The fare to the city centre should be around 30€, maybe slightly less.
Airport Transfer with a Private Car Service
The most comfortable way to get to the city center from Barcelona El Prat Airport is by a private airport transfer. A chauffeur will pick you in the arrivals hall with a name sign and will drive you directly to your hotel or apartment in a luxury ride. This is an ideal service if you are nervous finding your apartment, you book your trip beforehand so the driver knows exactly where to go. This service is about the same price as a taxi to the city center in Barcelona.
Our recommended company for this service in Barcelona is myDriver Airport Transfer Barcelona.