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Getting around in Barcelona: info, costs and tips


Barcelona is a unique city for its monuments and for the life that flows on every street. The cosmopolitan capital of Catalonia is best known for itsart and architecture. The Sagrada Família basilica and the other extravagant buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí are the symbol of the city. But Barcelona is not just this. The sun, the sea, the people on the street at all hours of the day and night. Its many points of interest and the lively and joyful atmosphere that you breathe make it one of the most attractive cities in Europe.

Whether it's your first time or a happy return, here's one guide on how to get around Barcelona: info, costs and advice!



Index

  1. Useful Tips
  2. How to get from the airport to the center of Barcelona
  3. How to get around on foot
  4. Con i mezzi pubblici
  5. By car
  6. User questions and comments

Useful Tips


Barcelona is really very large: it is divided into 10 administrative districts and 73 districts. One of the most important is Ciutat Vella (the old town) which includes the entire historic center. In the center of the neighborhood is the famous Rambla (1,2 km long), the tourist pedestrian street par excellence where street artists, musicians and many shops meet.
A walking tour alone would be too tiring and would cover too small a part of the city. For a first approach, a guided Italian bike tour is highly recommended. In this way you can get an overview of the city, identify the reference points and ask for advice and useful information for driving. Alternatively, there's the evergreen hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus, with stops located at strategic points.

Independently, it is more convenient and faster to use the means to visit the whole city: metro, trams, trains, and buses. There are several Passes to save: the Hola BCN, a pass for all public transport from 48 to 120 hours (from € 16,30), or the Barcelona Card, which in addition to free transport includes admissions and discounts for affiliated attractions and activities.



  • Recommended solutions and means: metro, hop-on hop-off tourist bus, bus, taxi
  • Solutions and means not recommended: cars and trams
  • City cards and season tickets recommended: Hola BCN (from € 16,30 -), Barcelona Card (from € 46,00 -), T-Dia Card day ticket (from € 10,50)

How to get from the airport to the center of Barcelona


L'Barcelona El Prat Airport it is about 12 km from the center, to which it is very well connected by many means of transport. Most "airport - city" transfers take approximately 40 min, including waiting time. This makes it one of the most convenient airports in the country. Keep in mind that it has two terminals, T1 and T2, and that the departure points, for the same transport, are not the same from one terminal to another.

In addition to the classic means of transport such as train and bus, there is the Aerobús, a fast and cheap shuttle bus (35 min, departures every 5 min; you can buy your ticket online to avoid queues at the machines). It makes 3 stops and ends the ride at Place de Catalunya. Alternatively, you can opt for taxis or a private transfer to be booked online before departure and which will take you comfortably to the hotel.

El Prat de Llobregat Aeropuerto

  • Distance from the center: 13 km / travel time: 20 min;
  • By train: RENFE line / ticket cost: € 4,00
  • By taxi: average cost € 40,00 / travel time: 25 min;
  • By bus: average cost € 2,15 / night lines 46, 16 and 17
  • By shuttle: Aerobus line / ticket cost: € 5,30 - buy online
  • Private transfer: private transfer from / to the airport

Aeroport de Girona - Costa Brava

  • Distance from the center: 93 km / travel time: 1 h 6 min;
  • By taxi: average cost € 120,00 / travel time: 1 h 15 min;
  • By bus: average cost € 25,00 / Sagalés line Girona Airport - Barcelona center

How to get around on foot

Given the vastness of the city, the most comfortable and fastest way to move from one area to another is to use the highly efficient means of public transport.

A walking tour alone would be too tiring and would cover too small a part of the city. For a first approach, a guided tour in your language by bicycle or, if you are not trained, on an electric bike is highly recommended. In this way you can get an overview of the city, identify the reference points and ask for advice and useful information to the guide. Alternatively, there's the evergreen hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus, with stops located at strategic points.

In individual neighborhoods, it is instead very pleasant to walk, to enjoy Barcelona at its best. The Barrio Gotico historic district, El Raval and the other districts that make up the Ciutat Vella, the promenade and the port give their best if experienced with a nice walk. Then there are totally pedestrian areas; the most emblematic case is the famous Rambla which ends in Plaça de Catalunya, where you can relax with a drink, go shopping and observe the view.

For others itineraries on foot or by public transport, download our Smart Guide to visiting Barcelona for free.



Con i mezzi pubblici

Among all means of transport, bus and metro are the most recommended, as they are fast and cover the 6 zones into which the city is divided.

The area of ​​greatest tourist interest is zone 1, which includes the airport and the city center: here you can buy a single ticket for € 2,15 or several Passes, which include unlimited rides on various vehicles only for this area. Among these you can opt for the Hola BCN, with public transport for 48, 72, 96, or 120 hours (from € 16,30), or the Barcelona Card, which in addition to admissions and discounts for affiliated attractions and activities allows you to travel unlimited on means of transport for its entire duration.

A great solution if you want settle in the city or if you have little time available is the tourist bus, with tickets available for one or two days. For the duration of the ticket you can get on and off without restrictions and limits at all stops, located in strategic points and close to the most important attractions. Plus, you can enjoy a wonderful panoramic ride!

Metropolitan

The metro is the means that allows you to move quickly and everywhere. There are 11 lines, of which 8 managed by the TMB and 3 by the FGC. The distinction is a must, because the same ticket cannot be used for both companies. The service is efficient and the directions are clear and well marked.

The frequency is 2-3 min, after 22:00 it can increase to 7-8 min, while on Saturday and Sunday it is 4-5 min. Except Saturday, the metro is open until midnight, on Friday until 2:00 am. But rest assured, you will never stay on foot! When the metro stops working, there are in fact night buses of the Nitbus company (marked with the abbreviations from N0 to N18) .All lines, except the N0, cross Plaça de Catalunya.



  • Downloadable map: barcelona-metro-map
  • from Sunday to Thursday 5: 00-24: 00, Friday 5: 00-2: 00, Saturday 24 hours a day
  • Ticket / single ride cost: € 2,40
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: 10-trip T10 booklet € 11,35, daily T-Dia Card € 10,50, Hola BCN from € 16,30 (48 h) to € 38,00 (120 h)

Bus

Buses are obviously slower than the metro, but also allow you to better admire the city. There are over 100 lines distinguished by color and number. The red one is the most used by tourists and reaches the places of greatest interest. The frequency is 8-15 min and they are active from 5:00 to 23:30, then i Night, the so-called Nitbus, (yellow in color) made up of 17 lines. There are also i BRT who carry out an Express service, faster.

Recommended the tourist bus, which will take you there will allow you to settle in more easily thanks to its routes with stops at strategic points of the city, making travel easier.

  • Downloadable map: barcelona-bus-map
  • by 5: 00 23 to: 30
  • Ticket / single ride cost: € 2,40
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: 10-trip T10 booklet € 11,35, daily T-Dia Card € 10,50, Hola BCN from € 16,30 (48 h) to € 38,00 (120 h)

Tram

With them white and green colors, are easily recognizable. Barcelona trams consist of 6 lines. There are three itineraries called Trambaix, T1, T2 and T3; the other three are Trambesos, the T4, T5 and T6.

Trams are a pleasant means of transport however, the reduced extension of the network, combined with the fact that they do not circulate in the areas of most places of interest, make it a vehicle not very useful for tourists. They are therefore much less used than buses and metro but are still an alternative to consider. By the way, even the trams are part of the public transport passes.

  • Downloadable map: barcelona-tram-map
  • from 5:00 to 00:15; Friday and Saturday until 2:30 or 3:00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: € 2,40
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: 10-trip T10 booklet € 11,35, daily T-Dia Card € 10,50, Hola BCN from € 16,30 (48 h) to € 38,00 (120 h)

Train

Another easy and "scenic" form of transport that you can use in Barcelona is the train which, in addition to serving the nerve centers of the city, also allows you to move outside.

The Railways of the Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) offer the service in zone 1 and surroundings, integrating in part with the underground system on the urban lines L6, L7 and L8.

  • Ticket / single ride cost: for the area € 12,00
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: 10-trip T10 booklet € 11,35, daily T-Dia Card € 10,50, Hola BCN from € 16,30 (48 h) to € 38,00 (120 h)

Taxi

If you need to reach a specific destination quickly, the taxi is the most convenient way and, compared to other European countries, also quite cheap. They recognize themselves by the fact that they are black with yellow doors. You can stop them "on the fly", book them or wait for them at the stops they will not be long in coming!

Those with green light are free, while if they are busy they have yellow light. All taxi drivers must always use the taximeter. It may happen that, at the end of the stroke, they press buttons and the price increases by a few euros. It happens above all in the case of travel from the airport or for suitcases or for the night time.

  • 24 hours on 24
  • Ticket / single ride cost: average of € 10,00 for 15 min

Montjuic cable car

It starts from Avenida Miramar (in front of the Montjuïc swimming pool) and climbs up the hill to Montjuïc Castle. Make an intermediate stop at the Mirador del Alcalde, from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the harbor. It travels suspended in the air and offers a wonderful view of the city from above.

The Montjuïc cable car is excluded from the season tickets; the price for the round trip is € 11,43 for adults and € 8,28 for children aged 4 to 12. To get to the cableway departure you can take the funicular, Bus Turistic or bus 150.

  • from November to February 10: 00-18: 00; from March to May and in October from 10 am to 00 pm; from June to September 19 am-00pm
  • Ticket / single ride cost: round trip € 11,43

Port cable car

Like the Montjuïc cable car, this one also travels suspended in the air and offers one great view of Barcelona. It was inaugurated in 1926 and its cabins are red and of a very suggestive antique style. It starts from the Tower of San Sebastién, a stone's throw from the Barceloneta beach, makes an intermediate stop at the Tower of Jaime I (port) and continues to Av. Miramar, on the slopes of Montjuïc. Runs every 15 min.

For arrive at the starting point of the cable car you can take the metro L4 (yellow line), the "Hop on Hop off" tourist bus or the public buses Passeig Joan de Borbó / Plaça del Mar: 39, V15.

It is not part of the subscriptions and has the disadvantage that tickets cannot be purchased online, so you always have to queue at the ticket office. Timetables are subject to change based on season, holidays and weather conditions. Always consult the official website.

  • every day, in winter from 11:00 to 17:30, in summer from 10:30 to 20:00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: € 11,00, round trip € 16,50

By car

In Barcelona the cycle paths, the subway, trains and buses have an extensive and efficient network; Consequently, moving around the city by car is not recommended. The real risk is to find yourself stuck in a traffic jam caused by intense traffic or being forced to go around in circles to find a free parking space.

Then keep in mind that in Barcelona there is the largest ZTL in southern Europe and the risk of entering it, even by mistake, is high, thus receiving heavy fines.

Many apartments in Barcelona have parking spaces included in the rental price; in this case, we suggest you park the vehicle in the garage / reserved space and use public transport for your travels in the city.

ZTL

With its 95 square kilometers, the limited traffic zone (ZTL) of the Catalan capital constitutes the largest in southern Europe and its surface is equal to twenty times the area restricted to the circulation of vehicles in Madrid. Petrol vehicles registered before 2000 and diesel cars in circulation since 2006 cannot circulate inside the maxi-ZTL of Barcelona. fines for violators they range from a minimum of € 100,00 to a maximum of € 500,00.

Zone de Bajas Emisiones (ZBE)

In Barcelona there are also the Zone de Bajas Emisiones (ZBE), or the Low Emission Zones, established in many European cities to limit the pollution of the air. The restriction is active from Monday to Friday from 7:00 to 22:00. Violators risk fines of up to € 200,00.

In order to enter the city vehicles must meet standard requirements: petrol cars and Euro 3 vans; diesel cars and Euro 4 vans; Euro 2 mopeds for motorcycles; trucks, buses and coaches Euro 4. Vehicles that can circulate are obliged to show on the windshield (bottom right of the front glass) a DGT sticker (Ambiental badge).

To access is therefore need to register your vehicle. You can find all the info about it, such as extension of the ZBE and registration and payment methods, on the official website.

Superblocks

Superblocks have also been established in Barcelona, areas where access is allowed by vehicle only to residents with an adequate permit card. A maximum speed of 10 km / h must be maintained and the maximum weight is 5,5 tons. THE districts subject to the superblocks are: Gràcia, Horta, Les Corts, Nou Barris, Sant Andreu, Sant Martí, Sants y Hostafrancs, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi and Eixample.

You can consult all the info about it, such as implementation times, on the official website of the city of Barcelona.

Stops and parking

The paid parking lots are divided between the blue zone and the green zone. In the blue zone you pay Mon-Fri 9: 00-14: 00 and 16: 00-20: 00; the price varies according to the area. In some areas, such as the beach or downtown, you also pay on weekends and holidays. The green area is reserved for residents of the district with discounted rates; all the others pay more and with a limit of 2 h.

If you want to save, free parking are located in the following areas: Vall d'Hebron (Get directions), Zona Universitaria (Get directions), Bogatell (Get directions), Poble Sec (Get directions), Pedralbes (Get directions) and Sagrera (3km from Sagrada Familia, a 20 minutes by metro with line 5 - Get directions).
A good alternative is to take advantage of the shopping center car parks, specifically Diagonal Mar (Get Directions), Heron city (Get Directions), La Illa (Get Directions), and Granvia2 (Get Directions). They are safe and covered places but, to pay nothing, you cannot leave the car for more than 2 or 3 hours.

We highly recommend choosing acovered garage, as the ticket price includes a 24/7 security service. Two of the best known are Plaça de les Glòries (4 h € 5,65 - Get directions) e Estació del Nord (€ 2,80 / hour, 24 h € 16,85 - Get directions).

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