Barcelona is a very popular touristic destination. According to La Vanguardia, in 2017 its main airport El Prat registered over 47 million travellers. There are many different types of visitors coming to Barcelona: business travellers, tourists, budget tourists… Unless you are a VIP or politician, you might be wondering how to get from El Prat Airport to Barcelona city centre.
No worries – we are the experts (one of us was born in Barcelona)! 🙂
These are all the options available:
El Prat airport is located 15 km from Barcelona city centre. It has two terminals:
- Terminal 1 (“the new one” – “la nueva”) where all the main airlines from One World, Star Alliance, Sky Team, Iberia/Vueling arrive.
- Terminal 2 (“the old one” – “la vieja”) where low-cost companies operates (Ryanair, Norwegian, Easyjet, Wizzair).
It doesn’t matter which terminal you arrive to. You can go from one terminal to another thanks to shuttle bus for free. It takes approximately 15 minutes and the buses leave every 3-5 minutes during the day (at night it might take 20 minutes).
If you are wondering how to get from El Prat Airport to Barcelona city centre, Aerobus might be your option. It connects both terminals with Plaza Catalunya in approx. 30 minutes (if there are no traffic jams) and leaves from the airport every 5 to 10 minutes depending on the day.
There are two lines: A1 going to Terminal 1 and A2 going to Terminal 2. If you go to wrong terminal, no worries, you can use free shuttle between terminals.
Both lines have 3 stops in Barcelona, so you can easily change to metro or other bus if needed:
- Plaza Espanya
- Plaza Catalunya
The operating hours are:
- Airport – Plaza Catalunya: 05:35 am to 01:05 am
- Plaza Catalunya – Airport: 05:00 am to 00:30 am
As mentioned before, it’s quite fast bus and therefore it’s more expensive than regular TMB buses. One way ticket is 5,9€, for go and return you’ll pay 10,2€. You can buy the ticket on the bus and unfortunately, there are no discounts and T10 cannot be used onboard.
How to get from El Prat Airport to Barcelona city centre if you arrive on Terminal 2? The fastest and most economic option is to take a train. Terminal 2 is “the old” terminal connected with city center by train (You might want to learn a bit more about T10 transport card on our post How to get from El Prat Airport to Barcelona city centre for 1€). There are plans to connect Terminal 1 by train as well (2019), but it’s not available yet.
The L2 Line of RENFE links the Terminal 2 of Barcelona airport with various train stations: Sants Estacio, Passeig de Gracia, El Prat de Llobregat. Trains leave approx. every 30 min. and it takes 20 – 25min. The operating hours are from 5 am to 23 pm. You can check the schedule here.
Bus & Metro
If you decide to take public transportation, you are probably travelling on a budget and have time. Be patient, it does take time to get to the city center if you decide taking bus or metro (approx. 1 hour depending on final destination).
The fresh new line L9 (orange) connects Terminal 1 with City Center. This line is currently divided between Northern and Southern line. To get to/from the airport, you have to take L9 South line, you can see the detailed metro map on the official site here: Barcelona Metro Map.
Unfortunately, famous T10 transportation card does NOT allow you to go to the airport by metro, as you need to pay one way fee of 4.5€. The metro operates as other public transportation:
- Working days between 5 am and 23 pm.
- Fridays 5am to 2am.
- All night on Saturdays.
- Check all information on official website.
It stops on main transfer points where you can take train, bus or metro to your destination, for example: Plaça Europa, Plaça Espanya, Plaça Catalunya. It leaves every 15-20 minutes and it takes approximately 40 to 60 min. to get from Terminal 1 to Barcelona City Centre.
You can buy a single ticket from a bus driver (2,10€) or go for the T10 transportation card which you can buy in tabacco shop on Terminal 1 or metro/train station at the Terminals (check out our post to learn more about T10).
How to get from El Prat Airport to Barcelona city centre the fastest way possible? Taxi is your solution, though depending on where you go, it might cost you around 30€ or more. However, if you are travelling 3-4 of you, it might make more sense to take taxi instead of Aerobus (18-24€ for everyone).
Of course, try to avoid traffic jams and rush hours on working days (8-10 am, 17 – 20 pm).
The taxis are available on arrivals on both terminals.