You made it! Welcome to Barcelona! Or have you just purchased your flight ticket or cruise and are excited to go there? Anyways: good decision 🙂 Let me give you some orientation on how to get from your arrival point to the town.
- Arrival by plane: your flight will take you to the Aeropuerto del Prat which is an approximate 30 minutes ride to the heart of the city, the Plaza Catalunya. There are two terminals at the airport. If you are flying with a low-cost carrier or a regional airline, chances are that you will land in Terminal 2, which is the former (“old”) terminal. Terminal 1 is where nowadays 70% of the airport’s capacity goes through. There are several ways of going to town from either terminal:
by Aerobus http://www.aerobusbcn.com/ very easy and convenient. The Aerobus A1 goes from and to Terminal 1 and A2 serves the terminal 2. Both buses take you to Plaza Catalunya, the heart of the town in approx. 30 minutes. You can also get off at Plaza Espanya and the University of Barcelona. You can purchase the tickets either online or right at the bus (there are terminals which you can use with bank cards or you simply buy the ticket from the bus driver). Have small change (not bigger than 20 Euros) ready! The buses run continuously / as soon as they are full, the next one will pull up. However check out operational hours and prices on the webpage I listed.
by Train: the train will take you to the following train stations within the city / Barcelona Sants, Passeig de Gracia or Clot. All of these train stations have connections to the Metro (subway) underground system.
by Taxi: taxis are readily available and sometimes there is even a line to catch them. So look for the signs upon arrival in the terminal towards the taxi station.
It is also possible to rent a car at the airport, however if you visit the city of Barcelona, you are better off using the public transport, since driving is crazy and parking a nightmare.
- Arrival by cruise ship: if you are traveling to Barcelona on a cruise, your ship might dock at the following terminals – at Palacruceros Muelle Adosado (which are Terminals A, B, C and D). This area is a long distance from town, so you should take either the shuttle bus offered by your cruise line (depending on cruise line it can be for free or at extra cost), take the port shuttle bus (blue bus circulating continuously) or a taxi. Taxi is an expensive solution, since they charge you extra fee just for entering the cruise ship terminal area. With the blue bus you get a one way ticket for approx. EUR 2,- and a return ticket for EUR 3,- and the bus drops you off right in front of the Columbus statue, at the beginning of the famous Las Ramblas.
Smaller ships can dock at the World Trade Center (WTC). From there, you are basically in town, however you need to walk down the pier which can be quite a distance for persons with walking disabilities (a 10 minutes walk until the Columbus statue). However, there are taxis available and also the Tourist Hop on Hop off buses stop right at the World Trade Center (will explain more about them in another article).
- Arrival to Barcelona by train: by AVE Train you can make the distance from Madrid to Barcelona in approx. 2 hours and you will arrive at Barcelona Sants train station. Most international trains will take you to Sants, but some trains arriving from France or regional destinations will bring you to Estación de Francia.