You have booked your holiday in Barcelona, the plane has landed at the airport, and you have successfully made it through the controls with your luggage. Now there are only two questions left: how to get to the centre of Barcelona with all your luggage after this rather exhausting journey, and what is the quickest and most comfortable way to get to your apartment from AB Apartment Barcelona?
The good news first: The airport (and in fact the whole city of Barcelona) is extremely well-connected and no matter which terminal you arrive at, you will be able to choose from a wide range of transport options. Whether you’re travelling as a large group, alone, with your family or just as a couple, we’ll show you the best options to take advantage of.
The easiest choice: the Aerobus – Airport Direct Bus
The Aerobus is Barcelona’s own airport shuttle and generally the fastest and most comfortable way to get to the centre of Barcelona. A bus departs from both terminals of the airport at very regular and short intervals in the direction of the city centre, stopping at several stops on the way to the final station, Plaça Catalunya. The buses run 365 days a year, regardless of whether it is a holiday or a weekend. This means you don’t have to worry about which day of the week you will arrive.
Within just over half an hour you will reach Barcelona’s city centre, making it a relatively quick and easy option.
At Plaça Catalunya, there is a direct connection to the metro lines L1 (red), L3 (green), L6 (purple) and L7 (brown). Trains of the Spanish railway company Renfe and the trains of the FGC (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya) also have their stops here, as do various bus lines that conveniently take you all over the city.
5,90 € (single trip)
10,20 € (return trip; valid for 15 days from redemption of the outward trip)
Tickets can easily be bought online on the official website or directly from the bus driver at the bus stop. For some time now, it has also been possible to buy a ticket on the spot at the ticket machine.
Journey time to Plaça Catalunya: Approx. 35 min.
The affordable solution: by train to the city centre
If you find yourself at Terminal 2 after your arrival, it is worth considering a train ride as a good way to get into the city. Alternatively, if you arrive at Terminal 1 and still wish to take the train, you can simply take the free shuttle bus that connects the two terminals and then follow the same steps.
The station is only about 200 metres from Terminal 2 and the way there is well signposted. Just follow the signs “Renfe” or “Trains”. The train is a good alternative to the aerobuses if your accommodation is close to the following stops, because then you can avoid traffic jams and rush hour traffic.
The city stops and journey times are:
Estació de França (approx. 38 min)
Barcelona Clot d’Aragó (approx. 32 min)
Passeig de Gràcia (approx. 26 min)
Barcelona-Sants (approx. 19 min)
These stops also have good metro connections. There is a train every 30 minutes, but always check the timetable before you travel.
Another advantage over the Aerobus is the cost. The ticket costs only 4,50 € (just buy it at a local ticket machine) or a Hola Barcelona Card (valid for several days).
The simple solution – a bus ride
We have already presented the Aerobus, but it is not the only bus that takes you from the airport to the city. There is also the regular bus number 46, which stops much more often than the airport shuttle, but is also a lot cheaper with a single fare of 2,15 €. It takes longer, but you can save money. Conclusion: more time but less cost!!
Of course, there is no extra space for luggage on the bus, as there is on the Aerobus. However, if you are only in the city for a short time and are travelling with hand luggage, there should be no problem. Another advantage is that you can use a T-casual ticket or the Hola Barcelona card. For more information on the T-casual and other tickets, we have put together a blog with everything you need to know.
The bus only goes from the airport (both terminals) to Plaça Espanya. Here you can change to the metro if necessary. The metro lines L1 (red line) and L3 (green line) depart from here. Here you can find more information about the bus stops.
If you arrive at the airport late at night, consider taking advantage of Barcelona’s Night Buses as an alternative. The N18 bus operates from both Barcelona airport terminals, while the N17 bus goes exclusively from airport Terminal 1. Both routes, however, go to Plaça de Catalunya, making them a convenient option for those staying in the city centre. Typically, running from 23:00 to 05:00, these buses offer a practical option, although we would advise to check their websites for any schedule updates. Similar to the bus number 46, this journey takes longer than the aerobus, lasting approximately 35-45 minutes, yet it presents a more budget-friendly option.
The convenient choice – by taxi into the city
A taxi is probably the quickest and most comfortable way we suggest in this list, but it’s certainly not the cheapest. At the airport, you can easily find taxis by following the taxi signs. There are official taxi ranks there where everyone is assigned a taxi. Once you get a taxi, you just have to tell (or show) the driver the address of your accommodation and in about 30 minutes you will be in the city.
If you have a lot of luggage or if you are several people, a taxi can be really worthwhile. The fare is about 30 €, depending on the terminal (Terminal 1 is further away than Terminal 2), the distance to the accommodation and the time of day (taxis are a bit more expensive at night).
Good to know:
- Every taxi has a taximeter that shows the exact price. In addition, an airport fee is added at the end. This is normal, and the amount is shown small at the bottom of the meter. It is standard that taxis charge a minimum fare of 20€ from the airport, regardless of the distance travelled during the journey.
- There are also surcharges: for example, for a trip to the port or at night. A list of these surcharges can usually be found in the taxi.
- In general, taxis in Barcelona are very reliable and correct.
- Please, only get into the official yellow and black taxis!
Alternatively, you can of course use a more individual service such as Cabify or Free Now. There are more and more offers from these providers in the city, but it is best to find out in advance what is possible here in the city.
The depending solution – by metro to the Apartment
Depending on where your accommodation is located in Barcelona, taking the metro line L9 Sud could also be an option for you. It stops at both airport terminals. However, as it does not include the central squares within Barcelona, such as Plaça Catalunya, it is best suited if your apartment is close to El Prat de Llobregat or Hospitalet de Llobregat. The service operates every 7 minutes between 5:00 am and midnight from Mondays to Thursdays. On Fridays, it runs until 2:00 am, and on Saturdays, it operates continuously throughout the night. Make sure to check the website for any changes, for example, on Christmas Day it typically only runs until 23:00.
Price: 4,50 € (single trip)
So, now you know everything you need to get from the airport to the centre of Barcelona or directly to your apartment in a relaxed, comfortable and affordable way.
Whatever the best solution for you might be, don’t forget to check the latest prices and timetables well in advance so that you don’t get any nasty surprises on arrival and enjoy a carefree start to your holiday.