Barcelona is a huge city, but the modern and very extensive public transport system allows you to get anywhere within the city in no time. Metro, buses and trams run very frequently until late at night. Apart from that, there are several cable cars, funiculars, railways, sightseeing buses, taxis, local trains, night buses and other transport systems.
Barcelona has a modern and efficient public transport system.
Despite Barcelona's size, it is easy to move around quickly and comfortably with public means of transport. The metro, buses and trains of the FGC (the public transport system of Barcelona) are incorporated in an integrated transport system, thus tickets are valid in almost all the different means of transport.
You can buy tickets at any metro station and FGC station at the vending machines and at the pay booths. The vending machines have different language settings. In buses, you can only buy one-way tickets from the driver.
With the Barcelona Card, you do not only get a discount on many sights, but you can also use the public transport for free.
The tickets are valid for the entire integrated transport system, i.e. you can get on and off as often as you want to with a single ticket until you have reached your destination. If you want to change from bus to tram or to metro, you will need a new ticket. If you have a multi-trip ticket, you have to validate again. Included in the integrated transport system are the metro, the TMB transport buses (not the double-decked sightseeing buses), the tram and the funicular to the Montjuïc.
A ticket for zone 1 should be all you need. It covers the whole city region, some of the suburbs and the airport. Most of Barcelona's sights can be reached with this ticket. The fare zones 2-6 cover the edges of the city and towns further away. The beach town of Sitges, for example, is in zone 3, the much-visited Monastery of Montserrat in zone 4, Malgrat de Mar in zone 6. Check out the fare zones on the website of the FGC.
In addition to the one-way tickets, there is a "T-10 pass" that is valid for ten rides. It is recommended to buy one as in Barcelona you will use the public transport system quite frequently. The T-10 is a lot cheaper than 10 single one-way tickets and does not expire. If you haven't used it up, you can use it again next time you go to Barcelona. The T-10 can be used by several persons at the same time on the metro, tram or bus. For each person you have to validate the ticket once (there are validation machines at the entrance to the metro and in the buses).
Please note: Once you validate the ticket, it is valid until you reach your destination and on your way there you can change lines as often as you need to. You can even change from metro to bus, but not from bus and tram to metro - here you would have to validate the ticket again. With a single ticket, you cannot change from one means of transport to another.
All prices stated here refer to tickets in fare zone 1.
* Within the 75 minutes of validation period you can change from one means of transport to another, for example from metro to bus.
Please note: On buses you can only buy single tickets.
Barcelona has a dense metro network and the trains run with a high frequency, so you don't have to worry about schedules. Most of the sights are within walking distance from a metro or tram stop. The gaps left by the metro are covered by the trams.
The public transport system is very disabled-friendly. Almost all metro stations and all buses are wheelchair accessible.
You will quickly find your way in the metro network. If you have a certain destination, go to the next metro station, check which line goes there and what's the name of the terminus. In the metro stations, the terminus is signposted. If you have to change trains, it works the same way.
Network of metro line L2 with changing stops.
You can find a metro and tram network plan for download on our download page.
There are plans of the entire network hanging in the metro stops. You also get them for free at the pay booths in the metro stations.
In the evening it often occurs that just one entrance of a metro station is open. When the metro stops running, there are night buses available (see below).
The FGC is the Catalan railroad company that runs trains to the suburbs. They go along the Costa Brava until they reach Blanes 50 km north of Barcelona. They also go to the airport and along the coast towards the south to Tarragona via Castelldefels and Sitges. Trains to the northwest pass the Monastery of Montserrat on their way.
All lines meet in Barcelona, where the trains run underground like the metro and are integrated in the local transport network. You won't have difficulties here, finding your way is as easy as in the metro. Sometimes there are subterranean connections between metro stops and FGC stops. The same tickets are valid here.
FGC trains run from the airport (see "Tips for getting there"). They go from Plaça Catalunya to the Tibidabo and to the districts of Gràcia and Sant Gervasi.
Click here to find a map of the FGC and a metro map.
You can find schedules of the bus lines and an overview map of the NitBus here:
There are more than 200 bus lines in Barcelona and each bus line has its own map. It is thus difficult to say which bus takes you from A to B. If your hotel is a little further away from a metro station, ask at the reception which bus you can take.
Both metro and regular buses stop running at some point at night. There are lots of night buses in Barcelona that bring you back to your hotel all night long. Almost all lines stop at the Plaça Catalunya.
The hours of operation of the regular buses and the NitBus vary from line to line. The nights buses run from around 10pm to around 5am.
Taking a taxi is a good alternative to going by bus or metro, especially at night when the metros don't run anymore. There are numerous taxis which are rather low-priced compared to other European countries.
Call a taxi on the phone at one of the following cab offices:
The taxis in Barcelona are yellow and black with a green light on top. When the green light is on, the taxi is free. Altogether there are more than 4,000 taxis and 260 taxi stands in Barcelona. You can simply flag down a taxi on the street. Within 50 m from a taxi stand, a driver is not allowed to stop and pick up guests. At a taxi stand, you do not have the choice which taxi you would like to take unless you have special needs (e.g. if you require air conditioning, a different mode of payment etc.).
* taxis must not carry passengers from outside the city region into the city. So you have to pay the return way.
The actual tarif is displayed with the number 1-3 on the roofs of the taxi cabs.
The minimum charge from the airport to the city centre is 20.00 €.
There is a surcharge for some destinations and also for luggage:
A taxi from the airport to the city centre costs about 25-40 € depending on where you want to go and how dense the traffic is. Please check that when you leave the taximeter is switched on and insist that the driver gives you a receipt. Some taxis accept payment with credit cards, if that is the case you'll find a sign on the window.
The double-decked sightseeing buses ply the city on three different routes. The ride lasts for about two hours per route, the green route further east takes about 70 minutes. The sightseeing buses take you to most of the important sights in Barcelona. The buses are very well-suited to get an overview of the city and to get to know Barcelona's sights. You can hop on and off or change the route as often as you want to.
On Barcelona.de you'll book the tourist bus-tickets:
Buses run every day (except for December 25th and January 1st) every 5-15 minutes, depending on the season. The first buses depart at 9:30am, the last ones at 8:00pm (from April to October) or at 7:00pm (from November to March).
In 2010, the Green route will run between March 26th and September 26th.
The Tramvia Blau, the blue streetcar up to the Tibidabo is known all over the world. On its way up the hill, the old-fashioned streetcar passes art nouveau mansions before it reaches the ground station of the funicular which then takes you up to the summit and the Tibidabo Amusement Park.
The stop is opposite the terminus of the TGC L7 called Avinguda Tibidabo. On the 1,200 m long way up, the difference in altitudes is about 93 meters. A funicular goes up from the terminus of the Tramvia Blau to the summit of the Tibidabo
The Tramvia Blau is not running on January 1st and December 25th. Do not get fooled by groups waiting at the stops outside the business hours - the tram will not run, but they forgot to put up a timetable saying so. If the Tramvia Blau is not running, take bus line 195 which plies the same route to the ground station of the funicular.
Metro/bus tickets are not valid for Tramvia Blau and funicular but for bus line 195.
If you want to visit the Montjuïc, you can go up by funicular. If you come by metro, take line 3 and get off at Paral·lel where you change to the funicular. From the top station, it is 100 meters to the Fundció Joan Miró. The telefèric takes you up to the Castell de Montjuïc on top of the mountain. It is a kind of gondola cableway as it is known from ski regions in Austria.
The cableway "Transpordador Aeri" runs above the port of Barcelona and connects the district of Barceloneta with the Montjüic. There is a tower in the middle right in the harbour where you can also get on the cableway.
The middle tower is closed because of reconstruction works. You can use the Barceloneta tower.
When the weather is bad, the timetable may change. Trips may be cancelled due to storm.
Because od reconstruction work, the middle tower is closed.
Other interesting pages:
The Barcelona Card provides free travel by bus, tram, metro and train from the airport to the city centre and back. Many other discounts.
There are more than 200 bus lines in Barcelona. There are special lines to some destinations as for example the Aerobus, a transfer bus to the airport, or the Tibibus that goes up to the Tibidabo (see chapter on the Tibidabo).
The tram is Barcelona’s latest means of transportation and covers parts of the city the metro does not cover.
The double-decker tourist buses are a good way to explore Barcelona’s sights.
Many streets have its own bus lane.
In comparison to other Europeen countries, riding a taxi is rather cheap in Barcelona.
The Tramvia Blau is Barcelona’s oldest streetcar and a much-loved jewel of the past.
A funicular takes you up to the summit of Tibidabo with its amusement park.
The funicular Aeri that runs from the district of Barceloneta to the Montjuïc and crosses the port offers sweeping views of the city.
The Telefèric takes you to the summit of the Montjuïc.
Meanwhile the rented bikes have become an integral part of the urban image of Barcelona. However, just citizens of Barcelona can rent them.