Chances are you’re coming in through Barcelona’s El Prat Airport.

Far and away the most straightforward way to town for fresh arrivals is by taxi. There are taxi stands outside both terminals, and queues tend to be short. You should get to any hotel in the metro area in around 30 mins. Expect a fare of €30-40. We have yet to experience a dishonest Barcelona taxi driver. We have yet to find one genuinely fluent in English either, but have always managed to find our destination.

Barcelona’s notorious pickpockets are going to find tourists encumbered with all their possessions easy targets – for this reason alone we can’t recommend the taxi service highly enough. Get yourself safely to your hotel first, and then venture forth.

If not…

The Aerobús service connects T1 and T2 to Plaça Catalunya in the centre of town for €5.90. From there you can cab or train to your hotel.

The Barcelona Metro also serves the airport, with a service on L9 Sud from Aeropuerto to Barcelona Sants and Passeig de Gracia every 30 minutes between 6:00 and 23:00.

You may also arrive by train – most commonly at Barcelona Sants (Sants Estació), which connects with the Metro to get you anywhere in town with ease. There is also a busy taxi stand outside. Estació de França is another point of arrival, though much less busy than Sants. This historic station doesn’t have a direct connection to the Metro, though there is a Metro stop five minutes walk away (L4 Barceloneta).


Getting Around

Barcelona may welcome as many as 32 million tourists in a year, but the permanent population is only 1.6 million, so it is actually a fairly compact town. Add to this the fact that most tourist attractions are in the old town or near the waterfront, and you have a city that is ideal for walking.

The plus side is that if you get around on foot in the charming Ciutat Vella – old town – you’re going to make discoveries that you wouldn’t otherwise. The only downside is that sometimes it seems there are too many tourists on foot, particularly on Las Ramblas, and the nearby Barri Gòtic. It can get busy.

Automated ticket machines in the Metro stations are easy to navigate

Barcelona’s Metro (excellent interactive map here) is a surprisingly extensive underground rail system, and easily the best solution for when your feet have had enough. There are touchscreen ticket vending machines at all stations. If you’re planning to use the system lash out on a T10 ticket, that gives you 10 rides anywhere on the system in a 30 day period for €10.20. Single trip tickets cost €2.20.

There are taxi stands in busy areas, and you can usually hail one on the street with ease.

Uber addicts have to learn to live without – the service is not available in Barcelona, but then the system wasn’t broken like so many other taxi regimes, so no loss.