Your Guide to Public Transport in Barcelona – How to get around
Barcelona is a bustling city with a fantastic vibe that begs to be strolled around, but there are times when it’s raining or you are in a rush when you will want to use Public Transport. This is your guide to Public Transport in Barcelona – How to get around.
Public Transport in Barcelona – The Metro
The Metro in Barcelona is as easy to use as any other big city, with colour coded lines, signs and arrows everywhere. There is also an extensive bus network, but we found the Metro covered all the major sights we needed within the central area.
There are several types of tickets available, it’s worth having a good think beforehand as to which will be best for your needs. We found the touristy passes were well publicised (obviously they make more money for the city! Oh, cynical me!), but when you look into them, they may not be the bargain they seem!
Let’s look at the options…
This was, by far, the best way we found for us to get around. This is a ticket with 10 individual journeys on it. You can use them whenever you want, and on whatever method of transport. The great thing about this ticket is that you can share it – one person uses it to go through the turnstile, then passes it back to the other person to use.
The turnstiles are not enclosed so there is no problem doing this. It quite happily deducts 2 journeys off in this way. At €9.95 this is a bargain compared to the €2.15 for a single ticket. Over the course of a seven-day stay, we bought two of these, costing a total of €19.90. A great saving certainly, against any of the other options.
We found this all singing and dancing ticket to be the most publicised one. If you were in a rush, you could be mistaken for thinking this was the only travelcard available. But do your research, and choose what is best for you.
Unless you are going to be using public transport a lot, we found this one to be quite pricey. It does include travel to and from the airport. You buy the card in 2,3,4 or 5-day validity.
You do however get lots of discounts in shops/restaurants/museums; find out more with this PDF here. However, we found booking attractions online in advance also offered some great savings against cost at the door tickets. Online discounts are available – see website for details.
This ticket can only be bought online or at tourist offices but, surprisingly, it is not available in Metro stations.
If you need to, you can use the journey planner on the official website to plan: here.
Barcelona Card – Prices
(Discounts available if bought online in advance, but still needs to be collected from a Tourist Info Office)
2 day €20.00
3 day €45.00
4 day €55.00
5 day €60.00
This is a travel card available for 2, 3, 4 or 5 days. You can use it on the bus and Metro. It works in 24hr chunks of time, starting from when you first validate it. It only covers the city centre but does include to and from the airport. This is a single person ticket and can’t be shared, unlike the T-10 above.
Hola BCN – Prices
(Discounts available if bought online and then collected at any station)
2 day €14.50
3 day €21.20
4 day €27.50
5 day €33.70
The Hola BCN and T-10 tickets are easily purchased from the big red ticket machines inside the Metro stations and are clearly marked on the touchscreen displays (which show everything in English too!) The Barcelona Card is only available at Tourist Information Offices.
Public Transport in Barcelona – Best Value
We looked at all three options listed above, and for the discounts available, we dismissed the Barcelona Card as we felt we just wouldn’t use the discounts enough. We also dismissed the Hola travelcard, as the days you have to use it for have to be consecutive, and we knew we would have days in the middle of our trip where we wouldn’t use it.
The winner was…
So we opted for the T-10 card and only needed to buy two for our whole week’s stay ( we did a LOT of walking!).
M for Metro
The Metro stations are easy to spot, just look for the big ‘M’. There are other lines which also count on the network, the FGC and RENFE, but the layout is the same. Inside, there are plenty of signs to help you navigate.
- Firstly, look out for the colour line you need. Each line also has a code, for example, the green line is called L3.
- Then look for the direction you need. Each line tells you the END station, so you know which way the train is going.
- Once on the platform, there is a countdown sign telling you how long till the next train (we found it never to be more than 5 mins).
Surprisingly, you have to open the train doors yourself! Either by button or handle on the inside; we nearly got caught inside the train on our first trip as we expected the doors to open on their own like in London !
Exiting the stations is as easy as entering, there are plenty of signs telling you which way to go. Many stations have several exits, so knowing what road you want to come out on helps, but isn’t the end of the world of you pop up out of any exit. You don’t need to use your ticket to exit stations, simply push through the turnstile.
The only time we used a taxi, however, was to go to Parc Guell. Even though there is a metro station reasonably close by, we had done so much walking throughout the week, we decided to be lazy! Looking at my pedometer, we had, surprisingly walked about 40 miles in a week!
You can find Taxis, obviously, in Taxi ranks around the city. We noticed them on street corners mostly and the one time we used them, found them surprisingly quite reasonable.
Your Guide to Public Transport in Barcelona – How to get around
So, in brief, we liked the T-10 for its flexibility. You could use it for any transport, you were not time limited to a chunk of days and to be sure, the price was good. A lot cheaper than €2.15 for a single ticket! Of course, what worked for us may not work for you!
We used the Lonely Planet Pocket Barcelona guidebook, the first on the list and it was brilliant! If that’s not to your taste I have listed 3 other choices which are also great.
For more on our Gaudi Trail Adventures;
Our Gaudi trail
Have you have been to Barcelona? Did you use the T-10 ticket or, indeed, something else? Feel free to post your comments below as to what worked for you!
Prices correct as of December 2017
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