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Public Transport Barcelona

When you first come to Barcelona, the extensive transportation network might initially seem overwhelming. However, once you figure out how it all works, you’ll quickly discover how easy and fast it is to travel around Barcelona using public transport. On this page, I’ll explain how public transport in Barcelona operates and tell you everything you need to know about public transportation in the city.

The main types of public transport in Barcelona

🎟️ Explore the benefits of the Hola Barcelona Travel Card.

The main types of public transport in Barcelona

If you want to experience the real Barcelona, using public transport is a must. Barcelona’s public transport system is extensive and well-maintained. Compared to many other countries, public transport in Spain is very affordable.

Taxis are also cheaper, but if you want to save money, I always recommend using public transport.

With a large metro network, various trains, city buses, and trams, there’s always a way to get around Barcelona using public transport.

Barcelona operates on a zone system: everything within Barcelona falls under zone 1, but if you leave the city to visit neighboring areas, you might need a ticket for a different zone. This is often the case if you take a regional train or bus.

To get around Barcelona (including to and from the airport), you don’t need to worry about zones, as everything is within zone 1. Barcelona also has an integrated ticket system that allows you to reach the entire city with the same public transport ticket. So, you can use your metro ticket for the bus or tram as well.

Barcelona’s integrated ticket system includes:

  • Metro (by TMB)
  • Buses (by TMB and other local companies)
  • Tram (by TRAM)
  • Urban trains (by Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC))
  • Trains (by Rodalies de Catalunya)
Buses in Barcelona
Buses in Barcelona

Map Public Transport Network Barcelona

Below, you’ll find a handy overview map showing all the stations of the metro network, the tram, and the trains from Rodalies de Catalunya and the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) included in Barcelona’s public transport network. When you travel outside Barcelona, you need to consider the different “zones” and corresponding fares.

Tickets Public Transport Barcelona

There are several types of public transport tickets in Barcelona to choose from, depending on how long and how often you plan to use the system.

For making the most of Barcelona’s extensive public transport network, multi-day public transport cards are the best option.

Locals mainly use the ten-trip ticket (T-Casual) and other long-term subscriptions, which you can buy from machines in metro stations.

Tourists can also use two different tourist cards, the Barcelona Card and the Hola Barcelona Travel Card.

If you’re traveling outside the city, you’ll need to buy a ticket that covers the zones traveled.

Kaartjes openbaar vervoer in Barcelona
Public Transport Tickets in Barcelona

Barcelona Public Transport Card Prices

One-day pass (T-Dia)€ 10,50
Ten-ride ticket (T-Casual)€ 11,35
Bitllet Aeroport (metro ticket from and to the airport)€ 5,15
Hola Barcelona public transport card 48 hours€ 16,30
Hola Barcelona public transport card 72 hours€ 23,70
Hola Barcelona public transport card 96 hours€ 30,80
Hola Barcelona public transport card 120 hours€ 38,00
*Based on prices as of January 10, 2020.

Note: Children up to 4 years old travel for free!

⭐ Book your public transport pass here!

Barcelona Public Transport Tourist Passes

A great option for tourists visiting Barcelona is to purchase the Barcelona Card. With the Barcelona Card, you get free access to all public transport in the city, plus discounts at many attractions, shops, and restaurants.

The Hola Barcelona Travelcard might also be of interest if you are only looking for cost-effective public transport during your holiday.

Please note: these cards are only valid for travel within Barcelona (zone 1).

Read more below about these two public transport tourist cards.

Hola Barcelona Travelcard

The Hola Barcelona Travelcard (formerly known as Hola BCN! Travelcard) allows you to easily, affordably, and unlimitedly use public transport in Barcelona (metro, bus, tram, and zone 1 of the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) trains, and zone 1 of the regional Rodalies de Catalunya trains). The train and metro to the airport are also included. Prices for these cards range from €16.30 to €38, depending on the period you choose (48 hours, 72 hours, 96 hours, or 120 hours). Your purchase voucher is valid for one year and can be exchanged upon arrival at the airport or at the tourist offices in the city.

Unlike the Barcelona Card, you don’t receive discounts at museums and other attractions, shops, or restaurants. These cards are purely for use in public transport in Barcelona.

👉 More information about the Hola Barcelona Travel Card can be found here.

Barcelona Card

The Barcelona Card is a special tourist card for free public transport and discounts at over 70 museums, cultural activities, exhibitions, events, shops, restaurants, and other services in the city.

You can purchase a Barcelona Card for 3 days (72 hours), 4 days (96 hours), or 5 days (120 hours). With this card, you have access to all public transport within the city of Barcelona: metro, bus, and tram. It also includes travel within zone 1 on Rodalies de Catalunya and Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) trains. The train and metro to the airport are also included. The Barcelona Card Express for 2 days (48 hours) is also available for €20 per person (for special discounts and free travel in Barcelona).

With the purchase of the Barcelona Card, you will also receive a guide with all the necessary information about the card and the discounts, a free map of Barcelona, and a free metro map. The card is valid from the moment you exchange the voucher for the selected period.

⭐ Grab Your Advantage Here!

Types of Public Transport in Barcelona

Public transport in Barcelona is perfectly arranged; you have a metro network, line buses and night buses, city trains, regional trains, and trams.

Of all transport types, I especially recommend the metro: it is by far the fastest, most affordable, and most efficient way to move around the city.

To move quickly in Barcelona, you can also choose to take a taxi or a bike.

But you’ll also find other fun modes of transport in Barcelona, from cable cars and tourist hop-on hop-off buses to boat trips.

The metro, tram, city trains, city buses, and regional trains all fall under one large network, that of the Autoritat del Transport Metropolità (ATM). Hence, you can travel everywhere with the same public transport card.

Traveling by Metro in Barcelona
Traveling by Metro in Barcelona

Barcelona Public Transport Operating Hours

The operating hours of public transport in Barcelona depend on the type of transport. For example, metros run from 5 AM until midnight, and until 2 AM on Fridays. On Saturdays and holidays, they run all night. Buses operate between 6:30 AM and 10:00 PM and are replaced by night buses from 10:00 PM until 5:00 AM. Taxis are always available.

Peak Hours in Barcelona Public Transport

Like any busy city, there are also peak hours in Barcelona when many people want to use public transport simultaneously.

At stations like La Sagrera and Sants, where passengers can transfer from train to metro, it gets particularly crowded.

The morning rush hour in Barcelona is between 7 and 9 AM, and the evening rush hour is between 6 and 8 PM.

It is advisablec, if possible, to avoid the metro during peak hours, as it is very crowded and less pleasant to travel.

Tourist buses touring the city can also experience the crowds, especially in the summer months and holiday periods.

In addition, buses and taxis can suffer from congested roads during peak hours.

Metrostation Universitat Barcelona
Metrostation Universitat in Barcelona

Accessibility of Public Transport in Barcelona

Public transport in Barcelona is as adapted as possible for people with disabilities, those in wheelchairs, or traveling with mobility scooters.

Almost all stations have elevators, level boarding into the metro, bus, train, or tram, adapted gates for wheelchair users, and braille signage.

The next stops are always announced, and with braille buttons, you can open the door.

All metros, trains, buses, and trams have special seats for the elderly, pregnant women, and people with physical disabilities.

There is always an extra-wide space designated for a wheelchair.

Guide dogs for the blind are also allowed to travel in public transport.

Lift in de metro van Barcelona
Elevator in Barcelona Metro

Traveling with Children in Barcelona Public Transport

For children up to 4 years old, public transport in Barcelona is free. It’s advisable to carry identification in case it’s requested.

Traveling with a stroller or buggy is usually not a problem if you use the elevators and ramps that lead to the metro, bus, tram, or train. If an elevator is not available, try lifting the stroller with two people or step in forwards and out backwards with the stroller.

Use the adapted gates for wheelchair users to get through the ticket machines, as these are much wider and more convenient with a stroller.

Traveling with Pets in Barcelona Public Transport

You can also travel with your pet in public transport as long as they are in a box or cage and do not disturb other passengers.

Dogs are allowed in the metro provided they are chipped and registered with the municipality of Barcelona. Dogs must also wear a muzzle, be attached to a non-extending leash, and kept within 50 cm of their owner.

Only one dog per person is allowed.

Note that dogs are not allowed in the metro between 7:00 AM and 9:30 AM and between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM from September 11 to June 24. During weekends, holidays, and the summer vacation (between June 24 and September 11), there are no restrictions, except during times of high congestion.

For safety, dogs are not allowed to use escalators. Dogs are also not allowed to occupy a seat in the metro.

Public Transport Apps for Barcelona

To navigate among all the metros, buses, trams, and trains in Barcelona, it’s best to use Google Maps or one of the following public transport apps. With these handy apps, you’ll know exactly how to move around Barcelona.

  • Moovit: the number one public transport app with all metro, bus, train, and tram lines, plus current public transport information and occupancy of all Bicing stations (Barcelona’s public bicycles). You can easily search for the best route to your destination from your location.
  • Barcelona Metro TMB Map: for the most up-to-date information about Barcelona’s metro. The app recognizes which metro you are at and searches for the fastest and easiest route for you.
  • Rodalies de Catalunya: the app to move around with city trains and regional trains in Barcelona and its surroundings. Includes all current information about schedules and train routes.
  • Bicing: the app of the bike network in Barcelona. You can check the location and availability of all nearby bike stations, track your kilometers cycled, and participate in various challenges. Note: this app is only available for Bicing members.

⭐ Book your public transport pass here!

Public Transport Around Barcelona

Once you travel outside of Barcelona, you need to buy a separate train or bus ticket. For this, ‘zones’ have been established; these determine the price difference, so the further you go, the more expensive it becomes.

Barcelona is in zone 1, but cities like Sant Cugat del Vallès, Sabadell, and Rubí are in zone 2, Terrassa, Granollers, and Martorell in zone 3, and so on up to zone 6.

If you stay within zone 1, you can travel with your regular ten-trip card on the bus and the trains of Rodalies de Catalunya and Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat (FGC).

With the Hola Barcelona card and the Barcelona Card, you can only travel on the trains of Rodalies de Catalunya and Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat (FGC) within zone 1.

Detailed information about which villages and cities fall into which zone can be found on the TMB website.

Train Travel in Barcelona
Train Travel in Barcelona

Traveling from and to Barcelona Airport

You can quickly and easily travel from Barcelona Airport El Prat to Barcelona (or vice versa) by metro, bus, taxi, or train. Note that a separate ticket is required for the metro from and to the airport, known as the Billet Aeroport (unless you are using the Hola BCN! Travelcard or the Barcelona Card).

The Aerobús is also a fast option, which are special shuttle buses that take you from the airport to the city center and vice versa (they stop at Plaça Espanya, Gran Via/Urgell, Plaça Universitat, and Plaça de Catalunya).

If you are traveling with a ten-ride ticket, then you need to take the R2 Nord train or the 46 bus line (N16 and N17 if you arrive at night).

Good to know: Barcelona airport is within zone 1.

Note: If you arrive at Girona or Reus airport and want to go to Barcelona, you need to buy separate bus tickets.

Trains Around Barcelona

To get out of the city, you have two options: the city trains of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) or the trains of Rodalies de Catalunya. Important boarding stations include: Sants Estació, Catalunya, Espanya, Passeig de Gràcia, and Sant Andreu Arenal. Tickets can be purchased at the machines or counters at the train station itself.

👉 Read more about traveling by train in Barcelona here.

On the map below, you can see exactly which stations are within which zone. Click here for more information on which villages and towns fall into which zone.

🔎 Click on the map for a larger version of the public transport zone system.
🔎 Click on the map for a larger version of the public transport zone system.

Buses Around Barcelona

For villages and towns that are outside the train network, you can also check if there are buses that cover the route. Buses mainly depart from two stations in Barcelona: Sants Estació and Estació del Nord. These buses often fall under different bus companies and have separate rates if they are outside the urban area of Barcelona. Tickets can be purchased directly from the bus driver.

👉 Read more about the bus in Barcelona here.