There are many ways of getting into the city center from Barcelona El Prat Airport depending on the tourist’s needs and budget. In the following article we are going to mention the most common means of transport that people use when coming to Barcelona from the Airport.
The official shuttle bus operates every 5 minutes from Plaça Catalunya to both Terminals and back, 365 days a year. There are only three stops between both departure points which are Sepúlveda-Urgell, Plaça Espanya, Gran Vía-Urgell and Plaça Universitat.
It’s comfortable, easy and fast. The ride takes around 35 minutes, there’s free wi-fi on board and nice views. There’s plenty space for your suitcase and seats are comfortable. The official Aerobús Map is also on board for you to plan your stay.
The price is reasonable as it’s only 5,90€ for one way ticket and 10,20€ for the return one. Kids under 4 years travel for free. It’s suitable for all types of travelers.
The L9 (orange) is another option to reach both Terminals and even if it’s not the quickest option, it’s very accessible and handy. The Metro usually takes between 7 and 4 minutes to reach the platform. If the departure point is Plaça Catalunya, it will take you between 50 and 60 minutes to get to El Prat Airport.
The L9 has the same timetable than the Metro and you can buy tickets at the ticket machines at the airport or at any metro station. The price for one way ticket to the airport is 4,60€, although you can also use tickets like T-Día, T-12, T-Jove, Hola Barcelona Card and so on. You won’t be able to use the single metro ticket or the T-10. Make sure you have the right ticket as you have to validate it when you get to the airport!
Taxis are comfortable and easy but expensive. The can also be slow because of traffic. Taxis are the traditional transport that people use to avoid public transport. However, I do not advise to take it.
They use taximeters but I have been in a couple situations where I got scammed. Their strategy: take longer route, give the wrong change or lie about additional charges.
If you don’t have a budget and you prefer a comfortable ride, the taxi is the right transport for you. You will probably see loads of taxis waiting outside each Terminal so there’s no need to book one in advance.
The TMB bus number 46 departs from Plaça Espanya (Metro L1 and L3). This might be the cheapest transport to get to El Prat Airport as it’s only 2,20€. But, it does take longer than the Aerobús.
You can either buy your single ticket or T-10 at the ticket machines at the Metro or pay as you go directly to the bus driver. This bus reaches both Terminals and takes around 40 minutes, depending on traffic.
This mean of transport might be one of the slowest ones to get to the airport but it’s certainly the cheapest.
It’s a convenient mean of transport if you want to get to Terminal 2 as it doesn’t stop in Terminal 1. To get to Terminal 2, you have to get a shuttle bus from one Terminal to the other.
The R2N train operates every 30 minutes and takes around 26 minutes to the airport from Passeig de Gràcia Station. Timetables are similar to the Metro ones, starting at 5AM. Other stations where you can get the R2N are Clot, Bellvitge or El Prat de Llobregat. Make sure you check the screens to find out which platform you need to go to. You can buy tickets at the ticket machine in the station.
Trains are usually crowded and there’s no space for a lot of luggage but it’s a quick way of getting to Terminal 1.
There are other means of transport like private cars, rental cars and shuttles. Unfortunately, Cabify and Uber were banned to operate in Barcelona because of Taxis.
I wouldn’t advise to walk to the city center, it might take you a while. But, you could maybe try getting a bike (if you’re fit enough).